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1 week Cape Cod in early Sept. What to do for 2nd week?

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Apr 30th, 2014, 01:26 AM
  #1
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1 week Cape Cod in early Sept. What to do for 2nd week?

Hi
I have been lucky enough to be offered a free house in Cape Cod from Sept 6th to 13th. However, as we'll be flying from Ireland, we want to take a longer trip. can anyone offer some suggestions for the first week in Sept? We are a couple in our late 40s who like good food and wine and enjoy exploring historic sites. We don't mind driving but not endless interstates. We've been to NY city a couple of times but never to Boston.
Tks in advance
Suzanne
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Apr 30th, 2014, 02:47 AM
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Boston, definitely. And I strongly, strongly recommend that you go there after the Cape, not before. The period just before and just after our Labor Day holiday on the first Monday in September is one of the busiest of the year in Boston as the university year is just beginning. Everything will be crowded and hotels will be expensive.

Take the Plymouth and Boston bus (company, not destination) from the Transportation Center in Hyannis to South Station in Boston. You won't want a car in the city at all, and you can get a taxi or take the T (MBTA) subway or trolley (tram) to you hotel. You can, by the way, take the same company's busses direct from Logan Airport to the Cape and rent a car there.

The sites I would recommend are the Kennedy Library in Dorchester, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Boston Public Library in Copley Square and Trinity Church across the Square, and Harvard, in Cambridge across the river, both the university itself and its museums including the Gass flowers.

Beyond that, Boston is a city of mostly wonderful neighborhoods which are great fun to explore on foot. Most of the historical sites are on the Freedom Trail, which goes from the Common to the ship Constitution (Old Ironsides ) in Charlestown. You can take a cheap water taxi back to Long Wharf and see Boston from its harbor.

Beacon Hill, the Back Bay, and Harvard Square are all extremely walkable, and the Esplanade along the Charles River is usually great for people watching. Two stops beyond Harvard on the T Red Line is Davis Square in Somerville, a working class area which became a happening place in the 90's and remains a center for modestly priced restaurants and music venues, notably the Burren.

If you are rock fans, most indie bands play in the Brighton area in Boston (T Green Line B trolley) which also has lots of cheap ethnic eateries. You can probably imagine what sort of music they play at the Plough and Stars on Massachusetts Avenue (always abbreviated to Mass Ave) in Cambridge. it is a bit early for the Boston Symphony if that is your taste, but there will be other concerts. Boston is in particular a center for early music. At Emmanuel Church in the Back Bay, the choir sings a complete Bach cantata before the principal service every Sunday. Many famous musicians and singers got their starts here and return to sing when they are in town. Others will tell you more.
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Apr 30th, 2014, 07:30 AM
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In my opinion, one week in Boston without a car is too long. You can definitely spend a few days exploring the city on foot and by public transport, but there are also many charming towns a bit outside of Boston that don't require "endless interstate" driving. For instance, Marblehead or Salem. I'm sure you could use public transport to get there, but to me some of the most beautiful scenery around Boston is driving along the coast in these areas. It's been a few years since I've been, but I'm remembering loving the drives and stopping off at amazing little, hole-in-the-wall seafood restaurants.

Absolutely don't miss the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum! It is a true gem. We also enjoyed walking around the neighborhood by Tufts University.

You will love Cape Cod. I'm not sure what I had in mind, but I was surprised when I couldn't quickly get from Chatham to P-town! It was about a 45 minute drive! But I fell in love with the area. Also loved visiting Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.

Have a great time!!
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Apr 30th, 2014, 09:16 AM
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Boston and take the train to Salem one day and explore the area. You can take the ferry to Provincetown one day from Boston and and whale watch. There are some home games in town for the Red Soxs during that period.
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Apr 30th, 2014, 10:23 AM
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Take the train from North Station to Salem or on to Rockport. Come back from Salem on the ferry as the lights come on in the city. Magical.

You can take the train to Portsmouth, NH, or even Portland or Brunswick, Maine. The first two especially have lots of car-free places to visit in addition to wonderful breweries and good food.
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May 1st, 2014, 01:23 AM
  #6
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Guys - sincere thanks for your feedback (my previous trips to the West coast were greatly enhanced by help received on these forums.

I hear you regarding the time - after the 13th and not before.

I'll investigate the suggestions above and no doubt will be back with more queries.
Suz
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May 1st, 2014, 03:46 AM
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Assuming you have a car for the Cape, you could stop in Newport for a day or 2 on the way to or from. I love the cliff walk and the mansions. Then you would cut your Boston time down to 5 days. Another option would be to drive out to the Berkshires for a couple days...it's about 2 hours from Boston on the Mass Pike, which is an interstate, but has a pretty section as you head west, and perhaps 2 hours isn't endless. The Berkshires is lovely and offers a marked contrast from the Cape. There are plenty of things to do, and nice restaurants out there too.
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May 1st, 2014, 02:30 PM
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Perhaps you could spend a few days checking out the different parts of Boston such as North End, Newbury Street, Beacon Hill (the Freedom Trail starts at Park Street), and the Museum of Fine Arts which is close to Northeastern University on the Green line and always has cool exhibits. Then you could check out some of Boston's surrounding areas... Harvard Square is a nice place to walk around with restaurants, stores, and the university. Harvard also has its own museum of natural history and the peabody museum. One cool tour is the Adams house tour in Quincy!
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