Harvard Museum of Natural History

A Magnificent Museum Day in Cambridge

Home to universities like Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts, is one of the world’s premier knowledge hubs. Even if your SAT scores weren’t high enough to get you into one of these fine educational institutions, you can still access the work of the brilliant minds there on your next trip to the area. Spend a whole day exploring the magnificent museums of Cambridge you might find the experience is the next best thing to studying at Harvard or MIT.

Harvard Museum of Natural History

What better place to absorb Harvard’s smarts than on the Harvard campus? The Harvard Museum of Natural History boasts dozens of natural history exhibits, from geology and archaeology to art that interprets nature; the iconic “The Glass Flowers” by German artists Leopold and Rudolf Blaschla make their home here.

In addition to dozens of collections that you can explore at your own pace, the Harvard Museum of Natural History offers lectures by university professors and other field experts, so you can feel like you’re a Harvard student, even if just for an hour.

MIT Museum

After enjoying the natural history museum at Harvard, you can hop on over to MIT and visit the university’s eponymous museum. The star attraction at the MIT Museum is the holography collection, which displays hundreds of holograms, focusing on both the artistic and scientific aspects of the practice of holography. Dan Schweitzer, Rudie Berkhout, and Melissa Crenshaw are among the important international holographers the museum showcases.

If you get your MIT fill looking at the holography exhibit, you can head back to your Cambridge hotel to freshen up, or grab a nice lunch along Harvard or Central squares.

The Fogg Art Museum

Its reputation as a learning center notwithstanding, Cambridge isn’t the first place you think of when you think of amazing art museums. Conveniently located on the Harvard campus, the Fogg Art Museum singlehandedly destroys this notion, however, thanks to its enviable collection of Western art.

You can find examples of just about every style of art from the history of Western civilization in the Fogg Art Museum, but where the museum really shines is in its collections of French art from the 19th century, early Renaissance-period art from Italy, and work from the mid-19th-century pre-Raphaelites of England.

Arthur M. Sackler Museum

While the Fogg Museum’s main strength is its Western art, the Arthur M. Sackler Museum is where you’ll find some of the most impressive Middle Eastern and East Asian art on display in the U.S. Like the Fogg Museum, the Arthur M. Sackler Museum makes its home on the Harvard campus.

Showcasing artists that hail from as far west as Istanbul to as far east as Tokyo, with a particular emphasis on Islamic artwork, this facility is the perfect place to end your museum day in Cambridge, although fair warning: The experience might leave you wanting to devote a second full day to some of the other amazing museums in the city.

Glass flowers at Harvard Museum of Natural Historical – main image credit

About The Author

is the author of 780 posts on Leave Your Daily Hell. Robert founded Leave Your Daily Hell in 2010 so that other travelers would have an entertaining, reliable source of information, advice and inspiration at their fingertips. Want to travel more often? Subscribe to email updates today!


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