Things To Do
The Local Scene
The Charles Hotel brings you the best of New England all year round. Historic Harvard Square is at your doorstep. Cambridge's vibrant neighborhoods are minutes away. Boston is right across the river. World-class museums, dining, entertainment, and shopping await you.
In & Around Cambridge
You never forget your first visit to Cambridge. The essence of the city is no better summed up than in the words of the beloved, late Cantabrigian Julia Child: "Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it." No matter which neighborhood you find yourself in, Cambridge's scene abounds with eclectic energy.
For charm, history, and atmosphere, Harvard Square has no rival – and it is right outside your door at The Charles Hotel. Boasting a unique collection of bookstores, museums, cafes, restaurants and boutiques, the square draws an eclectic blend of personalities. Its location next to Harvard University and near M.I.T. makes it a popular spot for scholars, artists, students and visitors.
Spend time soaking up the square. Stroll through Harvard Yard (if it's snowing maybe you can create Love Story). Browse the bookstores and see why Cambridge's claim to the most bookstores per capita of any city might be true. Sip cappuccino in a café and bring along your journal. Catch a double feature at the Brattle Theater (maybe it will be an Audrey Hepburn or Stanley Kubrick night). Spend an evening with the highly lauded American Repertory Theatre. Take a literary tour of Cambridge.
While exploring Harvard Square, don't miss Harvard University's extraordinary museums: Harvard Art Museums (housing the Fogg Museum, Busch-Reisinger Museum, and Arthur M. Sackler Museum) and Harvard Museums of Science & Culture (housing the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, Harvard Semitic Museum, Harvard Museum of Natural History, and Peabody Museum of Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology).
Perhaps you are visiting during one of the many exciting events held in Cambridge: Harvard's Hasty Pudding Theatrical Club's Man and Woman of the Year festivities in February; the Ivy League football games in the fall; or the Head of the Charles Regatta in October.
Across the River
Boston is minutes away by cab or subway. There is so much history, culture and fun to experience in Boston, we'll just note some highlights here.
Leave Cambridge (you might first stop by M.I.T.'s Museum and learn the history of those elaborate practical jokes they call hacks). Cross the Mass Ave. Bridge (count the number of Smoots) and you'll find yourself in Back Bay. Shop and dine along famous Newbury Street. Walk along the glorious brownstones of Commonwealth Avenue. Eventually end up watching the Swan Boats in the Public Garden.
Tour Old South Meeting House. And if your feet are holding up (Boston is a supremely walkable city), head over to Faneuil Hall to sample the food and watch the jugglers.
Relax and learn about the sights and history of Boston on a Duck Tour, which features water and street transport in an amphibious vehicle. For a visit with the real fowl, head to the Esplanade, for a walk on the grassy banks of the Charles River. You might even catch a Boston Pops concert at the Hatch Shell.
Visit Boston's wealth of museums (including the Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of Science, and the Children's Museum). Throw your own crate of tea over the side of the Boston Tea Party Ship. And, of course, follow the red line of Boston's Freedom Trail. And if you are inclined for a more eclectic look at Boston's history, tour the Black Heritage Trail or Women's History Trail.