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5 Days in Concord, Boston for History Is This Too Long?

Vacaville...
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5 Days in Concord, Boston for History Is This Too Long?

Hi we are visiting Concord and Boston for 1st time after we visit NYC. Please tell me, is 5 days too much? What other areas are good to see in the general area? Is Cape Cod close if so please give suggestions on things to do and see in Cape Cod. How about Salem is this worth adding to our trip for historcial purposes? Thank you for all your replies.

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1. Re: 5 Days in Concord, Boston for History Is This Too Long?

Of course it depends on what sort of things you are interested in. Salem is definitely worth a visit. Besides the witches there is the NPS Salem Maritime exhibit and the Peabody-Essex Museum.

I would definitely include a day trip to Plymouth. Plimouth Plantation is the best living history museum that I know of. The downtown area has the Mayflower II and other Pilgrim related museums.

http://www.plimoth.org/

http://www.seeplymouth.com/

Boston...
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2. Re: 5 Days in Concord, Boston for History Is This Too Long?

Too long? Definitely not. You will have a car, right? Just as a general answer to your main question, 5 days including Concord and Boston and Cape Cod and Salem -- that is not too much time. Your trip to Salem would take more than 1/2 day (perhaps a full day, although it is only about an hour drive from Boston). You would want MORE than 1/2 day in Concord, I think. If you got up early and are very organized, you might do both Salem and Concord/Lexington in one day, but I think that's very ambitious, personally. Cape Cod is 2 hours each way to get to the closest part of the Cape from Boston.

I like Howland Owl's Plimouth recommendation. Are you very interested in history? This is the epicenter, really. Anyway, it's very interesting and well done, and the plantation even has a lovely view of the water. I too like the sights in downtown Plymouth. Let's call Plymouth a full day.

So you would not even be leaving all that much time for Boston. I suggest leaving Cape Cod off the list.

The Freedom Trail in Boston is a flexible line of various sights. You can spend as little or as much time as you like on all those sights. But I think it is reasonable to budget one full day for it since you care about history. You will want to go over to Charlestown, for example, to see the ship the U.S.S. Constitution and that takes a little time.

All of these places are very historic. if you want to get more specific, feel free to tell us what you have in mind. It might be a good idea to read a guidebook to get a feeling for what all these different places have to offer, and which ones you care about most. And we haven't even talked about Cambridge, or about the John F. Kennedy Library.

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3. Re: 5 Days in Concord, Boston for History Is This Too Long?

You gotta give us more. Like who "we" are. kids, interests, are you going to do a lot of walking, hiking, maybe rent bikes for a day, museums, etc, etc. Oh, and when might you be coming because seasons matter. Salem might be perfect but if you hate crowds, October might not be good for you... Here are some places to get you started

http://www.visit-massachusetts.com/

http://www.massvacation.com/

http://bostonusa.com/visit

There are so many great guides out there that asking generic questions only gets generic answers. With no disrespect to my good friends Howland and Maxie, it doesn't take a travel agent to suggest Salem or Plymouth.

It would be like suggesting I visit San Francisco if I asked what to do in CA.

So, to give an idea of what I mean, had you said you love outdoor gardens and sculpture, then I might have suggested that you consider the De Cordova Museum in Lincoln which is less than 10 minutes from Concord.

http://www.decordova.org/

But since I don't know that this might interest you, I won't mention it. :)

Quincy...
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4. Re: 5 Days in Concord, Boston for History Is This Too Long?

Too long? It depends. Are you the type that needs to be out of the hotel at 8am and back at 6pm after seeing EVERYTHING you can? Or, do you like to have a leisurely breakfast, spend a few hours sightseeing, and then back to the hotel to relax by the pool before dinner?

If you are the first type, I'm sure you could fill 5 days with some day trips around the area. If you are the second type, it's a good amount of time to see the major highlights.

If you like history, here are some other options which I highly recommend:

Lowell National Historic Park, especially the Mill and Canal tours

http://www.nps.gov/lowe/index.htm

John Adams National Historic Park

http://www.nps.gov/adam/index.htm

Slater Mill National Historic Site

http://www.slatermill.org/

Canterbury NH Shaker Village

http://www.shakers.org/

Old Sturbridge Village

http://www.osv.org/

Vacaville...
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5. Re: 5 Days in Concord, Boston for History Is This Too Long?

