Chit Chat

Massachusetts- Quebec City

dyerwisedyerwise member
250 Love Its Third Anniversary 100 Comments First Answer
edited September 2016 in Chit Chat
FI and I are planning on going to Massachusetts for the first two weeks of October for our honeymoon. So far we are planning to spend a few days in Salem and then a few days in Boston.

We have both never been to the east coast and we don't know anyone who has spent time in Massachusetts to help give us any recommendations.

I would really like to drive down to Cape Cod for a few days but have no idea where to start planning. I keep looking at travel sites and everywhere looks great.

Does anyone have any recommendations or tips?

Thank you in advance! :smiley:
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Re: Massachusetts- Quebec City

  • Two weeks is long for Massachusetts! I'd want to spend a couple days in the Berkshires, a few in Boston, some time on the Cape- personally, I love Chatham, and then take the ferry out to Nantucket as well. But if you wanted you could also easily visit Maine or New Hampshire. I don't know that I think MA needs two weeks especially if you've never been anywhere in the region before. 
    ei34
  • I was thinking about Maine as well, but we weren't sure if it was worth it. Do you have recommendations on where to go in Maine?

    We had originally planned to fly into Boston and then drive to Québec (either Québec City or Montreal) since our airline doesn't fly to Canada and we wanted to use our frequent flyer miles to save money. However, its a long drive and we thought maybe our time would be better spent in Massachusetts. Maybe we will rethink it and drive to Québec.
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    There are some beautiful areas in Maine - Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park, Camden- not sure about the weather in October though. I visited in the summer and really enjoyed it.
  • Massachusetts in October calls for a couple of days in the Berkshires. Husband and I went there on our honeymoon and it was just amazing.
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    OliveOilsMomcharlotte989875
  • MrsMack10612MrsMack10612 The Witch City member
    Tenth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    Tell me what you'd like to do in Salem - I can recommend lots of good stuff :)  Quebec is a really nice drive (longish but not bad) and a fun city.  

     

  • Tell me what you'd like to do in Salem - I can recommend lots of good stuff :)  Quebec is a really nice drive (longish but not bad) and a fun city.  
    We are going to be staying at the Hawthorne Hotel Monday and Tuesday night (weekends were all booked). We are thinking about doing one of the night tours, but haven't picked one yet. We'd really like explore on foot and check out historical sites.
  • Massachusetts in October calls for a couple of days in the Berkshires. Husband and I went there on our honeymoon and it was just amazing.
    Wow, I'm so embarrassed. I had never heard of the Berkshires before. I just looked it up and it looks beautiful! Thank you! 
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    We were just in the Berkshires earlier this year on vacation in May.  It is a great area.  We particularly stayed in Hancock at Wyndham Bentley Brook at Jiminy Peak.  They are condo units, so maybe higher than your budget since you would get a full kitchen included.  Hancock is smaller than some of the other towns in Berkshires.  I would recommend doing at least a few days in the Berkshire since you will be in MA for so long.
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Hawthorne Hotel is pretty nice.  We could only afford a room there with a small double, and it was incredibly small!  btw, did you know it was against state law to sleep in a bed naked in Salem?

    I also really liked Plymouth! So beautiful and full of history.  You just need one night there.  I went twice, two years in a row, and I think I did it all.  Plimouth Plantation is neat and they also do night/ghost tours.  If you do a night tour in Salem, the #1 tour on trip adviser is (or should be) The Witching Hour.  Do that one!

    If you do happen to do a night tour in Plymouth, eat beforehand.  One of our tours went past 10 and we saved dinner for after the tour....yeah, the bars stay open, the kitchens are all closed.  You'll have to drive far far away to find a place that's open past 10 or 11 (even fast food chains close early!) 

  • WinstonsGirlWinstonsGirl The Cold North member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited August 2016
    I haven't been to Mass. but I'll vouch for Quebec.  It's one of my favourite cities and it's stunningly beautiful.  Worth the drive, I think

    ETA - Plus with our sucky dollar at the moment, it'll be cheaper for you

    vikinganna87
  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Cape cod is nice, and it will be at the end of the busy season in October. In New England, early October is usually still nice weather wise and you won't have as many tourists. Chatham and Yarmouth have a lot of restaurants and hotels and beaches, but they book up, even probably for October. Provincetown is also a popular area and there is a ferry (90 minutes) from Boston that  runs until October 10. 

    Salem is very busy in October, but you are going in the beginning of the month so it's a little better than the end of the month.

