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Cambridge (Massachusetts)

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Cambridge is an American city in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, now part of the Greater Boston metropolis. It is well-known as the location of both Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

cambridge (massachusetts) Travel Guide :

Cambridge (Massachusetts)

Understand

Cambridge (Massachusetts)

Get in

Cambridge (Massachusetts)

By plane

The closest airport is Boston's Logan Airport. New Hampshire Manchester and Rhode Island Providence are each around an hour away.

The cheapest way to reach Cambridge from Boston Logan is by the subway, or "T". One would take the blue line in from the airport to the Green Line, the Green Line in to the Red Line, and the Red line to whatever stop in Cambridge is closest.

Cambridge (Massachusetts)

By train

  • The red line of the Boston subway (or the T as it is called locally) serves Cambridge. Stops between Kendall/MIT and Alewife (except for Davis Square, in Somerville) are in Cambridge. 1 (http://www.mbta.com/traveling_t/schedules_subway_redline.asp)
  • The Fitchburg line of the MBTA commuter rail has a stop in Porter Square. This line serves the northwest suburbs and ends in Boston's North Station where you can connect to other northbound commuter rail lines. 2 (http://www.mbta.com/traveling_t/schedules_commuter_linedetail.asp?line=fitchburg)
Cambridge (Massachusetts)

By car

Take I-90 to the Cambridge Exit, or I-93 to the Storrow drive or Monsignor O'Brien and thence to Cambridge.

Rt 2 comes into Cambridge from the Northwest

Cambridge (Massachusetts)

By bus

Cambridge (Massachusetts)

By boat

Cambridge (Massachusetts)

Get around

Cambridge (Massachusetts)

Public transportation

Public transportation in Cambridge is generally adequate and relatively inexpensive, and can take you directly to most points of interest.

Public transportation is provided by the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority ("MBTA"), which serves the entire Boston Metro area (including Cambridge.) For complete schedules, maps, and other information, see their official website at http://www.mbta.com.

The local subway system is called the "T". The T's Red Line has Cambridge stations in Kendall Square, Central Square, Harvard Square, and Porter Square. The Orange Line has a Cambridge station at Lechmere.

The Boston/Cambridge subway system is slightly confusing in that directions are often marked "inbound" and "outbound", rather than with a destination. "Inbound" means "into the center of Boston", where all four lines converge at four stops: State (Blue and Orange), Park Street (Red and Green), Government Center (Blue and Green), and Downtown Crossing (Orange and Red). "Outbound" means "away from the center of Boston". One of the better ways to determine which way to go is to note what the last stop of the train is (usually denoted on the subway platform maps). For example, a train going outbound to Alewife from Downtown Crossing, is goin to stop at all stops in between these two stations. Please see link: http://www.mbta.com/traveling_t/schedules_subway_redline.asp

Note that subway stops between midnight and 2am. Each line (green, blue, etc.) has a "last train" time, starting at one end of the line and going to the other. For example, Alewife, the north end of the red line, has a last traing leaving at 1:15 am, which means it'll most likely arrive at Park St. going south between 1:35 and 2, depending on the number of people using the T that night. Therefore, make sure to check with a T employee (usually someone is available in one of the token booths by the turnstiles) or with a bus driver to get the "last train" time for the subway or bus line you want to take.

You may have heard of the Night Owl, a bus service that ran the same route as the subways and some bus lines, which ran at later times at night, but it has been discontinued.

Your current alternative to late-night public transit is a taxi (see below) Unlimited-ride subway and bus passes are available from the T. If you're going to be riding a lot around town, these are worth investigating. See http://www.mbta.com/traveling_t/passes_special.asp#visitorpass for complete fare information on tourist passes. You should be aware that the Visitor pass is $35 for 7 days, whilst the Combo pass is just $16.50 for 7 days, and they are more or less the same. The Combo pass is the one to get.

The cost of a single ride on the T is $1.25. Buy a token from the booth to go through the turnstiles. This will get you to most destinations, although if you are going to the outskirts of Boston (specifically, Newton or Braintree), an extra charge may apply. You should get two tokens if you are planning a return trip as there can sometimes be long lines at the token booth. Parking at the Alewife station on the Red line is ample but will cost you $4.50 no matter when you come and go (for each 24 hour period).

