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Boston, Martha's Vineyard, Cape Cod - Road trip

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
5 posts
33 reviews
Boston, Martha's Vineyard, Cape Cod - Road trip

Hi everyone,

Looking for some advice before planning a road trip from Toronto, Ontario to Massachusetts, USA. My boyfriend and I are hoping to visit Boston, Martha's Vineyard, and Cape Cod (or surrounding areas) this September. We are thinking we will have 7 days for all three areas plus the 2 days required for travel down and back home. Any advice on where to stay in these areas that is reasonably priced? What about camping (I'm not a huge camper but I've read some forums and people say the islands are great areas for camping)? What week in September would be best price and weather wise? What route do you suggest between the cities? I've been doing some research and it seems its better to stay somewhere central, and do day trips by ferry to some of the islands? I'm also worried about a hotel in Boston having parking since we are road tripping down. ANY advice/experience would be greatly appreciated :) We'd like to try and be cost efficient. We love to try new restaurants, and beaches.

THANKS!

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Boston...
Level Contributor
2,587 posts
39 reviews
1. Re: Boston, Martha's Vineyard, Cape Cod - Road trip

If you're not a regular camper, then I would not start on this trip. You would need all the camping equipment, and then you'd be carrying it around . . . does not sound fun to me. However, I know there is a campground on M.V. I would check that it is open in September, things can change after Labor Day in the U.S. (we mark it as the end of summer). While you stay in Boston, parking can be an issue but I don't think the parking issue should dominate how you pick a hotel. For example, if you get a good price at a downtown hotel, then you can stash your car somewhere outside of town or on the edge of town, to save a few dollars. You can do research on this board on this topic, as it does get discussed.

You mention day trips to some of the islands, and I'm not sure what you mean. There are islands in Boston Harbor, easily visited on a day trip. That is a great thing to do (George's Island, etc.). However, if you mean Nantucket and Martha's V, they are much farther away from Boston itself. I don't think anyone would do a day trip from Boston to Nantucket. M.V. is possible as a daytrip from the city, but this would be tough and a lot of travelling. Since you mention the Cape, I would stay there for at least 2 - 3 nights (well worth that time) and see if you want to do a day trip to M.V. from Cape Cod. I would not recommend trying to visit both Nantucket and M.V. unless you are really determined. Again, it's a lot of travelling time and the islands have a lot in common.

A good itinerary could be: Arrive Boston, stay one night or whatever works. Next day, drive to Cape Cod to stay for 3 nights (we'll leave location open for now). While there, do day trip as a pedestrian on one of the ferries over to M.V. One ferry leaves from Falmouth, another leaves from Wood's Hole which is the southern part of Falmouth. Then drive back to Boston and stay about 3 nights to really check out Boston. I hope this helps.

Oh, and keep Labor Day in mind (September 3 this year). It will really affect traffic. The weekend including Labor Day will be heavily travelled, and it could be much easier to get reservations just after Labor Day.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
5 posts
33 reviews
2. Re: Boston, Martha's Vineyard, Cape Cod - Road trip

Thanks for your response!

We aren't regular campers per say, but definitely have both been camping and do have most supplies, but your right it sounds a bit unnecessary and a pain. Good idea with the Boston Hotel/stashing the car somewhere else. Which area is best to stay in Boston? Decent hotels? They all seem to be extremely expensive compared to Toronto's downtown core, but maybe we just know the hidden gems already.

I meant day trips from Cape Cod, yes. Sorry about that. Hyannis seems to be the area people suggest staying in and doing day trips from there? Does this make sense? Sounds like MV is a better trip than Nantucket - thanks. What about provincetown?

After talking to a few people we are now thinking, Boston for 2-3 days, Providence for 102 days, and Cape Cod for 3 days or so with some day trips from there.

We would probably come before Labor day weekend, and stay during, or avoid it all together and come a week or two later in September. Just wasn't sure what the weather would be like later in Sept...

