Boston, Salem, Cape, Newport, etc.

Old May 8th, 2022, 02:01 PM
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Boston, Salem, Cape, Newport, etc.

Hi All!
I'll continue to read threads but wanted to jump in with some questions since I'm booking for the week after next.
I will fly into Boston and have 7-9 days.
Is it easy to get around without a car? I may try to go without for 3-4 days and then my dh will meet me and can rent one at that point.
Interested in Salem (is this a good day ferry trip?).
Harbor tours
Plymouth
Provincetown
Harvard
Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, etc.
Newport, RI.
I was looking at bed and breakfasts for a couple of nights. But I'm really open to suggestions of how to best see and soak in these places. Food recommendations also welcome.
We will need to end the trip in Boston to fly home.

Thanks in advance!
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Old May 8th, 2022, 05:47 PM
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I'll just start off by saying you do not need nor want a car while in Boston.

While the Chambers of Commerce and owners of rental cottages vehemently disagree, the season on the Cape and Islands really starts around July 4th, so you're early.

Might help if you told us what you're interested in seeing or doing.
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Old May 8th, 2022, 07:47 PM
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Hi! Does being early mean that businesses wonít be open?
We enjoy seeing new and beautiful places and eating good food.
I think the cliff walk and a house tour sound like a nice afternoon in Newport. A Fenway tour and game are possibilities. Potentially a Harvard tour. Fascinated by Salemís history and just looking forward to seeing all of the places I mentioned before. Love being by the water. Is this helpful?
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Old May 8th, 2022, 07:53 PM
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I really enjoyed Salem and I think itís worth at least an overnight. But it depends on what you want to see. I could spend a full day at just the Peabody Essex museum.


I loved Provincetown, and the Cape in general but I was less impressed with Nantucket. I think a lot depends on where you stay, thoughómy experience with Nantucket was as a daytripper, and I think I wouldíve had a much better time if Iíd been there for a few days to just relax.

Last edited by marvelousmouse; May 8th, 2022 at 07:58 PM.
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Old May 9th, 2022, 01:52 AM
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Several years ago four of us did a day trip to MV via ferry while we were staying on the Cape. Get to the ferry early since the car had to be left in a remote lot. We did a private van tour to get an overview and chose the ferry to Oak Bluffs so we could wander around the gingerbread cottages etc.

the last time we did a RI long weekend we stayes at an air B&b between Providence and Newport so we could explore both. Loved the Providence food tour. I'm not a fan of Waterfire but it was on a friend's bucket list. We chose two Newport mansion tours timed so we could do two and have lunch as well. Since we were driving from NH we may have done a slight detour on the way to RI to have lunch at a Portuguese restaurant. Maybe it was New Bedford MA.

i've enjoyed three different Boston food tours over the years. The last one was South End which was a lot different from the North End Italian neighborhood and Freedom Trail area. You might prefer North End but that was an area we had visited often. Chinatown is an easy walk from South Station and I love Chine bakeries and dim sum. From there it is an easy and interesting walk along the Rose Kennedy Greenway to the Quincy Market area. The North End is a little further on. Don't waste your time with the food courts unless you want a mediocre quick lunch. I would vote for historic Durgin Park but it closed.

Peabody Essex Museum is wonderful and make sure to include the Chinese House. The different witch places can be hokey. I would do Plymouth only if interested in going to Plimoth Living history museum and maybe a cranberry bog tour. In many years a long weekends in September in New England I think Plymouth is one we wouldn't repeat. Take a look at driving time to Provincetown. It may take longer than you think.
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Old May 9th, 2022, 03:50 AM
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You don't need (or want) a car for Boston. Salem and Harvard are easy day trips by public transportation, harbor tours obviously done without a car. For the rest it is better (way more efficient) to have a car. The islands can be done without a car (above post re MV) but to see a lot of MV a car is better. In season though you need reservations way in advance to take a car but not sure about mid May. I think Nantucket is small enough to see it without a car - we did. And there is a ferry from Boston to Provincetown but having a car to explore the cape (including Provincetown) is a good idea. I haven't been in May but was there in October (which I think is similar crowd wise to May) recently and traffic was not bad. I wouldn't go in summer if you paid me. In RI Providence is a really lovely city to stroll around so worth a stop on the way to Newport. In Newport part of cliff walk recently collapsed but apparently it's just a short part and you can easily detour a couple of block inland to go around the collapsed section.
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Old May 10th, 2022, 05:59 AM
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Thank you all! You've helped me narrow down my agenda.

Does it make more sense to leave Boston, drive around to Provincetown first (good place to stay a few nights to ferry out to MV and Nantucket? And then drive to either Providence for a couple of nights (vs staying in Newport?) and do a day trip to Newport? OR to do that in reverse? South first and then work way East?

I'll check the distance from Providence to Boston airport.

Thanks for the information about Plymouth, Nantucket and the cliff walk damage, etc.

I could get a car ferried to MV (like one option remained according to schedule) but thinking it might be nicer not to have the burden. Hoping public transportation will let you get around most of MV.

Thanks again. These forums have helped me plan the most perfect adventures.
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Old May 11th, 2022, 03:11 AM
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I would base the timing on when the lodging was reasonable and places you want to visit are open. Generally areas like the Cape and the islands are less crowded mid week and the cities less crowded on weekends.

You can do both islands with a combination of public transportation, private tours and rental bikes. MV is much larger than Nantucket so if you bike, be prepared for a longer pedal to see much.
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Old May 12th, 2022, 08:21 AM
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For ferries to the island look at Falmouth and Hyannis on the Cape.
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Old May 17th, 2022, 05:10 AM
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The itinerary has changed some. Iíll still be in Boston for a week but we decided to do a Bermuda cruise that conveniently leaves from there. If we check out of a hotel Wednesday morning, Iím thinking of renting a car (saving the $55 parking fee Tuesday night), Iím wondering if there is a good central spot to spend 2 nights before making our way back to Boston port. And then we could drive to Provincetown (mv and Nantucket will prob have to wait till next visit) and Newport only if weíre up for it. Sometimes we enjoy the driving and sometimes we get smitten with a location and change plans. Iíd prefer charming, quiet place with a view to lay heads for those nights. Wondering if somewhere close to Plymouth or Barnstable area could be good. That was, itís an hour and a half or so to port and to turn in car.

Thanks again for the help and recommendations.
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Old May 17th, 2022, 09:21 AM
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You can save yourself a long drive by using the Boston/Provincetown ferry.

https://baystatecruisecompany.com/schedule-fares/



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Old May 19th, 2022, 05:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Fra_Diavolo View Post
You can save yourself a long drive by using the Boston/Provincetown ferry.

https://baystatecruisecompany.com/schedule-fares/
thank you! I think weíll use this. I heard p-town is pretty walkable. I may see if rental cars are available there to do the return drive and see the other towns.
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Old May 19th, 2022, 05:16 AM
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You can also fly from Provincetown if that works for you. Maybe cost effective if there is a charge for not returning the rental car to where you got it Ptown is walkable and you can get dune tours or rent bikes there.
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Old May 21st, 2022, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by oldemalloy View Post
You can also fly from Provincetown if that works for you. Maybe cost effective if there is a charge for not returning the rental car to where you got it Ptown is walkable and you can get dune tours or rent bikes there.
We will be heading back to Boston to leave for cruise but I did discover that charge for returning to different place: $1,000!
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