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If you...

Toronto
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If you...

If you had a week and were interested in Boston and the Cape Cod area - could you do it? What would you prioritze.

My Mum and I still working on a trip and this option has come up. I have been to Boston once before and remember enjoying parts of it very much...then being underwhelmed by other parts.

Should we take the time to get across to Cambridge area?

Is there shopping to be done for two women from Canada?? Everyone always talks about how great shopping is in the States...does this also exist in Boston?

Is Cape Cod a reasonable drive and worth renting a car for the trip? What would be be remiss to miss?

Thank you!

Boston
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1. Re: If you...

What time of year were you planning to come? The Cape is certainly worthwhile if you want to get out of the city, but it's not like you can't say you went to Boston if you skipped Cape Cod. For a short trip in the spring/summer, you can take the ferry to Provincetown from Boston, so you don't have to drive.

"The time" to Cambridge is just a few subway stops from most points in Boston, so it's not exactly a daytrip. It's easy to get to. I find Harvard Square less and less interesting these days (though the Harvard campus is quite pretty) but Cambridge has some great restaurants and interesting/pretty neighborhoods to walk around.

What sort of shopping were you looking for? I think the people who tout US shopping the most are European tourists--a friend of mine who lives in London still does most of her clothes shopping in the States because the prices are much better. Boston has the usual mall/department stores and a good amount of independent boutiques.

Toronto
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2. Re: If you...

Thank you! That was a great answer for the shopping. I think that as long as there is some good shopping we will be happy as we will be travelling without the husbands and my two sons - all of which do NOT enjoy our shopping - so this is a must on the list. Shopping in freedom!

I remember liking Cambridge because of the area and peeking at Harvard etc...but as you are suggesting it is another poke about spot rather than big trip for a day. Good to know.

We will be travelling sort of September, maybe even late August or early October. We are flexible so it would be determined partly on when is the better time for the area...thoughts?

I think we may want to spend more time exploring little villages, nice restaurants with good wine (sorry had to put that in...), history and actually get a sense of the surrounding areas such as the Cape Cod / Nantucket area...so maybe ferry across to Provincetown - then what might you suggest?

We are running round with so many possibilities but there is something about this one that really grabs me....so I appreciate your speedy response!

Baltimore, Maryland
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3. Re: If you...

If you had a week and were interested in Boston and the Cape Cod area - could you do it? Yes

My priorities- hard to say since I lived and visited there it is tough to say what i would do from a blank slate. History, museums, shopping, sightseeing, boat trip, food - what are your priorities when you travel (besides the shopping)?

I have been to Boston once before and remember enjoying parts of it very much - ok- which parts

...then being underwhelmed by other parts - and those would be ??? so we don't steer you there.

Should we take the time to get across to Cambridge area? sure

Is there shopping to be done for two women from Canada?? We let everyone shop --even Canadians!!!

Everyone always talks about how great shopping is in the States...does this also exist in Boston? Is great shopping outlets, sales, boutiques or haute couture? but I would say, yes

Is Cape Cod a reasonable drive and worth renting a car for the trip? Yes but would play by ear depending on weather.

What would be be remiss to miss? You won't see "everything" so don't worry about it.

Toronto
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4. Re: If you...

Yes I think I realized once I hit submit how stupid the question re: shopping was....really I am not a HUGE shopper as some can be - the only reason I think I give some special attention to it for this trip is that I wont be making myhusband, father or sons angry if i actually indulge a bit in mindless browsing.

We love museums - historical, art. I love antiques, villages, history, architecture. So the things that stunned me about Boston and Cambridge were the houses, the history, some of the restaurants, the market area - no clue what it is called we are talking 20+ years ago.

I would love the idea of a Boat tour of some sort...

But as we have been to Boston before and not Cape Cod or the other way to New Hampshire...it is tough to figure it all out. I assumed we were flying from Toronto but now I wonder if simply driving down through VT and MH to MA is wiser to get a fuller experience...oh my head spins but at the same time I feel like maybe I am narrowing in on the best fit for us - we had considered New York but it just wasn't feeling like "IT" for me this time. Then San Fransico...but too far blahblahblah....Boston, Cape Cod, The New England experience kept playiing in my mind. I think that this is the right choice...but now to figure it all out!

The parts of Boston that underwhelmed me were obviously the business type area - I live close enough to Toronto and I don't love to see it so I don't need to see that type of practical stuff. Also I am not a sports buff so the whole Fenway was a one time visual enough.

Phew don't know if that was more helpful or less...any furhter ideas are greatly appreciated and we are going in September so I am hoping weather wouldn't factor into driving but who knows!

Baltimore, Maryland
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5. Re: If you...

Well I do understand how overwhelming the planning can be. I have been known to spend more time looking for a place to stay than I will actually spend at the place.

Finding museums is not hard and whatever you saw so long ago you don't remember and there is new stuff too like the new wing at MFA.

If you have never walked around beacon hill and Louisburg Square, that is a fabulous way to see some of the great architecture as well as see how the Boston Brahmins like the Cabots and Saltonstalls. Worth reading about these people to enhance the visit.

Walk around the North End, smell the food, stop for a glass of wine (or two), etc.

Plenty of antique stores around Newbury street and elsewhere.

If you do consider driving and are going to hit NH, let me know as I have a list of things to do in the Mt Wash area (won't be able to do all and make it to Boston)

If you just search for Will's or Forgotmypassword, or Alanm's posts (among many, you will find a list of things to do that would make Fodor's blush.

then as it gets closer check the local papers for events, concerts, festivals, etc

Boston
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6. Re: If you...

If you have not been to Boston in over 20 years you should come back. Lots has changed, mostly for the better.

Toronto
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7. Re: If you...

Well I am sold! But with that and I think Boston would be 1 of 2 goals...the other being - Cape Cod area?? Is it something that can be done in a week with driving from Toronto do you think?

Boston
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8. Re: If you...

Just add two full days of driving (12 hours each) to the equation and see if it works for you.

Toronto
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9. Re: If you...

ouf. Good point. flying it is.

Portsmouth, New...
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10. Re: If you...

Hi - I would spend 3 days in Boston and the remainder on the Cape. You may want to visit Plimoth Plantation on your way to the Cape. Taking the ferry to Provincetown is a good idea (runs seasonally), and you could go on a Dunes Tour and a whale watch. The Cape is also fun to explore by car...lots of shopping along the way.

This web page offers some highlights for Boston and Cape Cod:

discovernewengland.org/about-new-england-usa…

For shopping, some Boston highlights are: Faneuil Hall, Newbury Street, Copley Plaza and the surrounding area, and South End boutiques. There are also buses that make runs to the Wrentham Village Premium Outlets (www.premiumoutlets.com/outlets/outlet.asp…)

Here is a recent article on the excellent small museums of Cambridge: washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20…

Hope this helps!