The city of Cambridge, Massachusetts is a worthwhile stop on any New England tour. Home to Harvard University and MIT, ethnic restaurants, numerous attractions, the sparkling Charles River, and reportedly the largest number of bookstores in any city in the world, Cambridge is easy to reach and small enough in scale to enjoy in a day.
If you are taking the T (the subway) in from Boston, get off at Harvard Square (on the Red Line). Take a leisurely walk through the Harvard University campus, admire the ivy, and browse through the many bookstores offering rare books, foreign volumes, academic texts, and more. Visit the Peabody Museum for a look at archaeology, or the Harvard Art Museum. Stop in at one of the many coffee shops and people-watch. Summers can be steamy, but a stroll along the Charles River is always enchanting, with a view of sailboats and the university rowing teams. In the winter, the snowscapes are magical, but the wind can be biting. Restaurants range from Ethiopian and sushi to pub fare.
While in Cambridge, visit Memorial Drive as it offers a great view of MIT's grand buildings. Be reminded that parking in Cambridge is a nightmare. If possible, do without the car and use the T, or take a cab.