Cambridge: Harvard Stargazing, MIT, and More
Academia and Beyond
Cambridge is the architecturally quaint, intellectually robust neighbor to Downtown Boston. It’s only a quick ride over the Charles River, but has a charm completely unique to itself. Think brick sidewalks, historic and handsome buildings, book shops, cafes, small pubs, and loads of intellectual pursuits abound.
The university life of the Cambridge area offers visitors a chance to indulge their inner-nerd. A good place to start your exploring is with a tour of Harvard or MIT. If you’re in the mood for a playful history lesson, book one of the “Havahd Tours” and learn about the rich past of this legendary place. Another major must-see in the neighborhood is the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Visit the Center on one of their monthly observatory nights open to the public. Enlighten yourself with their pre-viewing presentation, and then scoot under a telescope to gaze at the universe.
If you’re visiting in the warm weather, do yourself a favor and eat a post-stargazing dinner at Felipe’s Taqueria. Sit outside under the lights with a margarita and enjoy one of the best Mexican spots in Cambridge. For cold weather visits, check out Russell House Tavern, where you can have a proper sit-down dinner in an intimate, classic American tavern.
Kimpton hotels are always reliable, and Hotel Marlowe is no exception. This Cambridge spot is a chic, boutique-style hotel overlooking the Charles River and Boston skyline. Just steps from Harvard, MIT, and loads of Cambridge exploring, Hotel Marlowe is in the midst of the neighborhood’s coziness and away from the downtown hustle and bustle. There are many award-winning restaurants in the area if you’re in the mood to venture out, but the hotel’s Bambara Kitchen + Bar is also a fan favorite.
For experience-oriented travelers, The Kendall Hotel bridges heritage with playfulness. Housed in an old Queen Anne-style former firehouse, this antique spot is completely modernized but hangs on to loads of old-school charm. With a full breakfast buffet “fit for a fireman,” and their tavern-style eatery, the Black Sheep Restaurant (an ode to the “motley” crew of Engine 7), The Kendall is great for business travelers, leisure, and even families.
Right next door to Harvard’s new Kennedy School of Government, The Charles Hotel was founded on the promise to quell the local’s fear of commercialism near school grounds. Sticking to its roots, this spot blends in with the neighborhood in every way that it can, and feels authentic to the Cambridge atmosphere. The big draw, for locals and visitors alike, is the array of great dining options. Their restaurant, Henrietta’s Table, keeps everyone well fed and happy. It’s a cozy place to unwind after a day of touring Harvard and MIT.
If you’re seeking an intellectually-charged adventure in Cambridge, Le Meridien Cambridge-MIT is the most innovative option. With their Unlock Art partnership with MIT Museum, the hotel aids the learning atmosphere of the area. Guests of the hotel have special, free access to the museum just by showing their room key. Their rooftop garden offers views of the city from atop the modern structure, and it’s just steps from Harvard Yard and MIT.