    If you like mountains you can go to New Hampshire- North Conway and the Mt washington area are popular. Ogunquit, Maine is also a popular spot. Bar Harbor is nice but it's a little far from Boston and it might be winding down their season so not as many places may be open. My sister went in late April and half the restaurants were closed because they don't open until May.
    image
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    vikinganna87
  • Mainer here to advocate for adding a few days in Maine to your trip!  If you're into the beaches, there are plenty of options in southern Maine.  You'll be here in the "off-season," so you can get away with going to Old Orchard beach without too much of a crowd.  I live in Portland, which isn't too much farther north, and we are ranked 2nd (I think?) in the US for most restaurants per capita.  There are seriously so many amazing restaurants--if you're foodies, you may find it puts Boston to shame (and probably is cheaper, too).  Lots of local breweries with tasting rooms, too, if you enjoy beer.  I agree with Huskypuppy14, Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park are amazing, but it'll take you 3-4 hours to get there from the Maine border and many of the shops will be closed.  
    For the record, my favorite things in Boston are the shopping around Faneuil Hall and visiting the New England Aquarium.  Driving there is an exercise in frustration, as everything is always under construction, you can't get where you need to be from anywhere, and traffic laws seem to be obeyed loosely.  Find a parking garage and walk or use the T to get around.  
    Haven't been to the Cape, so sorry--no recommendations there!  I've only heard good things from friends, though.
  • dyerwise said:
    Massachusetts in October calls for a couple of days in the Berkshires. Husband and I went there on our honeymoon and it was just amazing.
    Wow, I'm so embarrassed. I had never heard of the Berkshires before. I just looked it up and it looks beautiful! Thank you! 
    You're very welcome! The area is gorgeous in the fall and not as busy as it is in the summer. Feel free to PM me if you'd like any recommendations. 
    image
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Yes, thanks for letting  me know about the Berkshires.  I'm going to try to go to Salem every October, so that will be on our list as well.

    Another thing about Salem, it is busy in October, but I like the hustle and bustle of it all.  Also, it is very heavily Witch Trials orientated, which is great and all, but go on the "Salem Trolley".  It's inexpensive and you'll get a history of Salem, not just the trials.  Good stuff!  But maybe we just had an awesome tour guide? 

  • MrsMack10612MrsMack10612 The Witch City member
    Tenth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    @dyerwise The Hawthorne is a great hotel.  As @CharmedPam said, the rooms can be small, but they have an elegance about them.  October is crazy busy.  Go to www.hauntedhappenings.org for all the goings on while you are there.  For tours go with Derby Square Tours.  They are the best and run/owned by the official historian of Salem.  I suggest the Witch Trial Memorial and the Salem Museum located in the Old Town Hall.  For a little more Halloween I suggest Count Orlok's Nightmare Gallery - it's a wax museum of classic horror movies - not scary at all.  They also make the museum into a haunted house during October if you're into that kind of thing.  The House of Seven Gables is also a must.

    Downtown Salem is very walkable and you should be able to see and do a lot in a couple days.  Please feel free to PM me if you would like anymore info.  I've lived in Salem 10+ years and until recently right downtown.

     

    CharmedPam
  • MrsMack10612MrsMack10612 The Witch City member
    Tenth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    Yes, thanks for letting  me know about the Berkshires.  I'm going to try to go to Salem every October, so that will be on our list as well.

    Another thing about Salem, it is busy in October, but I like the hustle and bustle of it all.  Also, it is very heavily Witch Trials orientated, which is great and all, but go on the "Salem Trolley".  It's inexpensive and you'll get a history of Salem, not just the trials.  Good stuff!  But maybe we just had an awesome tour guide?

    STIB

    Each year we will do some playing tourist in our backyard during October.  Absolutely some tour guides are better.  I remember one year we had one who claimed they were from the area and then completely mispronounced one of the local towns.  Yeah, sure you're local.  *eyeroll*

     

  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    @MrsMack10612, I envy you.  I think Boston/Salem/Plymouth is the only area I'd really like to move to!

    Question: Good eats in Salem?  It's not a foodie town, I see.  We ate at Red's Sandwich Shop and Finn's and I loved them both.  Any other suggestions?  

    MrsMack10612
  • MrsMack10612MrsMack10612 The Witch City member
    Tenth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    edited August 2016
    @MrsMack10612, I envy you.  I think Boston/Salem/Plymouth is the only area I'd really like to move to!

    Question: Good eats in Salem?  It's not a foodie town, I see.  We ate at Red's Sandwich Shop and Finn's and I loved them both.  Any other suggestions?  

    Stupid Box (again) @CharmedPam


    For a variety of reasons, Salem is the first place that has felt like home.  I can't imagine living anywhere else now.  We actually were crazy enough to get married in Salem.  Our processional from the church to the reception was interrupted/intersected by the annual zombie walk.

    Red's is good.   In A Pig's Eye, on Derby Street heading down towards the Seven Gables.  If they are open (seasonal) Stromberg's Black Lobster (opposite direction headed toward Beverly), the decor is super outdated, food is awesome.  Passage to India, has a really good Indian food.  Lots of folks rave about the Lobster Shanty.  It's kind of an institution in town, but I've found it's just ok.  Though folks love their lobster-tini.  And Guy Fieri did a show there.  If you like sushi, Koto (Washington St.) is good.  And my husband loves the traditional North Shore Roast Beef 3-way at Sammys.  We also frequent O'Neil's Irish Pub, particularly on Friday nights or Sunday afternoons as they have live trad sets.

     

  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited August 2016
    Thanks for all of that! I seriously just made a spreadsheet for our 2017 trip.  LOL.   I also realize it's spelled finz.   Dont quote me on this, but FI and stepped into I *think* Rockafella's (looks like it on the map anyway) to get out of the rain/grab an Irish coffee and we ate the crab cake. 

