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4 extra days in the Boston Area

Parkplace

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We are taking a New England Tour and have 4 extra days in the Boston area.

For those who know, how would you spend that extra time?
 

Kenrabs

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Spend the day driving up route 1 visiting the NH and Maine coast.
 

nerodog

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day trips from Boston

I would suggest ( with kids) a day trip to Salem and Rockport which isnt too far out....also Plymouth is a nice trip as well....Route 1 Maine is always very pretty as suggested ! Lots of outlets in Kittery and YOrk is not too far away. If you want a beach day, try Ipswich, Crane Beach....:)
 

Deb from NC

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We spent a day in Salem and really enjoyed it. Took the train to & from Boston so we wouldn't have to deal with traffic. There are several museums there and of course all the "witchy" stuff....:)
Deb
 

jancpa

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Walk the Freedom Trail in Boston. Take the Duck tour.
 

mopsy

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If not already on your itinerary, Boston's New England Aquarium is great. There are also whale watches from the aquarium dock that go out to Stellwagen Bank, about 30 miles from Boston. Whale watching is really fun for the whole family.:)
 

ctreelmom

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I second the Aquarium and Whale watch--we just did this in June and it was lots of fun. FYI you can purchase a combo ticket that includes both attractions. There's another option that also includes the IMAX film in the Aquarium. My kids love walking around Quincy Market and there's usually some pretty neat street entertainment going on there. You could also do a day trip to Cape Cod--I think there is a High Speed ferry from Boston to Provincetown called The Cat (?)
 

Conan

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I'll round things out with some Boston tips for grown-ups:

Museum of Fine Arts. A world-class museum, especially renowned for its Impressionist collection.

Newbury Street. Shopping, restaurants and art galleries. Starting from the Boston Common, walk west to Massachusetts Avenue ("Mass Ave"). The cross-streets are alphabetical, Arlington, Boylston, Copley, Dartmouth, Exeter, etc.

Harvard Museums. Especially the collection of glass flowers. http://scienceblogs.com/cortex/2007/06/glass_flowers.php

Huntington Theatre Company
http://www.huntingtontheatre.org/

American Repertory Theatre
http://www.amrep.org/

[There's a booth in Copley Square that may have half-price theatre tickets.]
 

rcs249

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Hi there. I live in Boston and when I have guests in from out-of-town, based upon the season, we do the following:

***A DUCK TOUR is a GREAT way to see Boston, have fun and cruise on the Charles River***

1) The Freedom Trail (a walking tour you can do by yourself or there are formal tours as well)
2) Lexington and Concord, which are 30 minutes west and are lovely as well as steeped in history,
3) The NE Aquarium and Musuem of Science
4) The Musuem of Fine Arts and The Isabella Stewart Gardner Musuem or the new Institute of Contemporary Art on the harbor.
5) A day trip to the cape (and there is a ferry as someone else mentioned to Provincetown)
5) Salem, especially in October!! The Peabody Essex Musuem is excellent there along with all the other museums devoted to colonial Salem and witch trials.
6) Shopping on Newbury Street
7) A Swan Boat ride in the gardens in summer or skating on Frog Pond on the Common in winter.
8) A Red Sox, Patriots or Celtics game (and NE Reveolution is the soccer team)
9) Seeing a Boston Pops performance
10) Whalewatching with the NE Aquarium or out of Gloucester
11) An hour north is Bear Skin Neck in Rockport with quaint shops and nice eateries and a beach
12) Crane Beach in Ipswich and Good Harbor or Wingaersheek in Glocester are 3 good beachs (I prefer Crane's myself)
13) A day trip to the Lenox area, about 2-2 1/2 hours west for the museums, outlet shopping, Tanglewood and other artistic performances if in the summer.
14) A day trip to the Newport Mansions.

I only put in things that are within 2 hours, but you could certainly add easy trips to NH and Maine, both within a 1-3 hour drive based upon your interests. You could spend a month here and not be bored with so much to do and see so close!

Hope you have a great trip!

We are taking a New England Tour and have 4 extra days in the Boston area.

For those who know, how would you spend that extra time?
 

falmouth3

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You have had some excellent suggestions. I'd like to add a few more.

One of the places I was very impressed with is Plimouth Plantation in Plymouth, MA. It's a re-creation of the Pilgrim settlement, set in the year 1627 (I think). Each of the employees that you see in the settlement are representing actual people who lived there at that time. They have taken on the history, clothing, even accents of the people they have become. They will not break character. I could not recommend it more highly.

