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Everything you need to know about the 2019 Boston Marathon

Where to go and what to do during the Boston Marathon, including where to cheer and where to eat

Boston Marathon
Photograph: Courtesy Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau Boston Marathon
By Gerrish Lopez and Time Out Boston Staff |

The Boston Marathon dates back to 1897, making it the world’s oldest annual marathon. Held on Patriots’ Day—it’s a highlight of the annual Boston calendar—the event draws people from across the world. Regardless of the conditions, runners push their limits while spectators party and cheer their hearts out. For specific details about the Boston Marathon route and where to watch, check out our guide to the Boston Marathon route. Patriots’ Day is more than just the marathon, and there’s plenty to do while you cheer on the runners. Here are the best activities and events happening during the Boston Marathon, plus spots where you can enjoy both the race and a bite to eat. After the race, you can have a drink on behalf of the finishers at one of Boston’s best bars. If watching thousands of runners complete a marathon inspires you to be healthier, check out our list of Boston’s best gyms and Boston’s best vegetarian restaurants.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Boston

Boston Marathon guide

Hynes Convention Center
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Hynes Convention Center

Attend the Marathon Expo

With more than 200 exhibitors, the Boston Marathon Expo is a premier gathering for the running industry. The general public is invited to join top athletes and running enthusiasts to check out new running products and services. The Expo takes place at the Hynes Convention Center from Friday, April 12-Sunday, April 14. More info here.

Boston Marathon
Photograph: FayFoto/Boston
Things to do

Pick your spot on the route

Whether you choose to watch the marathon at the starting line, the finish line, or somewhere in between, the Boston Marathon route has many unique viewing spots. Help the runners make it up Heartbreak Hill, cheer with the kids at Boston college, mingle with Red Sox fans at Kenmore Square, or watch as runners cross the finish line.

Scream Tunnel at Wellesley College
Photograph: Creative Commons/Ericshawwhite

Experience “Scream Tunnel”

Head to this Wellesley College spot where supporters turn the volume up to 11. It’s halfway through the race, so runners will need a big push. You’ll also see students with decorative signs displaying encouraging messages.

Fenway Park, Sights and attractions, Boston
Photograph: Elan Fleisher
Things to do, Sport events

Go to the Red Sox Patriots’ Day game

icon-location-pin Fenway/Kenmore

The annual Patriots’ Day game (first pitch: 11:05am) is a special Red Sox tradition and part of the holiday’s festivities. It’s the only morning game on MLB’s schedule, and takes place as thousands of runners hit the streets for the Boston Marathon. The area around Fenway is buzzing all day, but even more so as fans exit the game in time to see the runners pass the Citgo sign.

Baseball Tavern
Photograph: Courtesy Baseball Tavern
Things to do

Hang out in the Fenway

It’s a holiday, there’s a Marathon going on, and there’s a Red Sox game — a perfect time to hang out in the Fenway. Whether it’s a fancy drink at Eastern Standard, a cold brew at the Baseball Tavern, or a filling burrito at El Pelón, you’ll have something fun to do while you cheer on the runners.

Photograph: Courtesy Deuxave/Andy Ryan

Grab a bite to eat near the route

Cheering for all those runners can work up an appetite. Fenway in particular is a great place to eat during the race. From Hojoko and Eastern Standard to Sweet Cheeks and Tasty Burger, the options are many. Once in the Back Bay, go fancy at spots like Deuxave or Uni, or celebrate like you just ran 26.2 miles with a big-ticket meal at Abe & Louie's.