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Comments on my itinerary appreciated! I have questions also!

Fishers, Indiana
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Comments on my itinerary appreciated! I have questions also!

My son and I will fly to Boston next Friday for 5 nights in Boston and 3 nights on the Cape. My son turns 11 two days we leave. This trip is built around baseball and seeing the historic places he learned about in school in May.

We will be staying at the Lenox Hotel in Boston and the SeaCoast Inn in Hyannis. I have already purchased Go Boston cards for each of us and plan to take advantage of the cards.

Our flight into Logan is scheduled to land around 2:30. I am trying to pack in such a way that we will be able to take public transportation to the Lenox. How easy is it to get to the T at Logan if we are each pulling a wheeled suitcase and carrying a backpack or briefcast? I am not adverse to a cab - not sure how long the trip is taking with the Big Dig problems. Also - how far of a walk would we have from the T station to the Lenox?

I hope we are settled into our room by 5:00 p.m. or so. I like to take it easy the first night we are in town - grab something to eat and wander around. I would like to go to the Prudentail Center observation deck on Friday night. It seems most of the places we want to go close at 5 or 6. Any other thoughts on things to do in and around the Lenox? What time does it get dark in Boston this time of the year? How much walking do I want to do after dark?

Saturday - I would like to start Saturday by taking a 9:00 a.m. Duck Tour. I think my son would really enjoy it and it would give us a general idea of the city. I probably will reserve the early tour online next week and not use the GoBoston card for it. I want to spend the rest of Saturday on the Freedom Trail - and would prefer not to have to wander back to do a Duck Tour during the day.

Sunday - I have a reservation to pick up a rental car at the Enterprise location on Boylston at 9:00 a.m. I plan to drive out to Lexington and Concord, with a stop in Cambridge on our way back. I would like to attend Catholic Mass before we get the car or on our way out to Lexington. Any suggestions? I need to do my research on Lexington and Concord - we may do the Liberty Ride with the Go Boston card. I think if we stay with their route we will see most of the sites. Any thoughts on where to have lunch? We can return the rental car anytime that evening.

Monday/Tuesday - we have Indians - Sox tickets for Monday and Tuesday nights (woe are my beloved Indians - glad I got these tickets at face value the day they went on sale). I would like to start Monday morning with a Fenway Park Tour. The rest of Monday and all day Tuesday I would like to see the following: JFK Museum, Aquarium, NE Sports Museum. I work for the company that operates the mall at Copley Place - need to stop in and see them - they were able to get me hooked up with the hotel. The GoBoston card has a few other tours that we may try. Am I missing any other museum or features that I should see with an 11 year old sports and history freak? I have the AAA book to go through this weekend and several printouts from TripAdvisor.

Any input on places to eat lunch and dinner on any of these days is appreciated. Nothing fancy - I do want to get some pizza in the North End when we are on the Freedom Trail. My son likes seafood - although mostly fried and battered fish and shrimp. No crab, lobster, etc. And I really don't want to spend big bucks on a dinner.

Wednesday - we plan to check out of the Lenox Wednesday morning and pick up a car at Enterprise and head out to Plymouth. We will do Plimoth Plantation and see the other sites before heading out to Hyannis for our room at the SeaCoast Inn. We want to get to the Cape League baseball game that night. The only night game is a 7 at Harwich. Questions are - how long should I plan from Plymouth to Hyannis? And how long from Hyannis to Harwich? I hope we are not cutting this too close.

Thursday - I would like to do a whale watch cruise Thursday. Then head off to the beach (maybe Coast Guard Beach)? No Cape League baseball game Thursday night as the league has their All Star game at Fenway.

Friday - Mostly a beach day. Perhaps head out to Provincetown as well. I intend for this to be a relaxation day. We have not been to the beach in two years - I know this will not be like St. Pete Beach or Gulf Shores, but it is still the beach (and not Indiana). There is a 7 p.m. game in Orleans Friday night.

We don't fly back until Sunday afternoon, but as of now I have no hotel for Saturday night and no definitive plan. We have talked about possibly driving out to Springfield for the basketball hall of fame, getting in the car and driving to Maine, or just hanging out on the Cape until late afternoon then heading back towards the SouthShore area and getting a room.

I apologize for the long post. We are really looking forward to this trip. Any input you give is much appreciated.

Quincy...
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1. Re: Comments on my itinerary appreciated! I have questions also!

