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visit to Boston from UK

warrington
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visit to Boston from UK

Hi, my husband and I are planning to visit Boston in 2013 and want to also have a 4 day break at another town where we could easily travel to from Boston. We wont have a car and will have to use public transportation - has anyone any suggestions of which towns to look at?

Also we have been recommended to stay in the Boston Common area - is this the most central for bars, restaurants etc

thanks

Hollis, New...
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1. Re: visit to Boston from UK

What are your interests, and what time of year will you be traveling?

There are excellent hotel options all over the rather small area that "Touristic Boston" occupies. Back Bay/Copley Square, Faneuil Hall Marketplace (about a 7-minute walk from what I think of as the prototypical "Boston Common area hotel," the Parker House), and the Financial District are among them. The area close to the Common is fine, but it's not notably superior to any of these unless you have specific criteria that point you that way. Bars and restaurants abound.

boston, ma
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2. Re: visit to Boston from UK

The Common area is nice, and quite central for transportation (three of the four main T lines cross through the area), but those are also the most expensive hotels in the city, so it will depend on what you're willing to pay. T

As for other towns, Salem might be a good option. There's a lot of history, including maritime history, a nice seaport and quaint bed and breakfasts, and it's on the commuter rail line.

Rockport is further along the same train line, and really nice, but personally I think there's less to do there. You could instead use Salem as a base for the North Shore area. If it's in the summer, there's even access to decent beaches in the area.

More northwest of the city, Lexington and Concord are also very accessible by commuter rail, and offer history (Lexington Green and Minuteman National Historic Park, which are critical places related to Revolutionary history) as well as a lot of literary ties (Thoreau, Emerson...), and great walking around Walden Pond and along the Minuteman Trail.

South of the city, there's Plymouth, which also offers history and oceanfront, and to the south the commuter rail extends to Providence, Rhode Island.

Winnipeg, Canada
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3. Re: visit to Boston from UK

Hi, Boston Common is a great area to stay in, as mentioned by the other posters.

I wanted to address your other question - do you mean that you have 4 additional days to visit another city? If so, why not take the train to New York City? By staying in Boston Common, you are super close to the Back Bay station and you can take a Amtrak train for 3.5 hours and be in Penn Station in the heart of Manhattan and have a great time for a few days! then hop back on the train and return to Boston. Taking the train is very affordable and fun.

Jo

Dallas, Texas...
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4. Re: visit to Boston from UK

That area of Boston is very compact and several neighborhoods are very convenient and have a lot to offer. Don't get hung up on the exact Boston Common location. It wouldn't be my first choice because one side of it is a bit more anonymous "big city" when compared to nearby locations.

For your trip elsewhere, recommendations will vary at different times of year. During summer to early fall, Provincetown -- at the end of Cape Cod -- can be a great option (depending on your interests). You can get there by ferry during this season.

Martha's Vineyard is another option that is a bit trickier via public transportation, but possible.

There are also several good options north of Boston, along the coast. Recommendations will be very dependent on time of year. You can even end up in Maine (via rail) and use good transport to explore multiple coastal areas and Acadia National Park.

It's not just about getting there without a car, it's also about being in a spot that can be enjoyed without a car.

NYC is a great option, but from your use of the term "town", I'm thinking you want something less city.

We're guessing here. Tell us more.

Edited: 06 November 2012, 05:19
warrington
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5. Re: visit to Boston from UK

Hi

thanks so much for all this - we will be travelling at the beginning of September

warrington
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6. Re: visit to Boston from UK

thanks so much for this its a great help. We are looking at Salem and think we will go there for 4 days. Which area in boston would you recommend we look at for hotels?

thanks so much

North Shore, MA
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7. Re: visit to Boston from UK

Will you have a car when you are in Salem for four days? Just so you are aware, Salem is easy to access via public transit (either the commuter or ferry), but as a base for four days, you may find it somewhat limiting--or you may not. ;-) There is one regular Salem visitor and Salem Forum poster who uses Salem as a base for visiting Boston by train!

Most folks see Salem in a day, but some spend two or more. From Salem, you can take the commuter rail north for day trips to Manchester, Gloucester, Rockport, Ipswich, and Newburyport. Once you reach these places, there'll be plenty that you can see on foot, but you will miss a lot of coastal scenery that you can see while driving. There is also some bus service via Cape Ann Transit that will get you to a few more places though service isn't very frequent.

Edited: 06 November 2012, 18:54
8. Re: visit to Boston from UK

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