    Best one EVER.  And i'm super picky on my crab-cakes. 

    edit: spelling

  • MrsMack10612MrsMack10612 The Witch City member
    Tenth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    Thanks for all of that! I seriously just made a spreadsheet for our 2017 trip.  LOL.   I also realize it's spelled finz.   Dont quote me on this, but FI and stepped into I *think* Rockafella's (looks like it on the map anyway) to get out of the rain/grab an Irish coffee and we ate the crab cake. 

    Best one EVER.  And i'm super picky on my crab-cakes. 

    edit: spelling
    Yup - Rockafella's is on the corner of Washington & Essex (pedestrian walk).  They have good food, though we haven't been in ages.

     

  • Go to Plymouth as well (it's about a half hour up from the cape). Plymouth Rock is a tad disappointing, but stores will still be open and it's a nice place to walk around. 
    I lived in Plymouth for a few years and loved to walk out to the end of the jetty.  It's very peaceful. 
    Find a historic tour guide if that's your thing. There's so much history there! You can tour the boats there or take a walk around town with a tour guide. 
    If it's warm enough, ziggys is the best ice cream place to hit up. 

    Have fun! 
    MrsMack10612
  • Salem in October will be very busy. Look up Sea Level, it's right on the water. You can also take the ferry from Salem into Boston. Boston is only a 25 min drive from Salem. Tons of good things to do in Boston. The Cape will probably take 2-3 hours to drive to from Salem. October will be off season, so it will be quieter, but still enjoyable. 
  • MairePoppyMairePoppy Connecticut mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    If you go to Plymouth, eat here:

    Related image

    It's at the town pier.
     
                       
  • vikinganna87vikinganna87 Live Free or Die member
    Fifth Anniversary 250 Love Its 100 Comments First Answer
    I haven't been to Mass. but I'll vouch for Quebec.  It's one of my favourite cities and it's stunningly beautiful.  Worth the drive, I think

    ETA - Plus with our sucky dollar at the moment, it'll be cheaper for you
    I agree that Quebec is beautiful.  Montreal is closer and has an AWESOME vibe.  And yes, you'll do well with the strong USD.  Salem MA (don't do what my friends did and end up in Salem NH) is fantastic in October if you're into Halloween, witches, Nathaniel Hawthorne and all that good stuff, but if you don't want to be in a busy place, you may want to skip it.  The first two weeks in Oct could even be warm enough for the beach - there are beautiful ones on the North Shore, like in Gloucester, if you're not going down to the Cape.  If you go to the Cape, I recommend the 90 min boat to Provincetown from Boston.  Or just Wood's Hole, which isn't too far.  You can also take a ferry there to MV or Nantucket.

    It really depends on what you're into.  My ideal 2 week trip to New England would include a couple of days in Boston & Cambridge, one day in Provincetown, a couple of days out in the Berkshires - Lenox, Williamstown, (Mass MOCA, breweries, Edith Wharton's House), then at least 2-3 days either in the NH White Mountains - either Jackson or Franconia or VT Green Mountains.  Add in 4 days for Maine - Old Orchard, Portland, and if you have time, the further up the coast you go, the more beautiful it is.  You can take day-trip ferries to various islands.  The good news is, if you go to Montreal you'll have to drive through VT anyway and it's a BEAUTIFUL state.  I guess if you like mountains you should choose either the Berkshires in MA, the Greens in VT or Whites in NH -- probably no need to see all three in one trip.  

    Good luck and have fun!  Feel free to PM me with any questions :)
  • Thanks everyone for the feedback!

    After lots of thought we have decided to split our time between Boston, Salem, and Quebec. We will be in Salem for 1 and a 1/2 days, two nights, then we will drive up to Quebec City for 4 nights, and then we will end our honeymoon with 4 nights in Boston.

    I've booked our hotels for each city and am now just filling in the details!
    CharmedPamSTARMOON44vikinganna87ei34
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Don't leave Quebec without trying the poutine!

    MissKittyDangerdyerwisevikinganna87
  • I was going to say if you are going through Mass, Montreal is closer. Montreal is also a bit more tourist friendly although Quebec City has gotten better in the past 10 years. 

    If you are going to Montreal, the Old City is a must. There are so many good restaurants and entertainment choices. Montreal is one of my favourite cities. 
  • MrsMack10612MrsMack10612 The Witch City member
    Tenth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    dyerwise said:
    Thanks everyone for the feedback!

    After lots of thought we have decided to split our time between Boston, Salem, and Quebec. We will be in Salem for 1 and a 1/2 days, two nights, then we will drive up to Quebec City for 4 nights, and then we will end our honeymoon with 4 nights in Boston.

    I've booked our hotels for each city and am now just filling in the details!
    @dyerwise
     Feel free to PM if you'd like any specific details for Salem.  I'm happy to help steer you to the good stuff and away from the really cheesy tourist traps.

     

  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    I can't see the picture but it all sounds AMAZING.  My perfect trip! I love ketchup chips too. yum! Glad you liked Salem.  I'm going to miss it this year but will be planning 2017 very soon.

    vikinganna87
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