Cambridge Fourteen

Would you recommend I visit Cambridge when I travel to Boston? Yes. Visit Cambridge, MA! While there is much to do, here is a LIST of 14 ideas (in alphabetical order) to jumpstart your itinerary planning.

1. Brattle Theater

This independent movie theater on Brattle Street is still going strong. Movie selections often only play for that day so check the website to see what is playing when you are in town. (The Harvard Film Archives just doesn’t have this level of character.)

2. Browse in book stores

There are a few left. As they are so spread apart now, here is a current listing. In Central Square: Rodney’s Bookstore, Pandemonium Books and Games, Center for Marxist Education, and Seven Stars; in Harvard Square: the Harvard Coop Bookstore, the Harvard Bookstore, The Raven, Curious George (children’s books) and Grolier Poetry Book Shop; in Kendall Square, the MIT Coop; Robin Bledsoe Art and Horse (between Harvard Sq. and Porter Sq.) and in Porter Square, Porter Square Books.

3. Cambridge Common

a green park next to Harvard Square— Here you can walk around THE tree under which George Washington stood when he first took command of the colonial militia in the Revolutionary War. You can find that tree over by the cannons. The Common also has a playground on the far side and lots of open space. (Perhaps you will find room to sit with a slice of pizza from one of those overcrowded pizza spots in the Square.)

4. Charles River Canoe and Kayak

Rent a canoe or kayak to paddle on the Charles River. Two locations.

5. Harvard University Art Museum

Big, Excellent, Varied art museum. Beware the layout: just when you think you have seen it all, you will stumble upon a gallery that you haven’t seen yet. (I recommend 2 hours minimum but you could easily spend much more time here)

6. Harvard Museum of Natural History

A huge museum building that includes a Geological Museum and the Peabody Museum of Ethnology and Archeology (not to be confused with the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem). Don’t miss the Kronosaurus. I recommend 2.5 hours minimum and you could spend much more time there.

7. Harvard Foot Bridge

This foot bridge over the Charles River straight up from Harvard University offers an excellent view of the Charles with the Harvard Business School on the far side of the river and the other Harvard University behind you. Sit on a bench and watch the people and the Canadian Geese. If you come during the October weekend of The Regatta (Head of the Charles), you can watch the various rowing competitions.

8. MIT Museum

Interesting museum with a scientific bent, including exhibits on holography and cutting edge robotics.

9. Live Theater

There is a variety: the American Repertory Theater Company at the Loeb Theater and the Oberon Theater, the Harvard University Theatre Society at the Loeb, companies in residence at the Central Square Theatre and a variety of local theater groups playing at places like the YMCA in Central Square or the Dante Alighieri Italian Cultural Center near Kendall Square.

10. Longfellow House

Take a guided tour of Mr. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s home, a National Park Service site.

11. Mount Auburn Cemetery

A cemetery in a garden setting with some impressive grave stones. This cemetery covers over 100 acres. It is a lovely place for a walk if you want to get away from the urban scene. Wikipedia’s description includes the phrase, “classical monuments set in a rolling landscaped terrain…”

12. Qing Dao Garden

Best Chinese restaurant in Cambridge; they make their own dumplings.

13. Sanders Theater

A quirky and beautiful concert venue, with good acoustics too.

14. Toscanini’s Ice Cream

Excellent ice cream made on the premises; located between Central and Kendall Square.

Carpe your diem.


Cracking Kronosaurus, Batman!

This list is also posted at should you wish to add to or comment on the list.

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