An esplanade or promenade is a long, open, level area, usually next to a river or large body of water, where people may walk. The historical definition of esplanade was a large, open, level area outside fortress or city walls to provide clear fields of fire for the fortress’s guns. In modern usage, the space allows the area to be paved as a pedestrian walk; esplanades are often on sea fronts and allow walking whatever the state of the tide, without having to walk on the beach.