Cambridge is one of Massachusetts’ top weekend getaways, with a mix of historic sites, modern architecture, and a lively ebb and flow of students attending colleges like Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Here are some ideas for a 3-day itinerary.
Thanks to MIT, Cambridge is home to some of the country’s best science and industry. Spend the morning touring the campus and wandering around historic Kendall Square. After grabbing lunch, make your way to the MIT Museum, where epic displays of current academic research—and galleries highlighting the merger of art, design, and technology—provide hours of indoor entertainment. To see a less serious side of Cambridge, join a combo tour of Harvard and MIT led by current students who offer an amusing look at daily life at the prestigious schools. If you’d rather just be on the water, embark on a sightseeing cruise along the Charles River.
Time to explore Cambridge’s deep-rooted past. Start at the Longfellow House, former residence of poet Henry W. Longfellow and headquarters for General George Washington during the Siege of Boston. Afterward, head to the Harvard Museum of Natural History and the Peabody Museum for a peek into the past on a more global scale—life-size dioramas, massive dinosaur fossils, and hands-on exhibits prove learning can still be fun. Alternatively, venture beyond Cambridge to other historic locations, such as Lexington Battle Green, the common where the opening shots of the Revolutionary War were fired; Concord’s Battle Road Trail, part of Paul Revere’s famous ride; and Old North Bridge, a notable site in the Battle of Concord.
Cambridge is filled with squares that perfectly capture the vibe of this picturesque New England town. On your last day, browse the shops, sample local fare, and do some major people watching. Kick off the morning with a picnic breakfast and a pickup game of softball or soccer in Cambridge Common, where George Washington gathered his troops during the Revolutionary War. Then, stroll over to Harvard Square, where young academics unwind and street performers turn the busy intersection into their stage. Finish your stay with a run, walk, or bike ride along the Charles River Esplanade, a green path along the Boston side of the river.