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Longfellow House Washington's Headquarters

#8 in Best Things To Do in Cambridge, MA

Longfellow picture in Cambridge, MA
Nick Normal / Flickr

Key Info

Details

  • Historic Homes/Mansions, Sightseeing, Tours Type
  • 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
3.6
Overall
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Scorecard

  • Value
    5.0
  • Facilities
    3.5
  • Atmosphere
    4.0

Read about how we rank Things to Do.

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.

Previous visitors said that for anyone who loves American history, this is a "must-see." They also praised the knowledgeable tour guides and the incredible preservation of the site.

The house, which is free to visit, is generally open from late May through late October, Wednesday through Sunday. The visitor center is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Fifty-minute tours of the historic house are offered on an hourly basis, the first starting at 10 a.m. and the last at 4 p.m. The grounds are open year-round from dawn to dusk. The house is about a 10-minute walk from the Harvard Square subway stop. Additional information is provided on the NPS website.

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Hotels Nearby

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Sheraton Commander Hotel

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  • 0.2 Miles Away
  • 3.5-star Hotel Class
Harvard Square Hotel

Harvard Square Hotel ...

  • 0.4 Miles Away
  • 2.0-star Hotel Class
The Charles Hotel

The Charles Hotel ...

  • 0.4 Miles Away
  • 4.0-star Hotel Class
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#1 Harvard Square 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 ... Read more » DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

#2 Harvard University 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 ... Read more » S. Greg Panosian / Getty Images

#3 Harvard Museum of Natural History The world-famous Blaschka Glass Flowers receive a lot of attention at this museum – and rightly so – but there are a lot of other must-see exhibits at the Harvard Museum of ... Read more » Courtesy Harvard Museum of Natural History

#4 Massachusetts Institute of Technology 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 ... Read more » Glowimages / Getty Images

#5 Harvard Art Museums The Harvard Art Museums are the combination of the formerly separate Busch-Reisinger, Fogg and Arthur M. Sackler museums, making it quite an "eclectic" experience, according to past visitors who say ... Read more » Courtesy Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau

#6 MIT Museum For anyone curious about what the creative minds at MIT are up to, the MIT Museum is a great place to explore. The museum displays objects from its own fascinating ... Read more » Samara Vise / Courtesy MIT Museum

#7 Mount Auburn Cemetery 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 ... Read more » Anthony Tulliani / EyeEm / Getty Images

#8 Longfellow House Washington's Headquarters 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 ... Read more » Nick Normal / Flickr

#9 Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology This museum focuses on Native American and Central and South American cultures. Its collection includes more than 5,000 ancient Peruvian textiles and the largest surviving assemblage of artifacts acquired ... Read more » Courtesy Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology

#10 Harvard Semitic Museum 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 ... Read more » Courtesy Harvard Semitic Museum

Harvard Square picture in Cambridge, MA
Harvard University picture in Cambridge, MA
Harvard Museum of Natural History picture in Cambridge, MA
MIT picture in Cambridge, MA
Harvard Art Museums picture in Cambridge, MA
MIT Museum picture in Cambridge, MA
Mount Auburn Cemetery picture in Cambridge, MA
Longfellow picture in Cambridge, MA
Peabody Museum picture in Cambridge, MA
Harvard Semitic Museum picture in Cambridge, MA
Harvard Square picture in Cambridge, MA
Harvard University picture in Cambridge, MA
Harvard Museum of Natural History picture in Cambridge, MA
MIT picture in Cambridge, MA
Harvard Art Museums picture in Cambridge, MA
MIT Museum picture in Cambridge, MA
Mount Auburn Cemetery picture in Cambridge, MA
Longfellow picture in Cambridge, MA
Peabody Museum picture in Cambridge, MA
Harvard Semitic Museum picture in Cambridge, MA

Harvard Square is the bustling center of Cambridge. DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

Visitors like to rub the toes of the John Harvard statue for luck when touring Harvard University. S. Greg Panosian / Getty Images

The world-famous Blaschka Glass Flowers receive a lot of attention at this museum – and rightly so – but there are a lot of other must-see exhibits at the Harvard Museum of Natural History. Courtesy Harvard Museum of Natural History

Founded in 1861, MIT's emphasis on science and technology is noticeable in its amazing architecture and sculptures. Glowimages / Getty Images

The Harvard Art Museums are the combination of the formerly separate Busch-Reisinger, Fogg and Arthur M. Sackler museums. Courtesy Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau

For anyone curious about what the creative minds at MIT are up to, the MIT Museum is a great place to explore. Samara Vise / Courtesy MIT Museum

The Washington Tower at Mount Auburn Cemetery offers stunning views of the city below. Anthony Tulliani / EyeEm / Getty Images

One look at the historic Longfellow House and you'll feel like you've stepped back in time. Nick Normal / Flickr

The museum, which was founded in 1866, houses more than 1 million objects, making it one of the largest museums of cultural artifacts in the world. Courtesy Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology

Something of a hidden gem, the Harvard Semitic Museum boasts more than 40,000 Near Eastern artifacts, mostly from museum-sponsored excavations in Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Syria and Tunisia. Courtesy Harvard Semitic Museum

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