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Want to Spend a Few Days North of Boston

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Apr 15th, 2013, 10:44 AM
  #1
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Want to Spend a Few Days North of Boston

Hi All --

We're planning to spend a few days in mid-May in what I guess is the North Shore area. We'll be visiting a few friends and seeing the many sights we neglected to visit during our years in Boston and on the South Shore.

On the list: Walden Pond (reread Waldon this year), Jack Kerouac's grave (Lowell), Concord and Lexington, Salem, Lowell's Boat Shop, whale watching trip, Peabody Museum, Rockport -- I expect that will keep us busy, but if you have other ideas that you think might appeal to us, given that list, we'd love to hear them.

Looking for a good place (both town and hotel) to stay. Would like to be downtown so we can park the car at the hotel and forget it for the evening, restaurants nearby (walkable) and as convenient as possible to the places we'd like to visit. Not much on B&B's. Modern chains such as Marriott are o.k. but if you know a local place with some character, that would be better.

Look forward to hearing your suggestions.
Fra_Diavolo is offline  
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Apr 15th, 2013, 11:17 AM
  #2
 
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I don't have a specific hotel to recommend. But as far as location, you could stay in Salem, which has a nice downtown area, and waterfront that is walkable. Another nice option might be Newburyport.
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Apr 15th, 2013, 12:10 PM
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The pickings will be really slim for what you describe. The hotels that are in that neck of the woods tend toward either old-school motels or '80s-era office park hotels. And, frankly, few of the hotels in that neck of the woods offer much in the way of the walkable nightlife you want.

The best fit that I can think of is probably the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem. I have no idea what it is like inside, but it is in the heart of Salem, which would be near the top of my list for a town to stay in.

Personally, I would consider staying in Boston and simply fanning out from there.

If you decided to stay outside the city in a chain hotel, there are a couple of Starwood properties (an Aloft and an Element) in Lexington that are pretty new and pretty nice for that sort of place.
travelgourmet is online now  
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Apr 15th, 2013, 12:11 PM
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And, frankly, few of the hotels

Should be "And, frankly, few of the cities"...
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Apr 15th, 2013, 12:34 PM
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Essex River House Motel maybe, but I haven't stayed there and it probably isn't very modern. You can walk to restaurants from there. I've also seen Rockport Inn & Suites recommended, but I haven't stayed there. Of course, it's a fairly long drive from Rockport to Concord.

There are many chain motels in Danvers/Peabody. Some are nice, and some are meh, so if you want to stay there, read Tripadvisor reviews carefully. I don't think any of them are in walkable areas.
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Apr 15th, 2013, 06:48 PM
  #6
 
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Make sure to give yourself plenty of time at the PEM. We could have spent the entire day!

My favorite thing in Rockport is Halibut Point State Park. Beautiful rock quarry. Have fun.
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Apr 16th, 2013, 09:45 AM
  #7
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Thanks folks. Looks like slim pickings for accommodations. May have to rethink this a bit.
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Apr 16th, 2013, 10:13 AM
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Gloucester has some great restaurants, but again you would have to drive a mile or two into town or Rocky Neck from the Atlantic Rd hotels. Newburyport has some great restaurants and is a nice strolling town, that might have a few inns within walking distance. Both towns are worth a search.
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Apr 16th, 2013, 10:37 AM
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Instead of a hotel, try vrbo.com. You may find something at a great rate since it's off season.
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Apr 16th, 2013, 10:39 AM
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Just a quick search and I found this one for $215/night

http://www.vrbo.com/375322
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Apr 16th, 2013, 12:22 PM
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If the OP doesn't like B&Bs, I struggle to see why they would want to rent an apartment or home. Obviously, it is their call as to whether it is worth wading through vacation rentals, but it just doesn't seem to fit.

It may also be worth considering location and that Rockport and Gloucester are pretty far away from the Lexington/Concord/Walden Pond and Lowell pieces of the trip. Huffing along 128 a lot will be quite annoying.
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Apr 16th, 2013, 01:03 PM
  #12
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Thanks again, folks. I think maybe I'll make two stops, one a motel off 128 near Lex/Concord, the other in Gloucester. Found a place called the Bass Rocks Ocean Inn which may suit in the latter.
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Apr 16th, 2013, 01:18 PM
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Good to hear F_D. We often stayed, when Oceans Inn was pet friendly. It's just a stroll away and you can stop in for an afterdinner drink and a game of pool! And a morning or early evening stroll on Atlantic Rd is a quite nice.
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Apr 16th, 2013, 01:39 PM
  #14
 
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You should add the Lowell National Historical Park to your visit in that city.

http://www.nps.gov/lowe/index.htm
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