Short Tour Of Cape Cod And Areas North Of Boston
My adult daughter and I will be arriving in Boston in July after a 7 hour flight form the UK. We plan to pick up a hire car from the airport and will have 6 days free for touring before returning to Boston the following Monday.
We would like to see New Hampshire and Vermont but also would like to fit in Cape Cod if there was time.
We arrive in Boston late afternoon so would not want to make a lengthy and tiring journey on that first day. We wondered if Portsmouth would be a feasible option as a first stop?
From there we are thinking about travelling to Burlington and would welcome suggestions about other places to visit on route.
Alternatively perhaps we should start with 2-3 days in Cape Cod and then have 2-3 days exploring north of Boston?
We would really welcome suggestions because neither of us have been to that part of America before. We both feel we want to see as much as possible, but at the same time do not want to cram so much in that there is no time to really appreciate and explore the different areas.
One last thought! Would it make more sense to take a bus from the airport to some starting location and then hire a car from that place? We do not want to spend the first night in Boston because we will be spending all of the following week in Boston.
Thank you in advance for any suggestions.
Welcome to the RTA Forum!
I don't know enough about the area you are going to travel to give you any good specifc advice in that regard - although I suspect you could find at least a few other threads on the region if you dig around a bit.
But as far as getting out of Boston quickly, I'd have to think that taking a bus is going to take much longer than renting a car at the airport. Busses are never known for their speed as a mode of transportation, and you'd be at the whim of a schedule. If you rent a car at the airport, you'll be able to depart shortly after your flight lands.
Out of Boston
While a drive out on to Cape Cod can be lovely, the height of summer is probably not the time to do it. And splitting your time half south and half north of Boston would, I'm afraid, just leave you doing more driving than you'd really like. You can, however, still have a great time exploring the back roads of New Hampshire and Vermont for a 5 or 6 days. Such New England RoadTrips have been described previously, but if after looking through those, you still have questions, we'll be glad to try to answer them. Portsmouth would make a great first day's drive from Boston. It's only about an hour from the airport, but a world away in pace. And go ahead and pick up your car at the airport. It makes returning it that much easier (and less dear), and there's no better way to learn about driving on the other side of the road than to just plunge in and mimic the locals.
The Cape from Boston
I thought again about the fact that you are panning a week in Boston after your RoadTrip. You might want to consider going over to the tip of Cape Cod one day by ferry and just enjoy walking around Provincetown before taking the ferry back to Boston in the evening.
Thank you for replying to my questions about travel north of Boston. I have decided to take your advice and leave Cape Cod for a day trip at the end of the week.
So now my plan is:
Tuesday (late afternoon) - drive a car from Boston airport to Portsmouth Wednesday: - spend most of the day exploring and enjoying Portsmouth
Wednesday evening: - drive to Concord
Thursday morning: visit Louise M Alcott House (Little Women)
Thursday afternoon: head towards Burlington
Friday & Saturday: stay in Burlington or surrounding area
Sunday: leave Burlington and drive back to Boston airport to return car
Sunday evening - is it possible to travel from the airport to Cape Cod? If so my plan would be to do that and check into a hotel for the evening so that we could enjoy a full day there on Monday and return to Boston on Monday evening.
I would appreciate your comments on the above plans and also any suggestions for places to visit or stay on the Thursday/Friday/Saturday period between Concord and Burlington.
Your plan sounds very reasonable, and you picked a good day of the week to head up to Burlington, VT. You will find that, if you take I-89, it is a very lovely ride, with little traffic. It's about four hours total drive. Some highlights along this route are the mountain scenery, Ben & Jerry's, and Montpelier, which is the state capital but has a very small population and an old town feel. There a several good eateries in town as well.
Getting onto the Cape in the Summer can be a challenge to say the least, as can finding a place to stay at that time of year. I would recommend getting a reservation if you plan on staying on Cape Cod during July.
Odds and Ends in the Way of Recommendations.
Portsmouth is a great walking town, particularly the area from just east of Market Square (downtown) along the waterfront to Strawbery Banke. Anyone in town can direct you to those places.
On the drive up to Burlington, two places I'd recommend. The first is a quirky town, Brookfield, VT. It will take some navigation to reach because in its quirkiness, it did not allow the state to build an exit ramp from I-89 for it. But you should go for no other reason to drive across the 'floating' bridge that takes VT-65 'over' Sunset Lake. Just make sure you know where your car's air intake is located. As Michael has suggested, the other stop is Montpelier. Besides being the state capital, Montpelier is home to the New England Culinary Institute which operates a couple of restaurants in town for its chefs-in-training. By all means, try them.
I listed my favorite stops in the Burlington region in this post, but also just get out on some of the smaller back roads through the Green Mountains.
It is possible to go from Logan to Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod. You would take a taxi to the ferry terminal, and the ferry over to Provincetown. Full directions are here.
Thank you so much for all your help and advice. All your suggestions are great and have helped to clarify my ideas for the trip.
I will now enjoy putting together an interesting itinerary and will post it on the forum in case it can be of help to others.
We happened to get out to Boston this Sunday. A more perfect day for walking around the city I have not seen, and it appears that many others felt the same way.
Just for a quick overview of our walk - we walked from Government Center all the way to the Somerville line, and back to Copley. On our walk we strolled along the MIT campus, along some side streets in Cambridge, stopped for a small Portuguese parade near a local church, strolled up Cambridge Street and stopped at the All-Star Sandwich Shop for their famous beef on weck, which was unbelieveably good. Then we strolled into a nearby ice cream shop which was also excellent.
Our stroll along Cambridge Street showed me that if you should happen to find yourself in this location, there is no possible way you cannot find something you like to eat - Indian, Brazilian, American, etc. Many great choices in that area.
Cape Cod Reservations
I have explored various websites to in an effort to find B&B accomodation for one night in Provincetown. I am looking for something clean and within easy access of the centre but not too noisy.
It seems that all rooms have a minimum stay requirement which procludes one night visits. Do you know of anywhere that suits our needs?