Whew...that's a lot :)

So here's some input. First about getting to your hotel. You mentioned you've heard of our lovely Big Dig. So, while I might usually tell you to take a cab from Logan, I strongly urge you to take the T instead. Plus, it's only a $1.25 each way.

You can pick up a free shuttle bus at your arrival terminal which will take you to the Airport Blue Line station. From Airport, you take any train INBOUND towards Government Center/Bowdoin. When you get to Government Center, you change to the Green Line upstairs. Take any Green Line train WESTBOUND (look for signs saying Boston College or Cleveland Circle or Heath St. or Riverside) to Copley station. Make a right turn coming out of the station and the hotel is on the next block, on the opposite side of the street. There's a bit of schlepping of luggage up and down some stairs, but it's not awful and given the traffic nightmares now, it's worth the slight hassle.

The area you are staying in, is quite busy all night long, and fine for walking around after dark. If you head over one block to Newbury St., there are sidewalk cafes lining the street and a steady stream of people late into the night. I'd take a walk over there after you settle in, and get some dinner there. Stephanie's on Newbury is good, as is Charlie's Eating Establishment.

As for other things to do, if your son is a history freak, you should try to get to the Adams National Historic park and birthplace, in Quincy. It's where John Adams and John Quincy Adams were born, and the Adams Summer White House where he lived with Abagail until he died in 1826. In fact, they have a lot of the original artifacts there, including the room exactly as it was when Adams died, including the actual wing chair he was sitting in, watching the July 4th parade when he passed away. There's a trolley tour of the sites, and the visitor center is directly across the street from the Quincy Center stop on the Red Line T subway, so you don't need a car at all. Here's the information:

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

As for food, make sure to have dinner one evening at Durgin Park, in Quincy Market. It's a fantastic olde Boston restaurant that's been there since the market opened in the 1850's. They have wonderful Prime Rib, clam chowder, and New England food specialities like Indian Pudding and Boiled dinner. Their seafood is excellent, the fried belly clams and the boston baked schrod are very tasty. Your son will love it. It's also very reasonably-priced.

If you want pizza in the North End, make a beeline for Pizzeria Regina, at 11 1/2 Thatcher St. It's by far the best pizza in the area. For dinner in the North End, if you like squid, the Daily Catch on Hanover St. makes squid in all ways shapes and forms, fried, baked stuffed, salad, pastas, etc. If you both like sweets, make sure to stop at Mike's pastry on Hanover St., and have something that looks good. Everything there is delicious.

When you are visiting the NE Sports Museum, there are plenty of good sports bar places to have lunch. On Canal St., opposite the Garden, the Boston Beer Works is good, as is Hurricane O'Reilly's, and the Fours.

There's also an excellent local Italian chain called Bertucci's, which is very reasonable and tasty. There's a location in the Back Bay near the John hancock building, and another one near Quincy Market, off of State St.

Hope that gets you started.

Boston...
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2. Re: Comments on my itinerary appreciated! I have questions also!

With regards to your day in Lexington and Concord, there is a Catholic church located very close to Lexington Green. I believe it's name is St. Brigid's. There are also several places you could eat in downtown Lexington that would be good. My kids love to go eat at Mario's (a small Italian restaurant) but there are other good choices too (Yangtze River is a very good Chinese place).

You might want to hit one of the many local ice cream shops once you have finished your visit to the North Bridge in Concord. When I moved up here I was surprised to discover that many New Englander's have a passion for ice cream, and you can find good shops in every town. There's a Bedford Farms if you head back into Concord Center, but might want to take a drive up the road past the bridge. That would take you out to 225 in Carlisle. A left turn would take you to Kimball Farms in Carlisle while a right turn would put you on a path back to Rt 128 and Boston and also send you by the original Bedford Farms in Bedford.

Boston
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3. Re: Comments on my itinerary appreciated! I have questions also!

Good morning Ysuindy,

I'm just picking a few things out of your post that I think you should know about. Plymouth Plantation opens at 9 AM basically but some of the museums they have in there are 9:30 to 10 AM openings. No big deal once you get in there. You should try to leave as early as you can for Plymouth from your hotel in Boston that morning. As soon as you can. That way you'll be avoiding the crowds, the earlier the better. It's then only about 45 minutes from Plymouth to Hyannis if that. It's roughly 35 miles to Hyannis, you'll be able to spend a few hours at Plymouth Plantation and don't forget to get over to see the Mayflower and Plymouth Rock in Plymouth Harbor while you're at it!

