Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   United States (
-   -   Manchester to Cape Cod? (

WSWalker Feb 3rd, 2005 08:20 PM

Manchester to Cape Cod?
I'm traveling from Manchester NH to Cape Cod and will be short on time. I've received varying suggestions regarding the best route, e.g., straight through Boston, taking the inner loup (95), and even the outer loup (495). Are there any experts out there who can offer the best bet? Many thanks!

Dreamer2 Feb 3rd, 2005 08:57 PM

Best bet for time is straight through Boston. Not rush hour, I hope! If so, go around Rt. 128. (THat's the inner loop 95) But it still could be horrible. It's almost exactly two hours from Manchester to Hyannis, barring staus.

gail Feb 4th, 2005 04:18 AM

Depends a great deal on time of day. Most direct route is to take 93 south from Manchester, continuing thru northern Mass, Boston, South of Boston towards Plymouth where the road will split and you continue on Rte 3 to the Cape. This puts you on Rte 6 at the Sagamore Bridge with signs later for the exit to Hyannis (I think Rte is 132, but my memory could be wrong).

As far as time of day, if you are going in bad weather and/or rush hour (defined as anything from 5 AM-10 AM M-F and 3 PM - 7 PM M-F), this is going to take quite a bit longer than 2 hours. I live 20 miles north of Boston and during these conditions it cn take an hour just to go that distance, not counting the similar traffic jams south of Boston.

Some people prefer the much longer 495 route during busier times - and this may make sense, but if the delay is weather-related, that will not likely save you much time. For mere rush-hour delays, it will probably be faster, but still is not going to be a 2-hour trip.

Even under the best on conditions, I think 2 hours is overly optimistic (and I drive fast)

Anonymous Feb 4th, 2005 04:50 AM

I agree that time of day is a major consideration. Also, whereabouts on the Cape? From Sandwich, at the beginning, to Provincetown, at the far tip, is a 90-minute trip itself, at least.

The shortest route, which would be the fastest without traffic, is indeed straight through Boston, on Route 93. I live just south of Boston and had to travel to Manchester via Route 93 several times last summer, and it was not unusual for that trip, a mere segment of yours, to take 2 hours.

If you must travel during *afternoon* rush hour, avoid both Route 93 and 95, since the next leg of your trip is Route 3 (from Braintree down towards the Cape), which is the worst and most congested piece of highway in Massachusetts. In the AM, it wouldn't be so bad as you'd be heading against most traffic.

You should listen to the traffic reports on the radio -- WBZ, at 1030 AM, since any of the 3 routes could be come hopelessly and totally blocked on a moment's notice. The reporters of course use jargon -- the "Braintree split" is where Route 93 joins Route 3 south of Boston, and "Route 128" consists of (are you ready?) the northern half of Route 95 and the southern end of Route 93, where the northbound lane heads south. Ask a local to go over it with you on a map, there's just no other way to explain it.

Dreamer2 Feb 4th, 2005 05:11 AM

I used to travel from Manchester, NH to Centerville, MA to visit my father in a nursing home at least once a week. If I left my house at 9:am on a weekday, I could be at Cooke's in Hyannis before they opened: 11:15 on the dot every time. Barring traffic jams. And this was before the big dig was finished. I would do similarly well on weekends, with the exception of late June, July and August. I never got a speeding ticket, and I generally don't speed.

Now, if weather is bad, it's rush hour, peak season, you are not familiar with the roads, or you like to make a couple stops, it will be longer, of course.

Anonymous Feb 4th, 2005 05:40 AM

Dreamer, sounds like you timed it just right --heading towards Boston just after rush hour and completely avoiding the crowded times on the roads south of Boston.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:10 AM.