Tufts University, one of the country’s highest-ranked schools is a private research university located in the town of Medford/Somerville, just north of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Known for its personalized approach to education the school attracts an incredibly diverse, creative and intelligent student body. Tufts spread across 150 acres, is home to approximately 5,500 undergraduate students who come for the ideal combination of a beautiful suburban campus with all the attractions of downtown Boston just a few miles away. The town of Somerville, once nicknamed “Slummerville” has transformed in the last decade now lively with hip restaurants, coffeehouses, and bars. Somerville’s Davis Square, which serves as a student ‘hub’ is a 15-minute walk from campus or a quick ride on Tuft’s free shuttle service.
Transportation: The closest airport is Boston Logan International (BOS). You can then take public transportation or a cab to campus. Boston’s busiest Transit Hub is South Station, the historic train terminal, opened in 1898, that is home to Amtrak, MBTA rapid transit, and MBTA commuter rail (Regional coach services are available in the adjacent South Station Bus Terminal Building.) Amtrak also makes stops in Back Bay Station and North Station. The closest subway to the Medford Campus is the Red Line, which has a stop in Davis Square (about a 15-minute walk from campus). Bus Routes 80, 94, and 96 bring you directly by the Medford campus.
Mascot: Tufts' official mascot is Jumbo the elephant, and the story dates back to 1885. Circus showman P.T. Barnum, an early trustee and benefactor of Tufts donated the stuffed hide of Jumbo to the school.Jumbo stood in Barnum Hall for 86 years and was beloved on campus. Students and visitors would put pennies in his trunk and tug his tail for luck, especially before exams and sporting events. Sadly, Jumbo came to a fiery end in 1975 after Barnum Hall was destroyed in an electrical fire. Jumbo's spirit lives on in an impressive 5, 000-pound statue standing tall on the academic quad in front of the rebuilt Barnum Hall.
Campus Landmarks: Lookout for The Cannon, a replica of one from the USS Constitution, located in between Goddard Chapel and Ballou Hall on the main quad. Students paint the cannon advertising social and political events and movements on campus, serving as a timely billboard.
Stay: The Hyatt Place Boston (in Medford) is the closest option to campus, just one mile from Tufts. In nearby Cambridge, the AC Hotel by Marriott, Sheraton Commander, and Hyatt Regency Cambridge all offer discounted rates to visiting families. (As does the above mentioned Hyatt Place.) For a full list of hotels that offer special rates click here. If you’re looking for a boutique feel we like the Charles Hotel or the Hotel Marlowe, both with views overlooking the Charles River.
Coffee: Students love Tamper for the convenience, just behind campus on Boston Avenue in Medford, a close option for right before your tour. (You can find students here any time of the day studying, eating breakfast and lunch, mostly due to its location and reliable food.) On campus, The Rez is a student-run coffee house located in the Mayer Campus Center on Professors Row. In Davis Square students recommend Nine Espresso Bar for the best filtered coffee in town, but Diesel Café is hands down everyone’s favorite, a favorite all-day spot with good food, a relaxed vibe, and ample seating. One student told us“ I’m obsessed with their salted caramel latte and often you’ll find me in one of the back booths studying all day with only a break for a quick game of pool if one of my friends stops by.”
Breakfast: Sound Bites is a Somerville institution with an extensive American menu plus some Middle Eastern specialties. It’s very popular for brunch, be warned, the lines can be long on the weekends. In nearby Porter Square, Bagelsaurus is a cult morning spot. Known for their signature pretzel or black olive bagels jazzed up with different spreads such as beet hummus, homemade almond butter or honey, rosemary cream cheese. Add additions such as hot smoked salmon or eggs, avocado and feta and you have your own DIY creation. Opening at 7 am weekdays, and 8 am on the weekends, the shop closes once everything sells out, often as early as 11 am. One student told us laughing: “It’s the only time you’ll see college kids out and about at 8:30 am-- even on a Sunday morning waiting in line!” Donut fans must visit Union Square Donuts, a short drive from Davis Square.
Lunch: Over in Davis Square, Dave’s Fresh Pasta has legions of fans. The homemade pasta at this specialty food marketplace is strictly for cooking at home, but students and locals line up for their excellent gourmet sandwiches. There are a few seats, but Dave’s is better for grab and go. Other good choices in Davis include Diesel Café, Boston Burger Company, serving creative burgers with “attitude,” and Anna’s Taqueria, a quick, cheap and no frills spot serving delicious tacos and burritos.
Casual: In the last few years, Somerville has experienced a dramatic food renaissance, now home to some of Boston’s most inventive restaurants. Don’t be fooled by the iconic diner car that houses part of Rosebud; the menu showcases innovative chef-driven American and Southern-inspired fare. Highland Kitchen also serves Southern inspired cuisine with live music and theme evenings such as Fried Chicken and Tiki Mondays. Dine at Sarma, a sibling of one of our favorite Cambridge restaurants Oleana, where sharing from the menu of modern Mediterranean small plates is our ideal way of eating. Redbones is a hidden treasure, known by locals as a fun, lively, always crowded BBQ joint still going strong after 30 years. And there’s more—for wood-fired fare with an international twist head to La Brasa and the Painted Burro for creative Mexican and killer margaritas.
A Step Up: Everyone's favorite local Italian for pizzas, pasta, and excellent salads is Posto in Somerville. Foundry on Elm is a trendy, bustling bistro in a cool industrial space. Students book Alden and Harlow in nearby Cambridge when their parents come to town, showing off one of Boston’s best tables.
Local Attractions: If you’re visiting on a Saturday the Union Square Farmers Market features the best of Massachusetts’s products from over 30 vendors. Nearby, Harvard Square is always fun to visit bustling with tourists and locals. Follow Brattle Street, just off the square and walk along Tory Row, where Loyalists to the Crown had mansions during the Revolutionary War. Tour the most famous, Longfellow House, home to the poet Henry Wadsworth and former headquarters for George Washington during the siege of Boston. There’s so much to do in Boston if you have more time. Walk the 2.5-mile Freedom Trail from Boston Commons to Bunker Hill. Visit Quincy Market, Top of the Hub, Newbury Street, Boston Commons, and the New England Aquarium. A short drive from downtown the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library is a must for history buffs. Baseball fans can tour one of America’s most famous stadiums, Fenway Park, home to the Green Monster.
— QUOTES FROM CAMPUS —
TUFTS FAST FACTS
Jumbo the Elephant
Blue & Brown
Medford, MA 02155,
(p) (617) 627-3170
(f) (617) 627-3860
Karen Richardson, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions
NCAA Division III
+ TUFTS CHEAT SHEET +
Danish Pastry House
3 Little Figs
Blue Shirt Café
Boston Burger Company
Foundry on Elm
Alden and Harlow
+ LOCAL ATTRACTIONS
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