A spectator’s guide to the Boston Marathon

Runners from China took a photo at the Boston Marathon’s finish line on Boylston Street.
Keith Bedford/Globe Staff
Runners from China took a photo at the Boston Marathon’s finish line on Boylston Street.

Here are some tips on road closures, MBTA schedules, where to watch, and what temperatures to expect along the 2016 Boston Marathon race route.


The MBTA is urging those planning to attend Monday’s Boston Marathon to rely on public transportation. However, several subway stations will be closed and some bus lines will be rerouted due to the race. On the Green Line, Copley Station will be closed for the entire day, and the South Street, Kent Street, and St. Mary’s Street stations will be closed between 10 a.m. and approximately 6 p.m. The Berkeley Street entrance/exit of Arlington Station will also be closed. The remainder of MBTA train service will operate a regular weekday schedule with rush-hour levels of service before and after the race.

Most commuter rails will run on a regular weekday schedule, and extra service will be added to the Framingham/Worcester Line to support additional crowds.


There will be no bus service to Cleveland Circle Station, Reservoir Station, the Kenmore Square area, Brookline Avenue, Boylston Street, or the Copley Square area. There also will be no service to Huntington Avenue from St. James Street to Massachusetts Avenue. Until 10:30 a.m., there will be no service to Temple Place, Charles Street, Beacon Street, or Tremont Street.

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No bikes will be allowed on any MBTA trains or buses.

Road closures and parking

Many roads will be closed along the Boston Marathon route, as well as areas of the Back Bay, Kenmore Square, Brookline, and Brighton. Meters are free in Boston on Monday, but competition for the spots will be fierce. MBTA parking garages will be cash-only on Marathon Monday.


Plans include security checkpoints, a heavy police presence, and many surveillance cameras, though officials say they know of no credible threat to the event. Spectators should be alert and aware of their surroundings, and call 911 if they see anything suspicious. Backpacks are also discouraged — though not banned — and may be subject to search.

Police are also asking college students to refrain from drinking in public and to stay off of rooftops.

What to wear


If you plan to be watching the race along the route, especially towards the starting line, dress in layers and make sure to wear sunscreen. In most marathon communities, temperatures will hover slightly above 50 degrees around 8 a.m., reaching into the 60s by noon and topping out at 70 degrees by mid-afternoon in areas like Hopkinton and Wellesley. Boston will likely see a high in the mid-60s in Boston, but that could be slightly cooler if a sea breeze makes its way inland, said Rebecca Gould, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service.

The day will start off mostly sunny with light winds, with some clouds moving in later in the afternoon, Gould said.

“Definitely wear layers, especially if you’re watching out towards the starting line,” Gould said. “It’s going to be warm and almost full sun for most of the morning. And don’t forget sunscreen.”

Where to eat

Some best bets on where to grab some grub and a drink while watching the marathon:

The Pour House: Doors open at 7 a.m. at this Boylston Street bar and grill for brunch. “Adult beverages” will be poured beginning at 8 a.m.


McGreevy’s: The doors swing open at 8 a.m. at this Irish bar with a sweet spot for viewing the runners on Boylston Street.

Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks: The Kenmore Square restaurant will be open normal hours, 7 a.m.-2 a.m., and the regular menu will be available.

Island Creek Oyster Bar: The Kenmore Square eatery will open early at 8 a.m. Typically on weekdays there is only a midday and dinner menu.

Cask ’n Flagon: A Marathon viewing party will begin at 8 a.m., and a special brunch menu will be served until noon.

Anna’s Taqueria: The location on Brookline’s Beacon Street will open at 9 a.m. and serve breakfast items like breakfast bowls.

TJ’s Fine Food and Spirits: The Ashland restaurant kicks off with a breakfast buffet at 6 a.m.

Select Oyster Bar: The Gloucester Street oyster bar and seafood restaurant will have a designated standing room space.

Poe’s Kitchen at the Rattlesnake: Located one block from the finish line, Poe’s will open at 10 a.m. for breakfast burritos, and will also kick off their roof-deck season on Monday. Admission is $10 person and food is additional, and guests must be 21 or older.

Marathon start times

(approximate number of entrants in parentheses)

8:50: Mobility impaired (50)

9:17: Push rim wheelchair (76)

9:22: Handcycles (18)

9:32: Elite women (40)

10:00: Elite men and wave 1 (7,500)

10:25: Wave 2 (7,500)

10:55: Wave 3 (7,500)

11:25: Wave 4 (7,500)

.  .  .


More information on the 2016 Boston Marathon

View the course map

Road closures for Marathon Monday

Taking the MBTA on Marathon Monday? What to know

Fill up before watching the Boston Marathon

• Interactive: “How Meb Won the Marathon

Photos from the 2015 Boston Marathon

More coverage of the 2016 Boston Marathon