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Boston Itinerary & Concord and Lexington

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Dallas, TX
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Boston Itinerary & Concord and Lexington

I am coming to Boston for vacation from Sept 19 - 23. I am traveling solo. I work for a hotel chain - so that part is taken care of - Four Seasons. I am really interested in History and literature. My plan is roughly:

9/19 - arrive 10:45am & pickup a rental car. Head to Concord to go to Orchard House, Wayside and Minute Man Park. I want to attend as many of the ranger talks as possible. Drive back to the hotel.

9/20 - The next morning, head to Plymouth - I want to do Plymouth Rock, the Mayflower and Plimoth Plantation. If I have some time I might try to fit Salem in - but its not necessary. I will then drop off the car at the airport and take the Silver line/MBTA to the hotel.

9/21 - Friday is the Harvard Tour, the Cambridge Historical tour and then onto Fenway for the last tour of the day and the Sox/Orioles game that night.

9/22 - Today is the Freedom Trail, Beacon Hill, Louisberg Square, USS Constitution. 9/23 - Sunday is Church and the SoWa Market before going back to the airport to catch a 5:30pm flight.

My questions are: have I given myself enough time to see everything adequately? If not ... what to change/adjust? I'm most concerned over being able to see everything that I want to in Concord/Lexington. As far as food - I have food allegies, (gluten/milk/ soy) - are there some places that you might recommend? I am a bit of a foodie/locavore. Any other suggestions?

Thanks so much!

Boston...
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1. Re: Boston Itinerary & Concord and Lexington

You won't be able to do Salem and Plymouth in the same day. They are in total opposite directions. Well, I guess you could, but it would be a very long day/evening. Please add the tour of the Jenney Grist Mill to your Plymouth itinerary. It is walking distance from the Mayflower II and the Rock (literally just a rock inside a portico) and is very interesting.

Seafood is the thing to have in Plymouth. I like the Cabby Shack and East Bay Grille.

Boston...
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2. Re: Boston Itinerary & Concord and Lexington

Hi - Nice itinerary. Wayside Inn is in Sudbury, a nearby town. I'm not sure of the distance, but allow some time to get there. You might want to group Concord and Lexington together, first or last. But Sudbury is adjacent to Concord. You only mentioned Lexington at the end, but you'd enjoy the town green there. Also Lexington Center will be the most lively commercial area in the three towns-- more choices of places to eat. There is also a great (large) farm and farmstand in Lexington called Wilson Farms.

You would not want to do Plymouth and Plimouth Plantation on a day that you also plan to visit Salem. This would be too much. One is an hour south of Boston, the other an hour (or less) north of Boston. Plimouth Plantation is just amazing, so I hope you stick with that!

Your Freedom Trail day should work, depending on how energetic you are. IMHO most will not want to see EVERY sight on the trail. Don't skip the USS Constitution, however (and the nice small museum right near the ship). I would skip lesser things on the Freedom Trail, but still include Beacon Hill. Given your interest in history, you should wander through there. It's very beautiful, in addition to being historic. Charles Street is the pretty shopping street there, and it has several cafes and restaurants.

Since you are a foodie, perhaps you'd want to check out the farmers' markets in downtown Boston or Back Bay while you are here. Here is a link for more info: mass.gov/agr/massgrown/farmers_markets.htm

Winchester...
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3. Re: Boston Itinerary & Concord and Lexington

The Wayside in Concord is the home of Hawthorne (and Louisa May Alcott), now run by the national park service:

http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/pwwmh/ma47.htm

The Lexington/Concord itinerary sounds doable to me, although you should probably prioritize the stops you want to linger at. I can't guarantee you will see every park ranger's presentation. :-)

Dallas, TX
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4. Re: Boston Itinerary & Concord and Lexington

Thanks so much for the responses! I just wanted to make sure that I was neither giving myself TOO much to do (no relaxation) or too little. I know their are no guarantees on every ranger presentation ... but I can try!

Good to know that Salem and Plymouth together are not really doable. Plymouth it is! And I will check out the Jenney Grist Mill and add it if I can.

Thanks for the help!

