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Plymouth as a base: is it a good idea?

Monza, Italy
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Plymouth as a base: is it a good idea?

Hello everyone. I’m at a very early stage of planning a holiday at the end of july.

The idea is to fly to NY, spend few days there, rent a car, then moving north and stopping in Plymouth for at least 5 days.

It seems to me that Plymouth is a good base, but any advice is welcome; we were thinking about visiting the following places:

- Boston (by train)

- Provincetown (by ferry)

- Salem (by car)

- Fall river (by car) – I read that there’s a park with ships and a submarine but can’t find anything about it.

- Whale watching (obviously by boat…)

Are they all ok as day trip? Any other place you suggest to visit ? checked if there’re theme parks around; found only Six Flags, but it seems to me that there’re mainly roller coasters, we’re not fond of them.

Forgot to mention that we’re two adults and a 11yo boy.

Any input would be highly appreciated; thanks

Boston, MA
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1. Re: Plymouth as a base: is it a good idea?

Battleship Cove is the park with Navy Ship and Submarine in Fall River

http://www.battleshipcove.org/

Canobie Lake Park located in Salem, NH  (not to be confused with your destination in Salem, MA)  as an alternative to Six Flags

http://www.canobie.com/ about a 90 minute drive from Plymouth 

From Plymouth, you can drive to Provincetown no need for a ferry.. You can also drive to Woods Hole, park your car and take a ferry to Martha's Vineyard

http://steamshipauthority.com/ssa/index.cfm

Enjoy! 

Kent, Connecticut
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2. Re: Plymouth as a base: is it a good idea?

Plymouth would be a fine base I think. Plimouth Plantation, the Mayflower II and museums in the town are all well worth visiting. Salem by car is fine as long as you are okay with driving around Boston.

The Fall River ship thing is Battleship Cove home of the USS Massachusetts and other ships.

http://www.battleshipcove.com/

You could also go a bit west to Sturbridge to visit Old Sturbridge Village.

http://www.osv.org/

Provincetown is wonderful, but you could also drive a bit south to explore some of that portion of Cape Cod.

Six Flags is the only theme park that I know of, but that isn't really my thing.

Winchester...
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3. Re: Plymouth as a base: is it a good idea?

There really aren't theme parks in New England like there are in Florida and Southern California - if you've been to either Florida or California before you might have gotten the impression that it's typical of the United States, but it's not. I think you would be extremely disappointed by Canobie Lake Park, for example.

Edited: 16 May 2013, 14:00
Boston, MA
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4. Re: Plymouth as a base: is it a good idea?

Thomas, just curious, when was the last time you visited Canobie Lake Park?

And did you have an eleven year old with you?

I agree that it is not a Six Flags, Disney, Universal etc. but it is a very nice family owned amusement park with a Boston theme.  - Boston Tea party , Yankee Cannonball,  Boston Harbor Patrol....

Boston, MA
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5. Re: Plymouth as a base: is it a good idea?

My kids love Canobie Lake. They are 14 and 16 but have been there a good 6-8 times in their lives, starting at at age 5 with the Parks program. It is very different than Disney but enjoyable nonetheless.

I too recommend driving to Provincetown because there are worthwhile stops along the way such as the National Seashore Bisitors' Center in Eastham The Salt Pond walk there is quite pretty

So, bottom line, Plymouth works for what you plan to do.

Happy Planning!

Monza, Italy
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6. Re: Plymouth as a base: is it a good idea?

Wow! Thank you all for your prompt and useful replies :-)

I’ve been twice to Orlando, but I’m not looking for anything similar; was enquiring for a theme park just because it might be ‘useful’ as a compromise for my son. Canobie looks perfect.

There’re so many things to do and places to see that I’m really afraid that 5 days won’t be enough.

Just one final question: if I’m not wrong, it should take 4 hours to reach Plymouth from NY by car. Any place you suggest to stop at en route?

Once again, thank you all very much; I appreciated your help.

Boston...
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7. Re: Plymouth as a base: is it a good idea?

You are right, NY to Plymouth is about 4 hours, maybe a little more. A nice place to stop is Mystic, Connecticut. Very nice downtown area on the waterfront with some good restaurants, whaling museum, aquarium, etc. It is pretty much the halfway point.

A few notes about taking the train into Boston from Plymouth. The train does NOT run on the weekends, only Monday through Friday. If you plan on going into Boston on the weekend, it is actually not a bad idea to just drive into Boston. Parking is cheaper and there is little to no traffic.

If you're taking the train to Boston on a weekday, you are much better off driving to Kingston (the town next to Plymouth) and getting the train there. Not every train on that line goes to Plymouth, but most of them terminate in Kingston. There is ample parking and it is very easy to get to and you'll have many more options for the train.

North Shore, MA
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8. Re: Plymouth as a base: is it a good idea?

forgotmypword, would Salem Willows hold any interest for an 11 year old boy? He'd be too old for the rides, I think, but what about the arcade?

Londrina92, Salem Willows is a small city park in Salem, MA with a few little kid amusement rides. Since you plan to visit Salem, you may want to keep the Willows in your back pocket as another "compromise" for your son. It is accessible by car and wouldn't take much time to visit (less than an hour?). Forgotmypword knows everything about the Willows and is one of its biggest fans. I'm sure she will offer an opinion and more information.

Boston...
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9. Re: Plymouth as a base: is it a good idea?

Personally I'd stay in Boston rather than Plymouth and do the day trips from there. But, Plymouth works as well. Salem will just be a hike. I'm not sure what time of year you plan on visiting, but if it's during the summer there are different fairs in the area that have rides/crafts/food/animals etc. On the cape in July is the Barnstable County Fair and at some other point (I can't remember) there's the Marshfield Fair.

Haverhill...
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10. Re: Plymouth as a base: is it a good idea?

Regarding Canobie Lake....we go there prety much every year. It doesn't have the extreem rides like Six Flags, but plenty of enjoyment for a kid. It has a few coasters, a small water park, and fireworks on the weekend.

Myself, if I was using Plymouth as a base, I would keep my itinerary from Boston and points south.

Edited: 17 May 2013, 16:38