You're both going to really really enjoy the Duck Tour! Also, like you plan on doing, It's a very good idea to get your tickets online. It's definitely one tour in Boston that you and your son will really like, it doesn't matter how old you are either!

If you can try to get to the JFK Library with your schedule, get there! It's really a good place to take pictures out at Columbia Point! You'll see what I mean when you get out closer to the actual museum, it's quite a place. Your son is at a really good age to understand this beautiful tribute to JFK now~

I'm glad to read that you're going to be able to hopefully squeeze in Copley Place! It has tons of shops & restaurants and you can very easily walk from there right over through their skywalk to the Pru shops, which is filled with more interesting and wonderful shops, restaurants and cafes.

On another note....

You're going to be staying at a really great place in Hyannis, it's highly recommended by so many people on TA. I have it on my agenda myself to stay here some day soon. While in Hyannis, you have to try to get to Baxter's Boathouse for fried seafood, it's probably one of the best best places on the Cape for seafood, I know it's one of our favorite places to get to for it. Your both going to really like it here!

www.baxterscapecod.com

If you want seafood in Boston then you should think about heading over to the "Barking Crab" located at 88 Sleeper St. at Fort Point Landing, not too far from the Children's Museum within walking distance from South Station and in the other direction you'd be right near Atlantic Avenue, Commercial St. and the North End of Boston. I would think during the week the Barking Crab wouldn't be as crowded as you'll find it on a weekend day or night. My friends and I went here quite a bit when we worked in the Financial District, it's always been a fun place for all ages. It's actually a "good one" and a "keeper", so try to put it on your agenda~

www.barkingcrab.com

The Basketball Hall of Fame located in Springfield, MA is doable but it's a little hike from the Cape I would imagine. It's about 2 hours and 30 minutes from Hyannis area to Springfield, MA. If you drove back from Springfield then in to Boston it would be roughly 1 hour and 30 minutes if that. It's up to you on how much driving you want to do of course. Springfield has the Basketball Hall of Fame out there that you need to focus on, because that's about all there is where it's located to do out there. Just be careful that you don't get off of the wrong exit, I know because I did one time, it was wicked trying to get back on track too after that. The site gives you explicit directions to the place, so just stay focused on these:

www.hoophall.com

I know that if I was on the Cape and the weather was beautiful down there? I wouldn't want to go any where else and I live on the seacoast myself but I'll tell you, there's nothing like Cape Cod beaches and their warm water, especially when you're going to be there and it's only a week away! BUT that's me, I'd be thinking of the gas prices too much! With you, you're younger than me and an adventure is an adventure and you have your son to think about. May be you can keep him so busy he'll forget about it and from the sounds of it? You're both going to be pretty pretty busy with all you're packing in! It's a lot, but you'll be able to do and see SO much with how you're planning this all.

When you leave Cape Cod area and head toward Boston and if you don't want to stay right in downtown Boston again then a possibility is to get off at Exit 14 and stay left onto SR-228 which is actually Hingham St. and here you'll be in Rockland, MA where you'll find a Comfort Inn located at 850 Hingham St. running roughly $99 a night or a Best Western at 909 Hingham St. running about $123 a night or even a Radisson Hotel which is located at 929 Hingham St. it's running about $109 a night. If you wanted to go further up to Weymouth then there's a Super 8 located at 655 Washington St. which has a good deal, it's running roughly $77 a night....

Enjoy your visit, your son will certainly never forget this trip he had with his mother he's at a great age for it, so cherish it!

Have Fun!

Boston, Mass.
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4. Re: Comments on my itinerary appreciated! I have questions also!

Sounds like you will definately be busy. I agree with the previous posts that using the Blue Line from the airport is the least expensive and a good option. The Lennox Hotel is a very good location with lots of options for getting around town either on foot or by the MBTA. If you are heading to the Prudential Center or Pru as we locals call it, you could check out The Summer Shack on Dalton St. which is across the street from the Sheraton Boston at the Pru for some seafood. There is also a Legal Sea Foods in the Pru.

The New England Sports Museum at the TD BankNorth Garden should be fun for your son and it is a short walk to the North End and Pizza at Regina's. You could also walk to the USS Constitution from the Garden by turning left onto Causeway St. as you exit the Garden and then turning left onto North Washington St and crossing the bridge which puts you right at the Charlestown Navy Yard and the Constitution.