Bikes are allowed on all MBTA vehicles EXCEPT buses. Please note there are certain rules you have to follow, so make sure you check their website.

Imporant note: Many subway stations do not accept cr cards and don't have ATMs, so bring cash. Between the fall of 2005 and 2006, the MBTA will be launching the Charlie Card and Charlie Ticket service that will replace the tokens. You'll be able to use a cr card for these.

Commuter Rail (which is color-coded purple) leaves from Porter Square, serving more distant suburbs. This should not be confused with Amtrak, the US national rail service, which departs from Boston's South Station (reachable via the Red Line.)

Cambridge (Massachusetts)

Taxis

The best way to find a taxi in Cambridge is to go to a subway station and find a cab at its nearby taxi stand. It is very occasionally possible to "flag" a passing taxi on the street. You can also telephone a local cab company to ask them to pick you up.

Expect to spend at least $5 for a short taxi ride and possibly up to $40 for a trip to Logan Airport (this includes the initial fare, a small tip for the driver, small one-way streets, bad traffic, construction, tolls for bridges, tolls for tunnels, tolls for the MassPike, and any wait time).

Cambridge (Massachusetts)

See

  • MIT Museum 265 Mass Ave. (Central Sq), 617-253-4444. Has a huge collection of holography, a hall of hacks (practical physical jokes that get placed around the institute -- like the police car that once graced the top of the great dome is in the hall of hacks), plus rotating exhibits. Great hands-on exhibits for kids, including moving sculptures and a shadow room. http://web.mit.edu/museum/
  • Harvard Museum of Natural History 26 Oxford Street, 617-495-3045. Contains the Botanical Museum (home of the famous glass flowers collection), the Mineralogical & Geological Museum, and the Museum of Comparative Zoology. http://www.hmnh.harvard.edu/
  • Busch-Reisinger Museum 32 Quincy Street, 617-495-9400. Devoted to promoting the informed enjoyment and critical understanding of the arts of Central and Northern Europe, with a special emphasis on the German-speaking countries. http://www.artmuseums.harvard.edu/busch/
  • The Fogg Art Museum 32 Quincy Street, 617-384-8310. Western art from the Middle Ages to the present, with particular strengths in Italian early Renaissance, British pre-Raphaelite, and nineteenth-century French art. http://www.artmuseums.harvard.edu/fogg/
  • Arthur M. Sackler Museum 32 Quincy Street, 617-495-9400. Superb collections of ancient, Islamic, Asian, and later Indian art. http://www.artmuseums.harvard.edu/sackler/index.html
Cambridge (Massachusetts)

Presidential Places

  • Washington Elm Cambridge Common at Mason St. On July 3, 1775, Washington officially took command of the Continental Army at ceremonies beneath the tree, which stood at the edge of the training grounds used by the troops. A small bronze plaque marks the spot. The history of the Washington Elm is included in the "Harvard Book (http://hbook.harvard.edu/hbook/v2toc27.htm)," the electronic history of Harvard and its surroundings.
  • Longfellow National Historic Site National Park Service 105 Brattle St. 617-876-4491. Washington made his headquarters here during the siege of Boston from July 1775 through April 1776. From 1837 until 1882, it was the home of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow while he taught at Harvard. The site's collections deal mainly with Longfellow, but there are some Washington letters as well.
Cambridge (Massachusetts)

Do

Cambridge (Massachusetts)

Learn

Many visitors to Cambridge are there to see its two major universities, Harvard and MIT, either as tourists or prospective students. MIT maintains a page for visitors at http://web.mit.edu/visit/; Harvard maintains one at http://www.harvard.edu/community/visitors.html. Both universities have extensive information for visiting prospective students. As this typically varies with type of student (graduate, undergraduate) and program of study (for graduate students), prospectives are best advised to visit the school websites that interest them.

Harvard Yard, located right by the Harvard stop on the Red Line subway, is the center of Harvard College and a favorite of tourists, who can be often spotted taking pictures of each other at the statue of John Harvard, located in front of Massachusetts Hall.

