Mount Auburn Cemetery

#7 in Best Things To Do in Cambridge, MA
Mount Auburn Cemetery picture
Anthony Tulliani / EyeEm/Getty Images

Key Info

580 Mt Auburn St.

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing, Free Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
3.7

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 3.0Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

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.

Since there are more than 60,000 monuments in the cemetery, you'll want to pick up a brochure or audio guide (for a fee) at the cemetery's visitor center or download its free app from Google's or Apple's app store to get the story behind its fascinating structures. Visitors say the cemetery is "fantastic" and call it "an amazing arboretum, birder's paradise and history museum" all in one.  

The cemetery's gates are open to the public every day of the year, though hours vary by season. Admission is free. You'll find the cemetery located on Mount Auburn Street, just off Storrow Drive. Restrooms, water fountains and bike racks are available on the grounds. Parking is available on any roads without a Green Line. The closest subway stop is Harvard Square, which is a 25-minute walk east of the cemetery. To learn more, check out the cemetery's website.

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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.

Visitors say Harvard Square "feels like a European square" with a "fun and energetic vibe." Additionally, many add that it offers a great place to hang out in the evenings.

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