We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Manchester by the Sea suitable base for Boston and Salem?

UK
Level Contributor
168 posts
25 reviews
Save Topic
Manchester by the Sea suitable base for Boston and Salem?

Hi, first timers to the area ... wanted to stay somewhere quiet and near a beach .... have chosen a b&b in Manchester by the Sea ... which from the map now seems rather a long way for visiting Salem and Boston for day trips? Can someone please advise.... the b&b looks great but we do not want to spend all day in a car!

thank you!!

Baltimore, Maryland
Destination Expert
for North Conway
Level Contributor
12,177 posts
58 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Manchester by the Sea suitable base for Boston and Salem?

Certainly not to far.45 min maybe to Boston. Closer to Salem but don't have mapquest on phone. Talk to the owners for best information.

Salvador, BA
Level Contributor
8,202 posts
1 review
Save Reply
2. Re: Manchester by the Sea suitable base for Boston and Salem?

Without traffic, it's less than an hour from Manchester-by-the-Sea to Boston. I used to do a reverse commute a bit further up on Cape Ann, which wasn't bad at all and took about 40 minutes. However, at morning rush hour (really anytime from about 6:30 to 10 am) the traffic on routes 128/95 and 93, the highways which you would take into Boston (look at a map to see), have stop and go traffic pretty much the whole way in and out again at nightly rush hour (from about 3pm on). Route 128 becomes a 2 lane road at a certain point after splitting from 95, twisty at parts, with a mall whose traffic often holds things up too. SO if you can leave your accomodation on a schedule that avoids these rush hour times, or build in the time to sit in traffic, you should be OK. Salem can be acessed by an exit off of 128 that is probably before the traffic tie-ups, and might be reverse to any traffic coming out in the a.m. Manchester-by-the-Sea is a charming little town with cute shops and a lovely beach. (Do ask if your B&B provides a resident parking sticker though, or you may have to walk to the beach, like any other out-of-towner.) HAve a pleasant stay.

UK
Level Contributor
168 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Manchester by the Sea suitable base for Boston and Salem?

smashing ! thank you for your help ..... we had thought of Marblehead as a base but do not think there is much in it distance wise!

North Shore, MA
Destination Expert
for Salem
Level Contributor
5,705 posts
181 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Manchester by the Sea suitable base for Boston and Salem?

Manchester-by-the-Sea can be a good base for exploring Boston and Salem as well as Cape Ann. I'm not exactly sure about your Marblehead comment, but it's also a lovely small town that is convenient (and closer) to both Salem and Boston. On the other hand, highway access from Marblehead is not as good as from Manchester and it puts you farther from Cape Ann. Even if you don't stay in Marblehead, try to spend a little time there when you visit Salem.

From Manchester to Salem, it's probably slightly faster to take secondary roads rather than Route 128: Take Route 127 south to Beverly and then pick up Route 1A over the Beverly-Salem bridge into Salem. Route 127 is a scenic drive, definitely worth doing once (ideally in each direction!) even if you use the highway the rest of the time. Route 127 north of Manchester is also a beautiful drive.

There is currently ramp work underway on Route 128 in Beverly and Danvers (you'll pass through there en route to Boston) that is slowing traffic a bit, so take that into account for travel time, too. As you may know, you can also take the Rockport line of the commuter rail from Manchester to Salem and Boston; the service is on a fixed schedule and is frequent only during commuter hours, however.

mbta.com/schedules_and_maps/rail/lines/…

Hope you'll enjoy your visit!

Salem, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
1,490 posts
229 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Manchester by the Sea suitable base for Boston and Salem?

It is a gem of a town. And it is on the train directly to Boston and Salem (just be cautious as not all trains stop at Manchester.) If you love classic NE village on the most beautiful beach (Singing Beach) in Massachusetts, you will like Manchester. I say GO FOR IT

Boston, MA
Destination Expert
for Boston
Level Contributor
23,997 posts
68 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Manchester by the Sea suitable base for Boston and Salem?

People commute to work from Manchester to Boston. It's doable. If you are driving, yes, traffic can be a huge concern and the trip can be long. If you are taking the train, you'll be limited somewhat because of teh schedule and the fact that not all trains stop in Manchester, as pointed out.

BUT .... it IS doable and as a compromise, you could drive to Salem, leave the car at the commuter rail station and take the train from there. It has more service than Manchester. Note that the trains run less frequently on weekends than weekdays.

Check out the schedule for the Newburyport/Rockport commuter rail line on http://www.mbta.com

If you won't have a car, then you may want to reconsider your choice, you may seem a bit isolated.

North Shore, MA
Destination Expert
for Salem
Level Contributor
5,705 posts
181 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Manchester by the Sea suitable base for Boston and Salem?

Just a little more train information in case you're interested in this option: The rail line from Boston to the North Shore splits north of the Beverly (downtown) stop. Some trains go to Rockport, others go to Newburyport. When looking at the outbound schedule for trains north from Boston or Salem, be careful to select a Rockport-bound train. All Rockport-bound trains stop in Manchester. Occasionally Manchester is a flag stop, which means you need to tell the conductor your destination so the train will stop there. Going in-bound (south) from Manchester to Salem or Boston, you'll notice that only about half the trains on the schedule stop in Manchester; these are coming from Rockport. Occasionally, Manchester is a flag stop in this direction, too. This means you should be visible on the platform so the train will stop for you.

I like forgotmypword's suggestion of driving to Salem and taking the train into Boston as it will give you more flexibility. On the weekend, you could instead drive to the main Beverly stop (downtown) and park there (on weekdays, parking in that lot is by permit only and cars are ticketed and sometimes towed from there as well as nearby streets).

Buffalo, New York
Level Contributor
26 posts
71 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Manchester by the Sea suitable base for Boston and Salem?

not far from Salem at all, 25 minutes tops. if you can stay in Salem it's better. i stayed in salem last year and it's really nice to walk out your hotel door and be in the middle of the city where everything is going on. salem books up extremely quickly during october so always book by the previous march at the lastest! anyway i stayed in a fabulous b&b within walking/driving distance to downtown salem. i had a great experience and saved a ton of time. this time around i can't stay in salem, (waited too long to book) so i'm staying in Machester-By-The-Sea which is not far. you can also stay at the comfort inn in Danvers which is even closer. Boston will be a hike either way because of the traffic and i'd say Boston is truely about 45 minutes-1 hour from Salem. They'll often say its a 30 minute ride to Boston but it's got heavy traffic as you move closer to the city and it just tends to take much much longer. I say if you want to visit Salem either stay in Salem, Danvers or Manchester-By-The-Sea(but if staying in Danvers or Manchester give yourself 15-25 to drive there and back each day) and if you going to visit Boston either take a ferry from Salem for the day OR after Salem, relocate to Boston and stay in a hotel IN Boston. I would not attempt a commute to Boston it'll take too long and become much too stresseful with the heavy traffic:) let me know if you need help. I've been to both Boston and Salem, some surrounding areas and driven and I loved it.

when are you going?

9. Re: Manchester by the Sea suitable base for Boston and Salem?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 1:17 pm, October 29, 2012