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A good base in Berkshires for touring with/without car.

Scotland
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A good base in Berkshires for touring with/without car.

We are in the early stages of planning a 2 week break in New England in the first 2 weeks of October - arriving on the 4th October. We are thinking of spending the first 5 days in Boston as I think that is the holiday weekend, and then thought we would head to the Berkshires to catch some fall colours. We don't fancy the idea of driving from Boston - but would consider hiring a car once we are out of the city. Can anyone suggest where might be a good base for us either with or without a car? I'm assuming we can catch either a bus or train to this area? Have read a little about the Mohawk Trail which looks interesting and we'd quite like to be around that area - but that might not be practical. Any suggestions gratefully received.

Boston
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1. Re: A good base in Berkshires for touring with/without car.

First, there's no holiday until October 11th, which is Columbus' Birthday, not exactly a big holiday although it does signal the major part of the foliage season in Massachusetts. Secondly, You really need a car for Western Massachusetts. You can easily drive from Boston - it's all highway - so you may as well rent it there.

Baltimore, Maryland
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2. Re: A good base in Berkshires for touring with/without car.

Unless you can find some bus tours (not my favorite way to travel), it is impractical to tour the berkshires without a car. I am sure you can find a bus to Pittsfield - which while the largest city in the area is not usually considered the optimal place to stay although it is pretty central. Here is some transportation information.

berkshirelinks.com/berkshires/transportation/

chicopee ma
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3. Re: A good base in Berkshires for touring with/without car.

You could take a bus from Boston to Springfield Mass . About 2 hours from logan airport. From there you it is approx 1 hour to Stockbridge south county or go north stay in greenfield and visit franklin county and southern vt md

Scotland
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4. Re: A good base in Berkshires for touring with/without car.

Thank you everyone. That's really helpful. I'll get back to the planning!

Boston, MA
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5. Re: A good base in Berkshires for touring with/without car.

I realize this is an older post, but wanted to chime in in case you haven't made your plans yet.

you actually can take Amtrak from downtown Boston to Pittsfield MA. However, the train only runs once a day. It's the Lakeshore Limited, which runs from Boston to Chicago with stops along the way. I found it was actually cheaper than the bus though, for just that Massachusetts leg. Last summer I took it from Pittsfield to Framingham (outside of Boston) and it cost something like $10 for a business class ticket!

You could then rent a car from Enterprise, who has offices all over the Berkshires, and will pick you up at the train station. It seems few of the major national chains have offices beyond Springfield. You definitely must have a car for touring the Berkshires, there's no good way around it.

That said, its really an easy drive from Boston. I think you will be better off picking up the car in the city and driving out. So much less trouble. . Assuming you have to get back to the airport, you will want to drop off the car at Logan, its not a bad drive in to the airport anymore.

Boston
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6. Re: A good base in Berkshires for touring with/without car.

Also, if you are really nervous about picking up a rental car somewhere downtown and then navigating in and out of Boston, another option is to check the many locations of the major car rental companies. You can probably, just for example, rent from at least one brand in Harvard Square in Cambridge. You could get there on the subway. I'm sure this is true of a lot of the outskirts areas around Boston. Of course whether the driving and navigation is that much easier might be debatable. And of course you can rent every brand at the airport.

Boston
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7. Re: A good base in Berkshires for touring with/without car.

And how would be able to take your rental car out of Harvard Square if you don't want to drive in the city? Actually, I find it much easier to drive in most of Boston than I do in Cambridge, especially the area around Harvard Square. Doesn't sound like a practical idea to me.

Scotland
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8. Re: A good base in Berkshires for touring with/without car.

Thank you so much for responding to my post. I did think about heading for Pittsfield and picking up a car from Enterprise as you mentioned. Now that I've had time to reflect on this - and have had a proper look at a map - I think you are right and we will probably look at picking up a car at Logan. We have booked accommodation in Stockbridge, so it looks fairly straightforward to get there without having to drive through the city centre. We're spending 4 days based in Stockbridge, before heading to Martha's Vineyard by public transport - so we'd have to come back through Bostaon anyway. I'm feeling a bit more relaxed about the car hire thing - although life would be so much simpler just to sit back and let public transport take the strain! Thanks again.

Boston, MA
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9. Re: A good base in Berkshires for touring with/without car.

I think you have made the right choice. It really isn't bad to get a car at the airport and head out the Pike. Before the Ted Williams tunnel it was trickier, but now with the Big Dig done, its much easier. You just get on I90 and go.

so now the next question...why not drive to Martha's Vineyard and take the car across on the ferry? I actually think you will be happier to have the car on the Vineyard, especially in the fall. You'll have much more fleixbility getting around. And again, it's not a bad drive, you don't even have to go all the way back into Boston. You take i90 to I495, and head south towards the Cape.

10. Re: A good base in Berkshires for touring with/without car.

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