Boston side trips?

Old Jul 29th, 2006, 07:58 PM
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Boston side trips?

My husband and I are spending one week in Boston next September. We will rent a car for the weekend to drive up to Jackson, NH. We are thinking of renting the car Friday morning, so we could drive somewhere near Boston on Friday morning(come back to sleep in Boston, we already have a hotel), and then Saturday morning we would drive to NH.
What do you think about Cape Ann? We would like to visit a city by the sea, and have lunch at a seafood restaurant. Do you have any tips?
Thanks everybody again!!!
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Old Jul 29th, 2006, 09:22 PM
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I will admit I am not the best at driving directions north, but I am wondering if on your way to Jackson, NH you could stop at a sea shore town like Portsmouth, NH which is about an hour out of Boston and might be a nice stop -

you can certainly do a day trip from Boston to Salem, Marblehead, Gloucester - just remembring that on a Friday, you would want to leave the city after the commuter traffic and heading back to Boston, I'm not sure what amount of weekend traffic you might hit, someone from that area will likely post and can advise.

Another possibility might be a day trip south of Boston to say Plymouth, Mass which is on the water, has some on water dining options and you shouldn't hit too much cape traffic if you left the city by 9/9:30 and returning while there is always some Friday traffic in every direction, you at least would be heading in the reverse direction of those heading down to the cape - closer still than Plymouth, you could also head south, jumping off and taking the Wollaston beach route onto Route 3A south and go through Hingham harbor, Hull, Cohasset, Scituate - which are all along the water with lovely views and good seafood restaurants. all of which are about an hour max from Boston. If you left Boston around 9/9:30 you'd be there by 10:30, The above mentioned towns are so close, you could do a loop and see all the quaint harbors, the ocean, eat lunch and likely be done by 3 and back in town for the evening. Just a thought to throw in the mix.
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Old Jul 30th, 2006, 02:04 AM
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A day trip up to Marblehead, Swampscott, Newburyport, Salem area is certainly doable. Marblehead is a pretty little town, with small streets and some cute shops. On the way back you might try Hawthorne by the Sea restaurant in Swampscott, it is RIGHT ON the water and the seafood there is very good.
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Old Jul 30th, 2006, 05:25 AM
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I would go to Rockport. Wander streets and the little shops at Bearskin Neck. Several restaurant choices. You could also take a loop thru Gloucester, which has some more authentic fishing industry things to see.

Newburyport is another option. Nice harbor area, little streets with shops and restaurants.

North shore/coastal towns are not on the way to Jackson, which is inland and on a different major highway. (Cape Ann is Route 128, Newburyport Route 95, Jackson Route 93). All these are basically north-south roads in this area and there are not good east-west connectors.

Some people here like Salem, which could be combined with Marblehead. With one day, I would pick Cape Ann or Newburyport over these, though.
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Old Jul 30th, 2006, 06:28 AM
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I'd eat fried clams in Ipswich too.
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Old Jul 30th, 2006, 06:33 AM
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Thanks, Escargot...I've sent them an email.
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Old Jul 30th, 2006, 06:51 AM
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Cape Ann is wonderful destination for a day trip from Boston and is easily doable.
But, please, you can do a lot better than dining at Hawthorne by the Sea! Evidentally, wantsomesun has not been there in the past few years. There are many much better places to choose from in Ipswich, Marblehead and other towns.
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Old Jul 30th, 2006, 11:22 AM
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Gail sez: "North shore/coastal towns are not on the route to Jackson", but Portsmouth, NH, recommended by Escargot, is right at the junction of I-95 and NH 16 and would make a great morning visit. Very salty, lots of shopping and eating places, and even a few real stores left.

Driving to Jackson, do everything you can to avoid the chaos of North Conway, which is littered with discount "outlets". There is a back way from Conway to Glen (just below Jackson) that you will find on detailed maps or can ask about locally that is getting built up but is still less of a hassle.
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Old Jul 30th, 2006, 11:23 AM
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My husband is home today who drives the northern/coastal route much more than I - just in case you decide to consider a stop in Portsmouth - it's an excellent town to visit -

according to him it is about 3 hrs from boston to Jackson nh - it is one hour from Boston to Portsmouth, NH and you could walk around and have lunch and then it is 2 hours from there to Jackson, NH - so all in all the drive time is relatively the same. There are certainly other stops along the way to Jackson, but where you mentioned you would like to see coastal towns, Portsmouth is a particularly lovely one -

it's an under 10 miles from portsmouth back to US4w and then onto NH 16 almost all the way into Jackson. I'm sure you can look on a map should you decide to consider a short stop in Portsmouth.
Have fun whatever you decide to do !
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Old Jul 30th, 2006, 11:26 AM
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Ackislander we were posting at same time -
not to hijack the thread, but remember that nantucket thread we were on and you graciously supplied me w/ the name of the cafe I couldn't remember from yrs ago (morning glory) - check the post, someone had the famous muffin recipe of theirs if you are interested !! again everyone, sorry for the hijack !
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Old Jul 30th, 2006, 12:45 PM
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I did not suggest Portsmouth since I find the traffic up that way hideous on Fridays when everyone seems to leave a day early. It is true, though, that you could do a reasonable trip to Portsmouth on the way to Jackson.

However, OP indicated she wanted to do a day trip on a Friday and for that I would still recommend Cape Ann/Rockport/Gloucester.
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Old Jul 30th, 2006, 02:13 PM
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Here's my opinion. I agree with either Rockport or Newburyport on Friday. Leave early and you won't have any traffic problems. Heading back to Boston, you shouldn't have significant traffic problems. Expect some traffic around the city.

Saturday morning, I would stop in Portsmouth, NH for lunch before heading north to Jackson.

In Newburyport, the Black Cow and Blue Water Cafe are very good, but I'm not sure they're open for lunch. My Place, in Rockport, is great, but, again, I'm not sure about lunch.

The Thompson House Eatery in Jackson is one of our favorites. Have a great time.
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Old Jul 30th, 2006, 03:19 PM
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Oh, man, I love Cape Ann so much, you should definitely go there. Rockport is such a lovely little town. Go to Halibut Point State Park (take Granite Street to right before the end of the world, its a turn on the right) for beautiful ocean views, quarries and hiking.

Don't go to Shish and Fish, if it's even still open, which is right there at the end of the world. The view is spectacular but the service is awful. On the upside, Rockport is wet now, so you don't have to bring your own wine.

You'd be better off eating in Gloucester. Amelia's is good for sandwiches, Valentino's for pizza, Virgillio's for the best Italian sandwiches ever. Gloucester House is probably best for good traditional seafood, but McT's is also good. Walk from there through St. Peter's Square and down Stacy Boulevard to the Man at the Wheel. Get dip cones at the ice cream place down the road.

Rockport is certainly more charming than Gloucester. Bearskin Neck is a must, check out Motif No. 1, go for a whale watch if you have time. A beautiful area.

OK, Salem's kind of fun too, if you're into hokey. There's a good museum not about witches there, too.

Joanne
http://www.vacationing-with-kids.com
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