Cambridge is like Boston’s cooler and more sophisticated older sister. I lived in Boston for four years when I was in college and loved it, but I often crossed the Charles River into Cambridge and daydreamed about what it would be like to live there.
After many a Sunday spent wandering the cobbled streets, sipping coffee in as many cafés as possible, and exploring all the different museums and bookshops, I thought I’d put together a 24-hour guide to Cambridge so that you can enjoy it, too.
Where to Stay
There are so many cute boutique hotels in Cambridge to choose from. While I usually ended up staying in my apartment in Boston, there were a few times when I spent the night in Cambridge. My top pick would definitely have to be the Hotel Veritas. The rooms are really elegant, and the hotel looks and feels more like a bed-and-breakfast than a big chain.
Start the day at Crema Café. The coffees here are some of the best in Cambridge, and the bakery options are dynamite. I usually go for the Marley, which is an egg sandwich with avocado, cheese, and this tomato jam that is to die for. Take a mudslide cookie for later. Trust me on this one.
Location: 27 Brattle Street
Hours: During the week, they’re open from 7:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. On weekends, they don’t open until 8:00 a.m.
Hit the Museums
Cambridge is a history lover’s paradise. Go to the Harvard Museum of Natural History if you want to see dinosaur fossils, gemstones, and meteorites.
If you’re more interested in seeing some anthropological sites, the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology is a really great place to wander through. It’s packed with history and anthropology from throughout the Americas.
Stop for Lunch
Mr. Bartley’s Burger Cottage is a Cambridge institution, and no trip to this neighborhood would be complete without standing in line and waiting for a table in this tiny cottage. The burgers are well worth the wait, and you can laugh at all the funny burger names while you wait.
Location: 1246 Massachusetts Avenue
Hours: It’s open from Tuesday to Saturday from 11:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. It’s closed Sundays and Mondays.
Take a Tour of the Charles
The Charles River is always packed with activity. One of the best ways to see Cambridge and the Boston skyline is to get out on the water. If you’re feeling active, rent a kayak. If you’d rather sit back and relax, opt for on the of the river cruises. They usually last about an hour, and the narrator explains loads about the city’s past and present.
Go Raw for Dinner
You can’t visit Cambridge without indulging in some fresh seafood. One of my favorite oyster bars in Cambridge is Waypoint. The pizzas are pretty spectacular, too.
Location: 1030 Massachusetts Avenue
Hours: It’s open every day from 5:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m.
Leave Room for Dessert
If there’s any room left, Toscanini’s ice cream shop is a must. The flavors rotate depending on the season, but they are always amazing. Be sure to ask for plenty of samples so you can try a few.
There’s so much to do in the city that you’ll want to spend way more than a day exploring. You’ll just have to keep returning like I do!
Feature Image via Flickr by scoy65