Moving to Cambridge

Welcome to a spirited city where history and innovation meld seamlessly- Cambridge, MA. If you're considering packing up and launching a new chapter here, our comprehensive Cambridge relocation guide is your perfect ally! Known as the intellectual powerhouse of America, this city is brimming with charming neighborhoods, vibrant dining scenes, exemplary educational institutions, and a firm handshake with technology. However, before you start boxing up your belongings, let us trailblaze the way for you with our resourceful insights, ensuring a smooth, hassle-free transition.

Moving to Cambridge, MA landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Cambridge

1. Deep Intellectual Vibes Await You

If you're contemplating a move to Cambridge, Massachusetts, prepare to bask in an atmosphere ripe with intellectual vibes. Yes, it's a city that practically pulsates with smart energy. As the home to Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), it's a city that brims with academia. Scholars, entrepreneurs, scientists, and students mingle harmoniously at coffee shops, bakeries, and city parks. So, gear up to indulge your intellectual curiosity and be inspired by some of the brightest minds on the planet.

2. The City Is Bustling With History

Cambridge isn't all about the present and future. There's a rich past to explore, too. From the historic Harvard Yard, the heart and soul of Harvard University, to Longfellow House, where the famous poet once lived, history buffs will have plenty to delve into. Wait, did someone say ancient burial grounds? Check out the Old Burial Ground, the city's oldest cemetery dating back to 1635. Each corner of Cambridge holds a story that adds to its charm.

3. Offbeat Attractions Can Make Your Day

Two words: Shoe. Tree. Yes, you heard that right! Cambridge houses one of the quirkiest attractions--a tree filled with discarded shoes. Nestled in Fresh Pond Reservation, this shoe tree is somewhat of an urban legend and a unique symbol of the city's eccentric personality. Similarly captivating is the 'Garment District,' an alternative fashion store, home to a pit of clothes wherein you can purchase garments by weight. It's hip, it's funky, it's Cambridge!

4. Pockets of Green in an Urban Jungle

Breathe in the fresh air as you stroll through Cambridge Commons or rest your back against a tree while reading a book in Danehy Park. Despite being a bustling city, you'll find plenty of green spaces perfect for picnics, jogging, or just sitting still. There's even an urban wild at Alewife Brook Reservation, a testament to the city's commitment to balance urbanization with nature. The outdoorsiness Cambridge offers in its urban setting is simply delightful.

5. Savvy Cycling is a Must

Whether you're an avid cyclist or not, let's just say that Cambridge is incredibly bike-friendly. In fact, owning a bike here might sometimes feel like a rite of passage. There are ample bike lanes, racks, and repair stations around the city. And if owning a bike isn't your style, don't worry. Cambridge boasts numerous bike-sharing options, so you can pedal your way across town anytime. So, saddle up and gear up for cycling like never before.

6. Prepare for a Cultural Delight

Last but not least, Cambridge is a melting pot when it comes to culture. From eclectic cuisines to lively theaters to diverse music festivals, there's never a dull moment in the city. Each neighborhood showcases its own unique flair. For instance, Inman Square is known for its Brazilian cafes and restaurants, while Central Square is a taste of the Caribbean. Let the cultural adventure begin!

So there you have it, a handy guide for newbies considering a move to this beautiful city. Cambridge is an invigorating blend of history, scholastic charm, and lively culture with an urban soul. It's a city that seamlessly blends the past and the future within a vibrant present. So, when are you making the move?

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Pros and Cons of Living in Cambridge

Pros of Living in Cambridge

Renowned Educational Institutes

Cambridge is known for being the home of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), two of the world's leading educational institutions. Living in Cambridge offers the opportunity for students and professionals alike to benefit from these institutions' cultural and intellectual contributions.

Rich History and Culture

The city's rich historic legacy, entwined with colonial history, provides countless landmarks and museums to explore. Plus, the diverse community fosters a vibrant cultural scene, with numerous live music venues, arts festivals, and more.

Walkable City with Excellent Public Transportation

Dubbed as the "City of Squares", Cambridge offers a walkable city environment, with most amenities within a short walking distance in each neighborhood. In addition to this, the city supports an excellent public transportation system provided by the MBTA, including bus and subway services.

