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Boston & overnight in New Engl. -- (North) or (West & South)

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Sydney, Australia
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Boston & overnight in New Engl. -- (North) or (West & South)

Hi,

We are a family of 3 visiting Boston for a few days in June and would appreciate any tips on an overnight day trip outside Boston...This is our first time in Boston and surrounds so lots to see.

My wife is fascinated with New England architecture ... so quaint towns, rustic villages with a bit of history....... My daughter (8) would be keen on seeing one of the reenactment of the old villages and a hotel with a pool :)

We arrive at 5pm on a Sunday and leave 8am on a Thursday so not much time to fit in a feel of New England and Boston... I thought the best idea would to spend two nights outside Boston and two nights in the City, splitting our time

* 1.5 days New England

* and 1.5 days Boston.

So my thoughts are either the North or the West and South.

North (Cape Ann):

--------

Lexington/Concord

Marblehead

Rockport / Gloucester / Salem

Portsmouth (Strawbery Banke Museum)

Newburyport

Mystic?

West & South (Cape Cod + Rhode Island):

------------------

Old Sturbridge Village

Newport (Newport Mansions)

Plymouth (Plimoth Plantation)

Chatham (maybe too much)

I am torn between which one is better - to be honest both sound great!! I am keen on seeing Sturbridge and the Newport Mansions, however I think the drive north will involve beautiful coastal scenery (rocky headlands) and Salem and Rockport both sound good including Strawbery Bank museum and Portsmouth...

M

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1. Re: Boston & overnight in New Engl. -- (North) or (West & South)

There's no way you can go to Sturbridge, Newport, Plymouth and Chatham in one day. They're in different directions. Just pick one. Go to the cape if you really want to and stop in Plymouth on the way there or back. Or Sturbridge, or Newport.

Boston, MA
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2. Re: Boston & overnight in New Engl. -- (North) or (West & South)

Will you rent a car for your time outside of Boston?

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3. Re: Boston & overnight in New Engl. -- (North) or (West & South)

Your 1.5 days of either North or West/South seem like a lot for 1.5 days if those are everything you plan to do in each category. I haven't been to every town/attraction listed, but I don't think you'll have time to hit everything. I am also not sure what the Mystic? is-- Mystic, CT?

I would recommend picking a town that is in the middle of your itinerary. So maybe Plymouth for the south and maybe Peabody/Danvers for the North.

I wouldn't do Old Sturbridge, at least not in your South itinerary. Sturbridge is closer from Boston or Concord/Lexington. I have been to Sturbridge but not Old Sturbridge Village, but I would say that would be the first thing I would remove on your itinerary. You will see a lot of New England Charm with a lot of towns already on your list and you can see reenactments at other locations.

You could easily spend 1.5 days in either Newport, Plymouth or Chatham alone. I would probably go that route but I would probably pick just two towns. Good luck deciding!

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Boston & overnight in New Engl. -- (North) or (West & South)

Yes, we plan to rent a car from the airport.

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Boston & overnight in New Engl. -- (North) or (West & South)

Is it possible to do Sturbridge (we will already be sleeping over there so no commute) and then Newport in the late afternoon?

MA
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6. Re: Boston & overnight in New Engl. -- (North) or (West & South)

You are trying to pack too much into too little time. if you wife loves old New England architecture and your daughter wants to visit an outdoor village, the spend your overnight getaway in Portsmouth, NH. It is a quaint port town with lots of beautiful old homes and Strawbery Banke, an outdoor historical village, in the middle of the town. There are costumed re-enactors who tell you about the various houses. Portsmouth is a nice place to visit in summer with a number of good restaurants, some with waterfront views, and lots of shops. There are a few hotels downtown (the Residence Inn probably has an indoor pool) and a larger number just outside town, where you can find a less expensive one with an outdoor pool.

It honestly isn't a feasible plan to try and tour both Old Sturbridge Village and Newport, RI in the same day. They are not even near each other and there is so much to see in each place.

Edited: 18 April 2014, 13:31
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7. Re: Boston & overnight in New Engl. -- (North) or (West & South)

You are staying in Sturbridge? If you are, then do Old Sturbridge Village, but it doesn't open until 9:30am. Like I said, I haven't been so not sure how much time you would need to reserve but a few hours should be enough. It is roughly 2 hours from Newport, but it depends on the day and time you leave.

