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Day trip by car to the coast near Boston

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uk
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Day trip by car to the coast near Boston

We are going to the States in August and are spending a few days in Boston. We would like to venture outside the city for a day trip to see the coast.

Are we mad going for a daytrip outside the city in August? Will the coast roads be absolutely thronged with visitors/locals getting to beaches?

Friday is the day that would suit us best to sightsee outside the city.

We are travelling with 2 children 4yrs and 9yrs.

I don't know the Boston area at all, maybe there is somewhere else you could advise us to go on a day trip other than the coast?

Many thanks as always!

Boston
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1. Re: Day trip by car to the coast near Boston

There are several possibilities. Rockport is an old fishing village turned artist colony just north of Boston. You could drive there in about an hour or take the commuter rail from Boston without having to get a car. If you do decide to drive, you could include Salem, which is on the way.

Other options include Newburyport to the north or Newport or Plymouth to the south.

If you go early in the day, traffic shouldn't be an issue, which it would later in the day. If you'd like particulars on any of these trips, let us know.

AlanM

Boston, MA
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2. Re: Day trip by car to the coast near Boston

You should be ok on a Friday if you leave before 10am. The question is, what exactly do you mean by 'see the coast'. Do you want ot see the artist colonies (Rockport and Provinceown) a working fish peir (Gloucester and Provincetown and others) or do you want a day at the beach (sitting in sand, playing in the surf, etc, etc,)

If you want just 'beach', drive to Crane's in Ipswich or head up to York Beach Maine. If you wan a little of all three ... take The 'fast ferry' to Provincetown. You'll be dropped on a working fishing pier 'down town'. You can walk to galeries and art museums. You can get a bus, taxi or rent a bike to the Cape Cod National Seashore. You can pick up a 'Art's Dune Tours' to see some unspoiled nature. At the same peir where you get off the shuttle you can pick up Flyer's 'Long Point Shuttle' ... a short boat ride to the very tip of Cape Cod for unspoiled beaches and a lighthouse (and nothing else ... no food, no bathrooms, no shade ...).

You have lots of options, we need ot know what your priorities are for 'seeing the coast'.

Have fun planning!!!

uk
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3. Re: Day trip by car to the coast near Boston

Thanks guys! I'll google those options and get back for more information. Love the idea that we may not even need to hire a car. Thank you both so much. I guess 'see the coast' means 'get out of the city' rather than lying on a beach for a day...which the children would love but I would prefer to make the most of our day!!!

the beach
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4. Re: Day trip by car to the coast near Boston

With two kids of that age, I wouldn't try to do any coastal trip without a car. Just too much walking for little legs, even in Rockport.

Here are a couple of things that haven't been mentioned yet...

If you decide to do a "beach" trip with the kids, I would suggest Ogunquit ( 1 1/2 hrs), a great beach for kids, especially when the tide is going out and you can float on the river and play in the warm puddles. There is a nice coastal walk on the Marginal Way. You could take a boat ride

You can also stop at the classic New England lighthouse at Nubble's on the way there.

There's also Portsmouth, NH, with shops and boat rides to some islands or around the harbor, and a collection of historic houses.

An inland trip suggestion is Sturbridge Village (1 1/2 hrs), a reconstructed 19th century living museum village, with people working and farming.

Happy travels.

Boston...
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5. Re: Day trip by car to the coast near Boston

Another suggestion for a good beach to take the kids to would be Hampton Beach in New Hampshire. It would require a car but it's only a hour north of Boston. It's a great beach for swimming and they have games and rides for the kiddies. It's sort of like going to a carnival that's located on a beach.

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6. Re: Day trip by car to the coast near Boston

Ogunquit has a gorgeous beach, but it also has horrible traffic backups in the summer; might take you 15-30 minutes to get that last mile from downtown to the beach.

So, if you head north of Maine, go to York Beach instead.

Newburyport is much closer and a very hip town.

Boston...
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7. Re: Day trip by car to the coast near Boston

If you do have a car, consider taking a daytrip to Cape Cod. Leave Boston early and make a whole day of it. You could take the kids to a really nice beach, check out the National Seashore, or just go do some town hopping. There's ALOT to do and see on Cape Cod. The ride back to Boston would be traffic free. You'll be leaving as everyone else is coming.

uk
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8. Re: Day trip by car to the coast near Boston

Will007, how early would we have to leave Boston to get to Cape Cod on a Friday in early August?

Thank you all so very much, I'm really going to enjoy googling all those suggestions you have given me for our daytrip out of Boston.

Boston
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9. Re: Day trip by car to the coast near Boston

Ogunquit, ME is beautiful but, as someone pointed out, heavy traffic. Although early on a Friday shouldn't be too bad. early is a definite must in order to find parking close to the beach.

Rockport is nice but I don't think there is any place to sit on the beach there. i may be wrong about that but it seems like mostly walking around to see the galleries and shops. probably not very interesting for young kids.

Plum Island has a beautiful beach and a nature walk. Not a bad drive, especially on a Friday and there is parking but there is a fee to get in. Don't know what it is these days.

If you are looking for a day laying on the beach, one of the local becahes would be easier to do with children and, from Boston, many are accessible by public transportation.

Boston, MA
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10. Re: Day trip by car to the coast near Boston

A few suggestions for an outside the city trip without a car:

-ferry ride or commuter rail to Salem, MA

-a boat ride to one of the Boston Harbor Islands

-ferry to Provincetown

-commuter rail to Rockport, MA

http://www.bostonharborcruises.com/

http://www.baystatecruisecompany.com/

http://www.salem.org/

http://www.rockportusa.com/