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Possible to do Providence, Newport and Boston?

Possible to do Providence, Newport and Boston?

Mar 23rd, 2009, 06:31 AM
  #1  
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Possible to do Providence, Newport and Boston?

I will be attending a conference in July in Boston. Seeing that the tickets are so much more attractive if I flew into Providence, I was wondering if I can take a quick detour to Newport. I will be flying into Providence on a red-eye on Sat. (10 a.m.) and do not need to check in at a Boston hotel until later that night. Is it advisable to rely on the public transport to make all the connections or is it advisable to rent a car to do the Providence-Newport leg? What are the traffic and parking situations in July on Newport? Please advise. Thanks.

Aggie
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Mar 23rd, 2009, 07:06 AM
  #2  
 
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You certainly should take advantage of your time while here in Rhode Island! I would rent a car at the TF Green airport and drive over to Newport. The drive is about 35- 40 minutes from the airport to Newport. Yes, all weekends are busy in Newport but if you plan out where you are going, I believe that you can still have a great time without too much hassle. So you will have from about 11 AM till what time??

For the return, you could drive to Boston, drive back to the airport and take a bus, drive back to the airport and take a train....what do you think you will be comfortable with??
EmilyC is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2009, 07:07 AM
  #3  
yk
 
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Please rent a car. It's much easier and gives you lots more flexibility.

Newport RI can easily take up your whole day. Unless there's something you're dying to see in Providence (eg, RISD), I'd just go straight to Newport and spend majority of your day there. By the time you get off your plane, get the rental car, drive to Newport... it'll easily be 11:30-12 by the time you arrive.

There are lots in the "town center" of Newport, and at each mansion there is a parking lot. You can drive to each mansion and park there; or you can park your car in the lot in the town center and take the trolley which loops pass all the mansions.

The drive from Newport to Boston is about 1.5 hours.

HOwever, it may be very expensive to rent a car for one-way for one day. If it is, your other option is to skip Newport. Just tour Providence for the day and take public transportation into Boston.
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Mar 23rd, 2009, 07:28 AM
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You can get a bus from TFGreen airport to Boston, on Peter Pan bus lines, for $40 round trip. On their drop-down menu, it's called TFGreen Airp RI. So you could drop off the rental car at the airport after visiting Newport.

TF Green is technically in Warwick, not Providence, and there's no other direct connection from the airport into Boston. You can catch a train (either Amtrak or the MBTA Commuter Rail) in the center of Prov but you still have to get between the train station and the airport, with resulting hassles, expenses, and potential delays.
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Mar 23rd, 2009, 07:36 AM
  #5  
yk
 
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Another thing I forgot to ask, is what will you do with your luggage if you are using all public transportation?

I can't imagine dragging your luggage on public transportation from Providence -> Newport -> Providence -> Boston.
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Mar 23rd, 2009, 08:52 PM
  #6  
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Thank you all for your advice. Not wanting to lug the luggage around definitely makes renting a car so much more attractive. Not to mention, if I get tired, I can take a short nap in it...

Re: anonymous' comment, I did wonder how easy it is to make the TF Green-Providence Station connection. How frequent is the Peter Pan bus and how long would it take to go to Boston. I assume it will drop me off at South or North Station? Once I get to Boston, I still have to check in to my hotel, so I was thinking I should leave Newport around 6 p.m. or so...Would 5-6 hours be enough to tour 1-2 mansions and sample the local fare? Which of the mansions should I see? The Breakers? (It was mentioned in Thornton Wilder's Theophilus North, a novel about Newport after WWI.)

Lilley
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Mar 24th, 2009, 07:06 AM
  #7  
yk
 
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HI Lilley-

The bus that goes between Providence Airport and Boston South Station is Peter Pan, and there's a bus at 5:30pm; 6:30pm; and 8:30pm.

5 hours is probably enough for at least 2 mansions, plus a walk along the Cliff Walk. Each house tour takes 1 hour or less, plus however much time you want to spend on the grounds/gardens. The only hiccup is the Breakers is popular and you may have to wait a while for the next available tour. I'd visit the Breakers last and hope it won't be as crowded towards the end of the day. Since you're visiting in July, it stays light until pretty late at night.

