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Boston’s Logan International Airport is the state’s major airport. Trains, ferries, and small commuter flights take you to points around the state. If you’re driving to Cape Cod, avoid the Friday late-afternoon-to-early-evening summer rush.
Though not covered in this chapter, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and Cape Cod are popular getaway destinations from Boston. High-speed ferries provide transportation to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. The Bay State Cruise Co. and Boston Harbor Cruises run 90-minute ferry rides between Boston and Cape Cod’s Provincetown from May through October; reservations are strongly recommended. For details on what to see and do in these destinations, see Fodor’s Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard.
Bay State Cruise Co. (877/783–3779. www.baystatecruisecompany.com.)
Boston Harbor Cruises (Long Wharf, 1 Seaport Ln., Boston, MA, 02210. 617/227–4321 or 877/733–9425. www.bostonharborcruises.com.)
Outside Boston you need a car to explore the state. Expect heavy traffic heading in and out of the city at rush hour, generally from 6 am to 9 am and 4 pm to 7 pm.
From Boston to Lexington, pick up Route 2 West in Cambridge. Exit at Routes 4/225. Turn left on Massachusetts Avenue for the National Heritage Museum. For Lexington’s town center, take the Waltham Street–Lexington exit from Route 2. Follow Waltham Street just under 2 miles to Massachusetts Avenue; you’ll be just east of the Battle Green. The drive takes about 30 minutes. To continue to Concord, head farther west on Route 2. Or take Interstate 90 (the Massachusetts Turnpike) to Interstate 95 North, and then exit at Route 2, heading west. Driving time is 40–45 minutes from Boston.
The primary link between Boston and the North Shore is Route 128, which follows the coast northeast to Gloucester. To pick up Route 128 from Boston, take Interstate 93 North to Interstate 95 North to Route 128. If you stay on Interstate 95, you’ll reach Newburyport. From Boston to Salem or Marblehead, follow Route 128 to Route 114 into Salem or continue to Marblehead. Driving from Boston to Salem takes about 35–40 minutes; to Gloucester or to Newburyport, about 50–60 minutes.
To get to Plymouth, take the Southeast Expressway Interstate 93 South to Route 3 (toward Cape Cod); Exits 6 and 4 lead to downtown Plymouth and Plimoth Plantation, respectively. Allow about one hour.
The MBTA’s commuter rail offers service to Newburyport, Ipswich, Rockport, Salem, and Gloucester. Travel times are usually 70 minutes or less.
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (800/392–6100. www.mbta.com.)