Just across the river from downtown Boston, Cambridge is America’s quintessential college town. Home to Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, this smartest of suburbs has always been at the center of American intellectual life, from Harvard’s founding as the colonies’ first college in 1636 to the birth of Facebook in 2004.
Cambridge’s social scene revolves around Harvard Square, where students throng sidewalk cafés, bookshops, bars and restaurants, shop at the venerable Harvard Coop or browse international media at Out of Town News. Other hotspots include the John Harvard statue in Harvard Yard and the college’s newly consolidated trio of art museums. A mile east down Massachusetts Ave, visit MIT’s engaging science and technology museum or rub elbows with geniuses along the Infinite Corridor, MIT’s 825-foot trans-campus hallway.
Off-campus, don’t miss the cycling paths along the Charles River and the profusion of flowers, birds and artistically sculpted tombstones at Mount Auburn Cemetery. By night, Cambridge’s busy entertainment lineup features live music, theater, poetry slams, comedy and indie cinema.