Enviable Job Market

With the presence of leading universities and numerous technology and biotech companies, Cambridge boasts a strong job market, often offering jobs that are cutting edge and high paying.

A Multitude of Green Spaces

Despite being an urban environment, Cambridge prides itself in providing several green spaces for residents to enjoy. The iconic Charles River, for example, provides a great spot for outdoor activities like jogging, biking, or boating.

Cons of Living in Cambridge

High Cost of Living

Cambridge is one of the most expensive cities in the United States, with the cost of everything from rent to groceries being considerably higher than the national average.

Competitive Housing Market

The demand for housing in Cambridge often outstrips supply, making finding a home a competitive process. This has led to increasing prices and could make it difficult for new residents to find affordable housing.

Heavy Traffic and Parking Issues

Despite the excellent public transportation, traffic in Cambridge can get heavy, especially during rush hours. Parking is also notoriously difficult, with restricted residential parking and expensive metered spots in commercial areas.

Harsh Winters

Winters in Cambridge can be harsh, with heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures. This can sometimes lead to inconveniences, such as disruptions in transportation and the need for regular snow removal.

Crowded City

Being a popular and densely populated city, Cambridge can feel crowded, especially in the city center and during the academic year when the student population rises significantly.

Modern day picture of Cambridge, MA highlighting pros and cons of living in Cambridge, MA

Is Cambridge a Good Place to Live?

Cambridge, MA is a great place to live because of its rich academic atmosphere and its bustling, vibrant nightlife scene. It's not only home to prestigious universities like Harvard and MIT but also teeming with art, culture, and history that cater to a variety of interests. Plus, the food scene is pretty amazing too, offering a diverse array of cuisines to satisfy all foodies!


What Is Cambridge Famous For?

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Harvard University

Without a doubt, one of the things that brings Cambridge into the limelight is Harvard University. Founded in 1636, she is one of the world\'s foremost universities, renowned for her rigorous academic programs, high-profile alumni, and impressive contribution to research and innovation.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Another world-class university, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, brands Cambridge its home. A powerhouse in the domains of science, engineering, and technology, MIT continually shapes the future with its ground-breaking research and discoveries.

Vibrant Arts and Culture Scene

Cambridge extends beyond academics, sporting a vibrant arts and culture scene. With numerous galleries, performance areas, and unique exhibits, the city is a creative melting pot, frequently hosting festivals and cultural events that add color to Cambridge's personality. Check out the Cambridge Arts Council for more on this.

Historical Significance

Cambridge doesn\'t shy away from its rich history, laden with intriguing tales from the Revolutionary War era! With several historical landmarks, museums, and buildings with fascinating stories, the city provides a treasure trove of insights, giving a nod to the past when touring the present. The Cambridge Historical Society is a great place to start for those interested in uncovering the city's past.

' Capital building of Cambridge, MA in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

As of 2023, the property tax rate in Cambridge, MA is $5.75 per $1,000 of assessed value. This is considered very low when compared to the national average property tax rate and significantly lower than many other parts of the US.

Sales Tax

The sales tax rate in Cambridge, MA is 6.25%, which is applicable to most retail sales. This sales tax rate is lower than the average sales tax rate across the US and is lower than many other cities and states.

Income Tax

In 2023, the state income tax rate for residents of Cambridge, MA is 5.00%. This rate is slightly lower than the national average, placing Massachusetts in the middle of the pack in terms of state income tax rates across the US.


Housing Market

The Cambridge, MA housing market is significantly more expensive than most other U.S regions. As of 2021, the median home value stands around $800,000, far surpassing the national average of $265,000. Rents in Cambridge are also higher, with a median rent of $2,500 compared to the average U.S rent of $1,097. Despite the high cost, the market is competitive thanks to high demand driven by the city's vibrant lifestyle, prestigious colleges, and thriving tech sector. Both renters and buyers should be prepared for these higher costs and the competitive environment.


Cost of Living

The cost of living in Cambridge, MA is considerably high compared to most U.S. cities. As of 2021, it is 73% higher than the national average, heavily influenced by elevated housing costs. Notably, this is caused by a combination of factors such as the presence of elite universities, a thriving job market, and a historic character that defines this city. Nevertheless, Cambridge's rich culture, quality education and efficient public transport make it appealing despite the high cost. While high, the cost of living is comparable to similar cities such as San Francisco and New York.


