Cambridge, MA Travel Guide

USA  
Credit

Courtesy of Getty Images

Free Things To Do in Cambridge, MA

If you have extra time, Massachusetts Institute of Technology is worthwhile.
  • #1
    Harvard Square
    View all Photos
    #1 in Cambridge, MA
    Shopping, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Shopping, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Iconic Harvard Square, a bustling epicenter of Cambridge, is packed with quirky boutiques, bookstores, restaurants, cafes, bars, buskers and, of course, students from Harvard University, which borders one side of the square. No matter the time of day or night, there is always a lively atmosphere. Simply wandering around people-watching can be entertaining by itself.

    ...Read More »
  • #2
    Harvard University
    View all Photos
    #2 in Cambridge, MA
    Museums, Sightseeing, Tours, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums, Sightseeing, Tours, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    One of the world's most famous universities, Harvard has been educating students since the 17th century. It was named for John Harvard, a clergyman who died in 1638 and left the college his library and half of his estate. Visitors can walk the grounds to take in the gorgeous buildings, which span a variety of architectural styles over the centuries. There's the Georgian-style Holden Chapel, completed in 1744, University Hall, designed in 1815 by Charles Bulfinch, and the Romanesque-style Sever Hall, completed in 1880, among many others.

    ...Read More »
  • #4
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    View all Photos
    #4 in Cambridge, MA
    Sightseeing, Tours, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Tours, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Founded in 1861, MIT's emphasis on science and technology is clearly seen in its amazing architecture and sculptures. Take a guided or self-guided tour around the campus to see works by Pablo Picasso and Alexander Calder and buildings designed by I.M. Pei and other award-winning architects. Highlights include the domed Kresge Auditorium, designed by Eero Saarinen, which rests on just three points, and the curvy Ray and Maria Stata Center, designed by Frank Gehry. A free audio guide that focuses on 51 works of art and architecture throughout the campus, with commentary from artists, architects, scholars and curators, is available online. Visitors can access it here.

    ...Read More »
  • #7
    Mount Auburn Cemetery
    View all Photos
    #7 in Cambridge, MA
    Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    This beautiful and peaceful 175-acre cemetery was the country's first "garden cemetery" when it opened in 1831 and it's filled with artwork, sculptures and gorgeous landscaping. What's more, it's a National Historic Landmark. Famous names buried here include Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Mary Baker Eddy, Winslow Homer, Amy Lowell, Isabella Stewart Gardner and architect Charles Bulfinch. Along with its intricate gravestones, the cemetery is also home to plenty of flora and fauna. In fact, the Massachusetts Audubon Society named it an Important Bird Area for its warbler species. One of the most prominent structures in the cemetery is the 62-foot-tall Washington Tower, which is located at the highest point in the cemetery and offers stunning views of Cambridge and Boston.

    ...Read More »
  • #8
    Longfellow House Washington's Headquarters
    View all Photos
    #8 in Cambridge, MA
    Historic Homes/Mansions, Sightseeing, Tours, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Historic Homes/Mansions, Sightseeing, Tours, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    This house has witnessed a lot of history. Not only did it serve as General George Washington's headquarters during the Siege of Boston (considered the beginning stages of the Revolutionary War), it was also the home of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. One of a number of original Tory Row homes on Brattle Street, the house was built in 1759 by John Vassall, Jr. Longfellow lived here in 1837 as a boarder and later received the house as a gift from his father-in-law upon his marriage to Frances Appleton. For 45 years, Longfellow wrote and hosted luminaries, such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Charles Sumner, an abolitionist senator. Today, the house is owned and operated by the National Park Service and features well-preserved, original Longfellow family furniture.

    ...Read More »
  • #10
    Harvard Semitic Museum
    View all Photos
    #10 in Cambridge, MA
    Museums, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Something of a hidden gem, the Harvard Semitic Museum, founded in 1889, boasts more than 40,000 Near Eastern artifacts, mostly from museum-sponsored excavations in Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Syria and Tunisia. Highlights include pottery, cylinder seals, sculptures, coins and cuneiform tablets. The museum rotates items in its collection in temporary exhibits, but recent examples include "House of Ancient Egypt," "Monuments from Mesopotamia" and "Ancient Cyprus."

    ...Read More »

Explore More of Cambridge, MA

Recommended

The 20 Best Michigan State Parks

Two peninsulas, four Great Lakes and innumerable natural highlights elevate Michigan's state parks.

Zach WatsonApril 18, 2019

50 Awesome Vacation Ideas for Every Type of Traveler

Consider these vacation ideas for your next getaway.

Holly JohnsonApril 11, 2019

The 13 Best National Parks in California

You won't regret adding one of these national parks to your California itinerary.

Rachel CenterApril 10, 2019

10 Beautiful Places to Visit in the South of France

Plan a getaway to these special destinations to soak up culture, cuisine and quaint atmospheres.

Gwen PratesiApril 8, 2019

Best Carry-on Luggage of 2019

U.S. News rated the best carry-on luggage, considering recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerApril 3, 2019

The 11 Best Utah National Parks and Monuments to Visit

From birding to bouldering to boating, Utah's national parks have it all.

Zach WatsonApril 2, 2019

The 30 Best Zoos in the U.S.

Get an up-close look at wild creatures in natural settings at America's top animal parks.

Kyle McCarthyMarch 28, 2019

15 Scenic Train Rides to Add to Your Bucket List

Climb aboard these locomotives for jaw-dropping views.

Christine SmithMarch 26, 2019

13 Top Places to Visit in Tuscany, Italy

Ditch the crowded streets of Rome or Milan and head to Italy's picturesque countryside.

Lyn MettlerMarch 25, 2019

10 Excellent Educational Vacations for Families

Make sure your next getaway is both enjoyable and informative.

Holly JohnsonMarch 14, 2019