The Tufts University Medford/Somerville campus likes to boast about its close proximity to the historical city of Boston—I mean, why wouldn’t they? I won’t lie to you, this was one of the reasons why I was attracted to Tufts in the first place. Having lived in San Salvador and Los Angeles, I knew I wanted to live in a suburban area that had easy access to a large city. Though we are just a few kilometers away from Boston, we don’t often talk about how Tufts students, for the most part, decide to stay on campus (yes, this is a thing!). Yet, there are so many great places to visit around here!
This list is for you—prospective students—and the rest of the Tufts community that has yet to see much beyond Davis Square.
East Boston and Constitution Beach*
I go to East Boston almost every other week. The reason? Not only is East Boston the home to a thriving Latinx community but there are incredible food options in almost every corner you see. Constitution Beach is just a 7-minute bike ride away from the Airport Station and you’ll almost certainly get caught up in the beautiful landscape of East Boston.
“Versus” arcade right next to Downtown Crossing
Downtown Crossing is virtually the heart of Boston. By that, I mean, it is a place often frequented by Tufts students. But did you know that there is an arcade spot right next door? For just $5—last I checked—you can go into this restaurant/arcade area and play anything from Pac-Man, Jenga, Crazy Taxi, to Mario Kart and stay there as long as you want.
“Massala up in Somerville”
Ric Wilson and Terrace Martin were right to shoutout Massala in their song “Chicago Bae.” Not only am I asking you to listen and vibe to this song, but you should go check out my favorite Indian food place in the area. It’s very close to campus, a short 5-10 minute walk depending on where you live, and it has incredible options for vegans and vegetarians.
Bartaco in Seaport
My top three taco locations are as follows: (1) my kitchen—I make some really good tacos—(2) street tacos along Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, and (3) Bartaco in Seaport. Their staff is beyond incredible and the food is *chef's kiss*. You have to try their chicken tacos first, follow up with a roasted duck rice bowl, and finish your meal with a key lime pie in a jar for dessert.
Cambridge Center Roof Garden
I found this place by accident walking around Cambridge. It’s literally what it sounds like, a public garden on the rooftop of a building. You will see many Google employees just working up there, people wandering and/or learning about gardening, and some small events here and there hosted by the Cambridge Office for Tourism. If you get off the Red Line train at Kendall/MIT, you are just three minutes away from this garden to escape from the urban landscape!
*Photo taken at Constitution Beach