Weather & Natural Disasters

Cambridge, MA experiences a temperate climate with distinct seasons. Summers are generally warm to hot, with temperatures often reaching into the 80s (Fahrenheit), while winters can be harsh, with snowfall and temperatures frequently falling below freezing. Autumn and spring provide mild weather, characterized by a pleasant blend of warmth and cool breezes. The city does receive ample rain throughout the year, making it a lush and verdant environment. While Cambridge is not particularly prone to severe natural disasters, it does experience occasional storms, particularly Nor'easters in the winter that can bring heavy snowfall and strong winds. Interestingly, despite being in a coastal region, Cambridge sees less impact from hurricanes due to its geographical location being somewhat shielded. Overall, the Cambridge climate offers a true taste of New England's diverse weather patterns.

Typical weather in Cambridge, MA

Economy & Job Market

* Biotechnology and Life Sciences

* Education

* Health Care

* Technology

* Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services

Famed for its intellectual prowess, Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a buzzing hive of both innovative technology and enduring historical industries. The city is noted as a global epicenter for biotechnology and life sciences, which is a growing and scientifically blooming field of our generation. With brilliant brains from the world over converging within the esteemed halls of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, it's no wonder the region has become a hotspot for thriving technology and education sectors. Health care and professional, scientific, and technical services also mark their significant roles, with the law, consulting, advertising sectors offering stimulating pursuits for the city's bright minds.

Are you making plans for a radical move to the brainy city of Cambridge? You're in for a treat! The city's employment rate is as healthy as its concentration of academic degrees, with an unemployment rate consistently lower than the national average. The city is a haven for professional paths in the technology and biotech industries, which leads the pack in terms of growth rate and job offers. Education, in the city of MIT and Harvard, will always be calling for passionate educators and staff. And let's not forget about the healthcare sector, which is always a strong contender! But of course, whether you're a rocket scientist, math geek, biology whizz, or Shakespeare's number one fan, Cambridge, MA welcomes you with a pomp of academia and a punch of economic gusto!


Traffic and Transportation

Getting around in Cambridge, MA, is quite the adventure, whether it's your typical commute or navigating the city streets on a weekend. Cambridge dwellers have a slightly above-average daily commute of approximately 30 minutes. However, they make the most of these trips to listen to their favorite podcast or belt out their favorite tune during rush hour!

Forget the hassle of finding a parking space; there are plenty of hassle-free public transportation options in Cambridge! The city's network of buses, trains, and even ferries ensures you can get from Point A to Point B with minimal stress. The subway system, affectionately known as the 'T', is a popular choice, serving hundreds of thousands of people daily.

And what about those jet setters among you? Logan International Airport is just across the river in beautiful Boston, promising that your next vacation destination or business trip is just a short hop, skip, and a jump away. Happy traveling!

What is the traffic like in Cambridge, MA?

Best Neighborhoods in Cambridge

1. Harvard Square

Harvard Square isn't just for students! This vibrant neighborhood, home to the world-renowned academic institution Harvard University, has a rich history and eclectic vibe that appeals to all demographics. Cobblestone streets lined with unique shops, bookstores, and a range of restaurants make Harvard Square the cultural crossroads of Cambridge. Bursting with energy and brimming with intellectual stimulation, it's definitely an enticing neighborhood to live in.

2. Kendall Square

Known as the technological heart of Cambridge, Kendall Square is a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship. This area is packed with start-ups, biotech companies, and universities, resulting in a dynamic and fast-paced environment. Beyond the tech, Kendall Square also offers a variety of culinary delights and craft breweries which are popular hang-outs for the neighborhood's professionals and creatives. Plus, being situated near the scenic Charles River, it provides a balance with beautiful green spaces and waterfront walks.

3. Central Square

For the music lovers and foodies, Central Square is your spot. It offers a diverse and buzzing mix of live music venues, international eateries, and unique boutiques. Home to the city's best street art and a lively music scene, the area touts a vibrant and artistic nightlife. Central Square is the city's reflection of soul and rhythm.

