Boston & Cape Cod

Old Apr 23rd, 2015, 12:08 PM
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Boston & Cape Cod

My boyfriend and I have never been to the East Coast so I am thinking of planning a trip in September to Boston and Cape Cod. Some advise would be very helpful.

First, what town would you recommend in Cape Cod? We don't like deserted places. It doesn't have to crowded but I wouldn't want to stay where we are the only people around. We like being able to walk on the beach and then maybe go into town or right off the beach and grab a beer and some lunch. I would like a hotel where we could see the water. And it would be great to be able to walk through a town with small shops and restaurants. We aren't really into hiking or outdoor activities like that very much. There seems to be so many options in Cape Cod so I'm having trouble figuring the towns out.

In Boston it seems like the Back Bay might be the area we should stay in? We love walking around cities so we'd like to do some sight seeing but we'd also like to stay in an area with lots of restaurants and activity around.

What is the best way to get from Boston to Cape Cod? Renting a car? We plan on flying into Boston and then going to Cape Cod for a few nights and then back to Boston for a few nights. Do several places close after Labor Day weekend? I am trying to decide when to go in September. Its possible we could take a vacation Labor Day weekend but it might work better for our work schedules to go more towards the middle of the month.

Thanks for your help!!
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Old Apr 23rd, 2015, 12:25 PM
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In southern New England the best weather of the summer often occurs during the first week or two of September, so try to time your trip to Cape Cod for then.

There are many attractive towns on the Cape. I'll mention a few just to get you started: Chatham, Wellfleet and Truro. Provincetown has its charms but may be busier than you'd like. I would recommend that you avoid the Cape's largest town, Hyannis. I would also recommend a car for the Cape, unless you are staying in Provincetown (which can be reached by ferry from Boston).
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Old Apr 23rd, 2015, 12:33 PM
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I really enjoyed Provincetown. That may be too crowded for you. But you can escape the crowds by going out to the beaches, and there is a lot of food and shopping. It's a happening place and fun to roam around on foot. And the people watching was phenomenal. There's a summer ferry from Boston to Provincetown, and I'm not sure what date that stops running, but you should check. I chose Provincetown originally for that reason- I did not want to drive to Cape Cod- and I'm very glad I did. There's also a bus that you can ride to other towns- I went to Truro, I think, and I did a day trip to Nantucket, so I visited Hyannis too. Provincetown was my favorite.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2015, 02:25 PM
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Another fan of Provincetown...I have spent many wonderful vacations there!
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Old Apr 23rd, 2015, 03:09 PM
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I think the ferry is the best option as the traffic can be bad returning to Boston. I loved Provincetown.
Back Bay is good. Try and see a game at Fenway.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2015, 04:01 PM
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Just for the record, I think Provincetown is a lot of fun. I think the OP should look at a few towns to get an idea which might better suit her. Bad writing on my part!
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Old Apr 23rd, 2015, 04:15 PM
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No place on the Cape will be really crowded in September, including Provincetown. Also take a look at Chatham, which has a nice downtown. Your best bet is to rent a car for the Cape, you'll need it, and you won't be running into summer traffic jams.

I like Wellfleet but as with many Cape towns, you have to drive to the beach, or at least to the best beaches. Much of the lower Cape, Provincetown, Truro, Wellfleet, and Eastham, is part of the Cape Cod National Seashore. So there is little development along the beaches because they are protected.

Wellfleet and Provincetown have a lot of galleries to browse through. A few places may close or reduce hours after Labor Day, but you'll find that most everything is open. We spent the week after Labor Day in Wellfleet last year and it was one of the warmer weeks of the summer. But nowhere was crowded.

In Boston, look at hotels in Back Bay, Downtown, or the Quincy Market/harbor area. Hotels in the Seaport are a little further from the historical sites and shopping. But it is pretty to look at the water.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2015, 04:25 PM
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Another important issue is: When in September? The farther from Labor Day, the closer to the end of the "season" and the less crowds you'll find. Provincetown is teeming with visitors all summer, but it starts thinning out in September. It will be the same for a lot of the other towns in the Cape.

I'm a huge fan of P-town (I went there with my husband last summer); it's a great walking town (a car's a liability, actually), it's loaded with Cape Cod charm and it's full of fun dining and entertainment options. It's also a proud center of LGBT culture in New England, so a lot of the entertainment consists of insanely outrageous drag shows, tea dances and Broadway stars working on cabaret shows. Not that there's anything wrong with that. The ferry from Boston, if it's still running when you go there, will be the best bet to get there. Not every hotel/motel/B&B in P-town has parking (absolutely check before you reserve!), so be careful if you must drive.

Boston is great; its compact nature makes it perfect for walking tours, it's full of history and culture, and the Back Bay is basically central to everything (everywhere you want to go is a T ride away). I personally love this place for lodging:

http://newburyguesthouse.com/

Perfectly charming, right on Newbury Street. It's been a few years, so I'd look at Tripadvisor for recent reviews. Very limited parking, as I recall....
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Old Apr 23rd, 2015, 06:07 PM
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There are many nice towns on the Cape, each with their own personality. Two I like are Wellfleet and Falmouth. Wellfleet is fairly small, with an artsy feel. It has both an ocean and a bay beach. Falmouth is larger, with a very vibrant downtown and miles of warm water beach front. Provencetown is fun and interesting with great beaches and tons of eateries, but not a typical Cape Cod town. It has almost a carnival atmosphere, with an interesting mix of Portuguese fisherman, gay couples and lots of tourists.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2015, 06:12 PM
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P-Town, yes! And Back Bay for Boston
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Old Apr 23rd, 2015, 07:02 PM
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Also look at Chatham as it meets your requirements. Overlooking the ocean, Chatham Bars Inn.
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Old Apr 25th, 2015, 05:38 AM
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Thanks everybody! I will definitely look into all of these suggestions.
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