Trip Report - Cape Cod/Boston July 10-19

Jul 23rd, 2009, 06:51 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 257
Trip Report - Cape Cod/Boston July 10-19

First of all, let me thank all of the Fodorites who took their time to help me plan my trip over the last six months. Your advice was invaluable in planning this trip! I now can add my own suggestions to other visitors on the areas we touched on! We are a family of five-3 adults and two boys, ages 11 and 15. My adult daughter (26) arrived separately of us and alternated touring with us and doing her own thing with friends she had in Boston. It was the trip of a lifetime for us all!

Also, many of the things we did on this trip were planned around the Go Boston Card, which worked out fantastic for our family. It was purchased early, on sale, and allowed our family to do many things we wouldnt have done otherwise. We wore the card out, as time would allow!

We left Alabama on Friday morning via SWA and arrived in Providence. Picked up our rental car, had lunch and off to Boston. Those who have followed this know that we had our trip planned to spend the weekend in Cape Cod before moving on to Boston. As great luck would have it, my DH was very fortunate to receive Red Sox tix from a business associate in Boston. The tickets were for Fri night, so we had some traveling to do after the game. We arrived in Boston around 2:30 and parked at the Pru. Great idea, easy to find with GPS and we took our time getting to the game. Walked--great way to "feel" the city. Loved all the pregame circus as some call it. The tix we rec'd turned out to be fabulous! It was for a company "luxury suite"! My boys couldnt believe it! Wonderful views of the game which the Sox won! Food all during the game, TVs for replays, and wonderful weather. Turns out our trip began at the start of beautiful warm weather after many rainy days in June! We were very fortunate indeed. Following the game, we bought Tshirts at the stands along the street. Fun! Picked up our car and drove to the Cape. No traffic at that time of the night! We easily found our lodging in Hyannis and were there by 12:30am.

Saturday - We stayed at the Seacoast Inn in Hyannis and what a great decision that was! The owners were fabulous, so helpful, so accomodating, it was unbelievable! That is one reason I prefer to stay away from chain hotels whenever possible! The Inn was very clean and convenient, breakfast was wonderful! The innkeeper provided us with a great travel itinerary to get around the Cape today complete with suggested restaurants, ice cream stops, and out of the way things to see. I welcomed this help. We drove on 28 around the Cape, stopping along the way...saw the Chatham Lighthouse, Cape Cod lighthouse, stopped at Cuffies for souvenir shirts (a must!!), Cape Cod Visitors Center, went to the Natl Seashore for a while (saw seals and lots of birds), into Providencetown.. We ate at Mac's Seafood in Wellfleet on the water for lunch--great food! Saw the Pilgrim Memorial and walked among the shops on Commercial Street. Dinner was at Moby Dick. We drove back along the Bay side hoping for a sunset, but alas, it was cloudy, so the sunset into the clouds. Great fun day!

Sunday - After another great breakfast, we walked down to the JFK and Korean Memorials in Hyannis on the water. Kids played on the beach for a while and then we walked back and took the Hyannisport Harbor Cruise. This was about an hour cruise and the weather was great for it. The tour narrator was great and we saw the Kennedy compound and Teddy's yacht, among many other fascinating things. We arrived back at the inn around 1:30 (late checkout) and drove to Plimoth Plantation! Even in traffic, this drive didnt take more than 1 hour. Just one major delay, but our goal was to get to Plimoth by 3:00 and we were there around 2:45. Enjoyed the plantation, very well done, and also went to the Mayflower II! Not to miss! After seeing that exhibit/ship, we spent time at the folk festival that was happening at the shore as well in the lovely park. Got takeout from Mamma Mias pizza which was wonderful and ate it sitting by the water, listening to the music. We stayed here what seems like forever, getting our groceries that we would need for Boston condo! Drove into Boston (no traffic late at night, ha!) and easily found our condo in the South End. We had on-street parking for free and were advised by the owner of the street sweeping days, which Boston takes very seriously.

Monday - The condo was perfect for us and in a great location, very safe, free parking in our area, great places to eat nearby and get a few grocery items. We were on the Silver busline, one block behind us and it was great and pretty fast! We took this most every morning. However, the first day, we walked to the New Eng Med Center to get our T to the Science Museum. Not a bad walk! Picked up the 7 day visitor linkpass and wore it out! First morning..rode Boston Duck Tour - great orientation and fun! (Although we reserved, they had plenty of walk up seats avail all day) Then afterward, took T to the Common and signed on for the Freedom Trail tour that came with the Boston Go Card. The guide was Julia (who also does the Boston Tea Party on the LIberty Fleet) and she was very knowledgeable!! Everyone enjoyed the narration. We ate at Fanual Hall and afterward, took the Boston Harbor Cruise to get off our feet! This was a 45 min cruise and was so fun! Later, we walked through the North End to complete this part of the Freedom Trail. Saw Paul Revere's House and Old North Church. Didnt eat there since we had already eaten, but did pick up a few pastries at Mike's! Wonderful! Walked those calories off easily! Loved, loved the North End!

