Visiting Cambridge, MA and Boston? Coming for Parent’s Weekend or to tour Harvard, MIT and our other famous colleges?
There is a wealth of cultural, sporting and recreational activities to enjoy within easy access of Harding House – here are a few of our favorites!
Don’t miss our world-renowned annual events in Boston and Cambridge – The Boston Marathon (April), the Head of the Charles (October)
1. Visit historic Harvard Square, a hub of activity adjacent to Harvard University, and Cambridge’s oldest neighborhood. Take in the eclectic boutiques, sidewalk cafes, street performers, bookstores and restaurants. See the Longfellow National Historic Site, home of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and the former headquarters of George Washington.
Walk along Cambridge’s original thoroughfares like Brattle Street (known as Tory Row) and Winthrop Street, which date back to the 1600’s.
2. Take a tour of the hallowed buildings and monuments of Harvard University, which has graduated numerous world leaders including six U.S. presidents. See sites such as Massachusetts Hall, a dorm which once housed John Adams and John Hancock, beautiful Memorial Hall dedicated to Harvard’s slain soldiers in the Civil War, and Daniel Chester French’s famous statue of John Harvard (French sculpted Abraham Lincoln in the Washington D.C. Lincoln Memorial). Check out Harvard’s terrific art museums, the Fogg, Busch-Reisinger and the Sackler, featuring everything from German expressionism to Chinese ceramics, or the magnificent Glass Flowers at the Harvard Museum of Natural History.
See MIT’s mile-long campus along the Charles River and note MIT’s eclectic architecture, inclulding the Stata Center, designed by Frank O. Gehry, the MIT Chapel and Kresge Auditorium, designed by Eero Saarinen, and the Dreyfus, Weisner and Landau Buildings, designed by I. M. Pei.
4. Explore MIT’s Kendall Square, home to Massachusetts’ thriving high tech and biotech industries. Shop at the Cambridgeside Galleria with restaurants and over 100 stores. Hop on a riverboat ride for a scenic tour of Cambridge and Boston along the Charles River.
5. Enjoy lively Inman Square, a diverse neighborhood with a strong Portuguese and Brazilian influence. Take a salsa dancing lesson or hear live music at Ryles Jazz Club, peruse unique shops like Boutique Fabulous (art meets fashion), or try one of the many ethic restaurants or stop for a proper pint at The Druid.
6. Discover Cambridge’s history as one of the oldest African American communities in the nation. Walk the African American Heritage Trail, 20 historic markers that honor notable blacks, including the local residence of W.E.B. DuBois, abolitionists, authors, educators and office holders in Cambridge dating back to 1840.
7. Indulge in the city’s nightlife. Catch a play at Harvard’s American Repertory Theater – named one of the top three regional theatres in the country by Time magazine. Check out improvisational theater at Cambridge’s ImprovBoston, which launched the careers of many famous comics. See new classical dance at Jose Mateo’s Ballet Theatre, or bop to world-class jazz at Regattabar or Scullers Jazz Club. Try something truly different: art-meets-science dramatic performances at the Central Square Theater, a collaboration between MIT and the local artistic community.
8. Rent a canoe or kayak on the Charles River for a peaceful afternoon rowing down one of America’s most beautiful urban waterways with majestic views of Frederick Law Olmstead’s “Emerald Necklace”, the Esplanade, Harvard Business School, Boston University and Harvard University. Glide along this calm 9-mile waterway watching the geese swim gracefully by your boat while sailing under Cambridge’s famous bridges.
9. Venture over the Charles River to Boston and walk the Freedom Trail – a tour of Boston’s revolutionary history. Take one of Boston’s world famous Duck Boat Tours, which hits all of Beantown’s hot spots: the gold-domed State House, Bunker Hill, Boston Common, Copley Square, Government Center, trendy Newbury Street, Quincy Market (also known as Faneuil Hall), and the Prudential Tower. The vehicle then drives straight into the Charles River for beautiful seaside views of Cambridge and Boston. Cruise Boston’s Waterfront Seaport District – undergoing daily changes, home of Institute of Contemporary Art, Convention Center, restaurants and more.
Visit Beacon Hill, Boston’s oldest neighborhood, with tiny brick sidewalks, clapboard Federal style row houses and gas-lit street lamps. Take advantage of the city’s fantastic museums like the Museum of Fine Arts or the Isabella Steward Gardner Museum.
10. Take a 10 minute drive to historic Charlestown, where Paul Revere began his famous “midnight ride” before the Battles of Lexington and Concord. See where the Revolution’s legendary Battle of Bunker Hill occurred, where Patriots were told “Don’t fire ’til you see the whites of their eyes”. Also visit the Charlestown Navy Yard and board the illustrious USS Constitution “Old Ironsides”, one of America’s first warships.
It’s hard to stop at 10 – so much more! Please ask at the Front Desk for local information, restaurant, public transporation T, and sightseeing tips.