Just across the Charles River is Boston's "Left Bank"—the City of Cambridge. Rich in cultural diversity, Cambridge is home to more than 100,000 people, many affiliated in one way or another with the city’s two premier universities—Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Cambridge is young, hip and definitely with a visit. Just hop the Red Line, and you’ll discover a fun mix of unique shopping, theatres, museums and historic sites. The city’s lush squares each have a unique character—all worth discovering! Don’t miss the Harvard Art Museum, collections at the Sackler Gallery and the world famous Blaschka glass flowers (as well as dinosaurs and hundreds of animals) on display at the Harvard Museum of Natural History. In season, the acclaimed American Repertory Theatre near Harvard Square is a wonderful place to take in compelling theater.
CAMBRIDGE SITES OF INTEREST
Central Square | Massachusetts Avenue/Prospect Street/Western Avenue
Well known for its wide variety of ethnic restaurants, Central Square was run down as recently as the late 1990s. Renovation in recent years—in conjunction with the development of the nearby University Park at MIT—has generated continued growth.
Harvard Square | Massachusetts Avenue/Brattle Street/JFK Street
Harvard University’s primary home, Harvard Square is also a major shopping area. Harvard Square was originally the northwestern terminus of the Red Line and a major transfer point to streetcars that also operated in a short tunnel—which is still a major bus terminal, although the area under the Square was reconfigured dramatically in the 1980s when the Red Line was extended. The Harvard Square area includes Brattle Square and Eliot Square. A short distance away from the square lies the Cambridge Common, while the neighborhood north of Harvard and east of Massachusetts Avenue is known as Agassiz in honor of the famed scientist Louis Agassiz.
Inman Square | Cambridge/Hampshire Streets
In Mid-Cambridge, Inman Square is home to many diverse restaurants, bars and boutiques. The funky street scene still holds some urban flair, but was dressed up recently with Victorian streetlights, benches and bus stops. A new community park was installed and is a favorite place to enjoy takeout food from the nearby restaurants and ice cream parlor.
Kendall Square | Broadway/Main/Third Streets
Also known as Technology Square, Kendall Square is just over the Longfellow Bridge from Boston at the eastern end of the MIT campus. Most of Cambridge's large office towers are located here, giving the area somewhat of an office park feel. A flourishing biotech industry has grown up in the area.
Lechmere Square | Cambridge/First Streets
Adjacent to the CambridgeSide Galleria shopping mall, Lechmere Square is perhaps best known as the northern terminus of the Green Line at Lechmere Station.
Porter Square | Massachusetts/Somerville Avenues
Located about a mile north on Massachusetts Avenue from Harvard Square, Porter Square includes part of the city of Somerville. Lesley University's University Hall and Porter campus are located here.
Harvard University | 1350 Massachusetts Avenue, Phone: 617-495-1573
Harvard University, a member of the elite Ivy League, was established in 1636. Today, nearly 21,000 undergraduate and graduate students pursue their studies under the guidance of 2,100 faculty members and more than 10,000 academic appointments in affiliated teaching hospitals. The Harvard campus is a beautiful, historic spot to spend an afternoon. The visitors center welcomes guests daily from all over the world, providing historical and general information and a host of informative tours.
There’s also a lot to see at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Don’t miss the interactive displays of the Corridor Lab, the List Visual Arts Center, exhibits at the MIT Libraries and Archives, the MIT Museum and associated galleries , the Ray and Maria Stata Center, and the Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center. Most lectures and events are open to the public.