Best places to watch the Boston Marathon

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There’s nothing quite like the pandemonium of Patriots’ Day, Boston’s biggest party of the year. From Hopkinton to Boylston Street in the Back Bay, hundreds of thousands of fans will line up along the 26.2-mile course on Monday, April 15, to cheer on all the amazing athletes taking part in the 2019 Boston Marathon. Ahead of the Marathon Monday festivities, here are some tips to finding the perfect spot to watch all of the action during this year’s race.

Best spots to watch the Boston Marathon


As the home of the Boston Marathon’s starting line, the quiet town of Hopkinton has become a must-see destination for some fans on Patriots’ Day over the years. While the area can get crowded due to all the spectators - not to mention the thousands of athletes preparing for their long journey to the Hub - it’s an amazing spot to catch the beginning of the action. Just make sure to get there early if you want to claim a spot near the starting line. This year’s Marathon is set to kick off from Main Street with the men’s wheelchair competitors at 9:02 a.m.



If you’re looking for a viewing location near the start of the race that isn’t entirely overrun with fans, head to the town of Ashland. Just a couple miles into the Marathon, spectators won’t have to struggle too much in order to find a great spot to cheer from. One popular viewing spot is, of course, TJ’s Food and Spirits (355 W Union St.), which has ample outdoor seating and lots of great food to munch on. Be sure to get their early to enjoy all the fun, as TJ’s annual Marathon party kicks off at 6 a.m.


For fans who want to take the party up a few decibels, head to Wellesley. A little less than halfway through the race is the famed Wellesley College scream tunnel. Lined with enthusiastic college students who aren’t afraid to get noisy in order to show their support for the athletes, this section of the Marathon is quite the experience. Just remember to bring earplugs.

Heartbreak Hill

The most grueling portion of the Marathon is without a doubt the infamous Heartbreak Hill. Located about 20 miles into the course, the infamous half-mile incline has broken even the toughest of competitors over the years. The athletes who can muster up the strength to defeat this steep beast need all the encouragement they can get as they head into the home stretch, so set up shop along Heartbreak Hill and give them a boost with your cheers.

Kenmore Square/Boylston Street

The final portion of the race is also the most popular area for fans. Thanks to the Marathon and the annual Red Sox game, things get pretty busy around the Kenmore Square area on Patriots’ Day. The crowds get even bigger as you head to the finish line on Boylston Street, so be sure to claim your spot very early in the day if you want to cheer on the athletes as they complete their 26.2-mile trek. The final stretch of the Marathon also happens to have plenty of great bars and restaurants to watch the action from, including Eastern Standard (528 Commonwealth Ave.), McGreevy’s (911 Boylston St.), King’s Dining and Entertainment (50 Dalton St.), and Whiskey's (885 Boylston St.).

Boston Marathon 2019 Map

Click/tap the map to see an interactive map for the Boston Marathon.

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