4. Porter Square

Porter Square is a charming and quieter neighborhood that offers a blend of amenities and residential atmosphere. It has an eclectic mix of bookshops and cafes along with a local farmer's market, making it popular among families and older residents. Its charming and community-focused vibe offers resident an escape while still being within easy reach of the city's busier areas.

5. Inman Square

Inman Square is the neighborhood that truly feels like a small town within a city! Known for its hip, offbeat vibe, Inman is cherished for its selection of indie shops, family-owned restaurants and quirky reminders of the 1970s. Character-filled Victorians and tree-lined streets tie together this aesthetically pleasing neighborhood, making it one of the city's best kept secrets.

In conclusion, Cambridge is a city bursting with character. Each neighborhood offers its own distinct flavor and atmosphere, making it a truly enticing city to move into. Whether you're a tech guru, an art lover, a food enthusiast, a family or an academic, Cambridge has a neighborhood that would make you feel right at home. The diverse options coupled with the city's rich history and progressive future are what truly make Cambridge, MA, a wonderful place to call home.

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Things to Do

Welcome to Cambridge, MA! A city brimming with unparalleled intellectual prowess, rich historical significance and an eclectic array of personality-filled neighborhoods. If you're new here, consider this your holy grail of things to do. Strap in for a whirlwind tour of city excursions that encapsulates the quintessential Cambridge experience.

1. Visit the Harvard and MIT campuses

It's not a trip to Cambridge if you don't visit the grounds of two of the world's most prestigious universities: Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Take a self-guided tour through Harvard Yard, or meander through the architectural delights of MIT's campus. Alongside getting a sense of the extraordinary academic ambiance, you'll encounter delightful libraries, museums, and a waterfront park.

2. Stroll through Harvard Square

An eclectic blend of cafes, bookstores, unique shops, and more awaits you at Harvard Square. Considered the historic heart of Cambridge, this area will enthrall you with its vibrant culture, performances, and its bustling atmosphere. From catching a show at the American Repertory Theater to snagging a unique find at The Harvard Shop, it's a locale that screams "Cambridge".

3. Venturing into the Mount Auburn Cemetery

Forget the creepiness associated with cemeteries. Mount Auburn Cemetery, a historically significant and beautifully maintained burial ground, offers serene landscapes, walking trails, and a noted collection of wonderful sculptures. Designed as America's first garden cemetery, visiting here is like journeying into a unison of art, nature, and storytelling.

4. Bask in Art at the Fogg Museum

Want to quench your thirst for aesthetics? March your way to the Fogg Museum, where an impressive collection of Western art from the Middle Ages to the present awaits. Apart from being a learning center for Harvard students, it offers a delightful visual experience for art connoisseurs as well.

5. Take a dip into the secret pool at Magazine Beach

Eager for a less-known gem? Check out Magazine Beach. This public park, with its serene Charles River view, is a haven for recreation, but it also houses a hidden public swimming pool. An ideal spot to beat the summer heat or rustle up a delightful alfresco picnic!

6. Explore the Tiny Museum of Big History

Cambridge itself is a city with a rich timeline of world-impacting happenings. But did you know it also enjoys its own little (quite literally!) museum wonderfully chronicling these moments? Tucked away in a 6-foot-tall roadside chamber, this one-of-a-kind exhibition offers a unique jaunty journey into Cambridge's history, one that's loved by locals but often missed by newcomers.

7. Engage with MIT's Hacks

Last on this list, but in no way the least exciting, is the MIT Hack Gallery. This display gives visibility to the creative and often hilarious pranks executed by MIT students over years. From a police car on the Great Dome to a gigantic game of Tetris on the Green Building, these hacks will tickle your sense of caprice.

Through the ivy-covered gates of Harvard, the innovation-infused atmosphere of MIT to the eccentric corners and small wonders that make up Cambridge, MA, there's a plethora of fascination awaiting you. Each corner turned, each street crossed unravels a world of intrigue. As you settle in, savor the process of discovering your own unique Cambridge itinerary, one that mirrors the charm, intellect, and vibrancy that this city exudes.

Things to do in Cambridge, MA?

Find Movers for Your Cambridge Relocation

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