A stroll through Boston & Cambridge
When: April, 2017
Where: Boston & Cambridge, MA
Walking distance from Beacon Hill to Harvard Square: 3 miles
Walking distance from Back Bay to Beacon Hill: 1.5 miles
Since Boston is such a walkable city, one of my favorite things to do on the weekends is to just stroll around and get lost. You never know where you might end up, who you might see, or what new store/restaurant you’ll come across by taking a different path. So with that said, I’d love to take you on a walk through Boston and Cambridge, starting in the morning and ending in the evening. If you’re visiting Boston for the first time and are looking for beautiful views, this is a great route to go. You‘ll start in Beacon Hill, where I call home.
Morning is probably my favorite time of day in Beacon Hill – there’s something really romantic about the way the sunshine hits all the brownstones. Since it’s bright and early, you’ll run into early risers walking their dogs and people grabbing their coffee. Speaking of coffee, first thing you’ll want to do is head down the hill for a latte! On Charles Street, you’ll find Starbucks, Tatte, Peet’s and sit down restaurants like Panicifico, Paramount, Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro and 75 Chestnut.
Extra tip: One of the most colorful streets on Beacon Hill is Myrtle Street. It’s a very popular spot for photographers and tourists. For other amazing instagrammable locations in Beacon Hill head toward Acorn Street, Louisburg Square, West Cedar, Pinckney Street and Mount Vernon Street.
Once you’re caffeinated and ready to leave Beacon Hill, head toward the Longfellow Bridge where you’ll walk over the Charles River into Cambridge. While walking along the ~0.4 mile bridge, you’ll be able to take in beautiful 360 views of Boston and Cambridge. If you don’t feel like walking, you can hop on the T. You’ll want to take the red line from the MGH stop to the Kendal Square/MIT stop.
Once you reach the end of the Longfellow Bridge, stay left and head west along Memorial Drive where you’ll walk toward MIT and Harvard University. Here you’ll stroll along for ~1 mile and take in pretty views of sailboats, rowers, kayakers, runners and bikers. Since you’re now in Cambridge, take a look across the river and soak in your new vantage point. On a clear day you should be able to make out a bunch of Boston landmarks. The golden dome peaking out of Beacon Hill is the top of the Massachusetts State House.The tall shiny building is the new luxury high-rise called Millennium Tower. The Prudential tower has a large pointy top that you can’t miss and if you look all the way to your right you’ll be able to see the CITGO sign.
Fun fact: Lots of people come here to watch fireworks on July 4th. Also, if you look at the picture above, you’ll see a bus-boat-thing being used for a duck tour. A duck tour allows you to explore Boston by land and sea!
Once you’ve walked along Memorial Drive for ~1 mile, you’ll start to see big beautiful buildings that belong to MIT on your right. If you want, you can take a right on Massachusetts Ave and start exploring some of the campus, but you can see a lot directly from Memorial Drive.
Once you’re at MIT, you have an additional mile(ish) until you reach Harvard University. From MIT, continue along Memorial Drive until you reach John F. Kennedy Street. You’ll take a right and walk about a quarter of a mile before reaching Harvard Square.
There’s are a ton of things to do here and since you just walked over 3 miles you’re probably pretty hungry and in need of a pick me up. A few of my favorite restaurants are Alden and Harlow, the Beat Brasserie, the Sinclair Roofdeck, Russell House Tavern, Wagamama and JP Licks. If you want to stay for awhile, a few of my favorite stores are Anthropologie, the Black Ink, Beyond, Moleskin and Brattle Square Florist. And lastly, a few of my favorite sights are Harvard Art Museum, Harvard Museum of Natural History and Harvard Yard.
After you’ve done all your exploring in Harvard Square, you’re actually going to take the T back into Boston, so you can get to an area called Back Bay. You’ll take the T from the Harvard stop (red line) to the Park Street stop (green line) where you’ll hop on any of the green line trains that can get to the Hynes Convention Center stop. From here, you’ll walk along one of my favorite streets called Commonwealth Ave. “Comm Ave" is lined with some of the most lavish buildings on both sides of the street and is home to a ~1 mile greenway that sits directly in-between the roads.
After you’ve walked the Commonwealth Avenue Mall, you’ll end up at the west side entrance of the Public Garden. (You’re SO close to being back to Beacon Hill, I promise). Now that the sun is setting and you’re probably really tired, you’ll want to walk toward Beacon Street where you’ll get back to Beacon Hill. As you walk through the Public Garden, hopefully you enjoy the cherry blossoms and magnolia trees. You’ll also see the adorable Fog Pound to your right.