Dallas, Texas...
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5. Re: Boston Itinerary & Concord and Lexington

With your foodie/locavore interests plus your dietary restrictions, I'd suggest also posting your restaurant question to the Boston Chowhound forum. It's a very active forum that's all about food. http://chowhound.chow.com/boards/12

Worcester...
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6. Re: Boston Itinerary & Concord and Lexington

When in Plymouth you can see mayflower in 20 minutes, walk to the rock, see the water front, then spend 1/2 day at pilmouth plantation.

I went to jenny grist mill and it was closed. Could see the mill outside but seemed small. Would skip that.

Could also see burial hill ,lots of graves from 1600's.

MA
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7. Re: Boston Itinerary & Concord and Lexington

The Lexington-Concord area is certainly historic and scenic. I like to go there for bike rides. Of course, you'll be able to get around faster by car. The Battle Green near "downtown" Lexington is certainly worth a visit. Sometimes there are volunteers around in tri-corner hats to give some interpretation of the history. There's also a visitors' center on the property just opposite the green, but note that this is not part of Minuteman National Park (MNP).

MNP is a not-quite-continuous linear park that follows Route 2A and has land in the towns of Lexington, Lincoln, and Concord. The main visitors' center is on Rt 2A in Lexington, just next to the Lincoln line. (In fact, the parking lot for the visitors' center is in Lincoln.) The visitors' center is a not-to-be-missed attraction for a history buff. There's an excellent 30 minute multi-media presentation that describes the events of April 19, 1775.

Driving west from the visitors center, you can stop and visit various historic sites like the Paul Revere Capture site, Hartwell Tavern (where there may be more ranger-led events -- check the website), Meriam's Corner, and The Wayside. The privately-owned but open-to-the-public Orchard House is basically next door to the Wayside. (I've never gone into Orchard House, and I've never read "Little Women". Maybe I'll stop there one of these days.) A little further up Rt 2A, you get to Monument Square, where there is a Civil War monument. From there, you can drive up to the North Bridge area (the shot heard 'round the world), which is also part of MNP. There is generally a ranger program right by the bridge. You can also visit the Old Manse, a house/mansion associated with Hawthorne and Emerson, a Trustees of Reservations property within sight of the North Bridge. There's also yet another visitors' center up the hill at the Buttrick mansion. The mansion isn't all that old (built only in 1911), but it has some very interesting artifacts and exhibits.

Concerning food, I don't have any good suggestions. For my bike rides, I just pick up a sandwich or something at the supermarket that's just a few blocks from the Battle Green in Lexington (the Stop 'N Shop at Bedford St and Worthen Rd). Certainly, you should not expect any food options between "downtown" Lexington and "downtown" Concord. Either eat lunch in Lexington or pick up something to bring with you.

Assuming that your flight arrives on time and that you get to your rental car with a minimum of hassle, you should be able to take in much of the history that Lexington and Concord have to offer. One day isn't really enough, though. For next time, you can think about visiting Walden Pond and Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.

I haven't been to Plymouth Plantation, though I've heard that it's very interesting. I'll put that on my to-do list. But if you have any extra time that day, you might want to check out Adams National Historical Park in Quincy. It's also south of Boston and would be on-the-way to/from Plymouth. But maybe that would be too much for one day. Get a little rest and plan another visit in a year or two.

Winchester...
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8. Re: Boston Itinerary & Concord and Lexington

those are excellent suggestions canyonbuff. I'm guessing you ride your bike to Lexington on Sundays because I can't imagine why anyone would get sandwiches at the Stop and Shop when Neillios (closed on Sundays) is right across the street:

neillioscatering.com/deli-kitchen-menu.html

Baltimore, Maryland
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9. Re: Boston Itinerary & Concord and Lexington

You could consider Boston on day one and switch your lex concord day since you are getting a late start. Less travel to first tour site.

Dallas, TX
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10. Re: Boston Itinerary & Concord and Lexington

Thanks for the added suggestions canyonbuff!

And neslaw1 - I don't want to keep the rental car more than I have to and want to see Plymouth (in the opposite direction from Concord) too! The easiest, see-the-most plan is to have the car for the first two days only.

Christnp2 - thanks for the link - I will be looking at it sometime today!

Thanks!