Its own distinct, bustling city, Cambridge lies just across the Charles River from Boston. In addition to the world-famous Harvard and MIT campuses, Cambridge also offers unbeatable shopping and dining. Main town centers make this “city of squares” easily traversable, and downtown Boston is only minutes away by T or car.
Cambridge is just a bit younger than Boston—the adjacent cities were both founded at the start of the 1630s by English Puritans, though the Massachusett Native Americans had lived on the land for centuries. Originally named “Newe Towne,” Cambridge’s early settlements centered around “Newe College”—now known as Harvard University. In 1638, the little farming village was renamed to honor its university-town counterpart back in England. As wealthy estates proliferated outside the emerging colonial capital of Boston, Cambridge grew into a busy center for Puritan elites. By the mid-1700s, mansions along Brattle Street became known as Tory Row. Their Loyalist owners were evicted by Boston Patriots at the start of the Revolutionary War, but many of the stately homes still stand today.
Cambridge is a focal point in Revolutionary history. George Washington first took command of American troops on Cambridge Common, and set up his headquarters at one of the confiscated Tory Row estates. Both Cambridge Common and the Longfellow House headquarters now have national historic designations, and are popular tourist destinations just outside Harvard Square.
Cambridge flourished throughout the 1800s and beyond. MIT, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was founded in 1861 in response to the Industrial Revolution to educate students in the growing fields of science and engineering. MIT, and labs and businesses throughout Cambridge, have pushed the cutting edge of innovation and STEM research since the late 1800s. In 2010, the city’s Kendall Square was termed “the most innovative square mile on the planet,” drawing a growing number of entrepreneurs and scientists to live and work in Cambridge.
Grand old single-family homes are a staple of Cambridge’s pricier historic areas, especially by Harvard’s red-brick campus. Modern, sleek mid-rises mingle with state-of-the-art lab and office space by MIT, around Kendall Square. This “city of squares” branches out from the focal termini of Lechmere Square, Kendall Square, Central Square, Harvard Square, Inman Square, and Porter Square. Victorian-style multi-family residences are a feature around mid-Cambridge, while traditional triple-deckers look out toward the border of trendy Somerville, in breezy Porter Square. Throughout the city, residents are treated to sights of Boston’s skyline across the Charles.
Median Sale Price: $749,000
Average Sale Price: $969,537
Average Price Per Square Foot: $812
Single-Family Homes Sold: 1
Highest Single-Family Home Sale Price: $7,000,000
Condominiums Sold: 51
Highest Condominium Sale Price: $1,675,000
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It’s no surprise that a city home to two prestigious universities is full of amazing museums and bookstores, but Cambridge also has a bustling arts and restaurant scene. Central Square’s bars are known for their live music, while the Harvard Square area is the perfect spot to find chic clothing stores and luxury dining. Want to take the scenic route? Stroll along the Charles River—or hop aboard a riverboat tour—and head up to Fresh Pond Reservation for ample greenery.
- Harvard Book Store
- The Curious George Store
- The Coop
- African Gift Items
- Pandemonium Books & Games
- Urban Outfitters
- The Garment District
- Rodney’s Bookstore
- Raven Used Books
- Longfellows - Cafe
- Moona - Mediterranean
- Kimchi Kitchen - Korean
- Happy Lamb Hot Pot - Mongolian
- Green Street - New American
- Muqueca Restaurant - Brazilian
- BISq - New American
- Tupelo - Southern
- Oleana - Mediterranean
- Little Donkey - Global Tapas
- Beat Brasserie - New American
- Puritan & Company - New England
- Atwood’s Tavern - Traditional American & Bar
- Alden & Harlow - American
- Orinoco - Venezuelan
- Craigie on Main - American & French
- Machu Chicken - Peruvian