Hi thank you and here are my answers to your great questions. Our stay is in the first week of June. The history we are coming to see is the Pre, During and Post Revolution. For almost a year now we have been reading and watching dvd's on this era so all things related to the Revolution. Plymouth also sounds wonderful n I would LOVE to do that. Thanks for that excellent suggestion. Yes we will have a car and the only thing that is set is that we are staying in Concord and visiting Boston at least once. All other towns are being considered so please keep suggesting. We are a father and adult daughter with dad being very active and in great shape just a few allergy probs and I'm healing from a broken heart but physically am active and physically doing well. I did have 3 major losses last summer and dad thinks my getting out and seeing the victory in our Country's history both then and now will be good for me. OK, I'm going, and as much as possible, I'm gettting excited. Please Note: my heart truly goes out to All in Boston I send you all my love and prayers! We love walking and hiking love living history definately going to the USS Constitution. I want to spend more time in Boston but Dad says he's heard it's very hard to drive in so unless this can be INvalidated it looks like we will not see all in Boston that I would love to see. He wants to take me to Cape Cod as I LOVE the ocean and have only been blessed with seeing the Pacific. Thanks for the great links I'm having fun with them. And how did you know I would love that garden, yes absolutely hope to see De Cordova Museum. Oh, we are ACTIVE - up and at it working hard to see ALL we can see till places close. We have been known to eat very light bcs we are so busy sight seeing. Maybe back pack some food and eat at night, hopefully a good breakfast now and then. Thanks again I hope this answers your questions. I'm looking forward to ALL of your suggestions.

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6. Re: 5 Days in Concord, Boston for History Is This Too Long?

Yes it can be tricky to drive in Boston but the real complications come with parking. The historical sites in the city don't have parking lots. But you don't need to drive into the city if you stay in Concord. You just follow rte 2 to the Alewife T (subway)station, park in the garage there and ride the train to Park Street. That stop us very near the Boston Common visitor's center which many consider the start of the Freedom Trail.

Just out of curiosity, where in Concord are you staying?

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7. Re: 5 Days in Concord, Boston for History Is This Too Long?

Well, nobody intending to tour in Boston should be thinking of doing so in a car. It's not that it's terribly hard to drive, it's the difficulty of navigating and parking. Boston should be walked, and when you're too tired or it's too far to walk, you get on the T. You could take the commuter rail in from West Concord for the day.

Definitely don't miss Salem, and perhaps include a visit to the Rebecca Nurse Homestead in next-door Danvers for a great slice of witchcraft-hysteria history.

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8. Re: 5 Days in Concord, Boston for History Is This Too Long?

I totally love cape cod but for this kind of trip headings to Rockport or Portsmouth and NH coast may be more fun and interesting areas are more compact and therefore easier to find. Same ocean. Suggestion, you are worried about whether trip is too long. I am hoping you don't pack in so much you don't get out of car. Some places people don't know or think to visit are beacon hill (Louisberg square) and state house. There is way more history than you can absorb. Enjoy

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9. Re: 5 Days in Concord, Boston for History Is This Too Long?

FWIW... The Mr. & I really enjoyed the Peabody-Essex Museum in Salem. Amongst other things it had an authentic Chinese House with an audio tour that was just outstanding! We took the ferry over (a fun experience in itself) and was picked up by a HOHO trolley that gave us an overview of the area. We jumped off at the House of Seven Gables, (interesting and in a breath-taking setting!), The Peabody-Essex Museum, and a few other places of interest. It was a FAST & FULL day, but an enjoyable one. :D

We are also history lovers so I'm intrigued with Plimouth Plantation. How far is it from Boston? If I did some rearranging or if we dropped something already on the itinerary, we could possibly add it in. Obviously I will need to clear an entire day to make it work. Decisions, decisions!

Good luck with your planning Sunrise! I too have endured some heartbreaking, stressful times in the last year. Whenever I’m in a funk, I like to go to my HAPPY PLACE, which is planning my trip to Boston and Newport RI. It really does help me to refocus my attention on something POSITIVE.

My heart, thoughts, and prayers continue to be with BOSTON! God’s blessing and peace be with you all!

Edited: 25 April 2013, 13:43
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10. Re: 5 Days in Concord, Boston for History Is This Too Long?

About Plimouth and Plymouth -- Plimouth Plantation is the living history museum on the outskirts of town, and more Pilgrim and early history stuff is in downtown Plymouth. If there is no particular bad traffic, it's approximately one hour south of Boston. I think that those who want to really explore Plimouth Plantation (it's a big place) plus downtown Plymouth, should consider that it would probably take all day. Or close to all day. It's worth it, in my humble opinion.