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Instruction for a short trip to New England (Boston | Cape Cod | Newport | Province Town)


 


Duration: at least 5 days

Stopps: Boston | Newport | Hyannis Port | Provincetown




Content:



 

Boston


Introduction to Boston:
The city of Boston is located on the Atlantic coast in the northeast of the USA and is the capital of the state of Massachusetts. Boston was founded in 1630 and has around 680,000 inhabitants. It is therefore between Stuttgart and Frankfurt in terms of size. "Athens of America" is famous above all for its old city center, at least by North American standards, the historical influences on the rest of the USA (Boston Tea Party and the resulting war) as well as for the elite universities Harvard and MIT.

The surrounding wide sandy beaches and grass-covered coastline are very reminiscent of the North Sea beaches in Germany and the Netherlands. In contrast to hectic New York or political Washington D.C. Boston captivates with a quiet, maritime charm and a pleasant understatement, knowing full well that Bostonians are not the center of the so-called east coast elite for nothing.


Boston's skyline from the water taxi


Boston has a huge advantage over other large US cities (apart from Las Vegas and San Diego): the international airport is almost downtown. Long journeys from the airport to the city or vice versa are not necessary. One of the reasons I like Boston. The second reason: In Massachusetts, the "sales tax" is comparatively low, there is no "local tax" and a tax is only levied on clothing if the value of goods exceeds USD 175. In short: Boston and the surrounding shopping malls are ideal for power shopping. In addition, the city with its historical sites is worth seeing, the surrounding area is at least worthwhile.


 

Arrive und Stay:


Boston Logan Airport is located directly adjacent to the city center on an offshore island. From the airport you can get to the city center by public transport (metro "Blue Line", bus "Silver Line SL1 and SL3" or by ferry. To get from the airport to the ferry, you have to take the free shuttle bus # 66 (runs every 10 minutes) to the "Boston Logan Dock" / "Water Shuttle Dock" where staff will usually be waiting to hail a water taxi.


Of course you can also take a regular taxi or an Uber/Lyft. However, the Uber pickups point is not located at the general taxi rank but in the "Central Parking" area. The way is signposted "Central Parking/Ride App Pickups". Of course, there are also various rental car companies in or near the airport. Due to the high parking fees in the city, a rental car is only worthwhile if you plan to leave the city.


Unfortunately, there is no possibility at the airport to lock luggage in a locker for a few hours. However, the Chicago Water Taxi ferry company has partnered with the downtown Marriott Hotel. So you can easily take a small ferry from the airport to the hotel and leave your luggage there even as a non-hotel guest. You can also take the boat back to the airport.


Hotels in Boston can be extremely expensive (similar to New York), especially when there are trade fairs, festivals or sporting events. We were lucky and got a cheap rate at the HolidayInn Express & Suites Boston - Cambridge. The hotel is certainly not a beauty, but it is functional, clean and close to downtown. It's about 350 meters to the next tram stop "Lechmere" and you're in the middle of the action less than 10 minutes later.



 

Getting around:


Probably the most famous in Boston is the approx. 4 km long, free "Freedom Trail"; a brick path leading to 16 historic landmarks. The Freedom Trail starts in front of the Visitor Center in Boston Common Park. The best way to get to the Visitor Center is to take the Red Line, Park Street stop. I recommend packing a travel guide with accompanying information about the individual sights, or with available data volume keep the Wikipedia page on the Freedom Trail open. If I remember correctly, you can also take free flyers with you in the Visitor Center, but the information content is aggregated accordingly.



You can download a map of the trail including the individual sights via this link.


For the tour you should have your ID (ID card or passport) with you. Visiting the USS Constitution is free, but you must show your passport here. Otherwise you will not be allowed on the ship.



 

Eating and Snacking:


You certainly won't starve in Boston. Anyone who is on the Freedom Trail and gets hungry is in good hands at, around and in the "Faneuil Hall". Inside the old market hall there are countless small food stalls with seafood, Indian and Greek food and various sweets. Even those who are not hungry will probably only be able to get out with superhuman willpower without buying anything for their soul there.


Another institution for lightweight confections is Mike's Pastry (300 Hanover St, Boston, MA 02113). For the famous "cannoli" (not to be confused with cannelloni) you sometimes have to queue out onto the street. But it's definitely worth it!




The "Chart House" (60 Long Wharf, Boston) is not cheap, but with a nice, quiet view when the weather is good, it is located directly at the harbor. In addition to seafood and steak, you will also find a classic burger on the menu here.


Lunch at the "Chart House"

 

Shopping:


In the vicinity of the "Faneuil Hall" there are countless small, well-known and lesser-known retailers. Probably the best and most famous place to go shopping in Boston is "Newbury Street" in the south-west of downtown. In addition to countless shops, you will also find many small bars and cafés here. It's also worth a visit if you're not on a shopping spree. There are very nice houses in the street, it is quite tidy and very clean. Also in the vicinity of Newbury St. is the Prudential Center and Copley Place; both of which are quite large shopping mails.



However, the biggest bargains can be found if you make your way to the "Wrentham Village Premium Outlet", about 60 kilometers away. It takes about 45 minutes to get there by rental car. Here you will find countless brand stores with reasonable prices. I've even heard of people buying a new snowboard outfit here in the middle of summer because it was incredibly cheap... ;-)




 

Newport


Introduction to Newport:
Newport is a small maritime town about 120 kilometers south of Boston with a population of about 25,000. Newport is famous as a summer resort and for its wealthy seaside mensions. Newport is home to the International Tennis Hall Of Fame and the Naval War Collage established in 1884.

