Kendall Square Biking Guide
Wed Aug 17, 2016
Hi, y’all! I’m Gabi and I’m the founder of By Gabriella, a life(style) blog where I create and share 48-hour city guides, weekly cocktails, entertaining tips, and more. Over the next few months, I’ll be partnering with my friends here at the Cambridge Office for Tourism to share fun bike-friendly guides for exploring Cambridge, Massachusetts. We’ll be sharing a guide to each square, starting with Kendall Square!
Outside of blogging, I also work full-time in Boston, and I commute about 9 - 10 miles by bike every day. I bike through the lush southwest corridor, through traffic on Boylston St., and up the little hill that usually doesn’t feel so little on State St. Though, I have to tell you, biking through Cambridge is my favorite. The bike lanes seem bigger, the traffic seems less hectic, and you’re bound to spot other cyclists along the way. I’m lucky enough that I live right across the river from Cambridge, meaning I have the opportunity to bike over there whenever I please! Don’t worry, I don’t take it for granted one bit. If you’re lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit Cambridge, I’d highly suggest exploring by bicycle! If you take me up on it, here are a few spots you’ll want to check out.
Where to eat and drink:
Area Four:If you’re looking for pizza while exploring Kendall (who am I kidding, I am always looking for pizza), Area Four is the spot. And not only does it have pizza, it also has coffee. A dream duo, if you will. If it’s not pizza you’re looking for, give the café a go. They also have bike racks right outside the front door, so no need to scope out ‘parking’ spots!
K2 Cafe:I actually haven't had the chance to make it over to K2, but a dear friend of mine was telling me all about it and it. sounds. amazing. If you need convincing, they’ve got a lavender latte and loaded baked potatoes on the menu. I’ll take one of each, please!
The Friendly Toast:This place has got the best breakfast/brunch around town. The plates are huge, the food’s delicious, and the vibe is eclectic/totally awesome. Pro tip: Bring a friend and split your breakfast plates - try a sweet and a savory plate!
Mead Hall:Mead Hall might actually be my favorite spot for beer in all of Cambridge. It’s got this cozy vibe that can’t be beat. It boasts a long...and I mean l o n g list of beers from all over the world, and the food’s extra tasty, too. Make sure to check out the bicycle counter while you’re there (more info below)!
The Smoke Shop:It’s BBQ, need I say more?
What to see and do:
Explore the secret garden: There really is an adorable hidden secret garden. The Cambridge Center Roof Garden that is. I visited on a steamy Sunday afternoon thinking it would be packed, but it was nearly empty! I had almost the entire garden to myself, what an absolute escape. The garden boasts a view of Boston, tons of flowers, and herb garden. Oh right, and even a ping pong table!
Enjoy an afternoon of kayaking:Situated right in Kendall is a Charles River Canoe and Kayak location. You don’t have to be a pro: Hop in line, grab your life vest, and you’re off! If you’re a first-time kayaker (like me this summer), let them know. They’ll give you a few pointers on how to turn, stop, etc. Though, I think my biggest worry was how to get in the kayak without tipping it over. In case you’re wondering - I did it! No tipped kayak for me.
Visit MIT:The campus is downright beautiful and its buildings are as interesting as Cambridge itself! Park your bike and take a walk through its architecturally diverse campus.
Check out the bicycle counter:Kendall Square has a fun bicycle counter on Broadway so you can see how many cyclists have biked by that day. If you’re lucky, you’ll even see it changing as more bike by you! It’s the little things, right? You can also view the current count here. (So nifty!)
Where to stay:
The Kendall Hotel:While I unfortunately have not yet had the opportunity to stay at The Kendall Hotel, it would be the one I’d choose for an overnight in Kendall. Originally a Victorian Firehouse, The Kendall’s housed in a stunning building. Even if you’re not staying there, be sure to ride by!
above image courtesy of the Kendall Hotel
My Bike Safety Tips:
Always, always wear your helmet. Is a good hair day worth it? Accidents happen and it's not always someone's fault, but you're extremely vulnerable on your bike in comparison to drivers in cars.
Cambridge is full of roads that have a bike lane. Do your best to bike down those streets, and if you're biking near parked cars, be alert. Drivers exiting their vehicles don't always think to look for cyclists and might open their door as you're biking by. I always suggest biking closer to the moving cars than the parked cars! Sounds backwards, but you definitely don't want to bike into a car door. Alert drivers will see you better than those in parked cars.
Bike with lights! The bike shops in Cambridge are sure to have some and they are worth it. If you think you're going to be out past dark, grab your lights. It's extremely hard to see cyclists in the dark without them - it's always better to err on the side of safety.
Obey traffic laws. Even though you're not in a car, your bike is still a vehicle. Bike with the traffic pattern and stop for lights, stop signs, etc.
For more safety tips, and biking rules, click here!
Enjoy your day in Kendall Square! While Cambridge is generally easier to bike through than Boston, make sure you grab a helmet. Renting a Hubway bikeis a great way to explore Cambridge, but they don’t come with helmets. Bring your own or pick one up while you’re here. Come back soon for our next bicycle guide. And if you have any favorite spots in Kendall that we didn’t mention here, do share! Happy biking!
*All photos courtesy of Gabi Valladares