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Driving fr Philadelphia to Cape Cod. Midway city to explore for a day?

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Jan 10th, 2012, 02:43 PM
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Driving fr Philadelphia to Cape Cod. Midway city to explore for a day?

Hi All. So we're driving from Philadelphia at the end of July to do a 7 day rental in Cape Cod. We will have 1 yr old twin boys with us. At first I was looking at staying in Providence (because I've never been) but am realizing that it will be a 5-6 hour drive (or longer for stops). What's another city you would recommend that we can stop off in and stay the night where there will be enough to see and do for a day? Should we just try Providence anyway? We can leave Philadelphia pretty early if we need to. I've never been to Connecticut. Is New Haven a good midway point?
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Jan 10th, 2012, 02:55 PM
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Unless you really want to get the kids used to the idea that they are going to Yale, thank you, I don't think New Haven has anything to offer them. Adults will enjoy the Yale museums and the very small gentrified area in the immediate vicinity of the campus.

A couple of ideas -- stop at Mystic, CT and visit the seaport. There's nothing particularly geared towards one year olds (to be honest, what is?) But it's a pleasant outdoor spot by the river with living history exhibits and plenty of ships and boats to board. Out by 95 there's a small aquarium with dolphin show, etc.

Another possibility would be Newport, RI. There's a beach the kids might enjoy, outdoor restaurants, etc.

Both will be crowded then -- it's the true beginning of the season.

FD
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Jan 10th, 2012, 03:00 PM
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Thanks FD. I'm thinking maybe a short stop at Mystic to visit the seaport then get the boys out of the car for a bit then head to Providence or do you think it will be too late to see any of providence by then? We can either stay in Providence for a night or head closer in to Cape Cod to miss the traffic that everyone seems to be warning us about on a saturday at the start of the busy summer season?
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Jan 10th, 2012, 04:09 PM
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I actually misread the dates. By the end of July you are in the heart of the season. I think you may find traffic heavy on Friday. I haven't been on the Cape in-season for quite a while, but I think the earlier you start on Saturday the better. Some of our Cape Cod experts will have more precise information.
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Jan 10th, 2012, 04:11 PM
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thanks fra. no, it's end oj june (29)
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Jan 10th, 2012, 04:26 PM
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I used to stop in Mystic on my trips between Philadelphia and the New Hampshire coast. It's a darling town. The aquarium is actually pretty nice, or it used to be. Toddlers love to watch fish swimming.
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Jan 10th, 2012, 05:23 PM
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I was also thinking about Mystic. The aquarium is right off the highway and there's shopping village there too. A few reasonable hotels with swimming pools literally across the road from the aquarium so it would be a very easy place to stop. Then get an early start to Cape Cod the next morning
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Jan 10th, 2012, 06:23 PM
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Mystic would be good. Even little ones can enjoy the aquarium and there are a number of modestly priced chain motels.
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Jan 11th, 2012, 04:02 AM
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Nthing Mystic. There are two great clam shacks on the way into town on your right on the water. They have outdoor sea ting that would be perfect for toddlers. And the best chowder I have ever eaten, and I have eaten a lot of chowder.
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Jan 11th, 2012, 04:52 AM
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If you do stop in Mystic, there also is a small playground on Cottrel street ( the street just before the east side of the bascule bridge in the center of town) where the kids could let off some steam. There is also a small green and boardwalk nearby along the river. The Aquarium would have more to interest little ones than the Seaport, it has seals, and whales as well as fish and lots of windows that are low enough for kids.

