Cool stuff to do on the East Coast (Boston area) and which NP?
Replies: 18 - Last Post: Mar 13, 2013 11:15 AM Last Post By: annielovestotra...
Feb 12, 2013 7:30 AM
Cool stuff to do on the East Coast (Boston area) and which NP?Hi all,
I'm going to Boston for a month this summer and will have weekends off during the stay as it's a summer school stay. My boyfriend is coming to join me afterwards and we'll have two weeks of vacation together. As 14-16 days are not a long time I'm having a hard time figuring out if it would be possible to have time to see both Boston, Acadia NP in Maine and NYC. I've already previously seen NYC but my bf hasn't and I'd love for us to spend just a couple of days there (he's not big on huge cities so I guess it would mostly be a see-the-highlights-n-feel-the-vibe visit).
The main thing is that we would love to visit one of the larger national parks, but am I right in my feeling that it would be too far of a stretch to jump on a flight all the way to grand canyon yellowstone etc when we also want to see Boston and NYC?
Another thing - any suggestions for what to do in Boston on weekends? Any good weekend trips to be made?
Feb 12, 2013 8:22 AM
1You can easily visit NYC, Boston and Acadia in two weeks. You can even fit in one or two other places.
You can easily visit several of the western parks in two weeks.
I would not attempt to combine the two. Pick one or the other.
Feb 12, 2013 9:27 AM
As Valentine's Day is approaching, I feel compelled to offer relationship as well as travel advice ;-) . What you have posted is that "WE" (in other words, both of you) want national parks, but YOU want him to spend time in a big city that is not of great interest to him. Head to NYC and meet him there. Spend 1-2 days there seeing & vibe-ing while he gets over his jet lag. This should satisfy your need to go to NYC. Hopefully he'll be too groggy to spend a lot of time complaining about the urban experience. Then fly out to a western park (or reasonable departure point, like Las Vegas), rent a car, and head off to visit 1-2 additional parks. This should meet your shared interests as a couple.
Feb 12, 2013 9:27 AM
3I would not try to add a trip to one of the big National Parks. You can have a great time doing Boston, Maine, NYC. Consider also spending some time on Cape Cod and the Islands (Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard).
For your summer weekend trips out of Boston, will you have a car? Will you be able to do 3-day weekends, or will it just be Friday night-Sunday night?
Feb 12, 2013 11:27 AM
4Since you like cities and your boyfriend does not, I would use one of your weekends to visit Montreal. There are frequent buses (6 hrs, if i remember correctly.) It's a fantastic city. You may want to go for the jazz festival that takes over downtown June 28-July 7 (lots of free stages and events.)
Feb 12, 2013 12:53 PM
5I've been to New York five times from Ireland so you could say I've seen it all. Somewhere wonderful to go is Greenpoint and Sag Harbour on Eastern Long Island. I would really recommend that you rent a car or take a bus to Newport, Rhode Island. It is just fantastic. My history teacher was saying that there is a lot about the American War of Independence in Boston and you could go to Lexington and Concord also. You would need a couple of weekends in New York to experience a tiny bit of the city that never sleeps. A National Park you should go to is The Everglades. It is simply bewildering there. Weekend trips I have been on and ones that I would recommend are ones to Atlanta and Washington DC. I really hopes this helps.
Feb 12, 2013 1:29 PM
6Wow thanks for all those great suggestions! My boyfriend definitely wants to see NYC, but while I could linger there for weeks he would probably be satisfied with 2-3 days. I just feel like 'not-liking-cities' isn't an argument that legitimates missing out on NYC!
I'd have some 3 day weekends and as I'm over 25 renting a car wouldn't be too bad! Montreal jazz festival, how amazing! Didn't even know!
Feb 12, 2013 3:21 PM
7I don't see why you, or anyone, thinks it would be a problem of time to go to the grand canyon or yellowstone or any other national park that isn't in Hawaii or Alaska.
2 or three days each in Boston and NYC leaves your 10ish days which is way more than enough. I live in Boston and go to yellowstone for 5 to 7 days now and then. there's no reason a visitor couldn't do the same thing from Boston. If you went to yellowstone you'd still probably have time left over to see the Grand Tetons. And how long do you think it will take to see the grand canyon? you have plenty of time.