I think Newport is nicer in the day, but you could get there in the afternoon and stay for dinner. I wouldn't go back to Sturbridge that night since it's a 2 hour drive back.

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8. Re: Boston & overnight in New Engl. -- (North) or (West & South)

While Old Sturbridge Village is fun, you can get some of the same sense of New England history in actual cities around here.

Newport RI has a huge amount of New England charm and a lot of very well preserved streets and architecture. It is the type of place that should have it's picture in the dictionary next to "Olde New England Seaport". I think if you want to see the Cottages and rocky shoreline and quaintness, you get all three at once.

You can also get from Sturbridge to Newport in one day if you wanted to, but you wouldn't really be able to see much of either place because you'd be so rushed. However, as mentioned above, if you are really determined, start out at OSV right at 9:30, stay for a couple of hours, drive to Newport and see what you can while you are there.

When you get to Newport, make sure that just before Sunset, you drive down Bellevue Avenue to Ocean Drive along the Ocean and stop to watch the sunset. It's absolutely beautiful.

Georgia
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9. Re: Boston & overnight in New Engl. -- (North) or (West & South)

I'm sure you will enjoy your visit no matter what you decide to do.

Let me start with an obvious comment. You've got too much choice and too little time! The fact is, you've got 3 days and one evening.

You could not go wrong by just staying in Boston!!! Great town (undoubtedly one of America's 3 or 4 best)! You could easily fill that time in Boston proper, get more than your fill of fine American architecture. Maybe not the "small town" feel, but than again, Hanover St in the North End or the streets of Beacon Hill can feel small townish.

You could take a ferry for a day trip over to Provincetown, that gives you a taste of the Cape, maybe a beach day and getting on the ocean. You could take the train or ferry up to Salem, which is a great town with a Maritime history (see the Essex Peabody Museum), visit the House of Seven Gables (not so much re-enactment, but period costumed guides in a real (not fake) period house), then there's the whole witchcraft thing - which to me at least, is a lot of huey! You could take the train for a day trip to Newburyport, another nice small city w/period architecture. You can get out to Concord/Lexington too, I'm pretty sure for a day, but I'll leave that to someone else who's done it. Staying in Boston, you could take a day trip out to the Harbor Islands, check Ft Warren on George's Island. The good thing is that you wouldn't need a car at all.

If you do want to get out of town, I'd suggest just deciding on what the #1 place is that you want to see. For instance, Newport is a great idea, but you really can't go to just drive thru. Plan to visit a couple mansions and walking along the walk there (I forget the name of it). That will occupy most of a day. Spend the night and plan to drive a piece of each day on either side. Maybe plan a stop of two on the way.

A visit up to Portsmouth would be great for the reasons mentioned earlier. Same deal, spend most of a day, make a couple stops to and from. For instance, certainly driving down rt 1a thru Rye, Hampton, Salisbury, Newburyport is a ride anyone that grew up on the North Shore has enjoyed many times! Drive a little further and visit Ipswich, Gloucester, Rockport, Marblehead or Salem (certainly not all, but some). Lots to see along the way.

I wouldn't do Cape Cod because a day is hardly enough to enjoy the Cape and get onto "island time".

I'll through one other idea out that you didn't mention because it was always our favorite thing to do. Drive up to the White Mountains, spend the evening and as much time as possible in the mountains. Now it a good 2.5 hrs from Boston on the highway, but - well - it's the White Mountains! Lots of natures and scenery to see AND lots of nice small New England Villages!

Anyway, FWIW....

Kevin

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10. Re: Boston & overnight in New Engl. -- (North) or (West & South)

Note that June can still be a touch chilly, especially earlier in the month. Outdoor hotel pools may not be warm enough or might not be open for the season.

When in June are you doing the trip? That could affect recommendations.

Why are you staying over in Sturbridge? Giving a bigger picture of your overall itinerary may be helpful.

Being an Aussie, keep in mind that going up into the mountains usual means cooler temperatures. It won't be freezing, but it may feel a bit cold to you (weather is variable). This can also be true for coastal areas near the still-cold ocean.

You will want to bring a light jacket and sweater or sweat shirt. Just want to make sure you understand what to expect for early summer, since you mentioned wanting a hotel pool.