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Train or Car from Boston to Portland ME

Dallas, Texas
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Train or Car from Boston to Portland ME

I'll be in Boston Labor Day weekend. I would like to go to the LL Bean store in Freeport ME. I have researched taking the train to Portland and renting a car, as well as renting the car in Boston. I plan to spend only one day on this adventure. It will be on Friday, 9/3.

Any thoughts on which method would be better? Pros and cons would be appreciated.

Winchester...
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1. Re: Train or Car from Boston to Portland ME

The pros and cons of each approach should be obvious. Or put another way, i can't think of anything to say that wouldn't be obvious to any sane, rational person.

There are smaller, satellite ll beans stores in places like Burlington, ma.

The Freeport store is open 24-hours/day. The only way I can imagine making such a special trip to go there from Boston worthwhile would be to leave on the spur of the moment at 3 am when you are 19-years old.

Boston...
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2. Re: Train or Car from Boston to Portland ME

Allie: It's a 2 - 2.5 hour drive (one-way) to Freeport Maine from Boston. It's doable, but a long day trip. Is there a special reason for wanting to go to the flagship store or can you find what you are looking for at any of their stores? There are 3 in Massachusetts (Dedham, Mansfield and Burlington).

The problem that I can see is that your trip is planned for Friday of Labor Day weekend and [should you travel to Maine] you'll be on the major highway heading north out of the city (if you drive).

I haven't taken the train to Portland, so can't help you out there....sounds like a lot of driving/travel time to me, but then it's your vacation!

Boston...
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3. Re: Train or Car from Boston to Portland ME

Definitely you do not want to drive from Boston to Maine on the Friday before Labor Day weekend without a very good reason. A lot of people will be taking that Friday off and driving up to their vacation homes or holiday rentals in Maine, and traffic is likely to be monstrous. In theory, the drive to Freeport should take 2.5 hours, but on that Friday, you would be lucky to make it in 4. I guess taking the train could be an option. I don't know how close to the train station in Portland you would find a car rental agency. Google Maps should help with that. Driving from Portland to Freeport shouldn't be too painful. The worst of the traffic will be between Boston and Portland.

Boston...
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4. Re: Train or Car from Boston to Portland ME

I think you'll be taking a big chance with traffic on Labor Day weekend. That Friday is going to be a busy time on the highways for sure. It doesn't seem to make much sense renting a car once you get up there if you'll only have it for 4-6 hours before returning on the train to Boston. (Keep in mind that unless you rent the car at the Portland airport, you'll need to have the car back before 5PM when the neighborhood car rental places close for the day. Enterprise will come pick you up from the train station, but I'm just not sure if it's worthwhile.

The L.L. Bean store at Mansfield Crossing in Mansfield would make for a very nice alternative. It's a pretty big, pretty new L.L. Bean outpost, and the Crossing also has a Best Buy, Kohl's, Borders and more!

http://www.mansfieldcrossing.com/

If you just wanted to spend the day shopping you could do that. Wrentham Village Premium Outlets is a short drive from Mansfield Crossing, and has over 100 high end stores at outlet prices.

www.premiumoutlets.com/outlets/outlet.asp…

Keep in mind that these two places are only a 40 minute drive outside of Boston, and are located in an area that won't have traffic tie ups to deal with. No train service, but you could rent your car, drive down and have a fun day of shopping. Just try to plan your arrival back to Boston after the afternoon rush hour traffic winds down, about 7pm.

Edited: 10:37 pm, July 25, 2010
Winchester...
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5. Re: Train or Car from Boston to Portland ME

Traffic wouldn't be a problem at 3 AM. During the day, traffic wouldn't be an issue if you take the train to Portland, but what's the rush? Who cares how much time it takes getting there? Why would that matter?

6. Re: Train or Car from Boston to Portland ME

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