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Trip Report New England with kids in April Trip Report

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Hi! Just a report on our 9 day trip in April with 3 kids aged 8, 11, and 14. As a disclaimer, I must tell you we live in San Diego, so we had no interest in aquariums, museums, or other activities that we could do at home. And, since we were on a budget, we did eat some meals at fast food joints, which I won't bother commenting on....

Day 1: arrived late into Boston Logan. Stayed at the airport Embassy Suites (mainly to get free breakfast). This was a typical airport hotel, nothing great, but good free breakfast.

Day 2: Took T to hotel. We bought the 7 day ticket for my husband, oldest son and me. Kids under 12 ride free. We stayed at the Buckminster Hotel up near Fenway Park. This hotel was PERFECT for us. Our "room" consisted of two rooms, one with 2 queens and 1 with 1 queen. The rooms were clean, came with shampoo and conditioner, and a decent free continental breakfast (breads, cereals, fruit, juice, coffee), which saved us a lot of money. Many fast food restaurants near by. The room also had a microwave and fridge, plus on each floor of the hotel is a kitchen and laundry room for your personal use.
Dropped of luggage. Took T to the Science Museum to take the duck tour. We had gotten cheap tickets on "buy with me", and the kids wanted to do it. Personally, I thought the water portion of it was a complete waste of time...you just drove in a circle in a river. The tour was interesting enough, but I would probably recommend a tour where you could get on and off the bus at the different stops if you wanted. Next, we took the t to the downtown section of the city and walked all around, basically doing the first portion of the freedom trail.

Day 3: We did the second portion of the freedom trail to Bunker Hill. My kids had no problem walking the entire freedom trail. We climbed to the top of Bunker Hill monument and hung out in that area for a while. Then, for the second half of the day, we took the T to Harvard, and explored the Harvard area.

Day 4: Took T back to airport and got rental car. Drove north out of Boston, on main freeways, until North MA, where we headed out to the coast. We ate lunch at Chef Howie's Hobo Restaurant in Salisbury (my husband and oldest son loved the Hobo Burgers). Drove up on the coast through New Hampshire to our hotel in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. We stayed at the Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth. LOVED it! We had a 2 queen room with a pull out sofa. It was a two story room with a beautiful view. Great little bar with fireplace in lobby. I would highly recommend this place. We walked out to the beach and walked along the beach. So pretty and different from our West coast beaches. Had dinner at Ocean House Pizza. Typical pizza place with good pizza and beer. Also, very good coffee shop next door called The Local Buzz.

Day 5: First day of bad weather :(. Tried to tour the national parks with the light houses, but it was so windy and rainy, our umbrellas blew inside out. So, we took the car tour instead. Drove up to Portland Maine for the day. Took the kids to the Portland Children's Museum. This entertained even my 14 year old son for quite a while. Great place for a rainy day. Found a local coffee shop and warmed up, then did the Old Port tour from our car, instead of walking, due to weather. Headed to Dimillo's "floating restaurant" for dinner, recommended by our hotel. We were very disappointed with this recommendation. The hotel had NO atmosphere, and the food was lousy. We ordered shrimp,and it ended up looking and tasting like that popcorn shrimp you buy in the frozen food section of your grocery store. WAY overpriced for tasteless, boring food. Do not go there! The best part of the dinner was the fact that ship came up and the kids got to watch the drawbridge open. We stayed at the Inn by the Sea again that night.
Day 6: Drove back down, out of Maine, heading to the coast when we got near Cape Ann. Went out on the cape to Gloucester. We stopped there and watched the lobster boats, walked around the little main street and ate some ice cream. We did not drive the entire loop but headed back out to hit Salem. We wanted to go the the Salem Witch Museum this day, but arrived too late. So we checked into our hotel instead: The Hawthorne Hotel in Salem. This place is WAY overpriced for what it is. Not even a coffee maker in the room. And, renovations were going on and the workers started using power tools at 7:25 in the morning!! We walked around Salem that evening, and as other posters have said, this town is just weird. How the witch hunts led to a town full of "witches" is beyond me. Strange people, strange shops. My kids enjoyed the weirdness for a while, but even they were soon creeped out by the never endingness of it. Ate dinner at the Derby Deli. Decent food and live music.
Day 7: Got up and went to the Salem Witch Museum. This was historically accurate and told the story of what happened in a way that was understandable to my 8 year old. Entertaining and worth the visit. Got in car and headed to Plimouth Plantation. Plimouth Plantation was definitely worth the stop. We especially liked the way both sides were portrayed,and not just the side of the pilgrims. All the kids enjoyed it, and my husband and I did, too. Got back in car, headed to Wood's Hole. Took Ferry from Wood's Hole over to Martha's Vineyard. Took bus from ferry stop to our hotel in Edgartown: Harbor View Inn. This was another beautiful hotel with beautiful views. Again, I would recommend this hotel. We had a double queen room with a roll away. Edgartown is SO pretty and the homes are beautiful. We had dinner at the Newes Pub...good and fun for the kids.
Day 8: We had breakfast at Dock Street Coffee House. The kids loved this place and the prices were right. We walked around the little town, explored the light house, got some fudge, and around 2, we got the bus back to the ferry. Cold day! Took ferry back over and drove back up to the airport. Turned in rental car, and got shuttle to Hilton airpot hotel. OK hotel....expensive....but served our purpose of being as close to the airport as possible for our 6 am flight the next day. Took T back into Boston to get dinner. Walked around with the kids...the city was packed with marathoners at this point, since the Boston Marathon is this MOnday. I would NOT recommend going to Boston near the marathon. We were happy we had done the city the week before. Ate dinner in Boston after walking for a long, long time to get away from the crowds due to the marathon. Headed back to hotel.
Day 9: flew home.

GREAT trip. I know we barely touched on some things, but overall we felt we got a good sense of the area without boring the kids to death. We were very lucky to only get one day of rain. The beginning of the trip was really warm, and the end on the colder side. We were happy we packed our heavy coats. Thanks again for all the advice!
Claire
PS What is the deal with all those dunkin doughnuts?????

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