The New England Aquarium is a great take. You could also check out a Boston Harbor Island Cruise. Check out www.Bostonharborislands.com for information on Ferry schedules and activities at the different islands that make up the Boston Harbor Islands. Some of the islands offer swimming and the views of Boston are fantastic.

The Barking Crab as was previously mentioned is a casual outdoor treat. Another option is the Boston Sail Loft at 80 Atlantic Ave for casual seafood with a harbor view.

Fishers, Indiana
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5. Re: Comments on my itinerary appreciated! I have questions also!

Thanks to all for the input. I really appreciate it. We have 8 full days in the area and I don't know if it is long enough. :)

I can see us spending most of Saturday on the Cape. What I did not mention earlier is that we both want to get be able to color in more states on our map of states we have been to. While I have been to Massachusetts and Rhode Island, my son has not been to Rhode Island. We will probably try to get to New Hampshire and Maine, even if it just a Sunday night drive before we return the rental car after Lexington and Concord. We picked up Vermont last year when we went to Cooperstown and Lake Placid. Maybe we can sneak into a corner of Connecticut as well. :)

I am trying to stay organzied, but also don't want everything planned out to the minute. I think we just go with the flow and see what happens.

Thanks again. I will definitely post some updates when we get back home.

Boston
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6. Re: Comments on my itinerary appreciated! I have questions also!

Wow! You are wonderfully organized and the TA regulars will look forward to the actual trip report. I was thinking about your Sunday plans and most definitely I think you can accomplish your goal of including New Hampshire and Maine by heading up 95 north to Portsmouth, New Hampshire and then crossing over the bridge into Kittery, Maine. If you only do one of the two states, you could head up 128 north, to 93 north to Salem, New Hampshire.

Boston, Mass.
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7. Re: Comments on my itinerary appreciated! I have questions also!

Another option for Saturday would be to take I95 North to Hampton Beach, N.H. kind of honky tonk blue collar beach resort.

Quincy...
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8. Re: Comments on my itinerary appreciated! I have questions also!

Hi,

For that final Saturday, if you want to hit Rhode Island and CT, you can easily drive and hit both states and be back in Boston in a few hours. From Boston , down I-95 into RI and to the CT state line is about 1.5 hours. Mystic seaport in CT is actually a great place to visit, especially if you are interested in Maritime history. It's only two exits into CT, on 95, and a very easy day trip from Boston.

http://www.mysticseaport.org/

Fishers, Indiana
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9. Re: Comments on my itinerary appreciated! I have questions also!

Thanks Beantown - if we get to New Hampshire and Maine on Sunday evening, going to Mystic makes sense on Saturday. If we are going to try to get all the states on Saturday, that may turn out to be too long. We will need to see.

I just bought my DuckTour tickets for 9:30 Saturday. I thought about waiting until Saturday morning and using my GoBoston card, but then I saw something that there are only 32 seats on a Duck Tour and I saw this morning that 24 are offerred for presale. I did not want to have to be in line that early to make sure I could get 2 of the 8 left for an early tour. I hated spending the extra $50. If we have a good time, maybe we will use the GoBoston card to take a second tour later in the week.

I have a 5 day GoBoston Card to start using Saturday and end on Wednesday with my trip to Plimoth Plantation.

Thanks again to all those providing input. I will keep checking until I leave Friday morning.

Fishers, Indiana
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10. Re: Comments on my itinerary appreciated! I have questions also!

We just returned from our 9 nights in Boston and Cape Cod a few hours ago.

I just wanted to thank everyone for their input. We had a most enjoyable vacation. Without TA this trip would not have been nearly as good as it was.

I will post a much more detailed report later but I can say - the T was great to use to get around, it is great to be flexible with your plans, Fenway Park grandstands on a hot summer night with no breeze might be the closest thing to Hades on Earth, we made it to all 5 states, water off the Cape is cold, we hung out on the Cape until mid-afternoon Saturday and the SeaCoast Inn is everything TA users say it is.

Probably will be a few days until I can post a recap and write reviews of the three hotels we stayed at (did the Back Bay Hilton on our last night). I have to get back to work tomorrow. Right now I am a single Dad trying to do as much laundry as I can before crashing for the night (great picture - huh?)