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16 Reasons Why We’re Thankful for Cambridge

From serious to silly, we’ve gathered together 16 reasons why we are thankful for Cambridge:

1. WORLD-CLASS MUSEUMS

Did you know that Cambridge boasts seven world-class museums? Seriously! Art, natural history, futuristic wonders, dinosaurs, scientific oddities, historical landmarks and tales, mind-bending holograms, kid-friendly curiosities, guest exhibits and everything in between – we’ve pretty much got it all.

2. GREAT SCHOOLS

In case you haven’t heard, Cambridge houses two of the most prestigious universities in the world (Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology). We’ve got a lot of great minds here in Cambridge, and we feel lucky (and proud) to have the top two universities in the WORLD in our backyard.

3.  BEST PLACES TO LIVE

Not only were we dubbed one of the brightest cities in the country by Forbes Magazine, the magazine also dubbed us the best city for millennials to live.  We found our way to the top of the list due to our close proximity to all the important necessities like transportation, restaurants, coffee shops and the high number of millennials in the area.

4. A CITY OF SQUARES

Our neighborhoods are called squares – but in a European-Charm kind of way. Each has its own a distinctive personality, vibe, and culture, all rich in fine dining, eclectic shopping, theaters, museums and historical sites. Meet them here.

Don’t believe us?  View our quick, 90-second video featuring Central Square and explore its unmistakable character as you speed through its many restaurants, shops, museums, and sites.  You’ll quickly see why Central Square was recently designated a Cultural District by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

5. CAMBRIDGE LOOKS GREAT ON THE SILVER SCREEN

Without Cambridge to lend as a backdrop and inspiration, a good number of iconic movies (and movie stars) may have never been made. Can you imagine world-class movies such as Good Will Hunting, Girl Interrupted, The Social Network, and The Towne without Cambridge as the STAR?? Or the dynamic duo that is Ben and Matt? Us either.

But Cambridge looks pretty great on the smaller screen as well. Our city’s personality truly shines in our new 60 Second Video. See it for yourself

6. TECHNOLOGY, INNOVATION, AND FIRSTS

There are some majorly cool innovations going on here, not to mention the countless number of big name companies and brands that were born here.  One of the newest brands that we’re pretty obsessed with here in Cambridge is the Copenhagen Wheel- a wheel that will change the way we bike. See how a Cambridge company reinvented the wheel here.

Not only do we quite literally reimagine the wheel here in Cambridge, we also have some pretty amazing innovations that we couldn’t imagine life without some of them. 

Pardon our name-dropping but we think it’s pretty cool that Facebook, Fig Newtons, Email, Zipcar, the INTERNET, the disposable razor, artificial skin, Guitar Hero, radar, long-distance telephone, the sewing machine, spreadsheets, the instant camera, nuclear magnetic resonance…all started right here in Cambridge. And for that, we couldn’t be more grateful.

7. BIKE FRIENDLY

Who needs a car? Not us! It’s a pretty awesome feat to be known as one of the most bike-friendly and walkable cities around. Cambridge feels big to us, but it’s actually only six square miles. With the installation of bike lanes, bike racks, and bike-sharatives that are open all year long (thanks, Hubway!), there is no need to be stuck in a car here. More than 7% of Cantabrigians bike to work, with rumors that we could very well master bike safety in the next few years.

In fact, we love biking so much, the City of Cambridge installed an Eco-Totem to count just how many people bike through Kendall Square each day.  The results? Simply incredible, of course!  Even on the coldest days there are still Cantabrigians who bike to work.  See all the data for yourself here.

Because biking is such a way of life in our city, we asked our friend, local blogger, and avid bicyclist Gabi, of By Gabriella, to put together a biking guide for each one of Cambridge’s eclectic squares. Gabi shares her tips to keep you safe on the road and her favorite spots to cool off and rest after a long day of biking through Cambridge. See Gabi’s Biking Guides to Central, Kendall, Inman and East Cambridge, Porter, and Harvard Squares here.

8. AND....SKATE FRIENDLY

Not only are we bike and pedestrian friendly (woo!), we’re skater-friendly too. The Lynch Family Skatepark is quite possibly one of the coolest (and most hidden) spots in Cambridge, making it even cooler than it already is. The year-old skate park has practically everything that a seasoned skateboarder (or beginner) could ever dream of!  Now wheel-enthusiasts of all ages and levels have a safe and a positive environment to become the next Andy Macdonald!

