We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Fun Excursions on the Purple Line?

Which Boston hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Arizona
Level Contributor
186 posts
11 reviews
Save Topic
Fun Excursions on the Purple Line?

Family will be in Boston this summer. We like riding trains. Is there any fun and not too far day or half-day excursion we could take on the purple line? Would like to check out some place interesting -- main requirement is that it needs to be fun, family oriented, and not require a car from the station. Doesn't need to be big -- just a couple of hours -- the trip is as much about the train ride as anything. Thanks in advance.

Boston
Destination Expert
for Boston
Level Contributor
16,523 posts
1 review
Save Reply
1. Re: Fun Excursions on the Purple Line?

Rockport and Salem (or both) fit the bill. Also Newburyport and Gloucester, but i would first with the others.

Boston
Level Contributor
2,701 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: Fun Excursions on the Purple Line?

I agree with Alan.

Just an fyi: you should probably use the terms "commuter rail" when you are here. People might not know what you mean immediately if you say "purple line".

Arizona
Level Contributor
186 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Fun Excursions on the Purple Line?

Thanks. Rockport looks nice. Any idea where I might find a map that shows the area with reference to the train station? Rockport web site wasn't much help other than to say it was walkable to major attractions.

Boston
Destination Expert
for Boston
Level Contributor
16,523 posts
1 review
Save Reply
4. Re: Fun Excursions on the Purple Line?

It is walkable to Bearskin Neck, which is the artist colony most folk head to. As I remember it, I think it was pretty straight-forward.

Arizona
Level Contributor
186 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Fun Excursions on the Purple Line?

Ok. Thanks again. It looks pretty compact on a map. We'll probably just look for a place to walk that takes us to the water and gives a chance for a nice luch (with no beer, as I understand it!). Thanks for the help.

Boston
Level Contributor
6,434 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Fun Excursions on the Purple Line?

I think Rockport legalized the sale of beer in restaurants last year. Don't know how many places have licenses yet though.

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
1,227 posts
64 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Fun Excursions on the Purple Line?

You could also take the Fitchburg line out to Wachussett Mtn. I don't know if they run the shuttle service in summer, but in winter they have transport to and from the rail station. And they should have some fun summer activities and nice views.

Also, the CR runs to Providence, RI, which is a charming little city.

Brooklyn, NY
Level Contributor
199 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Fun Excursions on the Purple Line?

More suggestions: the Fitchburg line stops in Lincoln and Concord; Lincoln has Drumlin Farm, great place for kids; Codman House, an elaborate 18th century house with gardens; and DeCordova Museum, a beautiful spot with sculpture garden overlooking a lake. Lincoln has a nice network of walking paths through woods and fields that connect all these attractions. Next stop, Concord, has all the sights associated with the skirmishes with the Redcoats in 1775, also Thoreau, Emerson, and Alcott, and a big freshwater wildlife refuge. From South or Back Bay station, the Framingham-Worcester line stops at Wellesley, where you can visit the beautiful Wellesley College campus with a great art museum, greenhouses, walk around Lake Waban, and shop/eat in the village. The new Greenbush line stops in Hingham, from which a taxi could get you to the very beautiful Worlds End reservation on Martin's Lane. Hingham itself is a lovely town to walk around in. You can also reach Plymouth on the Old Colony route. In case no one else mentioned it, you can visit the beautiful Singing Beach in Manchester from the Rockport line which is a popular outing for carless city residents.

Boston...
Level Contributor
1,001 posts
165 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Fun Excursions on the Purple Line?

Lots of good ideas in this post. One I don't think has been mentioned is visiting Lowell Mass on the Lowell line out of North Station. Once in Lowell this is shuttle bus that takes you from the train station a short distance to the Lowell National Historic Park. The park is really a 'hidden jewel' not visited as much as it should be. From the website:

http://www.nps.gov/lowe

"The early story of America's Industrial Revolution is commemorated at Lowell National Historical Park in the midst of this lively city. The Park offers visitors an in-depth look into the past that brought the 19th century textile industry to tap the waterpower of the Merrimack River while also revealing cultural connections to the present and visions for the future."

One neat tour they offer is a canal boat ride where you can travel down to working lock on the canal and see how it operates. Most of the park is free too.

Also if you go to the MBTA web site (www.mbta.com) you can see the addresses of the various train stations. Click on the train line, then click the "Interactive Map" tab. Then click on a station on the line. You will see details about the station such as its address, nearby streets etc. Then you can use the interactive map or Mapquest to find walking directions from the train. I know this requires a little work!

Boston...
Level Contributor
1,001 posts
165 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Fun Excursions on the Purple Line?

FYI: The Rockport station is at 17 Railroad Ave. It is a short walk to Upper Main St. where many art galleries and shops are located.

Rockport would be a fun adventure for a nice summer day!