Cambridge, Massachusetts

Squares

105,162

Population

Sunny Days: 201
75100 Affordability
100100 Schools
61100 Diversity
87100 Safety

There’s nothing more beautiful than a walk down the Charles in the fall.

The Best Thing About Cambridge?

Pretty Much Everything

Cambridge is a pretty amazing place. Not only does it have two of the greatest universities in the world but it also has some of the most interesting and diverse restaurants in the country, a wonderful public transport system (for the U.S.), an extremely walkable/bikeable set of neighborhoods, amazing public schools, safe streets, cool cultural options, and Boston is right next door (seriously, it’s less than a mile away at some points). While it is a college town, by definition, it is way way more than just a college town and you can avoid that whole scene if you’d like.

A recent transplant from the Midwest notes: moving here ~2 years ago after living in suburbia MI is a dream. my older coworkers question why 'you youngins blow money on rent in dirty small apartments', but joke's on them cause I can walk/bike to literally every single thing i'd need, and chances are I have a local business option to opt for rather than only big box chain stores and restaurants.

example, my grocery runs have evolved from driving to Kroger (before move)->driving to supermarket->walking/biking there->changing to organic store->finally getting to farmer's markets (which has been blissfully accessible with remote work). Hell this year I gave up my car and intend to never own one again if I can help it. That's just one example, being here has transformed my life in many ways that make every family member back home scratch their head at me.

The Worst Things About Cambridge?

Pricey and Cold

All that popularity comes at a price. Buying a home in Cambridge, while not as expensive as Boston, is crazy steep. You can rent for reasonable prices, given the home purchase costs, so young professionals and young families can make a go of it. Perhaps just as important to understand is that winter is no joke. If you’re coming from the south just be ready. Finally, if you’re conservative be ready for an extremely liberal population. They don’t call it the People’s Republic of Cambridge for nothing.

Local on the weather: winters here are annoyingly long. it often doesn't really warm up until around mid to late april. the rest of the northeast gets cold snaps just as bad as boston's but boston area (including cambridge) is the most consistently cold of all the major northeastern cities during the winter. the climate might not be great for someone with seasonal depression either.

Lifestyle of Cambridge

Unlike other college towns, the lifestyle of Cambridge doesn’t revolve around Harvard and MIT. It’s too diverse, has too much tech and biotech business, and those Universities aren’t really like the big Southeastern or Midwestern monsters that dominate their towns. Families live here and enjoy the city without any intrusion by the schools or students. Young Professionals live here and find tons of social options that don’t crossover to the student population. Cambridge is home to museums, amazing outdoor options, particularly on the Charles River, and is a tiny train ride to all that Boston has to offer under or across the river.

If you want to see what everyone gets up to in Cambridge check out the calendar of events: https://patch.com/massachusetts/cambridge/calendar

Worklife of Cambridge

Cambridge has a huge tech and biotech startup and established business scene. There are very few cities, outside of San Francisco and the Bay Area, with more high-paying emerging industry jobs. Harvard and MIT drive innovation and graduates stay in the city to take advantage or create their own innovation. While you certainly can commute to Boston for work you won’t need to if you’d prefer a short hop to work within the city confines.

Why You Should Move Here Now?

Opportunity

As was noted there really are very few cities in the entire country with the opportunities Cambridge offers. If you want to be on the cutting edge of industry, and live in a culturally diverse, educated, and interesting city, Cambridge should be on your list.

Neighborhoods in Cambridge

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Harvard Square

Young Professionals/Students

Students, particularly undergraduates, live in the apartments and divided homes in the neighborhoods right around Harvard Square and Kendall Square (MIT). Some of the graduate schools for Harvard are across the river but most undergrads stay on the Cambridge side of the river.

Young Professionals tend to flock to Porter or Central Square or even Davis Square, which is right over the border of Cambridge in Somerville. They’re all on the Red Line of the “T” subway line and so are easy for getting into Boston for work or play. Any of these are good options and have tons of apartment rental options if you’re just getting started. All of these squares also have their own nightlife so you can go local or jump on the T and head into Boston if you prefer.

  • Harvard Square
  • Kendall Square
  • Central Square
  • Porter Square
  • Davis Square

Riverside

Families

Riverside is a nice “affordable” area of Cambridge for families that has condos and townhomes in the $500k range (we told you it was pricey). There are also plenty of full-sized homes that go up to 7-figures but regardless it has great local schools and big playgrounds and parks and has the cool Peabody Terrace Children’s Center for infant and preschool play.

If you’re ready for something more upscale check out West Cambridge. It’s the safest and priciest neighborhood in the city. Homes are always north of a million and you get big beautiful historic houses, amazing property and gardens and great access to the Cambridge Historical Society, JFK Memorial Park and some of the best public schools in the state.

  • Riverside
  • West Cambridge
  • North Cambridge
  • Agassiz-Harvard