Cambridge Comes of Age

For years Cambridge was seen as Boston’s little sister, a place for day trips rather than an entire vacation. But the Massachusetts city has come of age, and travelers willing to explore it are reaping the rewards.

Kresge Auditorium, MIT campus, Cambridge, MA

New and Renovated Local Hotels

There are plenty of new Cambridge hotels and revamped establishments across the city to meet the growing demand. Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites Cambridge has just two stars, but the newly renovated guest rooms make it feel more luxurious for frugal travelers.

The history of some Cambridge hotels such as The Kendall Hotel stretches back to the 1800s, but there’s a new breed of hotels popping up around the city. The Fairfield Inn & Suites Cambridge and Porter Square Hotel are among the local hotels due to open in 2015.

Hipmunk.com’s redesigned search function makes it even easier to find your dream Cambridge hotel, whether you love the city’s historic or contemporary side.

Independent Shopping Strips

When much of the county is overrun by international chains and faceless malls, it’s exciting to browse the independent stores of Cambridge. Three-quarters of the stores in busy Harvard Square are proudly independent and locally owned.

Mill Road is a bohemian mecca with a diverse range of stores and restaurants to enjoy when the hunger pangs kick in. Browse charming, cobbled Market Square for vintage apparel, artisan cheeses, and unusual souvenirs for your loved ones.

Every Saturday you can shop for gourmet delights and affordably priced homewares al fresco at the All Saints Garden Art and Craft Market.

Foodie Heaven for All Budgets

Cambridge is fast becoming one of the United States’ leading foodie destinations. Helmand, a block from the Royal Sonesta Boston, introduces locals to exotic Afghani treats such as theeka kabab (marinated beef rib) and aushak (leek-filled ravioli). Bondir also challenges the palette with unusual combinations such as porcelet pig with corn pudding, sour cherries, and charred tomato.

The city’s food trucks ensure that travelers on a budget don’t miss out on Cambridge’s superb cuisine. Try the affordable vegetarian fare at Clover Food Lab, an Asian fusion at Momogoose, and dessert at Cookie Monstah.

A Thriving Arts Scene

Cambridge’s exciting arts scene offers traditional fare and contemporary cultural delights. The Arthur M. Sackler Museum captures this ethos beautifully, with ancient Chinese and Greek artifacts showcased alongside works from modern masters such as James Abbott McNeill Whistler and Jackson Pollock.

The Harvard Book Store is more than just a place for Ivy Leaguers to get their prescribed readings. The independent book store also hosts high-profile special guest speakers such as Rachel Maddow, David Sedaris, and Jonathan Lethem.

Then there’s the American Repertory Theater, which is fiercely committed to new American plays and musical theater productions as well as the neglected works of the past. Its 2013-2014 season featured All the Way before it scooped the Tonys and a unique reimagining of Shakespeare’s The Tempest featuring magic by Teller (of Penn and Teller) and the music of Tom Waits.

Have you visited Cambridge recently? Leave your comments below to tell other readers what’s impressed you!

 

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Posted by on November 13, 2014. Filed under SCI/TECH/HOME/TRAVEL. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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One Response to Cambridge Comes of Age

  1. Norman Rampart

    November 20, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    I have visited Cambridge quite recently but, unfortunately, it’s the one in England! If I ever get over to the USA (and they’re daft enough to let me in) I will make it a matter of importance to go see this Cambridge!