Vernon CT to Boston for Day Trip

Mar 15th, 2010, 01:01 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Vernon CT to Boston for Day Trip

I am visiting my daughter who recently moved to Vernon CT. I am traveling from Hawaii for about 6 days & would like to see Boston. She has a car, but would be more comfortable with the train. What should we see with 1 day in Boston in early May?

kailuagirl is offline  
Mar 15th, 2010, 02:51 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
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It is a great time to visit Boston, especially since you don't have to get a hotel room (it is the graduation season, and they are hard to get).

It is also an easy car trip as long as you avoid rush hours. If you leave Vernon between 8 and 8:30, you will miss the morning rush in Boston, and if you have a nice light dinner before you leave (7 or so), you will miss most of the evening rush hour as well. You could leave the car at the Riverside T stop and take the trolley into the city, but that is an hour each way. Your daughter will find that driving in Boston is no worse than driving on I-81 through Vernon (I did that yesterday!).

Where you go in Boston depends on your interests, but for a good overall view of traditional Boston, I would probably drive to the Copley exit and make my way to the Common garage (Boylston St from Copley Square to a left on Charles and into the garage).

I would then walk around the Public Garden, perhaps with a ride on a Swan boat, then out Newbury Street past as many fancy shops as take your interest. Window shop. If you go in, you are dead! You will never see anything else! The ood shops are in the first couple of blocks and the last couple of blocks before Mass Ave. In the middle are a bunch of standard mall stores that you could visit anywhere.

I would then turn and walk back to the Public Garden down the middle of Commonwealth Avenue, cross the Garden diagonally and walk up Charles Street on the flat of Beacon Hill. Charles Street here has antique shops and boutiques, but Mt Vernon Street will lead you on the right to Louisburg Square, the heart of Brahmin Beacon Hill. Just below Louisburg Square and running parallel to Charles is West Cedar Street, perhaps the most charming in the area and blessedly flat. There are lots of places on Charles to have lunch.

At the opposite end of Charles is a T station. The T will take you quickly and pleasantly to Harvard Square, a very different part of the Boston area. On the way, you will cross the Charles River, with good views of MIT and the river on the left side of the train. Assuming it is not Harvard's graduation day, it is interesting to walk around the campus and Harvard Square neighborhood, and there are plenty of places to sit down and have a coffee or soft drink. It will be even more interesting if it IS Harvard's graduation day, but it will be a zoo. You can walk the four or five blocks to the Charles if you want a little greenery or to see the students enjoying themselves.

There are lots of places to grab a sandwich or pick one up for the trip. If you would like a light supper, I have been eating at Dolphin Seafood on Mass Ave (somewhere around 900, I think but that may be way off) since I lived in the neighborhood 30 years ago. They doubled in size and redecorated about 20 years ago but are still serving the same fresh, well-cooked seafood at very reasonable prices.

When you are through, take the T back to Boston, this time passing through the Charles Street/MGH station where you got on. Get off at Park Street and go to the surface. From here you will see the State House. If you have the energy, you can walk up there, then down Beacon St (note the "Glory" monument on your left, to Charles Street and the Common Garage. If you haven't got the energy, just wander downhill (blessedly) to the Common Garage and head for home.

Other ways of doing Boston involve the museums and Boston Public Library, or history and the Freedom Trail, or food and the ethnic neighborhoods, or the Waterfront and Harbor Islands, but I think this would be enough for a visitor with only a day.
Ackislander is offline  
Mar 15th, 2010, 05:01 AM
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There really isn't a great way to take the train into Boston from there. The NorthEast regional Amtrak line misses you a good distance to the south. There is a train that goes between New Haven and Springfield, but I'm not sure you can get a train from Springfield all the way to Boston, if there is one it doesn't run regularly. You could probably park somewhere along the Worcester-Boston commuter rail, and get a train in that way (the Newton stops are very close to the Mass Pike), but really, that doesn't buy you much over either driving all the way in, or stopping at Riverside to take the T.

There is a Peter Pan bus terminal in Storrs (the UConn Campus, It might be possible go by bus, but it looks like it would take a minimum of 3 hours to do it this way.

I would bite the bullet and drive.
china_cat is offline  
Mar 15th, 2010, 05:05 AM
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I agree with Ackislander. Its an easy drive into Boston from Vernon (up 84, not 81). I live in the town next to Vernon and do that drive quite often. It really depends on what day of the week. I did the drive on a Saturday morning last summer in ~1.5 hours the weekend of the Tall Ships, driving all the way into the Aquarium garage. No traffic at all. It was $30 for the day, which wasnt bad as its $35 to park at Fenway for the game. Parking at Riverside during the week can be tough due to daily commuters.

The other thing you need to watch out for is the Red Sox schedule, depending on where you park. Before and after the game, the T will get crowded.
tchoiniere is offline  
Mar 15th, 2010, 08:12 AM
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I highly recommend a culinary tour of Boston's North End with Michelle Topor. That would give you the best view of one of Boston's unique neighborhoods. You will not have time to shop so included some time at the end of your tour to go back to the shops that interest you the most. If you visit on a Friday or Saturday, the pushcart vendors are out in Haymarket. Friday isn't as crowded as it is on Saturday. Haymarket is next to the Quincy Market area. The North End is across the street. We've also enjoyed the tour of Chinatown that ends with a dim sum lunch.

I like Akislander's suggestions for window shopping and seeing the different areas. My favorite museum is the Kennedy Library. There is good parking there while you are at the museum but you can also get there via the T.
dfrostnh is online now  
Mar 15th, 2010, 08:39 AM
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Good suggestions above. My suggestions for one day in Boston if you've never been would include either:

--walking the Freedom Trail and visiting the attractions along the way.
--visiting the Museum of Fine Arts, the Gardener Museum, or both.

Another day possibility would include a morning visit to the JFK Presidential Library and an afternoon visit to Harvard Square.

Each of these options will keep you fully busy for the day.
bachslunch is offline  
Mar 15th, 2010, 11:06 AM
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Thank you all so much! Is Quincy Market close to Boston Harbor?

kailuagirl is offline  
Mar 15th, 2010, 11:12 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
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Yes. Walking distance from the Harbor (at the Aquarium) to Quincy Market is ~3 or 4 blocks (a guess)
tchoiniere is offline  
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