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Why Mount Auburn Cemetery is Worth Visiting on a Day out in Cambridge

Explore scenic Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Take a walk in Mt. Auburn Cemetery. Discover Mount Auburn on a trip to Boston.
Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts is the first rural cemetery in the United States. In fact, Mount Auburn is considered a National Historic Landmark for the groundbreaking landscape design architected by Jacob Bigelow in the mid-19th century.

Did you know that Mount Auburn Cemetery has been listed on the National Park Service National Register of Historic Places since 1975?

The cemetery has now been swallowed up by the city of Cambridge but it's an idyllic spot to take an afternoon walk. 

We took the public bus to Mount Auburn from Harvard Square. Both the MBTA 71 and 73 buses will drop you off at the cemetery gate. 

Guide maps are available for purchase at the visitors center near the entrance to the cemetery and are well worth the token cost (it's easy to get lost at Mount Auburn without a map). 

Turkey in Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge Massachusetts

Let's explore why Mount Auburn Cemetery is worth visiting on a day out in Cambridge.

Down the Primrose Path at Mount Auburn Cemetery

Walking Down the Primrose Path at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts

A series of trails run through Mount Auburn Cemetery. I love how we were able to lead ourselves down the Primrose Path :-) Mount Auburn is a garden cemetery after all!

The Lakes of Mount Auburn

Gazebo on the Lake at Mount Auburn Cemetery outside of Boston

Mount Auburn also features a serene lake with a gazebo on its shore. The gazebo is actually the Mary Baker Eddy Monument. 

Eddy was the founder of the Church of Christ, Scientist (you'll recall that Christian Scientists' claim to fame is that they don't believe in modern medicine). 

Regardless of the religious beliefs of those buried there, the lake at Mount Auburn cemetery is a zen retreat from the hustle and bustle of Cambridge.

Mount Auburn's Gravestones Remembering Beloved Family and Friends

Father and Mother headstones at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts

While Mount Auburn is open to the public as a park, it is first and foremost a cemetery. We took time to admire both ornate and weathered gravestones.
Old grave at Mount Auburn Cemetery Outside of Boston

Mount Auburn's Observation Tower for Sweeping Views of Boston

The Observation Tower at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Mount Auburn Cemetery features a stone observation tower. Climb to the top for sweeping views over the Charles River and Boston.
Views of Boston from the Observation Tower at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge

Wildlife and Wild Turkeys of New England

Chipmunk at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts

One of my favorite aspects of Mount Auburn was the wildlife. We spotted cute chipmunks and bunny rabbits.

Bunny at Mount Auburn Cemetery outside of Boston, Massachusetts

We then saw something unexpected at Mount Auburn; a mama turkey and a brood of about 10 chicklets! 

We spent about 15 minutes following the mother gobbler around (from a safe distance; we didn't want to scare them) and watching the chicks run to and fro. The turkeys totally made my day! 

It was hard to believe that we were just a short bus ride away from Harvard Square!

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Interested in extending your city break in Boston? Consider taking a New England road trip in the summer from Boston to Portland, Maine and beyond. You'll find fantastic nature and landscapes and you may even spot a turkey or two at Maine Audobon's Gilsland Farm on the outskirts of Portland.

Fine Birdwatching at Mount Auburn

Mount Auburn Cemetery is heavily forested in parts which means there were lots of birds about with their song adding additional atmosphere to this peaceful park on the outskirts of Cambridge.
American Robin on a grave at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Mount Auburn's Riotous Flowers

White and purple flowers in Mount Auburn Cemetery outside of Boston, Massachusetts

We visited Mount Auburn Cemetery in early June. I was in awe of the amazing flowers blooming all over the place. The color patterns of the flowers were so intricate.

The Bog at Mount Auburn Cemetery

The bog at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts

In the center of Mount Auburn, there is a proper bog. We forgot for a while that we were sitting in a graveyard rather than out on a country hike. The atmosphere at the bog is so peaceful, you'd never guess Boston is right outside these gates.

The Mount Auburn Chapel

The Chapel at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts

The chapel at Mount Auburn Cemetery is worth a look. The architecture makes it look like a mini-cathedral. Very grand in style.

The Sphinx of Mount Auburn


The Sphinx of Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts

The final stop on our walk through Mount Auburn Cemetery was The Sphinx. The Sphinx is a memorial to those that died during the American Civil War. 

This was a solemn reminder that Mount Auburn dates back to the early 1800s and thus was a witness to many inspiring (and brutal) events in American history.

Is Mount Auburn Cemetery worth visiting? As you can see from our experiences, it is an idyllic place to spend a zen afternoon in Cambridge. Definitely check it out!

Mount Auburn Cemetery in Boston text overlay with picture of turkey and chickMount Auburn Cemetery in Boston text overlay with picture of weathered gravestones
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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: Why Mount Auburn Cemetery is Worth Visiting on a Day out in Cambridge
Why Mount Auburn Cemetery is Worth Visiting on a Day out in Cambridge
Explore scenic Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Take a walk in Mt. Auburn Cemetery. Discover Mount Auburn on a trip to Boston.
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