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Boston via New Port or Cape Cod areas

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Boston via New Port or Cape Cod areas

My wife and I are in the preliminary stages of planning a vacation to Boston in the fall of 2013. She's a huge american history nut and has been looking forward to this trip for some time.

So here's our dilemma - we have a timeshare available to exchange for seven (7) days which takes care of the lodging (or so I thought) but upon researching the resorts that are available I've found that none are within the city limits. There are a ton of options around the city however; all across Cape Cod (Provincetown, Yarmouth, Barnstable, Falmouth) and in Newport, RI.

We're both from Tampa and neither of us have been to New England so we're not fully aware what the best option might be. In doing a little research it looks like the Boston area has a fairly extensive public transport system but I wasn't sure if it was practical to rely on it from the above mentioned areas.

So here's my thought - we could choose a resort in Newport for example and make it our base of operations. I'm guessing there's a ton of great scenery and worthwhile locations to visit all around Boston (New Port, Cape Cod, Plymouth, etc..) so we could rent a car and spend a few days outside of Boston. And then, take public transportation into the city and stay at a hotel for a couple of nights in order to see all the great locations within the city.

Is this practical? Should we forego the timeshare (which is essentially free of charge) altogether and just stay at a hotel in the city for seven days?

Your thoughts and advice is very much appreciated! Let me know if there's any additional information I can provide that will help!

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11. Re: Boston via New Port or Cape Cod areas

If history's your priority, Boston's definitely a critical part of your trip (your wife's going to LOVE Beacon Hill), and I think it's worth paying extra for a hotel for the days you're going to be there if you can afford it. I assume there's absolutely no way you can trade into the Marriott Custom House? That's a piece of history in itself.

If not, the Omni Parker House is the oldest continuously operating hotel in the U.S. and has lots of notable history and often has relative-bargain rates (but read the reviews about the small rooms first!).

And definitely check out other parts of New England too. There's history everywhere. You don't need to be in Boston for the whole week.

Edited: 6:02 pm, December 06, 2012
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Omni Parker House
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12. Re: Boston via New Port or Cape Cod areas

If you're looking for foliage, Newport doesn't start seeing any until mid to late October. So picking September, you won't see much unless you were going North of Boston.

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13. Re: Boston via New Port or Cape Cod areas

I'd recommend going to Newport or the Cape in the summer. I don't see much point in going to either place in the fall. Also, since your wife is into history, I'd recommend just spending your time in Boston. You can take the commuter rail to various other places if you don't find everything you're looking for in the city, like going to Salem for a day. If you want to go to Plymouth one day, I'd rent a car to do that.

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14. Re: Boston via New Port or Cape Cod areas

Newport in the fall is beautiful. Read up on that forum to get ideas. You could keep the time share and easily occupy your days in the area. Do the bus to Boston. Look into driving to mystic ct one day.

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15. Re: Boston via New Port or Cape Cod areas

Based on your wife's love of history, you really will make it a great visit by staying in Boston even if for just a few nights. On your to-do list I would suggest:: walking The Freedom Trail and visiting its sites which includes Paul Revere's House, the Museum of Fine Arts particularly the Art of Americas wing, the JFK Library and Commonwealth Museum, Trinity Church and the Boston Public Library, the campus of Harvard, Fenway Park, to name a few.,

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16. Re: Boston via New Port or Cape Cod areas

A few less common places for tourists:

Ft. Warren on George's Island in Boston Harbor was where the VP of the Confederacy was held after he was captured. If the weather is nice, it could be interesting, and requires a short harbor boat ride.

Ft. Independence at "Castle Island" - not an island at all - is the oldest continuously fortified place in British North America, and is a favorite place to escape the summer heat, watch the ships come and go and watch planes at Logan. It's not easy to get to by public transportation, but if you are not averse to an MBTA bus ride....

Don't forget the Adams Homestead in Quincy.

The Industrial Revolution National Park in Lowell is very interesting.

For more recent history, check out Battleship Cove and the USS Massachusetts (a WWII battleship) in Fall River.

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17. Re: Boston via New Port or Cape Cod areas

If you do decide to stay in or near Newport, another Historic site that isn't all that well known, but is absolutely fascinating and absolutely worth a visit is the Slater's Mill National Historic Site in Pawtucket, RI.

Slater's Mill is the site of the first water-powered cotton mill in North America. The man who started it, apprenticed in England and memorized the parts of the cotton mill he worked with (at the time, it was illegal to distribute any written plans for the mills outside of England). He came back to Pawtucket and built the mill from memory. They have a museum, a working mill, exhibits, etc. It's wonderful, especially if your wife has any interest in the history of the Industrial Revolution in the USA.

http://www.slatermill.org/

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18. Re: Boston via New Port or Cape Cod areas

Definitely stay for a few days in a hotel in Boston if your wife is into history. She may like a day trip to Lexington and Concord to see Revolutionary War sites. Newport is lovely and if you come in Sept or early Oct,there is the possibility of still having relatively warm weather. Your wife might enjoy touring one or more of the Newport mansions, which are from the Gilded Age and of historical interest. If you chose to stay in Portsmouth instead, there is the wonderful Strawbery Banke, an outdoor historical village with restored old homes in downtown.

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19. Re: Boston via New Port or Cape Cod areas

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