9. LEADER IN GOING GREEN

In 2016, Cambridge made great strides for green initiatives. Visitors and residents alike are now encouraged to make reusable bags the new norm when all plastic bags were banned earlier this year. Additionally, Cambridge waved bye-bye to styrofoam food containers throughout the city, making takeout so much more earth friendly.

In case you couldn’t guess, we take being green very seriously in this city – and wouldn’t do it any other way! From our green savvy restaurants (see #11) and hotels, to bike sharatives (hello #7) and our always improving recycling initiatives, we couldn’t be more thankful to help Mother Earth stay happy and healthy.

10. THE HARVARD SQUARE TURKEY

We couldn’t possibly list all of the reasons we’re thankful for Cambridge and not include one of our littlest citizens, The Harvard Square Turkey: a mysterious fellow, yet considered a true Cantabrigian by all. This little guy can be found peering into bookstores, waiting to catch the bus, or simply waiting to cross the street with everyone else. And now this Cambridge character can even be found on Facebook! No matter where he is found, he’ll be ready for a photo op.

11. AMAZING RESTAURANTS

It wouldn’t be right if we didn’t mention the fabulous food here. We are proud to say that some of the best restaurants in Boston, and in the country are located in Cambridge: home to culinary greats from Julia Child to Joyce Chen, to James Beard winners such as Tony Maws, Joanne Chang, Ken Oringer, and Jamie Bissonnette and more.

Don’t believe us? Two of our very own restaurants, Oleana and Alden & Harlow made it onto Conde Nast Traveler’s best restaurants in the WORLD list. 

You can tantalize your taste buds with every cuisine imaginable, many of which have a deep focus on sustainable, local ingredients. Safe to say, it’s a foodie’s paradise over here! No matter which square you find yourself in, you’re bound to stumble upon an amazing eatery. Explore our Cambridge restaurants here.

12. FESTIVALS

Oktoberfest may have just ended, but we’re already gearing up for some of our favorite holiday festivals in the next few weeks, such as December’s Sparklefest in Harvard Square.

However, Cambridge’s festivals don’t stop after the holidays: we’ll take any excuse to celebrate our distinct culture with residents and visitors alike. From Mayfair to the (very tasty) Taste of Cambridge, to the friendly competition found at the East Cambridge Rib Fest, we are thankful for the hard work that goes into pulling these festivals off so seamlessly year after year.

Of course, there are so many more festivals that are worth mentioning, and you can find those over on our events page.

13. THE MUSIC

Cambridge notoriously beats to its own drum, and that remains true to the music scene here -- and the Cambridge music scene has some serious roots. We have to say that we’re pretty spoiled with the amount of musical talent and venues located here.

We aren’t kidding you when we say you can catch a show any day of the week, any time of the year. Whether hip-hop is your jam, or you like something more classical like a performance from Longy School of Music of Bard College students, our endless collection of venues, and musical events will keep you moving and grooving.

14. THE THEATER AND DANCE

Watch out Broadway! Our theater and dance scene is a force to be reckoned with, especially with powerhouse companies like The American Repertory Theater, The Central Square Theater, Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre, and The Dance Complex,  just to name a few. Even some serious Hollywood stars like Sara Bareilles, Courtney Love and Jennifer Coolidge have leant their talents to critically acclaimed performances.

In fact, The ART made history when their smash hit musical ‘Waitress’ became the first Broadway Musical that featured an all-female creative team. Talk about girl power!

Here in Cambridge, every taste in theater can be satisfied: from musical theater to graceful ballerinas, jazzy numbers, side-splitting improv, and serious dramas, the choices are seriously unlimited.

15. WE'RE FULL OF HISTORY

Although many people ponder if you can truly Pahk Ya Cah in Hahvahd Yahd, Cambridge’s history is far richer than that. Beyond the historical tales from the universities, we are grateful for the historically significant figures that made Cambridge’s history so interesting, the structures they built and the stories they tell: from the Longfellow House-Washington’s Headquarters to beautiful churches and Robert Frost’s famous home.

16. YOU!

We couldn’t possibly let this list go without thanking YOU! For everyone who lives here, works here, visits and tells their friends to visit, learns here, plays here, for everyone who follows us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat (@cambridgeusa) and for our ever-creative #PictureCambridge submitters – thank you for making Cambridge so unique and frankly so fun to support!!


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