Although you can order pretty much anything online these days, sometimes its nice to be able to step outside and visit an actual brick and mortar shop. When you're living in Cambridge, Massachusetts, you have plenty of in-person shopping opportunities. Whether you want the classic American mall experience or want to wander in and out of stores on the square, you'll find something to buy in Cambridge.
Harvard Square might be the heart of Cambridge. Its a bustling commercial district, and a place frequented by Harvard students and residents of the neighborhood. The area is full of little shops and stores, too. You'll find everything on the square, from nationally known brands such as Origins and Lush, to small comic book stores and candy shops. There are plenty of unique shops on the square too, such as the Hempest, which specializes in products made from hemp, including clothing for men and women and body care products such as lotion. Harvard Square is also the home of the Worlds Only Curious George Store.
The CambridgeSide Galleria is the areas big shopping mall. You'll find plenty of classic mall shops there, such as H&M, J.Crew, and Gap. Theres a food court with places such as Chipotle, Burger King, and Taco Bell, as well as a few sit-down restaurants, such as the Cheesecake Factory and California Pizza Kitchen. In all, there are 120 restaurants and stores at the Galleria. You can get to the mall by taking the Green line T to Lechmere. Theres also a free shuttle bus from the mall to the Kendall Square stop on the Red line.
From spring through the fall, Cambridge is a farmers market lovers dream. Theres a market every day during the season, and each market is at a different place. Locations include the
Charles Hotel Courtyard, the Morse School Parking Lot, and Harvard Science Center Plaza. There are also two winter farmers markets in the area. One winter market is held inside at the Cambridge Community Center, on Saturdays from January through April. The other winter market takes places on Wednesdays at the Technology Square Atrium.
Given that it is home to one of the most prestigious universities in the country, it is probably no surprise that the area around Cambridge is full of bookstores. The Harvard Cooperative Store, or the COOP (pronounced coop, not co-op), was founded by students back in the 19th century. Today, its a four story major bookstore, serving Harvard and MIT students. People attending or working for MIT or Harvard, or the Harvard medical school, can become members of the COOP, for just $1 per year. The COOP is open to anyone, but members receive a 10 percent discount on purchases.
Another bookstore in town is Porter Square Books, an independently owned shop. Along with being a place to browse for new and classic books, the store also has a number of programs for adults and kids, including two book clubs and reader reward programs.