Cambridge (Massachusetts)

Work

Cambridge (Massachusetts)

Buy

  • Cambridge has some very good book stores.
    • Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave, 3 (http://www.harvard.com). Nice and cozy, has a wide selection, and has interesting staff recommendations glued to the book stalls.
    • Quantum Books, Four Cambridge Center, 4 (http://www.quantumbooks.com). A good choice for technical books.
Cambridge (Massachusetts)

Eat

With a dizzying array of options, and slightly less stringent liquor laws, Cambridge is every bit as much a dining destination as Boston. Most restaurants tend to cluster around Harvard and Central Squares, but if you're willing to stray a bit beyond the subway stops (and you should be), you'll quickly discover many less-travelled neighborhood gems. There are a number of Indian restaurants along Mass Ave. between Central and Harvard Squares, of varying quality.

Cambridge (Massachusetts)

Budget

  • Anna's Taqueria. 822 Somerville Ave. (Porter Sq), 617-661-8500. Fast Mexican food, much better than Taco Bell. People seem divided on Annas, some love it, some hate it.
  • Beauty's Pizza, 228 Broadway. (Kendall Sq), 617-876-6969. Mo-Th 11AM-10PM, Fr-Sa 11AM-12AM, Su 5PM-10PM. Delicious pizza, oven-baked subs, and fresh salads. Take-out and delivery. See the full website and menu at beautys-pizza.com (http://www.beautys-pizza.com).
  • Mary Chung's. 464 Mass Ave. (Central Sq), 617-864-1991. Closed Tuesdays. Super-yummy Chinese food, including Dim Sum on 11:30am-3pm on Saturdays and Sundays. A full menu (http://web.mit.edu/wchuang/www/menus/menus/Mary_Chungs.txt) is available. Signature dishes are Dun Dun Noodles and Suan La Chow Show. A major hangout for MIT geeks, and thus the first restaurant with a Usenet newsgroup, alt.fan.mary-chungs. Don't forget the pot stickers. Cash only.
  • Cinderella's, 901 Main St. (Central Sq), 617-576-0280. Su-W 11AM-1AM, Th-Sa 11AM-2AM. Pizza, subs, and good "American" Italian cooking. Pizza slices aren't on the published menu, but are available for a scant $1.25 and only $.25/topping. Entrees $5-$10. Open late.
  • Moody's Falafel Palace, 25 Central Sq, 617-864-0827. 11AM-12AM daily. Located in a tiny "castle", this inexpensive Middle-Eastern restaurant serves up delicious shawarma, kebab, and their namesake falafel. Sandwiches $3-$5, platters $5-$7.
  • The Middle East, 472/480 Mass Ave. (Central Sq), 617-864-EAST. Su-W 11AM-12AM, Th-Sa 11AM-1AM. This legendary Cambridge institution consists of an art gallery, 3 live music venues, 4 full bars, and no less than 3 dining areas (including the upscale Zuzu, below). Sample a large variety of Lebanese dishes served in a vibrant, artsy setting. The "Corner" dining area (enter at 480) features live music every night, often free, with belly dancing on Su and W. Extensive vegetarian menu. $4-$12. (See also the Drink section). http://www.mideastclub.com/
  • Grendel's Den, 89 Winthrop St. (Harvard Sq), 617-491-1160. M-Sa 12PM-1AM, Sun 4PM-1AM. Serving basic American bar food, this dark and crowded Harvard tavern would be unremarkable if it weren't for their incredible happy hour special. From 5PM-7:30PM everything on the menu is half price with a beverage purchase of $3 or more. If you can get a table, that is. Non-happy hour entrees $5-$8.
  • Picante Mexican Grill. 735 Mass Ave. (Central Sq), 617-576-6394. Good and healthy Mexican food, a step above fast food.
  • Veggie Planet, 47 Palmer St. (Harvard Sq, Inside Club Passim at Church & Palmer Streets), 617-661-1513. 11:30AM-10:30PM daily, brunch Su 11AM-3PM. Didi Emmons, author of Vegetarian Planet, is the owner and head chef. Completely vegetarian and mostly organic, with plenty of vegan options (they'll substitute tofu "ricotta" for other cheeses). Yummy veggie combinations served over whole-wheat pizza dough, brown, or coconut rice. Lunch runs about $6, dinner $10. http://www.veggieplanet.net/
  • The Porter Exchange, 1815 Mass Ave. (Porter Sq). M-Sa 12PM-9PM, Su 12PM-8PM. The food court of this indoor shopping area is the closest thing to Tokyo in Boston. A half dozen stalls compete to serve up delicious and cheap portions of tempura, udon, sushi, ramen and bulgogi without any frills. Finish your unagi-don (eel over rice) with a scoop of ginger mochi ice cream. $3-$7
  • Royal East, 792 Main St. (around the block from the MIT Museum), (617) 661-1660. Hong Kong–style Chinease food. Recommended: hot & sour wonton soup (think steamed dumplings and sauce as a soup), General Gau's Chicken, and Beef Hot Pot (beef with ginger and scalions–not on the menu).
Cambridge (Massachusetts)