If you want to take the 6:30pm Peter Pan bus, you'd need to leave Newport by 5:30pm the latest, just in case there's traffic leaving Newport (parts of town has just one lane each direction) and returning your rental car.

Go to Peterpanbus.com for bus schedules and here's a link for the Newport Mansions hours:
http://www.newportmansions.org/page3555.cfm
yk is online now  
Mar 24th, 2009, 08:04 PM
  #8  
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yk, thanks for the links. Looking at the Peter Pan bus site, it looks like it does not board at TF Green, but only at Kennedy Plaza, near Brown. How much is the cab fare between downtown and TF Green? Thanks in advance for your help so far.
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Mar 24th, 2009, 10:55 PM
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The "Providence Terminal" on Peter Pan's website refers the bus terminal north of downtown and not PVD. The bus on Saturday to Boston departs Kennedy Plaza at 5:15p, 6:15p and 8:15p in the afternoon, and the bus terminal 15 minutes later.

Now, Enterprise, Avis and Budget has rental location at downtown Providence, walkable to Kennedy Plaza. Check if there's extra drop-off fees, and those locations' hours.
rkkwan is offline  
Mar 25th, 2009, 12:00 AM
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"Looking at the Peter Pan bus site, it looks like it does not board at TF Green, but only at Kennedy Plaza, near Brown."

Look again, it does board at TF Green, though the times quoted above by yk are for Providence, not TF Green. Selecting TFGreen from the drop-down menu shows that the bus leaves TF Green for Boston at 4:45 and 8:00 PM daily.
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Mar 25th, 2009, 06:28 AM
  #11  
yk
 
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You're right Anonymous. I chose "Providence Terminal" thinking that it meant the Airport Terminal... but I didn't realize it meant something else. Looks like the OP's only option is the 8pm bus from TF Green Airport.

Or, like rkkwan suggests, look into dropping the car off in downtown location for more bus options.
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Mar 25th, 2009, 07:22 AM
  #12  
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Thanks for the clarification rkkwan. I apologize for all these rather detailed questions...can I pick up the car at TF Green and drop off in downtown Providence? (I don't normally rent cars when I travel.)
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Mar 25th, 2009, 07:43 AM
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You can always drop off the car some place else. Downtown Providence, Newport, Boston, wherever. The question is whether there is a dropoff fee. You just have to check. Not just for Providence, but for Boston. If the rate is the same for Boston, then just drive up there. But if there's a large drop off fee in Boston (i.e. the rate is very high), downtown Providence may not have the fee compared to returning to TF Green. That's all I'm saying.

Again, you also have to check the closing times of those offices.
rkkwan is offline  
Mar 26th, 2009, 04:51 AM
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If you can find a rental company that would let you pick up at TF Green and drop off in Newport on the same day, then you could cab it over to the Amtrak station in Kingston and take the train into Boston. I have seen Thrifty and Enterprise in newport but I am not sure about the other.
Cab to Kingston from Newport would be about 25 minutes and probably as expensive as the cab from Green to Providence.
EmilyC is offline  
Mar 26th, 2009, 08:31 AM
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Newport to Kingston Amtrak is about 20 miles. [PVD to Kennedy Plaza is 7 miles.] That'd be an expensive cab ride.
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Mar 26th, 2009, 09:43 AM
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Furthermore, if you take the train from Providence, you can take the MBTA Commuter Rail, which is cheaper and more frequent than Amtrak.
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Mar 26th, 2009, 03:02 PM
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Except the OP is there on a Saturday, when the MBTA doesn't run to Providence.
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Mar 26th, 2009, 05:13 PM
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There are MBTA Commuter Rail trains from Providence to South Station on Saturday at 7:05, 8:52, and 10 PM. The schedules are available at mbta.com.
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Mar 26th, 2009, 07:43 PM
  #19  
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Thank you for all your connection tips. I would like to get on the MBTA if possible--I believe it's cheaper according to the website. I thought I would catch the MBTA train at Providence Station, like Amtrak, no?
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Mar 26th, 2009, 07:47 PM
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Yes, the Commuter Rail trains use the same stations and tracks as Amtrak.

Remember that you can also get a bus from the airport to South Station, without the extra transfer (probably by taxi) between the airport and the train station. You'll be pretty tired by that point in the day!
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