Dallas, Texas...
Destination Expert
for New York City
Level Contributor
25,337 posts
25 reviews
3. Re: Boston, Martha's Vineyard, Cape Cod - Road trip

Before and during Labor Day weekend will be very expensive and crowded on the Cape.

For areas to stay in Boston, check the FAQ to the right of the page. Prices fluctuate a lot (prices can more than double from one day to the next), so you'll need to start looking at options for different dates. If you give us an approximate Boston budget, we can start making suggestions and give you some feedback, but you'll eventually have to do some leg work to determine which dates would be affordable.

I think you meant Provincetown, not Providence. Provincetown is quite a distance but is a lot of fun. There are some reasonably priced B&B's with shared baths. You'll need to do some research to see whether they relax their minimum stay rules after labor day. They may for weekday stays but not weekends.

Giving us some idea of your budget will help us make appropriate recommendations. I don't want to tell you that $150/night is a great deal if that's way over your budget.

Remember that weather could make camping problematic. Rain is always a possibility. You'll want a plan B. Would you consider hostels? There are good ones in Boston, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket and Truro (toward the end of the Cape). Most (maybe all) are dorm-style.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
5 posts
33 reviews
4. Re: Boston, Martha's Vineyard, Cape Cod - Road trip

Yes the camping idea is out. Never thought of hostels really, may look into that idea further (thanks). We were thinking about $100-120 a night or so, but its looking like that may be an issue for all areas so we may have to go a bit higher. I meant Providence, RI, we've had a couple friends visit and said it's worth the road trip. Now that you mention Provincetown, maybe that's a better option. We were looking at Boston -- Providence -- Cape Cod (with some day trips) and then back up and home because it seemed like a good loop. Thanks for all the help.

Chicago, IL
Destination Expert
for Cape Cod
Level Contributor
15,882 posts
34 reviews
5. Re: Boston, Martha's Vineyard, Cape Cod - Road trip

A few ideas: arrive the Tuesday or Wed following Labor Day. Find inexpensive motel rooms all along Rt 28 in West Yarmouth (next town over from Hyannis). Visit the beautiful, wide beaches of South Yarmouth since those in Hyannis are not as nice. In Hyannis there are 40+ restaurants just on Main St. If you are there on a Tuesday night then do go to Embargo Restaurant on Main St. where many menu items are 1/2 price all night. Tapas but not really. Big bowl of PEI mussels for just $4. Check out the harbor front restaurants too (Hyannis) like Baxter's Boat House. One side is super casual with picnic tables for indoor and outdoor dining. Do day trips from Hyannis/Yarmouth. And, with such little time, I suggest that you spend all your time on the Cape unless it has always been a dream of yours to visit MV.

Chicago, IL
Destination Expert
for Cape Cod
Level Contributor
15,882 posts
34 reviews
6. Re: Boston, Martha's Vineyard, Cape Cod - Road trip

seacoastcapecod.com/cape-cod-inns-rooms-and-…

Here's a budget motel in Hyannis that regularly gets good reviews. If you can call them instead of using email then you will be able to ask them what other property they can suggest in their same price range and type.

Chicago, IL
Destination Expert
for Cape Cod
Level Contributor
15,882 posts
34 reviews
7. Re: Boston, Martha's Vineyard, Cape Cod - Road trip

www.hotels.com/search/search.html…

The Ocean Club on Smuggler's Beach (West or South Yarmouth) is right ON the beach and is just $130/night is you arrive the Monday following Labor Day. The rates really seem to drop that week yet the weather typically is still great then. We have heard several poor remarks lately about the Howard Johnsons, just in case you are tempted by that rate.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
5 posts
33 reviews
8. Re: Boston, Martha's Vineyard, Cape Cod - Road trip

Those are some great options, thank you so much. Strangely, it has been a dream of mine to visit MV (and we've heard such great things), but a day trip from those areas seems doable so it may work!

Edited: 10 July 2012, 18:22
9. Re: Boston, Martha's Vineyard, Cape Cod - Road trip

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