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ozchick Jun 13th, 2004 04:45 PM

Boston - stay in Cambridge
How far is Cambridge (time wise) from Boston Logan airport? We are thinking of staying in Cambridge - catching public transport into Boston for the day, picking up our hire car later that day, which we will take back to hotel and then drive to Plimouth plantation the following day (does this entail driving through Boston?

It's just that I am having a little difficulty finding a reasonably priced hotel, that has rooms big enough for two kids aged 5 and 6, as well as us!

rkkwan Jun 13th, 2004 05:05 PM

Cambridge is just across the river from Boston, and is basically part of the center of the Boston Metropolitan.

If you're talking about public transport, then you should get a hotel that's near the "T" (i.e. subway). It's as few as ONE STOP from Boston across the bridge.

For driving from Logan Airport, the shortest route is to take the tunnel and go through Downtown Boston. Otherwise, you'll have to go north from the Airport, then West and South - a big detour.

Whatever way you take, you need to get EXTREMELY GOOD directions from the hotel people. I've driven in about 45 of the 50 states, and travelled in many countries. Boston has the most complicated roadway layout in the world - and Cambridge is worse, with many streets one-way, and intersections never 90-degrees. Trust me, you will get lost one way or the other.

djkbooks Jun 13th, 2004 05:40 PM

You may want to consider the Marriott in Quincy. The Marriott has family rooms at reasonable prices (with a considerable discount if you book and pay 14 days ahead). It's located just south of Boston, right off the highway, and a subway stop is a short walk away. To my recollection, there is no charge to park your car.

You must be careful when booking a hotel in Cambridge, as many are quite a long walk from the nearest subway station. Though many offer "shuttle" service, it's often not available early, late, or if the driver doesn't show up that day.

Anonymous Jun 13th, 2004 05:47 PM

At this stage of your planning, you really ought ot have a map. You would know that Cambridge is north of Boston, and Plymouth is south, and thus you'd have to drive through Boston to get there. And most hotels in Cambridge odn't offer free parking -- the ones that do won't be convenient to public transit.

As djk suggests, you'd be better-off staying south of Boston, in Quincy or even Braintree, where most hotels provide reliable shuttles to the subway, parking is free, and you're already south of Boston when you set out for Plymouth.

cigalechanta Jun 13th, 2004 07:36 PM

Charles Hotel, Charles Square Inn, and their other hotel, on Mt aAuburn St are all steps away from the HV. SQ. Subway that takes you to Park Square where you can see what direction you want to go if your train does not go direct.
Living here is difficult to talk hotels as we dine or drink but never see the rooms.But try in town, the Charlesmark Hotel, not a full service hotel but you will be surounded by restos and amusements.

Gekko Jun 13th, 2004 08:39 PM

Why do you want to stay in Cambridge? It's inconvenient to the vast majority of Boston tourist sites/activities. Check out the Back Bay & Brookline areas then bid on Priceline.

But first, I agree, acquire a map.

djkbooks Jun 13th, 2004 09:55 PM

Gekko, please note that "ozchick" has two small children, so Priceline, along with nearly every hotel conveniently located near a subway station in Cambridge, are probably not feasible.

I totally agree about a map, though...

gail Jun 14th, 2004 01:44 AM

In addition to a map, there are issues with both Boston and Cambridge - and that is where in each city you would stay. There are hotels in either that are not accessible to easy public transportation, and also those not close to anything. In addition, there are hotels that list themselves as Boston/North Shore, Boston/Waltham - and the like that are not even in Boston and are a giant pain to commute from.

Even with a map, areas that would seem close to a reasonable person are not short on commuting time - because Boston routes were not developed by a reasonable person (actually many were old horse and carriage paths, long since widened and paved, but generally annoying)

There have been many posts here concerning lodging in Boston. They follow the same pattern - people have "sticker shock" when they see cost of Boston hotels and parking, have concern over driving in Boston. Then they think they have invented a great scheme to avoid all these issues - and unfortunately, it usually involves staying at someplace completely out of the way and/or in an industrial or run-down area.

Please choose where to stay with great care - if you find a place that is considerably bigger, cheaper, etc than all other lodging you have researched, there is probably a really good negative reason.

kathyl Jun 14th, 2004 10:37 AM

Perhaps you can check out the Kendall Hotel (, which is located right in Kendall Square (first stop on the Red line in Cambridge). The Kendall hotel will be about 1/2 block from the subway stop which can take you into downtown Boston (2-3 stops). In addition, this location will provide (relatively) easy access to I-93, which is what you

kathyl Jun 14th, 2004 10:41 AM

Sorry, accidentally hit the mouse...

To continue:
In addition, this location will provide (relatively) easy access to I-93, which is what you will take to head South towards Plymouth.

Kendall Square itself may get a bit sleepy at night, but with such easy access to the T, Central and Harvard Square restaurants and nightlife are only 1-2 stops away. On nice days, you can also stroll across the Longfellow Bridge and reach Beacon Hill in about 15 minutes.

There are a few other hotels in the same area (Marriot) which you can also check out. The once caveat will be the car parking--I don't know how much that will run. Can you pick up the car the same day you leave for Plymouth? This would reduce parking costs and driving stress.

sharona Jun 14th, 2004 03:09 PM

Hi ozchick. As kathyl mentioned Kendall Square might be a good option for your stay. The Marriott Cambridge actually has the Kendall Square "T" stop right off of its lobby. There is also a Marriott Residence Inn a block or two away and that should give you plenty of elbow room. I don't know if the price for either of these hotels will fit your request for a reasonably priced hotel but I do know that parking is at least $25/night.

Another option could be the Hyatt Cambridge but it is nowhere near a subway stop and you would have to rely on the already warned about hotel shuttles. I see the Hyatt Shuttle all the time, however, so perhaps the Hyatt does a better job making routine shuttle runs. They promise to take you to Harvard Square or to the Kendall Square "T" stop (red line) or a Boston University "T" stop (green line), both of which will get you into downtown Boston. If you are driving the Hyatt might be the easiest Cambridge hotel to reach from a major highway, which in this case is the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90). The Big Dig has everything in a mess but I'm fairly sure you can reach I-93 South directly from the Mass Pike (someone please correct me if I'm wrong).

If you only have the car one day to drive to Plimouth Plantation then I would probably suggest a hotel in Kendall Square or Harvard Square so you can be near a subway stop. If you plan to keep the car and drive around the area then you might want to consider the Hyatt for its navigational ease.

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