Explore Cambridge with ’s Travel Guides to find the best hotels, flights, holiday packages and more!
Situated north of the city of Boston, Cambridge takes its name from the world-famous University of Cambridge in England, a key centre of the Puritan theology adhered to by the American town’s founders. This legacy of education continues to this day, as Cambridge is home to two of the world’s most prestigious universities – Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This world-leading student population is responsible for the number of groundbreaking entrepreneurial start-ups that have sprung up in the city’s Kendall Square in recent years, labelled ‘the most innovative square mile on the planet.’
Your hire car will enable you to explore this vibrant city to the fullest extent, as well as venture beyond the city limits into the rest of Massachusetts, to towns like Washington or even into Boston, where the first pilgrims arrived from Europe. Here, you can embark on the Freedom Trail – a two and a half-mile walk through the historic sites that tell the story of the founding of the US.
Fly into Boston Logan International Airport and from there it is just a 20-minute drive along the MA-1A to the centre of Cambridge. Alternatively, if you fancy a road trip, you can fly into Washington Dulles International Airport and drive through Washington, Baltimore and New York, into the state of Massachusetts – a nine-hour drive in total.
Once you arrive in Cambridge with your hire car, it becomes easy to explore beyond the city into the rest of the state. The town of Easton is just over an hour’s drive away, where you can take a wander through the Borderland State Park and admire the distinctive mansion that sits in the heart of it, once owned by Oakes and Blanche Ames – a Harvard botanist and artist – who constructed the building in 1910.
Choose from a wide selection of hire car providers in Cambridge to suit every budget and requirement, from Alamo and National to Hertz and Thrifty.
A thriving student town, Cambridge is alive with cool student hangouts, alternative music and art, vintage clothes shops, bookshops and innovative restaurants. As you would expect from a city of such academic pedigree, there is also plenty of culture to soak up. A wander round the grounds of the MIT is highly recommended, where you can admire sculptures by artists such as Pablo Picasso and Alexander Calder. There are also countless museums to browse, from the Harvard Art Museum and MIT Museum (where you can learn all about robotics and artificial intelligence) to the Peabody Museum of Archeology and Ethnology.
Further afield, your hire car can also help you explore beyond Cambridge to places such as the picturesque town of Manchester-by-the-Sea (an hour’s drive), known for its scenic beaches and stunning views across Cape Ann. If you fancy venturing even further, then Annapolis in Maryland (a seven-hour drive) is a fun destination, with a strong arts scene, a city dock lined with independent shops and even a ‘chocolate binge festival’ where you can indulge your sweet tooth to the fullest extent.
Driving in Cambridge, like much of America, is largely straightforward, with wide lanes and simple road layouts. Cars drive on the right-hand side of the road and you can overtake on both sides. You can also perform a U-turn at the end of most junctions – it will be marked if you are not allowed to do so. Most American cars are automatic, so remember to request a stick shift if you would prefer one.
Feeling inspired to start exploring Cambridge and other parts of the US? Check out this city guide and use the Expedia search tool to help you find the best car hire, flight and hotel deals and research the best attractions and activities.
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