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Driving to Salem/Springfield

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Driving to Salem/Springfield

Hi, late next February I will be in Boston and I'll be looking to take some short day trips to the basketball hall of fame in Springfield and to have a look at Salem. I understand it may be snowing and coming from Australia this is not something I've dealt with. Would hiring a car out and driving in potential snow be ok to those two places? I'd imagine it you be mostly highways?

Thanks for any feedback

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1. Re: Driving to Salem/Springfield

That's not something we would do - and we're used to driving in snow. In some ways, driving on highways is even worse because speeds are faster. Plan on the trips only if the weather is clear of snow. By the way, the two places you want to go are in completely opposite directions.

Edited: 5:47 pm, March 07, 2013
Dallas, Texas...
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2. Re: Driving to Salem/Springfield

Even locals will avoid driving in the snow unless it is really necessary. Just remain flexible and if snow and ice is in the forecast, don't take these optional road trips. Chances are good that it will not snow on those particular days, or you can rearrange your plans to accommodate forecasted snowy or icy days.

Springfield weather is different than Boston weather, so you will want to check the weather forecast for each area you intend to visit. Just use weather.com

North Shore, MA
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3. Re: Driving to Salem/Springfield

Assuming you don't want to visit Salem and Springfield the same day (which really isn't practical anyway), consider taking the commuter rail from Boston to Salem. It takes about a half hour and is probably faster than driving. Nearly all of Salem's attractions are within walking distance of the train station. The train runs on a fixed schedule and service outside of rush hour is not so frequent so keep that in mind if you decide to use this option.

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4. Re: Driving to Salem/Springfield

Hi Zap,

Like the other posters above, I agree that renting a car can be a bit of a crap shoot in February, since the weather in New England can be clear, cold and sunny, then turn on a dime and suddenly a Nor'Easter is pummeling it's way in. That being said, we do have decent road maintainence crew and travel along the I-90 corridor (the Massachusetts Turnpike, which travels from Boston in the east to Stockbridge in the west, passing through the Springfield area)and it's not too bad if, again, the roads have been treated.

Other options could either be to take the train (www.Amtrak.com) to Springfield and hire a taxi for the short ride over to the BBHoF, or you can look into one of the many bus companies that traverse New England, such as Peter Pan Buslines (www.PeterPanBus.com) and see if they or one of their partner lines, like Greyhound offer day trips to Springfield or even to Salem.

As for Salem, you can take the "T" (www.mbta.com) commuter rail right from Boston's North Station and head north again to Salem and use a cab from the station into town.

So, I hope this helps and do exercise caution when driving during February here but don't let it deter you from having a good time.

FYI: as the other folks mentioned, Springfield and Salem are on opposite ends of our tiny state (a little under 2 hours apart, driving time) so I will mention that if you do get to Springfield and don't want to haul yourself back eastward that same evening, there are several hotels close by the BBHoF. The Hilton Garden Inn is adjacent to the property with several decent restaurants and bars connected to the building itself or nearby.

Good luck and sorry for the wicked long winded answer here! Cheers!

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5. Re: Driving to Salem/Springfield

Really appreciate the replies here. It appears public transport may be the way to go I think!

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6. Re: Driving to Salem/Springfield

Great advice and there is no highway to Salem. At some point you'll be driving on busy two way streets with lots of traffic lights

North Shore, MA
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7. Re: Driving to Salem/Springfield

The train to Salem really is much simpler than driving--even in good weather! You can walk from the station to most attractions in about 10 minutes, but if mobility is more limited (or it's snowing!), there usually are taxis waiting for arriving trains. Hope you'll enjoy your visit!

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8. Re: Driving to Salem/Springfield

I would rent a car for the day to go to Springfield. When you are here watch the local weather on the news. Our storms are forecast in advance with often much hype. Just don't plan on going if the weather will be bad in Boston or Western Mass.

Most of that trip is on the Mass. Turnpike and it is well cleared during storms in case you run into unexpected weather.

Limerick, Ireland
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9. Re: Driving to Salem/Springfield

Car advice ask " Click and Clack "

Iisten to them

see.......CARTALK.COM / the lousy radio show

new show every saturday between 11 - 12 midday

Boston time.

listen via NPR on satelite TV / radio channels worldwide.

enjoy.

Boston
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10. Re: Driving to Salem/Springfield

Thought they retired last year.