Family Vacations: Harvard Square

Harvard Square is a great place to go if you want to feel young, hip and smart. Teeming with Harvard professors, students and wannabes, "the Square" (as it's universally known in the Cambridge-Boston area), can give visitors the sense that they are attending Harvard without the inconvenience of having to take exams. The center of Harvard Square is a former subway kiosk converted into a Harvard-worthy newsstand. The kiosk is­ surrounded by steps leading down to what is called "the Pit," a pocket-size park dominated by skateboarders.

Restaurants, shops and what may be the highest density of bookstores in the United States fill the remainder of the square. Harvard Square wasn't always just a hangout. In 1630 it was the village of Newtowne, the first planned settlement in Anglo North America. Newtowne's street plan remains in use today, as do buildings dating from the early 1700s. The Square is becoming more homogenized as national chains integrate with local shops. But be sure to stroll over to the Grolier Poetry Book Shop and pick up a volume of Robert Lowell or one of 15,000 poetry titles. Or grab a cup of coffee at a local café and enjoy the ambience of the Square.


To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:

  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • Boston City Guide: Find out where to stay, what to do, and where to eat when you visit Boston.
  • Massachusetts State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in Massachusetts, as well as other recreational activities.
  • Scenic Drives: For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.