The brightest minds in the world converge here, and so it should come as no surprise that Cambridge, Massachusetts museums are premier cultural institutions. But it’s not all science academies and antiquarian bookshops. Visitors will find Cambridge art galleries just as compelling, thanks in part to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Massachusetts College of Art and Design across the Charles River.
African American Heritage Trail
Cambridge and Boston were home to one of the earliest African American communities in the nation, and the region led the nation in the abolitionist movement. Follow the African American Heritage Trail markers in Cambridge to learn about important figures who made lasting-contributions (W.E.B. Du Bois, Alberta V. Scott) between 1840 and 1940. Cambridge African American Heritage Trail
American Repertory Theater
Also known as the ART Institute, this not-for-profit theater is devoted to showcasing the unexpected—from new American playwrights to neglected works from the past. A major feeder theater for Broadway, its shows have garnered Pulitzers and Tonys, and several have gone on to become major hits in New York, including Waitress, Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 and Finding Neverland, as well as revivals of Porgy and Bess and Pippin. American Repertory Theater: 64 Brattle St.; 617-495-2668
Harvard Art Museums
This trio of art museums—unified under a Renzo Piano-designed glass pyramid roof—house some 250,000 objects, including masterpieces by the likes of Picasso, Copley and Matisse at the Fogg Museum; paintings by Germanic artists such as Klimt at the Busch-Reisinger Museum; and the largest jade collection outside of China at the Sackler Museum. Harvard Art Museums: 32 Quincy St.; 617-495-9400
The famous 19th century poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow called this butter-yellow house home—and General George Washington used it as a headquarters in 1775. Original furniture, textiles, and artworks will transport visitors back in time. Longfellow House: 105 Brattle St.; 617-876-4491
Discover what’s going on at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at this Cambridge museum. Student projects and prototypes are a highlight, as are rotating exhibits that may explain holograms, gestural engineering, or artificial intelligence. MIT Museum: 265 Massachusetts Ave.; 617-253-5927
Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology
Founded in 1866, the Peabody is one of the world’s oldest museums of anthropology. Exhibits at this Cambridge museum include weapons from various cultures, 1,700-year-old Peruvian ceramics, and enormous Native American totem poles. Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology: 11 Divinity Ave.; 617-496-1027
Cambridge shines in every season, but especially in the fall when the leaves have started to change to red, orange, and yellow in Harvard University’s main yard and dusk falls earlier with dramatic sunsets. The city’s historic houses stand out against nature’s colorful hues and each walk turns into a heart-leaping adventure to see the region’s most dramatic seasonal change. Start each day embracing fall with a hot coffee...