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Boston without a car

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Manchester, United...
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Boston without a car

Is it possible to explore Boston without a car? We are from the UK and have been to California and Orlando, but have never driven in the US, I think we would find it too stressful.

A friend who went to Boston said you can take a train to Salem, and wondered if this train service could be used to explore other areas, ie the coastline, as we would like to stay a few nights at the coast as well, no sure where as yet, I haven't got that far, lol!

I've only just started researching this trip, so would appreciate any advice. We are a party of four, Dad 57, Mum 47, Daughter 20 and son of 16. We would be visiting at the end of June/beginning of July, so also wondering what the weather would be like, not too hot hopefully.

Thanks for any help you can give. This will probably be our last family trip, as our daughter will be entering the world of work after Uni the following year, so we would like to make some good memories. :D

Boston
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1. Re: Boston without a car

I live here without a car, so obviously I think it's fairly managable to get around. In the city itself there's absolutely no problem, as long as you are accustomed to (or at least okay with) walking and taking public transportation.

The commuter rail does go to Salem and other seaside towns on the North Shore, but others would have to chime in how much you could see once you actually get there without a car.

Winchester...
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2. Re: Boston without a car

without a car is certainly preferable within Boston itself.

to explore the coast without a car would be difficult, but not impossible.

you could take a ferry from Boston to Provincetown on the Cape and I believe take shuttles to the beaches near there.

You could probably take a bus up to Bar Harbor, Maine, for example, Problem is once you are there, at a coastal destination, how do you actually get around.

I'm sure you will get many more elaborate and exhaustive responses. this forum is pretty good for getting answers to questions such as yours. :-)

Baltimore, Maryland
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3. Re: Boston without a car

Check out the Amtrak train called the downeaster. It travels between Boston and Portland, ME with stops in between at various seaside places.

Winchester...
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4. Re: Boston without a car

You could, for example, stay on Plum Island at this place:

http://www.blueinn.com/

which is right on the beach. you could easily take the train from Boston to Newburyport and then from the train station arrange to have a cab pick you up.

I'm sure there are other places like that on the North Shore (to the north of Boston) in for example Gloucester.

Winchester...
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5. Re: Boston without a car

weather-wise, end of June is usually gorgeous here. great time to visit.

Boston
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6. Re: Boston without a car

You don't want a car in Boston.

As others said, some coastal areas are accessible without a car, but it can be inconvenient without one in those areas. In the summer, the Amtrak to Portland stops right at Wells Beach in Maine. This is a beautiful beach, but the atmosphere is somewhat honky tonk.

One possibility would be to take the Amtrak to Wells, Maine and call a cab to bring you to Ogunquit which is a beautiful coastal town with a beautiful beach, cliff walk, great restaraunts and more. You could easily stay there without a car. It is easily walkable and there are trolley-like buses that run constantly. In fact, when we vacation there, we have a car, but never use it.

If you did California and Orlando without a car, Boston should be a breeze.

It is usually not very hot and humid at the end of June, but you never know.

Winchester...
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7. Re: Boston without a car

Ogunquit (Maine) would be perfect, if you can get there without a car. A car is not very useful in Ogunquit itself - there is a nice large beach, lots of hotel choices, and plenty of places to eat.

Boston
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8. Re: Boston without a car

It looks like the trolleys serve Wells Station is season, too. Wells borders Ogunguit, it's right up the road.

http://wellschamber.org/transportation.cfm

Boston
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9. Re: Boston without a car

Locally, the Commuter Rail serves Rockport, Newburyport and Gloucester, in addition to Salem. You can check that out in mbta.com under commuter rail.

Lincoln, NH
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10. Re: Boston without a car

Concur with all that you can do this -- and will likely prefer to do it without a car. My question is -- how much time do you have? You'll have nice weather... good for trips from Cape Cod to Coastal Maine and points in between.