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Where to Stay, Shop, Dine, and More for the Perfect Weekend in Cambridge

Harvard University

Welcome to Cambridge, Massachusetts, a quintessential college town and innovation hub adjacent to Boston. Cambridge is teeming with fantastic food and drinks, cultural epicenters, and some of the world’s most famous educational institutions. Cambridge has been called “The Most Family-Friendly City in the U.S.” by Opendoor real estate and “Best Place to Live for Families” by Fortune magazine, making it one of the top places to visit and stay for guests far and wide. 

Whether you’re planning a weekend vacation around your college visits and dropoffs, need entertainment and accommodation inspiration for your business trip to the innovation hubs at MIT and Kendall Square, or just want to cross the bridge from Boston to spend a weekend somewhere new, here are some of Cambridge’s finest hotels, restaurants, attractions, and events

Hyatt Regency Boston/Cambridge

Where to Stay

The Charles Hotel

The Charles Hotel perfectly represents the charm and idyllic feel of Harvard Square. Alex Attia, the hotel’s general manager, says, that “It’s exciting to see the renewed energy in Harvard Square. With a perfect blend of the old and the new, from world-renowned museums to historic architecture, from local specialty shops to popular eateries, the interest to visit and stay in Cambridge remains strong.” Attia hits the nail on the head, as does The Charles Hotel itself with its 18,000 square feet of space, fantastic on-site restaurants like Henrietta’s Table, and amenities that’ll make you wish you were a permanent resident. 

Kimpton Marlowe 

The hotel you choose, no matter where you go, becomes central to your experience. In Cambridge, a large city with distinct neighborhoods, you want to make sure you book a hotel that puts you in an engaging and photogenic area. The Kimpton Marlowe is located in East Cambridge, adjacent to the Charles River. 

“Our leisure guests enjoy staying in Cambridge to visit Harvard and MIT, local historic sites, and the cool authentic neighborhoods in the area,” says Jennifer Thorn, area director of sales and marketing. Plus, staying at the Kimpton Marlowe, you’ll have easy access to Boston via Blue Bike, car, or public transportation (subway or bus) locally referred to as the “T.” Try a different mode of transportation for each day of your stay!

Hyatt Regency Boston/Cambridge

Locals may recognize the Hyatt Regency by its distinctive shape lit up festively on the Charles River. Staying at the Hyatt Regency puts you in close proximity to Harvard University, and even closer proximity to MIT, and gives you the perfect opportunity to walk over the Boston University bridge to the Fenway area, just in time for a baseball game if you come before October 1. 

“Our proximity to Fenway Park means we see a lot of Red Sox fans, as well as music lovers,” says Nicki Bean, complex director of marketing. After all, Cambridge is a hot spot for live music at venues such as The Sinclair, The Cantab Lounge, and across the bridge at MGM Music Hall at Fenway. There’s even a complimentary Cambridge shuttle to help you get from place to place as well as bicycles for guest use. Bean suggests a bike ride along Memorial Drive by the Charles River, as it is a guest-favorite activity. 

Le Méridien Boston Cambridge

Another Central Square hotel and Top 50-ranked for Massachusetts, Le Méridien Boston Cambridge is immediately welcoming, anchoring University Park at MIT. Its suites and guest rooms are luxurious and elegant, including amenities such as free wifi, Keurig coffee machines in every room, and flat-screen TVs with HBO. 

Le Méridien is also adjacent to Pagu, the James Beard semifinalist and Best of Boston recipient for Best Chef with a Mission. The Spanish-Japanese fusion restaurant could be one of your walking-distance meal plans, and don’t miss the roasted bone marrow and mushrooms, prepared with tamari, fino sherry, and king oyster mushrooms.

Russel House Tavern

Where to Eat


Having a breakfast plan is key to having a great weekend away. For a quick option that’ll keep you well fueled until lunch, stop by Bagelsaurus in Porter Square, where they’re fresh-baking all the classic bagel varieties, as well as specials like chocolate chip pretzel bagels and cheddar garlic bagels. You can also try their sandwiches, from the classic jumbo (over-medium jumbo egg, Cabot cheddar, mustard butter) to their charcuter-brie, featuring French brie, fennel salami, salted butter, and arugula. Don’t bother scouring the Yelp reviews—Bagelsaurus is certifiably amazing, having been named one of Bon Appétit’s best bagels in the U.S. 


One of Boston’s most beloved modern Asian restaurants, Shojo offers flavor-packed shareables, bao, and some of Boston’s Best ramen. They are also known for their inventive cocktails, and a one-of-a-kind Japanese spirit list. You won’t find another like it in the city, except at owner Brian Moy’s other locations in Chinatown and—a tip for air travelers—at Logan Airport. Cambridge is the newest Shojo location, promising high energy and the right vibes to satisfy everyone from families to coworkers to bachelorette parties.

Veggie Galaxy

Calling all vegetarians and vegans! If any Massachusetts city knows how to serve vegetarian and vegan comfort food, it’s going to be Cambridge, which was recently recognized as the “Healthiest City in the U.S.” by The Nessie. Veggie Galaxy doesn’t disappoint, and it was named on Yelp’s list of top burger spots in the U.S.

All of their food served is in the traditional diner-style of comfort food, and every vegetarian dish can also be made vegan. In fact, the on-site bakery is 100 percent vegan. Stop by if you’re headed to your vegan friend’s dinner party to pick up a dessert, or if you’re looking to snack on some vegan donuts with your Sunday morning coffee.

Puritan Oyster Bar

Puritan Oyster Bar is impossibly classy, and a must-visit for seafood lovers and foodies on the slightly more adventurous side. Try the scallop crudo, prepared with brown butter, horseradish, gooseberry, and jalapeno, and be sure to get some Instagram-worthy shots of the caviar cone, complete with egg salad, sesame cone, and sour cream. Located in Inman Square, Puritan Oyster Bar will put you near the Museum of Science and the Kimpton Marlowe. There you have it: A place to stay, a place to spend a morning or afternoon, and the perfect lunch or dinner spot for seafood lovers.  

Row 34

Another restaurant making waves in the Boston area is Row 34, a great place to eat if you’re on a business trip and want to impress your peers with lunch or after-dinner drinks and eats. Row 34 is especially known for their fresh oysters, which they pick up each day from the fish pier, and they curate their beers to make sure there’s always something for everyone on their extensive list. Pick up a signed copy of their Row 34 Cookbook to remember all the flavors of your Cambridge stay.

HONK at Oktoberfest, Harvard Square

How to Experience Culture


Mark your kalenders. On October 8, the Harvard Square Business Association is putting on the 44th annual Oktoberfest in Harvard Square. Oktoberfest is one of the most globally beloved ways to kick off the fall season by drinking beer out of steins with friends or family, and it’s an opportunity to experience the energy of Cambridge dwellers and Bostonians as they enter more of an outdoor party, classic Oktoberfest space. Since you get to experience Harvard Square and its youthful-yet-traditional energy, Oktoberfest is one of the best events to plan your Cambridge visit around—and Harvard Square Hotel would be the perfect place to stay!

Harvard Art Museums 

Now offering free admission for all, the Harvard Art Museums is one of Cambridge’s most prized attractions. With unparalleled exhibits that educate and inspire, the museums are a must-see for Cambridge visitors looking to experience and appreciate world-renowned art. It’s also a great stop if you’re touring the Harvard campus when summer weather is still lingering—ducking into the air conditioned halls of the museums will be the perfect afternoon break from the heat and humidity that often sticks (literally) around well into September as the students return.