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Is driving really that scary in Boston?

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Milton, Canada
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Is driving really that scary in Boston?

Our family is heading to nova scotia from Ontario. Boston area seemed like a doable drive our first day. Our daughters want to visit the outlet mall in Wrentham (ugg outlet, is it worth going out of my way for?).

I was thinking of staying in Sharon that night and then planning to drive to Boston for the 10am tour of Fenway. Having lunch near Harvard and possibly walk around Harvard. Thought we would finish the afternoon in North Boston around the North Church area and then head out of town to stay in Portsmouth that evening.

Are we crazy to drive? Where would we park outside the city and take transit? We are starting south and finishing north. We will also have a car full of "going to University stuff" so we would need a secure place to park.

From Sharon it looks like I can take the 95 to the 90 or the 95 to the 93. Which is better to get to fen way for 10am? Would we be better to stay north of Sharon? Where would that be?

Any help or suggestions would be great. I've already spent hours wasted on the Internet.

nys
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1. Re: Is driving really that scary in Boston?

No it is really not that scary at all. I have driven into downtown Boston on several occasions. The first time I arrived with no map and had no problems, whatsoever. It is nothing like driving on the 401, or Toronto traffic, so it you can do that, Boston is a breeze.

Boston, MA
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2. Re: Is driving really that scary in Boston?

Since you are not staying in the city then driving to Boston is fine. It just that we advice visitors who are staying in Downtown Boston that a car is not recommended because parking rates are high and Downtown Boston is walkable and offers inexpensive public transportation.

Hollis, New...
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3. Re: Is driving really that scary in Boston?

It's not scary in the sense of danger, but it can be very easy to get lost. Try to familiarize yourself with the map and directions as much as you can before you start out.

Although I would stop short of calling the reputed discourtesy, recklessness, aggressiveness, and overall bad behavior of Boston drivers (and Massachusetts drivers in general) a myth, I think it's exaggerated, and things have probably improved over the last few decades with somewhat better enforcement/education/signage. Or maybe I've just adapted. But you don't need to worry about it if you're an alert, cautious driver yourself.

Boston
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4. Re: Is driving really that scary in Boston?

It's not really physically dangerous. Accidents tend to be slow-speed fender benders. In fact there is some statistic that says we have extremely low injury/fatality rates. It's just that except for the Back Bay streets have no logical grid pattern and often signs are missing, so you can get lost. Also parking is expensive, except on weekends.

If you do drive into Boston, don't expect to drive from place to place downtown. It makes no sense due to congestion and cost of parking. It is better to just leave your car in one place and take the subway or walk around town.

If you have valuables visible from outside the car, no garage is really going to be secure.

Also, we don't have "North Boston" it is the "North End" (Italian neighborhood).

Hollis, New...
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5. Re: Is driving really that scary in Boston?

And I would say that the North End is one of the last places you want to be driving. If that's where you're headed, park at Government Center or somewhere else in the area.

Foxboro...
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6. Re: Is driving really that scary in Boston?

You will be fine and driving around Boston near fenway is not difficult.

Driving in I would take 93/ the expressway and then you can take advantage of the hov lane. Driving back from Harvard I would get on the Mass pike west at Allston. Take this to 128/95 south(stay right at the weston tolls) and then once on 95s stay right once you get to University Avenue.

Boston...
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7. Re: Is driving really that scary in Boston?

What dates will you be coming through the Boston area? Our annual influx of college students has begun, so many hotels are booked. Your trip dates may influence hotel location recommendations.

We each have our own tolerance for long-distance travel. Mine is about six hours/day with stops. I looked at Google Maps and your first day from Milton Ont. to the Boston area clocks in at 9-10 hours without stops. Is that realistic for you and your family? If so, I'm impressed with your stamina!

As for the outlet stop - only you can decide if it's worth going out of your way. I recall feedback from a traveler from Ireland who made a special trip to the Ugg outlet store in Wrentham only to find that they didn't have the style/size/color boot that her daughter wanted. If there are other stores there where you can pick up items needed maybe it is worth your stop, but you may be disappointed if only looking for Uggs. There are outlet stores (no Uggs though) in Kittery Maine alongside Route 1. If you are heading through Maine to Nova Scotia, you could skip Wrentham and stop in Kittery for outlet shopping. Will leave a link so that you can look at the stores there.

Agree with Cabinet - I'm not aware of any parking in the Boston area that I would consider secure. Best to have as much as you can packed in the trunk and cover what is left inside the car.

http://www.thekitteryoutlets.com/

www.premiumoutlets.com/outlets/outlet.asp…

Milton, Canada
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8. Re: Is driving really that scary in Boston?

Yes,be impressed. We are leaving our house at 8am. Wednesday August 31. Driving to Syracuse university. Spending an hour or so there so my daugters can visit friends. Continuing on five more hours to wrentham so they can shop for an hour and then finding a hotel nearby where we can drop exhausted into bed. That's why I was thinking of Sharon. Would that be a good place?

Since we are comfortable driving around Toronto, I think we will take our chances and drive to Fenway Thursday morning. Which way would have less congestion 95 to 90 or 95 to 93. Where would be the best place to park around Fenway while we do the tour at 10am.?

Can we walk to Harvard Square from Fenway area? What is a good place to eat? I like seafood but the rest of the family will be happy with pizza. Good value is important as well. Can you see much of Harvard from Harvard Square?

The "North End" (I apologize if I insulted anyone by calling it north Boston) was just a little side area for me. Thought if I bribed my family with something from Mike's Bakery then I might be able to walk by the reviere house and North church. I thought the history of the church was interesting. Maybe we'll pass on that and head out of the city after lunch.

We are driving to Portsmouth and the girls are shopping in Kiitery.

Thank you for your help and Have a Great day !

Milton, Canada
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9. Re: Is driving really that scary in Boston?

Thank you for your reply. I will get out my maps and start doing more homework.

We are normally a pretty good driver/navigator team although we have had a few "Griswald" type vacations. Just have to laugh about it after.

Boston
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10. Re: Is driving really that scary in Boston?

Sharon is okay, but not exactly where the Outlet Mall is located. Each to his own, I guess. To drive to Fenway Park, I-95 to I-90 is easier. Take the Cambridge Exit (18) and take a right at the lights onto Storrow Drive East. Then follow the signs to Kenmore. There's no "best place" to park there - everything will be exceedingly expensive for you and you'll reach the $30ish total within a couple of hours. You cannot walk to Harvard Square from there. I wouldn't recommend driving there, as you'll have to pay your $30ish again and it's a litte complicated driving there as well. You can take the subway instead. In Harvard Square, you might like Mr. Bartley's Burger Village or John Harvard's Brew House, although there are lots of other places to eat too. You really can't see much of Harvard from the Square, but Harvard Yard is just across the street, so why not go inside and actually see Harvard?