Explore Neighborhoods in Cambridge and Somerville
Cambridge and Somerville boast many interesting neighborhoods – and Apartment Rental Experts knows all of them, because this area is our home. If you’re not sure which one is right for you, peruse ten of our favorites below and click to browse on available listings. We are the local expert, ready to advise you on these neighborhoods and any others that interest you. Just call and ask. Take the easy way home.
One of the most rapidly gentrifying areas in the region, Cambridgeport offers proximity to Boston University, MIT and Harvard. The area offers pleasant urban living enhanced by the natural beauty of the Charles River, which lies on its southern border. Cambridgeport is just a few blocks from Central Square, with its amenities and Red Line stop, and just a few more blocks from Harvard Square. It also lies directly across the Charles from Commonwealth Avenue and the Green Line, making it convenient to BU and other Boston destinations. Buses running through Cambridgeport also provide transportation to both sides of the Charles.
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This ethnically diverse area is an exciting part of Cambridge, with bars, music clubs, live theater, coffee shops, restaurants, bookstores, a food co-op and shops of all kinds. Both Harvard and MIT are accessible on foot within fifteen minutes or on the subway in five minutes. Busy with shoppers and commuters by day, and with people enjoying restaurants and entertainment by night, Central Square is for people who like to live where the action is. The Red Line is right in the middle of the square, so downtown or anywhere else in Cambridge can be reached in just a few minutes. I-90 is moments away via car.
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Davis Square may be the most popular spot in Somerville, full of activity ’round the clock. There are shops and coffee bars to pass the day in, and great restaurants, bars, clubs, and movie and live performance theaters for after hours. Tufts University is right up the street, and the Red Line stop in the heart of the square draws people from all over Cambridge and Boston – as well as allowing Davis Square residents to get around quickly. Davis Square is highly urban, although, by car, Middlesex Fells Reservation and the beautiful rural areas off Route 2 are easily accessible.
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Once an industrial center, East Cambridge is now the up-and-coming side of town. The Lechmere Green Line stop, the Galleria Mall, Portuguese fish markets, an unusual variety of restaurants, and the Museum of Science all jumble together to create one of the most diverse areas in Metro Boston. Lots of “human-scale” brick structures and multi-family dwellings make the area feel welcoming. A walkway along the Charles River provides stunning views of downtown Boston, day and night. Located at the end of the MBTA Green Line, East Cambridge provides quick access to the North End, TD Garden sports and entertainment events, and downtown.
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Harvard Square is a vital and attractive area anchored by Harvard University, which has been in this location since colonial times. The Square offers cultural amenities, including movie and live theaters, bookstores and musical performances in halls and on the street. It also offers intellectual stimulation with public lectures, workshops and Harvard Extension classes. The Square has a rich restaurant scene as well as a wide variety of shops. The Red Line is in the heart of the Square, enlivening it with walkers, shoppers, strollers, and people going to and from restaurants and events. Downtown is minutes away via subway and buses radiate out into the rest of the city.
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Huron Village is one of the most beautiful areas of Cambridge, with lovely old homes among the apartment buildings, lots of trees and a range of parks and green spaces. It’s an easy walk to Fresh Pond and the Charles River. The neighborhood centers on the intersection of Huron Avenue and Concord Avenue, with a mouth-watering bakery-café and everything from cheap subs to haute cuisine. Harvard Square and Harvard University are just ten minutes away on foot, and there is also bus service into the Square.
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Inman Square offers a lot of what Central Square offers – including music clubs, restaurants and coffee shops – but is a bit funkier. Buildings are close together throughout the area, creating a strong urban vibe. Inman Square offers unusual and affordable eateries that stay open late, catering to the after-event crowd. Buses crisscross the area where Cambridge, Hampshire and Broadway Streets intersect, making it a hub from which any other part of Cambridge can be reached. Kendall Square, home of MIT, and Central Square are accessible on foot as well as via the T.
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The Kendall Square/MIT area is one of the hottest in Metro Boston. MIT is the cultural and intellectual center, providing lots of activities – films, lectures, workshops, concerts – as well as spawning exciting and innovative companies. The area has architecturally interesting new buildings as well as funky, repurposed industrial ones. Kendall Square offers an ever-growing array of amenities, including full-service buildings and a small but impressive roster of restaurants. Area residents can stroll along the Charles and admire the downtown skyline or walk just a few minutes to Inman or Central Square. The conveniently located Kendall/MIT Red Line provides easy access to downtown, Cambridge and Somerville.
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Porter Square is poised on the common border of Cambridge and Somerville, providing a best-of-both-worlds experience. The Cambridge side has lovely tree-lined streets with Victorian and two-family houses behind the apartment buildings on Massachusetts Avenue. The Somerville side has a more urban feel, with multi-family houses and apartment buildings huddled close together. Between the two is the lively Porter Square shopping area, where the Red Line stop is located, featuring groceries, books, good food, clothing, musical instruments and furniture. Davis Square is a short walk or one T stop away, and the Red Line serves all of Cambridge and downtown.
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Union Square is the place for those who appreciate the U.S. as a melting pot. It offers markets run by proprietors from India, Korea, Brazil, Pakistan, Argentina and Bangladesh. They serve customers from those countries as well as Haiti, Nepal, Central America, China and Japan. Restaurants and pubs reflect the same diversity: Italian, Thai, Chinese, Mexican, Irish—with local favorite Dunkin’ Donuts, too. There’s also a farmer’s market in season. Many artists are drawn to this area, and they are supported by a local arts council. Union Square is just 1/2 mile from Inman Square and 2 miles from Harvard, Davis and Sullivan Squares, and downtown Boston.
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