For most Tufts students, the Medford/Somerville campus is a central part of life. I have compiled a list of some great places, buildings and businesses around campus which you may not know about, and which hopefully can help you get the most out of your time on campus.
One of the most important parts of a campus are its buildings and the services and experiences that they provide. There are a few different types of buildings on campus that really stand out to me. First, my top place for studying is the Edward Ginn library. Ginn has a beautiful rustic aesthetic, relaxing low lighting and is never too loud or too full. While I think Ginn is the best building for studying, the best study room is Room 313 in Tisch Library because it has dimmable lights and is the perfect size. As for Tufts dining, although Hodgdon is closed right now, it is clearly the best food option that Tufts provides. The burritos are delicious, and you can use meal swipes to get snacks and drinks, which is fun and useful.
The best restaurant near campus is Picante Taqueria. It has amazing Mexican food and uses the Chipotle style: make your own burritos, quesadillas, tortas or tacos. There are always lots of Tufts students grabbing dinner there, probably because a burrito only costs $9! Picante is great for lunch and dinner, but if you want a change from cereal and dining hall eggs for breakfast, Diesel Cafe is a great option. It’s in Davis Square, so it’s a little farther away, but it has a great feel and is packed on weekend mornings. Of all their amazing food, the breakfast sandwiches are my favorite. For shopping, Porter Square is the most convenient place to go near campus. It has a Target, CVS, a nice little hardware store and some other small businesses. It’s also pretty easy to get there — it’s a nice 30-minute walk through Medford or a quick 10-minute bus ride.
There are also many cool outdoor places to go around campus. Mystic Lake is the best place to swim close to campus and if you haven’t been yet, I would highly recommend it, especially as we get closer to summer and the water warms up. A cool place for having a picnic, bringing a pet or just taking a walk is Nathan Tufts Park, which is also only a five minute walk from campus. A niche place that I found on a morning run is a small bridge over Mystic River that leads to an ice cream shop, which would be a really cute place to bring a date or just go for a relaxing walk. I have to add Spot Pond to the list as well, even though it is kind of far away, simply because of how beautiful it is. I’m assuming most people at Tufts have never been to Spot Pond, but I highly recommend it because it’s a stunning lake with great lookout points onto the water and some very modest and pretty walking trails.
I’ve just gone through a lot of great stuff on and around campus, but there is always room for improvement, and I have some suggestions for how to create new spots at Tufts. Right now, there’s a lack of restaurants in close proximity to campus, and I think that at least one more restaurant, especially a Thai or Indian place (my two favorite types of food), would be a great addition and would definitely attract a lot of customers. An area that I think does not fully live up to its potential is the Academic Quad. Other than some ceremonies and the club fair, this space is basically deserted and so much more could be done with it. I think that some fruit trees and benches would make great additions, but if not that, there must be some way to make this space more appealing in the everyday life of students. The improvement which Tufts most desperately needs is a new gym and indoor sports facility. This is a bigger project, but it would instantly improve campus life for many and it would make the current gym less crowded. The indoor sports part of the building would also be great in the winter so sports teams have more space to train while at the same time offering space for recreational sports players.
This article definitely doesn’t contain all of the amazing parts of Tufts’ Medford/Somerville campus, but hopefully it gave you some new ideas for fun stuff to do on and off campus so you can get the most out of your time living at Tufts.