Tuesday - Not my kids favorite day, but we liked it! Explored the Boston Common, loved the Public Gardens, three of us rode the Swan Boats, then caught the T to the Mapparium, Isabella Stewart Gardner museum, and took the last Fenway tour. We walked to Fenway and it was long, but the most efficient way to get there from where were were. Again, we saw more of the neighborhoods. The tour was great and amazing to see all the different seating locations. Easy to see which areas are smaller seats (older) and poles are. We enjoyed this tour. It was over around 5:00, so we hopped Kenmore bus to the T and on to the Museum of Science since they are open until 7:00pm. The boys enjoyed this museum! It was nice and had some interesting exhibits! Afterward, we headed back to the North End for dinner at Pizzeria Regina, which was mouth watering unbelieveable. Waited about 45 min for a table (for 5 of us) and watched the All Star game there (part of it). Fantastic! Loved being in the "real" pizza parlor and watching the circus there. Very busy! Purchased more pastries at Modern Pastry to enjoy later!

Wednesday - Took Mass Bay Lines Whale Watch - loved the ride out to Stellwagon Bank, but only saw a few whales from a distance. Capt took us nearly to Provincetown (could see tower in the distance) and tried hard to get closer, but it was not to be. Very nice captain and narrator!. Boys still enjoyed the trip! Then toured the New Eng Aquarium. Fun, but smaller than others we have been to in the South. Free with the Go Card too!

Thursday - Had reservations for the Liberty Fleet Tall Boat Adventure, where the passengers have to help put up the sails! Kids loved that! This was another fantastic way to tour the ocean and lots of fun! Recommended! Since it didnt start until 12:00, we walked to the Pru from South End (beautiful walk through lovely neighborhoods) and took the Beantown Trolley tour to the Aquarium to get there. Learned more interesting facts on this trolley. Got in after 2:00 sometime, went back to our condo and drove to Salem. Not a fun drive, but only took an hour. Just not a "pretty" drive. Easy parking there and took the Salem Witch Museum tour and later visited the House of Seven Gables. Learned a lot about this era and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Both of these museums stayed open until 7:00, which helped us out. Since it was late, enjoyed eating at Brothers cafe nearby. Another busy, but fun day! Great weather all week too!

Friday - Took Beantown Trolley tour again to the Constitution, went to the museum first, toured the USS Constitution and also the USS Cassin Young. Afterward, we walked to the Bunker Hill Memorial and walked the 294 steps to the top. (I was sorry I attempted that, ha!) Kids loved it and ran up the steps. Great museums and tours overall. Then our group took the Orange line and separated. DH and DS went to the Samuel Adams Brewery tour and my younger son and I went to the Franklin Zoo which had been on the news recently. Hadnt heard they were filming a movie there. This made for long walks around the staging area to see the animals. But a nice little zoo. We met up with rest of family at the condo afterward. They loved the brewery tour and my 15 yr old had his first taste of Root Beer and loved it! Sigh....We were starting to get really tired feet at this point.

Saturday - Our last day....Spent time in the Commons, Public Garden again, walked along Esplanade and sat along the water. Saw the famous Hatch Shell. Later met up with daughter and went shopping while boys did what they wanted. Especially enjoyed Filenes Basement and eating burritos at Bolocos. Highly recommend this place for fast food! We all went to see the Boston Public LIbrary (got our boarding passes there!) and thought it was magnificent! Then we boarded the Redline and went to Harvard! Loved the part we saw and the huge library. Shopped in the Harvard Square and just had a great time watching the human statues, and other entertainers.

Sunday - Plane left Providence RI at 4:00, so we had plenty of time to pack and clean the condo. Left around 11:30 to drive to PVD. First time in our life we have been early to the airport, but was good for us to weigh our luggage and shift some things around so we wouldnt be overweight in our bags!!

Overall, to sum it up, it was a wonderful trip that all enjoyed. The area we stayed was perfect, we felt very safe and loved having a kitchen for breakfast! Also loved the rooftop deck and spent many evenings there. The 5 day GO BOSTON card was well worth it for us, costing $134 + tax on sale and valued to us of nearly $500 per adult. We kept busy, but also still had time to walk the neighborhood in the evening or for donuts in the morning. Many thanks again for all your suggestions!
mommybryant is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2009, 07:03 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 895
You sure did pack in a lot in your trip-and it sounded like much fun.
Thanks for the report.
capecodshanty is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2009, 07:16 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,365
Glad you had a great trip and saw everything that you wanted. Sox won the game you went to 1-0 so it was a great pitching matchup. I was in Boston on Saturday.
tchoiniere is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2009, 07:35 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 257
Tchoiniere, wasnt the Sat game the high scoring game??15-9?? What a game that was too!
mommybryant is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2009, 08:07 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,365
Yes it was. Great game to be at. We had Standing Room spots on the Green Monster so we had a ball. Here is my trip report. Somewhat similar to yours but as a day trip...
tchoiniere is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2009, 08:08 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 3,648
What a great report! You packed quite a lot in but it's good to see what can be done in a day. Glad you found Mac's Seafood for lunch--what a pretty spot to sit and eat.

Thanks for coming back to let us know how everything worked out.
cw is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2009, 08:23 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 24,081
wow - you really saw a lot. Great report.
dfrostnh is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2009, 08:25 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 24,135
Yes, thanks for coming back and writing your trip report. I'm glad your family enjoyed our city!
yk is offline  

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