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Once in a lifetime trip to Boston

Sudbury, Canada
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Once in a lifetime trip to Boston

I am arranging a surprise trip to Boston for my husband in August who is a Red Sox Fan. We are going to Fenway but I also want to do a whale watching tour and a day trip to Cape Cod if possible. We will not have a car. Where should we stay? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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1. Re: Once in a lifetime trip to Boston

You should stay in Boston. Any hotel will be in easy walking/T distance to Fenway. You can do a whale watching trip out of Boston harbor. I wouldn't bother with a day trip to the cape. It's too far and there's too much traffic. You also really need a car for that.

Boston...
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2. Re: Once in a lifetime trip to Boston

OK, how many days will you be here?

You mention a day trip to Cape Cod -- is that because your time will be so short? three ways to do this: (1) take the ferry from Boston to Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod. You don't need a car, but must plan the times carefully. (2) Bus from Boston to several stops on Cape Cod. You would want to pick a destination that would be fun to explore on foot for several hours. The bus ride will be two hours or more each way, depending upon where you get off. (3) Train in summer only from Boston (South Station I believe) to Hyannis on Cape Cod. Search this forum for more info on the train, I don't know much about it. All of these will take all day, since you have to allow time to travel each way. Oh, and Cape Air flies from Boston to the Cape and the islands.

Whale watching - you can pick up a whale watch tour from Boston. These tours take most of a day. You can also catch them from a couple locations on Cape Cod, but I would not go to the Cape for a daytrip and then spend it out on the whale watch.

Boston is pretty small. The Red Sox play in the Kenmore Square/ Fenway part of Boston, but you do not need your hotel to be there. However, there are some hotels there. You might take a whale watch, and those leave from the Seaport area (technically this is in South Boston, it is very close to downtown Boston). They've built several hotels in this area, but it's also near the Convention Center. It's becoming a fun area, but you don't necessarily need to be located there. I think for maximum flexibility you want to be in either downtown Boston (overlapping concept with "The Financial District"), or in Back Bay. Back Bay has lots of hotels and is fun to walk around. It also is served by several subway stops.

Do you have the Red Sox tickets yet?

MA
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3. Re: Once in a lifetime trip to Boston

Regarding your choice of hotel, what is your budget and what are your dates of stay?

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4. Re: Once in a lifetime trip to Boston

Cape Cod isn't great as a day trip. It's pretty far...

Hollis, New...
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5. Re: Once in a lifetime trip to Boston

Sudbury isn't all that far from Boston. I wish you a long enough life that you'll be able to visit more than once, and maybe stay in the area long enough to appreciate Cape Cod. If your schedule this time around doesn't allow for more than a day trip, I agree that you should skip it. I also agree that you should stay in Boston and be guided mainly by price of accommodations rather than precise location--though there are certain choices that are not especially good because they are inconvenient and/or relatively unattractive; ask for specific advice if you're looking outside Back Bay, downtown, or the waterfront.

I'll put in a plug for a nice place in a great location that tends to be relatively reasonably priced: the Harborside Inn. But there are a great many excellent possibilities.

Sudbury, Canada
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6. Re: Once in a lifetime trip to Boston

Thanks for all your input. I have tickets for the game on Tuesday August 19. We arrive on a Saturday and leave Wednesday, so only a few days to sight see. I thought there was companies that pick you up in a van and take you for a day trip to Cape Cod (on the Ferry??). I saw on the internet day trips to places that had cute shops and nice beaches, where would that be? (Maybe it wasn't Cape Cod) and where should we stay to be close to the ferry and fenway or should I pick to stay close to one area and make arrangements to get to the other area? We are Canadian and not really looking for history tours but I would like "Boston" sight seeing tours, any ideas?? So many questions ... thanks again for your help.

Boston...
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7. Re: Once in a lifetime trip to Boston

Duck Tours are great and will show you around most of Boston. The Freedom Trail is history based, but is also a great way to walk through the most charming parts of our city.

Those would be my two suggestions.

Hollis, New...
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8. Re: Once in a lifetime trip to Boston

You could walk to Fenway from the ferry in about 45 minutes. Otherwise, it's about a 15-minute subway ride. Copley Square is about midway between the two and has lots of hotel choices.

I'll repeat my Harborside Inn suggestion. It's practically next to the ferry.

As Charlestown_Matt says, any history tour would also be a good "charm" tour.

Boston...
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9. Re: Once in a lifetime trip to Boston

Provincetown is on the very tip of Cape Cod and reachable by ferry from Boston. It has a beautiful downtown area with cute shops and restaurants. That is probably what you are thinking of.

As others have said, Boston is very walkable and there's no need to stay close to the ferry or Fenway, as both are easy to get to walking and/or taking public transportation. Duck Tour will give you a great overview of Boston, then you can go back and further explore any areas that appealed to you. You can also do a whale watch tour through the New England Aquarium in Boston. They go to the same feeding grounds as the watches out of the Cape.

Boston
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10. Re: Once in a lifetime trip to Boston

Most any Boston tour one can think of will include at least some of its history and for most, that's the main part. Even the architectural tours I run give historical context as a natural part of the conversation. As far as a one-day Cape Cod whirlwind tour, it seems you are really into that thought despite many words of discouragement. The only one I am aware of is the Grey Line, which is a bus tour and does not incorporate the ferry to Provincetown.