Fall Travel: The Charles Hotel in Cambridge, MA

Harvard’s Yard
The Charles Hotel, Cambridge, MA

Harvard Square teems with activity. Students crowd coffee shops in the morning and grab beers in bars at night. Bargain-hunters rummage trough bookstores and vintage shops. Couples on dates share falafel sandwiches and sample tacos in the neighborhood’s surfeit of restaurants. Culture-vultures take in an indie film at the Brattle Theatre (617-876-6837, brattlefilm.org) or a performance by the American Repertory Theatre (617-547-8300, amrep.org).

It seems as if The Charles Hotel isn’t just well positioned to take advantage of the life of the neighborhood—it is part of the life of the neighborhood. The hotel’s Regattabar is regarded as one of the best jazz clubs in Boston. (The 26-year-old club has won Boston magazine’s “Best of Boston” award no less than 14 times.) Its Noir, a 1940s-style bar serving classic cocktails like the Mai Tai and the Old Fashioned, was recognized as having the “Best Nightlife” by Food & Wine magazine, and revelers spill from inside to outside on warm nights. Even the courtyard at the entrance to the hotel, which abuts the Kennedy School of Government, is a happening spot for community events, hosting everything from a weekly farmers’ market in warm-weather months to an ice-skating rink in the winter.

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