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Boston by Wheelchair

Burnham-on-Crouch...
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Boston by Wheelchair

Setting the scene - We will be arriving in Boston (from the UK) late August for nearly 3 weeks. We were planning (not set in stone) 3 or 4 days in Boston itself and then either 2 separate weeks in the North and then the Middle of Maine (on or near the Coast) OR a week in Maine and a week in the Cape Cod area. We intend to use each as a base and travel out and back to there each day.

My wife is disabled and I push her in a manual wheelchair so accessible is a big consideration for us.

Having Googled hotel prices, the cheapest in the centre of Boston are still nearly TWICE our budget so we will need to stay outside Boston and travel in for our 3 full days there.

So my questions:

1. 2 weeks in Maine or 1 + 1 in Cape Cod?

2. Best area outside Boston that is close enough to travel in, and given the wheelchair it would need to be close to an accessible transport option.

Any help or advice would be appreciated - we only have flights booked at the moment so everything else is fluid.

Boston
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1. Re: Boston by Wheelchair

It would really be helpful to know what your budget really is and how flexible that is.

Burnham-on-Crouch...
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2. Re: Boston by Wheelchair

Accommodation budget is £100 per night for 4 nights in or near Boston and £80 per night for Maine or Cape Cod. I gave up work 3 years ago to be a full time carer. My wife has MS and this holiday is a 'do it while she can still enjoy it' so we are scraping every penny to be able to afford it. So the only flexibility is that any saving on the 2 weeks @ £80 could be spent on the 4 (well 5 if you count out last night before flight home) nights in or near Boston itself.

Boston, MA
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3. Re: Boston by Wheelchair

$165 is a tight budget for Boston or anything near a subway line. You might find something near a commer rail line but then it will cost $12+ per person for each one way trip or $48+ for the two of you to mAke one round trip.

Maine and Cape Cod are tourist destinations for locals. Your lodging budget may be tight there too. Although, since some school districts start school in late August, you might luck out towards the end of the month.

Will you have a car for you travels outside of Boston?

Also ... You need to be forewarned that Boston is not the most wheelchair friendly city around. Things are improving. Many subway stations (but not all) have elevators. But they only have one, if it is broken you are out of luck. Thhis is an improvement from 5-10 years ago. The thing to remember is that while the US has laws requiring wheelchair accessibility, old buildings are exempt and Boston is a very old city. My husband spent a month in a wheelchair after a car accident and still uses one from time to time if we need to walk long distances. Sometimes he gets out and walks while I maneuver the chair.

Have fun planning.

Burnham-on-Crouch...
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4. Re: Boston by Wheelchair

We arrive 26th August, so nearly all our time in Maine or Main/Cape Code will be in September.

I Googled hotels in Maine and based our budget of what that showed me. I did fail to realise that Boston Hotels were so expensive though. If we can't find a reasonable rate we may restrict our stay there to just 1 or 2 days but we did want to do it justice if we could,

We don't live far from London so the concept of very few stops being wheelchair accessible is not lost on us.

We will have a car - either for the whole holiday if the initial hotel doesn't charge the earth for parking, or for the 2 weeks thereafter.

Boston...
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5. Re: Boston by Wheelchair

I checked www.lastminutetravel.com for 26 Aug. for four nights in Boston. The four star Back Bay hotel for $166 is the Marriott Copley Place. It is an accessible hotel attached to two large indoor malls where you would have easy access to a variety of shops and dining options. That would be an advantage if the weather is hot or rainy.

Read the fine print but I think you can cancel up to three days before without penalty. Calling them often results in a slight discount and you would want to inquire about an accessible room. People here have reported good luck using LMT and a friend of mine used it for that Marriott lately between moves. She had a beautiful room with a great view.

That first weekend is our Labor Day weekend so a lot of people travel to the coast for one last beach vacation. Booking ahead will be essential.

I guess I would lean towards splitting the two weeks into two locations.

Edit: don't rent a car until you leave Boston if you stay in the city.

Edited: 9:39 am, January 22, 2014
Burnham-on-Crouch...
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6. Re: Boston by Wheelchair

Thanks for this - booked from the UK it is a little more at £120 per night but for the City itself seems pretty good. Is it a good location for say the Freedom Trail do you know please?

Dallas, Texas...
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7. Re: Boston by Wheelchair

The Marriott Copley Square is a good location. Back Bay is an interesting neighborhood. It's a pleasant walk to the start of the Freedom Trail (at Boston Common). Sidewalks are generally good in Back Bay - wide and well maintained.

The Marriott has an added benefit of being attached to a large shopping and dining complex. If you get rain, or just tire of negotiating sidewalks, you'll have that to fall back on.

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8. Re: Boston by Wheelchair

From the Marriott Copley place you'd have to hop on the T a couple stops which could be a pain with the wheelchair, or you'd have a lengthy walk pushing the wheelchair. If your wife was not in a wheelchair I'd say absolutely no problem, but unfortunately that complicates things in Boston that is not very handicapped accessible. If you didn't mind taking a short cab ride to the freedom trail I'd opt for that. The hotel itself is a nice one and good location in the back bay. There are many restaurants/bars in the area, as well as shopping.

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9. Re: Boston by Wheelchair

The Orange Line at Back Bay station will take you to the part of the Freedom Trail at the Old State House and the Faneuil Hall area. Both are easily accessible from Copley Place and you can get off at either State St. or Haymarket. You can access Boston Common from the Downtown Crossing stop.

Check the route planner at www.mbta.com.

Boston
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10. Re: Boston by Wheelchair

Taking the T with a wheelchair can be very challenging. Not all stations have elevators and even in those that have them, they may be difficult to find. Sometimes you even have to switch elevators between levels. I would think about the things you would like to do and see (including the Freedom Trail) and gear your hotel choice based on proximity to the majority of those. Also, be aware that newer hotels tend to be more "up to date" in terms of accessibility as well.

Edited: 1:44 pm, January 22, 2014