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Public Innovation Trail Tour in Cambridge

5 (12)
Cambridge, US

Public Innovation Trail Tour in Cambridge

5 (12)
Cambridge, US
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Explore the future in the heart of Cambridge with the Public Innovation Trail Tour. Our knowledgeable guides will take you on a mind-blowing journey through the cutting-edge discoveries being made right now in Kendall Square. From anti-aging technology to gene-editing, these innovations build upon the historical inventions that Cambridge is known for. Walk in the footsteps of today's history-makers along the Entrepreneur Walk of Fame and uncover the stories behind the names. Visit renowned institutions like MIT and Google, where groundbreaking ideas have come to life. Discover the Broad Institute and the Human Genome Project, where researchers are unlocking the secrets of diseases. Immerse yourself in the biotech world at Biogen and the Internet Accelerator, Akamai. Marvel at the moon hanging in the lobby of Draper Labs, the birthplace of software engineering. And don't forget to indulge in the sweet history of Cambridge's candy industry. Book now and be inspired by the future that is being shaped today in Cambridge.

About this experience

  • Free Cancellation For a full refund cancel at least before the start of your booking
  • 1 hours 30 minutes
  • Suitable for 1-15 Participants
  • Small Group Tour
  • Guided Experience
  • Explore the history-makers working in Kendall Square
  • Discover the cutting-edge tech advancements at MIT Museum
  • Learn about the city's relationship with tech giants like Google
  • Visit labs focused on computer science and robotics at MIT
  • Gain insights into the roots of disease at the Broad Institute
  • Fun, Interactive and Engaging in-person guide!
  • Private transportation
  • Access inside buildings. Most of these spaces are active labs, so we do not enter these spaces.

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More about this experience


Welcome to the Public Innovation Trail Tour in Cambridge! Prepare to be amazed as you embark on a journey that fuses the past and present, showcasing cutting-edge discoveries and historical innovations. This tour offers a unique opportunity to witness the evolution of technology and scientific advancements in one of the most renowned cities of innovation.

What to expect?

Get ready for a 90-minute adventure filled with fascinating insights and mind-blowing discoveries. Throughout the tour, you'll explore Kendall Square, known for its rich history of groundbreaking inventions. From anti-aging technology to gene-editing, witness the latest developments that are shaping our future. Uncover the hidden stories behind woven fire hoses, the microwave oven, and more as you delve into the world of innovation.

Who is this for?

This tour is designed for curious minds of all ages who are passionate about science, technology, and history. Whether you're a tech enthusiast, a history buff, or simply intrigued by ground-breaking inventions, this experience promises to captivate and inspire you. Everyone, from locals to tourists, can enjoy this immersive journey into Cambridge's innovation landscape and gain a deeper appreciation for humanity's quest for progress.

Why book this?

Embark on this exceptional tour to witness firsthand how Cambridge continues to push the boundaries of what is possible. With knowledgeable guides from TripAdvisor's top attraction in Cambridge leading the way, you'll gain exclusive access to the city's most influential innovation hubs. Immerse yourself in captivating stories and groundbreaking discoveries as you walk in the footsteps of pioneers. This experience will leave you feeling inspired, amazed, and more connected to the world of innovation.

Good to know

During the tour, you will visit notable landmarks like the MIT Museum, Stata Center, and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, where you'll catch a glimpse of the groundbreaking research being conducted. You'll also explore the accomplishments of Biogen, witness the transformative power of Akamai, and visit the location where Margaret Hamilton, a software engineering pioneer, made history. Don't forget to admire the last operating candy factory in Cambridge, which produces 26 million pieces of candy daily. Your journey through time and innovation will be filled with intriguing stories and unforgettable moments.


Travelers who have experienced the Public Innovation Trail Tour in Cambridge have expressed their amazement at the tour's insightful and intriguing content. They commend the knowledgeable guides who effortlessly navigate the history and present of innovation, ensuring an immersive and enlightening experience. Visitors have been left inspired by the groundbreaking discoveries and the opportunity to witness the cutting-edge work happening in the heart of Cambridge. Overall, participants have praised this tour for its seamless blend of past and present, leaving them with a deeper appreciation for the power of innovation and a sense of wonder at what the future holds.

How long before the event do I need to book?

  • You can book at any time before the event

Vouchers accepted in the following formats

  • Mobile

Your Itinerary

Entrepreneur Walk of Fame

Walk along the Entrepreneur Walk of Fame with us and get familiar with some of the names and stories that we'll explore along the Innovation Trail

CIC Cambridge @ 245 Main

Check out the Start-Up Hub (CIC), formerly the Cambridge Incubator, founded by MIT Business School graduate Tim Rowe.

MIT Museum

Reopened in OCtober of 2022 the MIT Museum showcases the Institutes place on the cutting edge of tech advancement.

355 Main St

The Cambrige office of Google, learn about the city's relationship with tech giants, and the creativity to come out of these doors, like Android

Stata Center

Inside the Stata Center at MIT are labs focused on computer science, artificial intelligence, and robotics (they gave birth to iRobot Corp., maker of the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner), and a small, ground-floor exhibit about student “hacks,” or pranks, through the years.

Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard seeks to better understand the roots of disease and narrow the gap between new biological insights and creating impact for patients.


The Human Genome Project at the Whitehead Institute. The Whitehead Institute was created in 1982 by philanthropist Jack Whitehead and David Baltimore, an MIT professor and Nobel Prize winner. A key part of the vision was assembling a supergroup of the world’s top biomedical researchers in one building, and eliminating “virtually any impediment to their pursuit of scientific discovery,” supplying ample funding and the most sophisticated lab equipment, but limited bureaucracy. (It’s an independent nonprofit affiliated with MIT.)

145 Broadway

Meet the Internet Accelerator, Akamai. The start-up's original idea was to set up a network of servers around the world to cache, or store, content closer to where people wanted to access it—making everything show up faster on web browsers. Some of the company’s first successful large-scale demonstrations, in 1999, involved the delivery of a movie trailer for “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace” and ESPN’s March Madness college basketball coverage.


Walk down Broadway and take a left at Technology Square. At 555 is Draper Labs, where you’ll see a giant moon hanging in the lobby. Among its greatest achievements are the guidance computers that enabled Apollo spacecraft to successfully travel to and land on the moon. One of the software developers who wrote the code that ran these guidance computers was Margaret Hamilton, who later founded two companies and is credited as one of the people who defined the field of “software engineering.”


Founded in 2010 to explore the potential of modified RNA molecules (hence the name “mod-RNA”) to treat diseases or serve as a vaccine.


At one time home to Davenport Car Works, Walworth Manufacturing Company, Polaroid and today, LabCentral, Few buildings have housed so many inovators over the course of their lifetime.

810 Main St

here were also at one point 66 different candy companies in Cambridge, making everything from candy hearts for Valentine’s day to Squirrel Nut Zippers to lemon drops. (The Fig Newton cookie was also invented in Cambridge, in 1891—even though they were named for the nearby city of Newton.) This building is the last operating candy factory in Cambridge, owned by Tootsie Brands. The company unfortunately doesn’t offer tours, in part because candy companies are notoriously secretive about the equipment and processes they use to make candy—“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” wasn’t too far off base. Inside, they make 26 million pieces of candy a day. Why is that number so high? The factory is the only place in the world that Sugar Babies and Junior Mints are made—both of which are small little morsels.

The Innovation Trail

(Pass by)

The Innovation Trail is a way to experience, learn about, and be inspired by four centuries of world-changing breakthroughs from Boston. It focuses on the history of science, medicine, entrepreneurship, and technology in Boston and Cambridge.



5 (12)


I would highly recommend this tour for anyone interested in tech, biotech and/or local history. The tour is a good length and covers a lot of ground, both literally and metaphorically. Our guide Rick was very knowledgeable and engaging. Even though I live nearby I learned a lot!


We know Cambridge is a brainy place, but after taking this Innovation Trail Tour we know a lot more about what brains in Cambridge have actually achieved, in which places, when, and with who's money. Rick toured us around the technology institutes and corporate headquarters, animating them with the back stories of famous medical advances and tech moguldom, as well as some fantastic ambitions yet to be realized. Many of these places, like the Broad Institute and MIT's Media Lab, have exhibits that are open to the public; we hope to visit them at some future date. Very worthwhile. Fit it into your college visit plans and inspire your kid not to major in philosophy.


Our guide Rick was very enthusiastic and told great stories. Also appreciated that he took opportunities to bring us indoors, as it was quite cold out.


I studied MIT innovation cluster for my PhD in Science and Innovation Management. Seeing the place in real was simply awesome. Great guide.


My husband and I took the Public Innovation Trail Tour on 10/28/2023. It was superlative. From candymaking to a squad car on top of the MIT dome, this tour has it all. It is amazing how much innovation and history occurred within a short walk to the Kendall T stop. I highly recommend this tour: interesting and informative. Whether you are a tourist or a local, you'll learn something.


Great tour with a lot of interesting stories. I actually learned a few things myself. We had the largest group ever for this tour but everyone was able to hear the stories fine.

Tami G

Tour guide was informative and kind. We enjoyed the experience and was overwhelmed by the the amount of innovation in a small area.


Rick was our guide and did a great job. The tour route was pretty easy and the various buildings and sites were coincidentally in close proximity to each other Rick's info and patter was concise, interesting, and with a touch of New Englander dry humor.


Fascinating information about the innovations coming out of this area. Very entertaining and inspiring!


We really enjoyed this tour. It had something for all of our group - made up of Cambridge residents, out of town visitors and new MIT student. We all left feeling inspired by all the innovative things that have and are happening in the Kendall Square area in Cambridge . Our guide, Rick, was knowledgeable and entertaining ( and careful to stop in the shade!) - an excellent combination! We finished right in time for lunch, after our 90 minute tour. There are lots of good food options in this neighborhood. There is a beautiful urban roof garden next to the Marriott where this tour meets that was nice to check out too. We will be highly recommending this innovation trail tour to friends and family who visit Cambridge.
Collected by Evendo, Tripadvisor & Viator
2024-04-15 22:58