Mid-range

  • Atasca, 2 locations. 50 Hampshire St. (Kendall Sq), 617-621-6991. M-Sa 11:30AM-11PM, Su 12PM-10PM & 279A Broadway (b/w Central & Inman Sq), 617-354-4355. Tu-Sa 5PM-11PM, Su 5PM-10PM.
  • Emma's, 40 Hampshire St. (Kendall Sq), 617-864-8534. Tu-F 11:30AM-10PM, Sa 4PM-10PM. This cozy little pizzeria stands out for two reasons: Unique and sometimes bizarre topping combinations (like the house-smoked bacon pizza with roasted gold potatoes, cilantro and dried cranberries) will make you rethink what makes a pie. And, more importantly, the pizza here is actually good -- the crust is thin and crispy, the sauce is flavorful, and the cheeses are fresh and melt just right -- quite a feat considering what typically passes for pizza in the Boston area. $8-15/$11-18 (small/large pie).
  • Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage, 1246 Massachusetts Avenue (Harvard Sq), 617-354-6559. M-Sa 11AM-9PM. A Harvard Square landmark, Bartley's serves practically any kind of hamburger you can imagine, most named after individuals. A favorite - The Ted Kennedy - "a plump, liberal amount of burger with cheddar cheese, mushrooms, cole slaw and french fries." $10-15. http://www.mrbartleys.com/main.html
  • Border India, 781 Main St. (Central Sq.), 617-354-0405. 11:30AM-10:30PM daily. Indian food, highly recommended. An online menu (http://web.mit.edu/wchuang/www/menus/menus/Border_India.txt) is available.
  • Zuzu, 474 Mass Ave. (Central Sq), 617-864-3278 x237. 5:30PM-11PM nightly.
Cambridge (Massachusetts)

Splurge

  • Bambara, 25 Edwin H. Land Blvd. (In the Hotel Marlowe near the Cambridgeside Galleria), 617-868-4444. Su-Th 5:30PM-10PM, F-Sa 5:30PM-11PM.
  • Harvest, 44 Brattle St. (Harvard Sq), 617-868-2255. M-Th 12PM-2:30PM, 5:30PM-10PM; F-Sa 12PM-2:30PM, 5:30PM-11PM; Su 11:30-2:30, 5:30PM-10PM. Regional contemporary American cuisine, with an emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients. A wonderful outside dining terrace and one of the best Sunday brunches (prix fixe, $33) in Greater Boston. Lunch $20-$30, dinner $40-$60. http://www.the-harvest.com/
  • Oleana, 134 Hampshire St. (Inman Sq), 617-661-0505. Su-Th 5:30PM-10PM, F-Sa 5:30PM-11PM. Oleana's inspired and exquisite offerings span the Merranean from Spain to Turkey and Armenia to North Africa, yet everything comes together superbly. Vegetarian prix fixe ($38) includes 5 mezze and dessert. Omnivorous entrees $21-$25. Or come just for dessert to sample their exceptional baked Alaska with coconut ice cream & passion fruit caramel, $10. http://www.oleanarestaurant.com/
Cambridge (Massachusetts)

Drink

Cambridge (Massachusetts)

Sleep

Cambridge (Massachusetts)

Budget

Cambridge (Massachusetts)

Mid-range

  • Hotel Marlowe 5 (http://hotelmarlowe.com), 25 Edwin H. Land Boulevard, tel +1 617 868 8000 -
Cambridge (Massachusetts)

Splurge

Cambridge (Massachusetts)

Contact

Cambridge (Massachusetts)

Stay safe

Cambridge is generally very safe, though it is a city and the standard precautions should be observed.

Cambridge (Massachusetts)

Cope

Cambridge (Massachusetts)

Get out

Cambridge (Massachusetts)

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