Feb 14, 2013 1:27 PM
8A few weekend trip ideas
- Provincetown (at the end of Cape Cod). You can take a ferry from Boston. Plan to stay a couple of nights. It's a very active place with lots to do and see.
- The Berkshire Mountains in western MA (car needed). There are a variety of pretty places to go, historic towns, etc. Look at Lenox MA for starters, but lots of other towns to explore.
- Newport, RI (car needed). This is fun for a regular weekend trip.
- Portsmouth NH.
- The White Mountains (also in NH) Car needed.
- Day trip to Newburyport, MA or Salem, MA on the North Shore. You can take the commuter rail.
- Niagara Falls. DO NOT try to drive it (way too far) but there are inexpensive flights from BOS to BUF. Rent a car in Buffalo.
Feb 17, 2013 7:27 AM
9Seconding the Niagara Falls suggestion - if you book early (or check back for deals because there are usually a ton) JetBlue has VERY cheap flights to Buffalo - if you're not able to rent a car once you get to Buffalo, they have shuttles that take you straight from the airport to the falls (on the American side). I've gotten tickets as cheap as $39 each way, so less than $100 round trip.
What sort of stuff do you like to do? Some of my favourite things in Boston:
- The Garment District (Kendall Square, Cambridge) - it's a store that sells used clothing but also lots of kitschy stuff, costumes - there are also some good restaurants in the area, specifically The Friendly Toast for brunch/breakfast - it's AMAZING.
- Davis Square (Somerville - on the Red Line) has great shops, great pubs
- Coolidge Corner: Brookline Booksmith (great independent bookstore with gifts/curiosities), Coolidge Corner Theatre (independent theatre), Trader Joes
- Fenway Park (even if you don't go to a Red Sox game, you could take a tour of Fenway or go to the pubs during the game to watch the Red Sox in a bit of a crazy atmosphere)
- MassArt's MADE shop - the art college has gifts/art/etc for sale, all made by students - it's on Huntington Ave right at the Longwood Medical Area T stop
- Institute of Contemporary Art
- Museum of Fine Arts
- MIT Museum (AWESOME robots, among other things)
- New England Aquarium
Feb 17, 2013 7:30 AM
Feb 17, 2013 7:35 AM
11bzookaj - no way! I'm from Buffalo but live in Boston and perhaps I'm jaded from having to do the back and forth, but I can't really think of a single thing in between that would be worth the 8 hour trip over a far quicker plane ride. What are these nice places you're talking about? It's literally 2-3 hours of mountains (and people driving like maniacs on the 90, then once you're in New York it's farmland the entire way - FLAT boring farm land.
Feb 17, 2013 7:53 AM
Southern Vermont (Brattleboro, etc.).
Northern Vermont (Burlington, etc.; as I said, depending on the detour)
The list goes on.
And personally, I would put any of these above Niagara Falls on the "must see" list. (And I've been to the falls multiple times.)
Feb 17, 2013 8:04 AM
13Actually, I'll give you that - going through the Adirondacks, seeing Saratoga or Lake George, then to Lake Placid and then driving up to Montreal, spending a few days, and then along Lake Ontario to Niagara Falls is gorgeous. I used to do that every summer.
As far as Niagara Falls, I'd tend to agree - but despite that, everyone I know who has visited America has wanted to see it (but again, jaded! when you've been on the Maid of the Mist more than 30 times, you're kind of like - I'll sit inside, no, I don't need the poncho, it's fine.) I also feel like whenever anyone sees Niagara Falls, they're expecting it to be like the Grand Canyon, in the middle of nowhere as opposed to surrounded by essentially a tiny Las Vegas strip, if you're on the Ontario side. Vermont - I could take or leave when it's not ski season, personally. I suppose it all depends on how much time you want to spend in a car.
Feb 18, 2013 7:39 AM
14acadia national park is reallly nice. i would recommend 3-4 nights there. there really is so much you can see on the east coast, i'd just stay there instead of wasting hours flying out west. boston is an awesome city. quebec city or montreal may be better options then nyc if he doesn't like big cities. i would not recommend niagra falls. the falls are nice to see and the maid of the mist is cool but it's quite a distance from boston and it's expensive and rather tacky, in my opinion.
martha's vineyard, nantuket, cape cod is a nice weekend trip from boston.
if you wantned to experience canada and enjoy driving - a nice two week jaunt is boston, bar harbor (acadia national park), cape breton, nova scotia.
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