Besides the Science Museum, there is also the Harvard museum, which has some incredible exhibits, and the MIT museum, which is more science/engineering oriented (whod'd a thunk!) but we spent several hours there and really enjoyed it.

Another place that we haven't visited, but it's become very popular in recent months is John Adams' house. Since the book and the HBO movie, people are flocking there in droves.

If you like the performing arts, you can stop by the Bostix kiosks and get 1/2 price day of show tickets for a number of different performances. Blue Man group is always available there for 1/2 price (plus a small handling fee.) Cash only, though. Lots of ATMs available in the near vicinity. (www.artsboston.org)

You'll wish you had weeks to visit instead of a few days..

Sue
 

falmouth3

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An article from AP Travel

Day in Plymouth, Mass: Pilgrims and cranberries By BETH J. HARPAZ, AP Travel Editor
Mon Sep 22, 2:02 PM ET



PLYMOUTH, Mass. - In this storied harbor town where the Mayflower landed nearly 400 years ago, generations of Americans have claimed and reinterpreted the Pilgrim story.


Part of the fun for 21st century visitors is sampling the various layers of history.

Any itinerary should include Plymouth Rock (carted ashore in 1774), Pilgrim Hall Museum (open since 1824, renovated this year), the National Monument to the Forefathers (dedicated in 1889), the Mayflower II (built in 1957), and of course, the area's premier attraction, Plimoth Plantation (open since 1947).

Take a cranberry farm tour while you're in the area and cap off a perfect autumn day with a seafood dinner.

Start your visit at Plimoth Plantation, a living history attraction with a settlers' village that recreates everyday life in 1627. Here you might encounter a costumed interpreter portraying Priscilla Alden making hasty pudding over a fire in a timber-frame house with a thatched cattail roof. Nearby, her neighbors tend goats, pull weeds or share gossip from nearly 400 years ago.

"We had some trouble with the minister," confided one villager, referring to the true story of the Rev. John Lyford, who was banished from the colony. "We had to send him off."

Denise Van Geel, visiting from Belgium, was impressed by the reenactment. "It's so real, you can imagine people have lived here like that."

A wooded path leads from the English village to the Wampanoag Homesite. This part of Plimoth Plantation is staffed by Native Americans in traditional dress, though they are educators, not actors. Visitors can learn how trees were hollowed out with a slow fire to make canoes; step inside a large dwelling that housed several families in winter; and watch as patties of corn meal, ground hazelnuts and blueberries are wrapped in corn husks for cooking.

"It's 17th century Reynolds Wrap," joked Carol Wynne as she tended the snacks in an outdoor fire.

But the Wampanoag site is also designed to help people realize that when the colonists arrived in the New World, "there was already a society that had been here for 12,000 years," said Plimoth Plantation spokeswoman Jennifer Monac. "So many people don't understand that the Pilgrims were immigrants."

A statue of the 17th century Wampanoag leader Massasoit is located in downtown Plymouth and a ceremony is held near there each Thanksgiving to mark the holiday as a "National Day of Mourning" for Native Americans.

Also downtown you'll find a reproduction of the Mayflower, which carried 102 passengers across the Atlantic in 1620. Nearby sits Plymouth Rock, which was identified during the Revolutionary War era as the Pilgrims' point of disembarkation. The boulder's protective portico is under renovation (though scheduled to be completed by Oct. 1), but you can peer through the construction to see the famed but rather ordinary-looking gray stone.

You can lay your hand on an actual chunk of Plymouth Rock at nearby Pilgrim Hall Museum, where it bears a "please touch" sign. While Plimoth Plantation offers a recreation of 17th century life, Pilgrim Hall offers glimpses of the real thing, including a chair and Bible brought over on the Mayflower, an ornate bride's shoe from a 1651 wedding, and the oldest needlepoint sampler in America, dating to 1653. And in case you thought the Pilgrims were teetotalers, guess again. A beer tankard is also on display.

"We don't want to debunk things, but we try to let people know where their misconceptions come from," said director Peggy Baker, who describes Pilgrim Hall as "the oldest continuously operated museum in America." But the building is no musty repository; a $3.7 million renovation completed in June made it handicapped accessible, air conditioned and appealing to the modern visitor.