Sunset in Newport

 


Arrive and Stay:


It takes about 1.5 hours to drive from Boston to Newport by rental car. On the way we stopped at the "Wrentham Village Premium Outlet" (see "Shopping"). The drive from Wrentham to Newport then took about an hour.


Since the hotels in and around Newport can also be expensive in the summer months, we decided on the "Residence inn by Marriott Newport Middletown" in the north. The hotel is less than a 10-minute drive from the city center. In 2018 there was a free shuttle service from the hotel, which we were happy to use.



 

Getting Around:


To see the famous mansions you can either hike the 5 km (one-way) long "Cliff Walk". Or take a guided trolley tour.


The Cliff Walk starts at "Bailey's Beach" in the south and ends near "Easton's Beach" in the north (or vice versa). On the way you can admire the sea on one side and one imposing villa after the next on the other. If you park your car at Bailey's Beach, you have to walk back. We liked the way through "Bellevue Ave". Some villas can be visited by paying small coins or large bills. More information about each mansion can be found on the Preservation Society website




Fans of cultivated lawn ball sports will also get their money's worth in Newport, as the city was the first venue for tennis and the Golf US Open. ATP tournaments still take place on the grounds of the "Newport Casino" today. You will also find the "International Tennis Hall of Fame" here.



 

Eating and Snacking:


Benjamin's Raw Bar (254 Thames St, Newport, RI 02840), downtown and near the waterfront, was recommended to us by a local. In fact, the food was delicious and the atmosphere very pleasant. All in all, you can recommend the small, crooked restaurant. There are also other nice restaurants in the vicinity. You probably can't go wrong with any of the restaurants.



 

Provincetown


Introduction to Provincetown
Provincetown is a small town on the northern end of Cape Cod with a population of around 3,000. Once famous as a fishing and whaling town, "P-Town" is now known as a local recreation area with its extensive sandy beaches.

A small, probably not cheap, house near Provincetown. The picture is also from Paul (see below)
 

Arrive and Stay:


It takes about 2 hours to get to Provincetown from Boston and about 2.5 hours from Newport. However, it is worth making a short stopover in "Hyannis Port", at least if you are interested in politics.


Hyannis Port is another small coastal town on Cape Cod and became famous because of the Kennedys' summer homes. The family still owns a large property (Kennedy Compound) on which the houses of Joseph Kennedy, John F. Kennedy, Robert "Bobby" Kennedy and Robert Kennedy Jr. are located. Edward "Ted" Kennedy lived here until his death and to this day Ethel Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy's wife. Unfortunately, you can't see much of the houses and it's best to heed the warning about a guard dog (although some people say that the guard dog is more into being petted than guarding the property). Taylor Swift bought a $4.9 million home across from Ethel's house, which she sold for a profit just a few months later.


Bobby Kennedy Jr's Summer House

It takes about an hour from Hyannis Port to Provincetown. It takes two hours by car from Boston. But there is also the possibility to get from Boston to Provincetown by ferry or plane.


You won't find the big hotel chains in Provincetown. There are countless, really nice guest houses. We chose the "Prince Albert Guesthouse", a small gem built in 1867 right on Commercial St. A good decision! Although the rooms are not large, they are well furnished and everything is sparkling clean. Paul, the owner, conjures up a great breakfast in the morning, which will convince even the last European breakfast whiner. Stupid as I am sometimes, I totally forgot to take a few pictures of the accommodation. So Paul kindly sent me the following photos. At this point, once again, a heartfelt thank you, Paul!




 

Getting Around:


The main street here is called "Commercial St". Here you will find countless bars, restaurants and small boutiques. There are fewer big chains here, but lovely local retailers who sell great products with a lot of dedication and love.



North of Provincetown is the underwater nature reserve "Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary", an area popular with whales (humpback, minke and fin whales) because it is rich in minerals and fish. Whale watching tours can be booked directly at the port of Provincetown.


The 48 km long "Cape Cod National Seashore" (CCNS), which was founded in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy, runs from the northernmost point around Provincetown to the south of the peninsula. In addition to the beaches and forests of the CCNS, historical communication hubs can also be found here. Between 1902 and 1917 there was a news station on "Macon Beach" through which the first telegraph message was exchanged between the USA and Europe. In addition, this station received the emergency calls from the sinking Titanic in 1912 and provided the first rescue wave. Further south is the "French Cable Station Museum". Here one of the first submarine transatlantic cables arrived from Europe. In 1927, the landing of Charles Lindbergh from Paris to the USA was communicated via this cable.



We borrowed two bikes from "The Bike Shack" and rode the bikes to "Race Point Beach". A beautifully developed bike path, the "Province Lands Bike Trail", leads from Provincetown directly to Race Point Beach. Of course you can also drive to the beach by car. There are enough parking spaces, as well as restrooms and showers. The beach is typically Cape Cod very clean and quiet (except for occasional aircraft noise, which didn't bother us). And the seals that regularly swim past didn't seem to be bothered by the small planes, too.



 

Eating and Snacking


Since we both don't allow ourselves to be influenced by cheap marketing tricks, such as colourful, attention-grabbing lighting, etc. because of our jobs, there was no alternative for us to pay a visit to the "Lobster Pot". Shrill and colorful on the outside, cozy on the inside and with a beautiful view of the sea. The food was delicious and reasonably priced. Overall recommended!



 

After a wonderful few days in the Northeast USA we moved on to Montreal to visit friends. Instructions for the Canadian metropolis on the Saint Lawrence River will follow soon.


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