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driving from Boston to Amherst - best route

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Dunedin, New Zealand
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driving from Boston to Amherst - best route

Hi there,

I know there is a forum on this already, but it's pretty old so I wanted to check again to see if there was any update to what people recommended. We're arriving early Sunday morning at Logan airport, renting a car, spending the day in Boston and then making our way to Amherst for a conference until Wed at lunch when we return to Boston, drop the car at the airport, take the T to downtown and then Amtrak to New York for 3 days. So, what would route would people recommend from downtown Boston to Amherst and then from Amherst to Logan airport?

Also, quite keen for any recommendations on things to do for only an afternoon in Boston.


Destination Expert
for Boston
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1. Re: driving from Boston to Amherst - best route

90-West (Massachusetts Turnpike) to 9-West

Boston, MA
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2. Re: driving from Boston to Amherst - best route

Sunday afternoon: The Freedom Trail.

You can park your rental at The Boston Common Garage for $12. Visit the Visitor Center at The Boston Common to orient you to the city, the state and the trail. The Freedom Trail "starts" from here.

Groton, Connecticut
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3. Re: driving from Boston to Amherst - best route

Either 90 West to 91 North (Exit 4) to Route 9 to Amherst (longest but major highways)


90 West to Exit 8 and then 32 North to 9 West to Amherst - shorter but it is more scenic. This is the route I would take when at UMass

Baltimore, Maryland
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4. Re: driving from Boston to Amherst - best route

Just wondering? are you ultimately leaving from Boston? Then I would go from Amherst to NY and then return to BOS instead of backtracking to catch train to NY. If you don't want car in NY, then you could still take train from Hartford to NYC and back which allows you to not go out of your way at all.

Dallas, Texas...
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5. Re: driving from Boston to Amherst - best route

Returning the rental car to Boston before going to NYC makes perfect sense.

Agree with the Freedom Trail rec. It's not just a stuffy history tour. It weaves through interesting and vibrant neighborhoods and Boston is a great walking city.

Brooklyn, NY
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6. Re: driving from Boston to Amherst - best route

I agree with the recommendation for 90 west to exit 8. From there I'd take Route 32 south for a mile or so into Palmer, then U. S. 20 west for a few downtown blocks, and then a right on Route 181 into Belchertown. Continue north through Belchertown center; the route number changes to U S. 202. Take that a short way to the intersection with Route 9, just north of Belchertown center, then follow Route 9 into Amherst. For a scenic variation on Route 9, turn left on Bay Road after only about 1 mile on Route 9. Follow Bay road to South East St, Amherst, or to West St (Route 116), and then north into Amherst Center.

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7. Re: driving from Boston to Amherst - best route

I lived in Amherst for 4 years. I agree with #3.

Take the Mass Pike (I-90 West) to exit 8. At the exit, turn right on Thorndike St (Rt 32 S). Stay for about a mile before turning right on North Main St (Rt 20 W). North Main will continue into Rt 181. Continue on Rt 181 through Belchertown center where it merges into Rt 202. After a mile or two, take Rt 9 W going to Amherst.

Pay close attention to your speed. I've seen a lot of tickets being handed out.

8. Re: driving from Boston to Amherst - best route

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