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Planning a trip around Mass.

South London
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Planning a trip around Mass.

Looking to take my dad away as he recently got the 'all clear' . Am looking to spend up to 6 days in Massachusetts alone, taking in Boston- our starting point, Salem- a day trip, Martha's vineyard & Cape cod - (I've heard are great places to go, but am not sure what they've got to offer- forum research will be the place to start here!)

Truth be told I'm not sure where to start!

One of us can drive, I'm not sure if these are the best places to see, or if we're really missing out.

Dad loves Springsteen and all things live music , as do I. We both like 'pretty looking' places and old towns.

No budget restraints, although not going 5* all the way. We are looking at May of next year. Can anyone help get me started?

Boston...
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1. Re: Planning a trip around Mass.

We could start with you possibly reconsidering which month to visit. May is super expensive for Boston hotels because of all the college graduations taking place. And May is slightly early for getting the most out of your Cape Cod experience.

Could you come in June instead? It'll be a little warmer and very comfortable, the graduations will be over, all the shops and seasonal restaurants on Cape Cod will be open, but the full brunt of the summer crowds and traffic won't occur until July.

It's a really good month in my eyes for doing a trip here. May can be a question mark. We've experienced some pretty chilly and rainy Mays in recent years, and I just feel June is a much safer bet overall.

With 6 days, I would split your vacation in half, starting with 3 days in Boston (with your daytrip to Salem thrown in) and ending with 3 days on Cape Cod. Everything will be in play except for swimming at the beach.

You will need a car for Cape Cod if you plan to do some exploring. You won't need one for the daytrip to Martha's Vineyard, but it's definitely best to have one for mainland Cape Cod. Enjoy Boston without one, and then go ahead and rent (hire) one when it's time to go to the Cape.

Where to stay on Cape Cod doesn't matter that much to me. Just because you're staying in THIS town doesn't mean you can't go checking out OTHER towns. Seeing that you want to take the ferry over to the Vineyard, it might be wise to stay within easy driving distance of the ferry docks, which are located in Hyannis, Falmouth and Woods Hole (village of Falmouth). For instance, staying in Provincetown, way up on the very tip of Cape Cod would make for a pretty long drive just to reach the closest ferry town of Hyannis. Orleans wouldn't be too bad. Neither would Chatham, Harwich or Dennis.

So, what do you think about sometime in June versus sometime in May? Regardless of when you decide to come, I'll be glad to help you find some places to stay. But I can't do that until you and dad settle on the exact dates you'll be coming and how much time you'll be spending in Boston and Cape Cod.

South London
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2. Re: Planning a trip around Mass.

Thanks for a very detailed and honest response. This trip is part of a much larger one, also taking in Tennessee, New Orleans, Chicago and New York. We were hoping to catch the 'Memphis in May' festival and so were planning to depart late april/very early May. We won't be spending more than 1 day In Boston as Dad has been through there previously as have I.

I'm afriad it will have to be May, but being seasoned brits we're used to 'New England' weather and the joys of the rain :)

I'll have a look at the towns you suggested, and definately like the idea of picking up the car to go to Cape cod only. This is a fantastic start to what I hope will be a memorable trip!

Baltimore, Maryland
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3. Re: Planning a trip around Mass.

Believe it or not, 6 days is not enough time to "see Massachusetts".

So, I would suggest that you pick a couple of places. For live music, if you can come later in the summer, the Berkshires are chock full of live concerts at Tanglewood both classical and Pop.

There are music venues in Boston, South Shore and Cape Cod for some rock (not sure of Springsteen's schedule). There are cute towns from Williamstown in the NW corner to Provincetown at the tip of CC and Rockport to Great Barrington. So, get some books, ignore all of us who have our own prejudices for why we suggest places and after you have a tentative route, we can help tweak or advise as to lodging/restaurants.

Baltimore, Maryland
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4. Re: Planning a trip around Mass.

OK, you responded while I was typing. Given that May is the only time, would suggest you center on Eastern Ma. Does dad like boats, then there is Fall River and USS Massachusetts and other boats at Battleship Cove, also, Nautilus in Groton, Ct and maybe Newport all of which would be near Cape Cod and Islands. You could spend 6 days just in this area.

Boston
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5. Re: Planning a trip around Mass.

Nothing wrong with May, but I agree with the others -- be sure to get a hotel reservation for Boston, especially towards late May.

I know there is a big temptation when planning a trip to do a good sampling of the "day trips" that others rave about. But I am not sure it's worth your time to do all three of these: Salem, Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard. Unless you have a really specific interest in one of these, I might skip one of them, either Salem or Martha's Vineyard.

I think you should skip Martha's Vineyard. It is really not worth doing the island just for a day trip on such a short trip as yours. You could devote some of that time to Cape Cod (which is very old and full of pretty towns). To really see Cape Cod, you will probably want at least two nights there, or three. Otherwise, I think you might use up a lot of energy with all the transportation, but not enjoy yourselves. If you do spend more time on Cape Cod, just keep in mind that as we get towards the weekend we call Memorial Day (this coming year it will fall on Monday May 30, I think) things get more and more crowded. This affects both hotels and the traffic on the roads. But perhaps you will be there earlier than the very end of May.

Are you planning to drive between Boston and New York? If you were, there are some wonderful places along the route or close to the route, for those who like old and pretty towns. And you would not need to return to Boston, if you do Cape Cod at the end of your stay in Massachusetts. You could simply head southwest, once you return to the mainland from Cape Cod. I hope I'm not confusing you, but a map will make this clear.

6. Re: Planning a trip around Mass.

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