A five-minute drive from downtown Plymouth on Allerton Street is the National Monument to the Forefathers, a grandiose granite structure the height of an eight-story building. Formidable figures represent Youth, Mercy, Morality and other ideals; dramatic carved tableaus depict scenes like the landing at Plymouth and treaty-signing with the natives. The names of the Mayflower's passengers are also engraved.

Bettyann Archambault calls the monument "the best-kept secret in America." She leads tours of historic sites around Plymouth in the summer and cranberry farms in the fall. Because Plymouth is on the coast, it does not get as much colorful foliage as New England's woods and mountains, but the cranberry bogs do turn bright red in autumn.

"That is our fall color," said Paula Fisher, spokeswoman for the Plymouth County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Even the cranberry industry has layers of history. The fruit is native to North America, but commercial cultivation began in the early 1800s, according to Jack Angley, who owns Flax Pond Farms in Carver with his wife Dot.

At one time, the region's wet, sandy soil was a source of iron ore, used in cannon balls. After the ore was extracted, the excavation sites began to fill with water, making them ideal for growing cranberries. "By the 1850s, there was an industry," Angley said. "They call it red gold."

Flax Pond, which supplies cranberries to Ocean Spray, has been in operation since the 1890s, and visitors can see a 19th century machine in the gift shop that separates the berries from the stems. Cranberry soap, cranberry tea, and cranberry candy are a few of the products you'll find in the store, which also ships boxes of berries and other items around the world.

End your day in Plymouth with dinner downtown. The Weathervane, located on the Town Wharf, offers divine fish chowder and a view of Plymouth Harbor, where boats take tourists out on whale watches and fishing expeditions.

But it's the Pilgrims who are the area's biggest draw.

"I liked the history," said Jeff Baar, who visited Plymouth from Shawnee, Kansas, with his wife. "It was inspiring."

___

If You Go...

PLYMOUTH: http://www.seeplymouth.com/ or 800-231-1620.

PLIMOTH PLANTATION: 137 Warren Ave., or 508-746-1622. Daily through Nov. 30, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Adults, $24; children, 6-12, $14. (Add $4 for combination ticket that includes Mayflower II tour.)

PILGRIM HALL MUSEUM: 75 Court St., http://www.pilgrimhall.org/ or 508-746-1620. Daily through Dec. 30, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Adults, $7; children 5-17, $4.

NATIONAL MONUMENT TO THE FOREFATHERS: Allerton Street.

FLAX POND FARMS: 60 Pond St., Carver; http://www.flaxpondfarms.com or 508-866-3654. Open daily through Oct. 26, 1 p.m.-5 p.m.

BETTYANN'S TOURS: http://www.bettyannstours.com/ or 508-224-6469. Daily tours of cranberry bogs and farms through mid-November, $28.
 

Myrtle

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3 more shopping ideas

I always have to fit in some time to browse the antique shops on Charles Street and a trip through Filene's Basement downtown crossing in Boston to see if I can find that great designer bargain.

If I have the time for bit of a drive its off to Hingham to the Talbot's Clothing Outlet and lunch at the little Italian resturant that is located in the strip mall by Talbots. Main Street Hingham is a lovely drive to see the beautiful homes and the tree lined street. I think it was called the most beautiful street in America by someone once, Eleanor Roosevelt comes to mind but i"m not sure it was her. Myrtle
 

judyjht

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Actually, Filenes Basement in Downtown Boston is closed now - supposed to open after renovations - I don't know if it will.

I actually live in Hingham and love Talbot's Outlet Store (Rt. 3A) and yes, the Mexican Restaurant (not Italian any more) is great too - Salsa's is the name of it! :whoopie:
 
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Myrtle

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Filenes basement

Sorry to hear Filenes is closed and to hear that the italian place down by Talbot's outlet is gone. I dragged my DH down to Hingham one vacation for a trip to the outlet and the wonderful Eggplant Rolatini dinner he had got me back into good graces. He liked it so much I even went back a couple of years later and had them make me a takeout tray that I wrapped in ice and brought back to Denver in my carry on. :eek:
As a transplanted easterner I guess I hope that things stay the same for ever! Dont' tell me the New England Mobile Book Fair and No Name is gone too! We had dinner at Anthony's Pier 4 after a Sox game on our visit a year ago and heard that may be closing as well. Glad to say the food was still great so that is one Boston memory my Denver native husband can share with me.
Myrtle
 
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