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college trip....help with location for hotel!!!

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dallas
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college trip....help with location for hotel!!!

Hi All,

I'm bringing my daughter to look at schools (currently tufts, boston university, boston college, northeastern, brandeis). We'll be traveling in March. I'll get a car for our drive to NY when we leave, but would rather not get one until we leave. I don't want to spend any more than we have to, for a clean, decent place that's in a safe area for two women. Here's the question....should we stay somewhere near the red and green line crossing (old posts suggested omni parker house, downtown hyatt & john jeffries' house), or would it be less expensive to stay out of town (maybe in cambridge, newton, lexington, or thereabouts). If the out of city idea makes getting around difficult, is there enough price difference to be worth it? thanks,

jenmol

Boston
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1. Re: college trip....help with location for hotel!!!

All of the schools you mention except Brandeis are easily doable by subway, so you are better off basing yourself downtown. Exactly where doesn't make much difference because it is easy to get around. Any of the choices you mentioned would be OK. Omni Parker House is especially well-situated because it is close to Park St. subway where Red and Green line intersects. But, as I said, I wouldn't worry to much about exactly where. Start shopping around by price and see what you come up with. The Charlesmark is a newer, small hotel that is in an excellent location. Their rates are reasonable, but their rooms are small. I think you have to email them to get the rates. Give them a ping and see what they say.

As far as getting to Brandeis without a car, I think you can get pretty close by commuter rail.

Hollis, New...
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2. Re: college trip....help with location for hotel!!!

You don't say why you're driving to New York, but apparently you are doing so. In that case, you might consider visiting Brandeis on your way out of Boston.

Boston
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3. Re: college trip....help with location for hotel!!!

Another idea about Brandeis is to contact their admissions office (and/or look at this part of their website) to see if they give directions that include public transportation. I think of it as a place where you need a car to get there, but I could be wrong. However, it is NOT on the subway lines.

Boston
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4. Re: college trip....help with location for hotel!!!

The Commuter Rail does indeed go to Brandeis. The campus is only a short walk from the station. You can also take a bus (or a train) to NYC from Boston. You wouldn't want or need a car there, either. Is there a reason you were thinking about driving there?

dallas
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5. Re: college trip....help with location for hotel!!!

Great ideas! I appreciate the help. I'm from LA... so a car is always my first inclination, but I'd really rather not drive there at that time of year. I'll definitely look into alternate transportation. We're going to New York because my daughter's band is playing at Carnegie Hall. :) I'll try the Charlesmark; when I priced the Omni it was about $350 a night...too steep for this trip!

- jenmol

ps- AlanM, I can't wait to pick your brains about restaurants...you gave me great recommendations a couple of years ago!

Boston, MA
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6. Re: college trip....help with location for hotel!!!

You really don't want to rent a car to drive to NY City!! You can get Bolt or MegaBus at South Station for less than $20 per person, one way. Keep in mind, the buses, like a rental car are subject to traffic so while the trip is listed as 4 hours, it may be a bit longer at certain times of the day.

Call the Brandeis admissions office and let them tell you how to best get there without a car. There's buses that go to Waltham from various locations .... I went to school in Waltham (not Brandies) and could make my way to Boston by taking a bus to Harvard Square and getting on the subway's red line.

Boston, MA
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7. Re: college trip....help with location for hotel!!!

You can easily get to Brandeis using the commuter rail from North Station that stops just a few minutes walk from the campus. I completely agree with the previous posters - call the campus, they used to offer shuttle services from Boston and Cambridge in the past ( which is the best option, IMO).

I would seriously consider using bus to get to NYC. In addition to those already mentioned, I would also check Peter Pan bus company and Limoliner.

Baltimore, Maryland
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8. Re: college trip....help with location for hotel!!!

Ambitious trip, just leave enough time to actually visit the schools instead of having to run from one tour to next. I had trouble seeing NE and BU in one day with a car and they are about a mile apart. BC is a large campus, Brandeis is not in town so public transport will add some time to the visit as is Tufts.

Boston
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9. Re: college trip....help with location for hotel!!!

You wouldn't want to schedule more than two schools, even if the logistics were to allow it. Then the school attributes and experiences of the schools kind of munge together and it's difficult to remember one from another. Ideally, one school a day works the best for that clarity.

dallas
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10. Re: college trip....help with location for hotel!!!

Not to worry...we have 5 days [hence not wanting to spend $300/day on a hotel :) ]. We'll arrive on a Sunday, and plan to leave for NYC the following Saturday. I think that should give us enough time, especially if we can get BC &BU in one day! A friend suggested staying in Lexington...I'm assuming that's no where near the subway, am I right?

thanks again!

jenmol