You will need to leave pretty early to avoid traffic, and even then missing it in NYC and western CT would be nearly impossible.
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Jan 11th, 2012, 06:27 AM
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thanks! that's exactly what I needed although after the long breat and the kids get tired out, we'll take advantage and drive further down. our hotel at providence can be cancelled by 6pm that day so we'll play it by ear, I guess. I just want to get closer in to cape cod so we cross the bourne bridge before traffic hits it saturday morning. So what's a good town near cape cod with lots of chain hotel options for a night that isn't going to be expensive. We'll need a microwave to sterilize bottles.

also, was reading up on some posts and think we can try the tappan zee bridge route instead of GW through bronx/ny. do you think that will help? we think we'll hit the ny area by 9am. do you guysthink it will help?
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Jan 11th, 2012, 08:46 AM
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I have friends who live near I 84 close to Hartford. They always go up 84 to Mass Pike then down 495 to 24 to the Cape. I think the miles would be longer than 95, but depending on the time of day and the conditions on the road, It might be faster. Tappan Zee can get you to both 95 and 84.

An accident on any route could keep you stopped so always have a plan B.

As for past Providence, there are hotels/motels all along 195, look at Fall River and New Bedford for plenty.
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Jan 11th, 2012, 01:28 PM
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thanks emalloy. A plan B is a good idea and you just gave me one!

Funny, I'm working from home today and I always have the tv on as bactkground and Kourtney and Kim (Kardasian) take New York just took a relaxing trip to Mystic, Ct. It must be a sign!!! The aquarium DOES look really good. Excited to show the boys that.
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Jan 11th, 2012, 01:30 PM
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Oh, and found another post where it was suggested to eat at Abbot's Lobster Pound. Yum! Are the lobster prices cheaper in these hole in the wall places? I'm a seafood fanatic so am sooooo looking forward to all the seafood!
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Jan 11th, 2012, 05:04 PM
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Lobster is not real cheap in CT, but Abbot's is a little hard to find but it is right on the west side of the river in Noank, next village to Mystic on the Groton side, ask for directions if your GPS has trouble. There is also Cove Fish Market between Stonington Burough and Mystic on route 1 that sells lobster etc. and has tables but not as scenic as Abbotts.

If you spend the night there, go to Kitchen Little for breakfast.
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Jan 15th, 2012, 07:48 PM
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I agree with the mystic suggestions, it's exactly the half way point from NYC to Eastham (it was our stop when the kids were young) so you'll have gotten more of your drive over with. Just realize that no mater what, you won't get to the Bourbe Bridge before the traffic on a summer Saturday.
Also, definitely take the GWB and not the TappanZee but head up the Henry Hudson and across 684 to 95, there's never a reason to take the Cross Bronx Expressway. If you get to a Hudson River crossing at rush hour there will be traffic but after that you'll be heading against commuter flow until you enter New Haven
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Jan 15th, 2012, 08:00 PM
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"Also, definitely take the GWB and not the TappanZee" Curious as to why you would suggest this. It goes against the usual advice and against my personal experience but I only drive that route 4 or 5 times a year so I am not an expert.
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Jan 15th, 2012, 09:08 PM
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Whatever your plan, make sure you've crossed the Cape bridge no later than 9 a.m. on Saturday. If it were me, I'd leave home on Friday night, get as far north as I could, stay overnight somewhere along the Mass Pike and get over the bridge to the Cape as soon as I could Saturday morning. Don't forget: Cape Cod is a natural aquarium but if you're still set on going to Mystic perhaps you'd be better off saving Mystic's aquarium for the ride back home.
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Jan 16th, 2012, 03:53 AM
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Maria, we, personally, would never attempt an I-95 drive voluntarily on a Friday night in the summer. We leave DC for our annual summer Cape week at the crazy early hour of 4:30 a.m. (on a Saturday), and generally have smooth sailing over the Bourne anytime between 1:30 and 3:00 p.m., including frequent rest stops. We travel with our children and our dog, all of whom are happy to climb into the car and sleep. When the children were younger, sometimes they slept all the way to the GWB--by that time half the drive was over. A 4:30 departure requires coordination the night before, of course--the car is packed, the bikes are loaded, and the cooler is filled with breakfast and snack provisions--but for us it's well worth it even now that our children are older.
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Jan 16th, 2012, 06:11 AM
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You will not have smooth sailing over either Cape bridge between 1:30 and 3:00 pm on a summer Saturday afternoon.
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