Getting to SFNE from Boston

Friday, September 11, 2009 4:12 PM

Any New Englanders here that can help me with this?

Going to be in Boston for 5 days at the end of next week. Originally, I was going to stay at the Hyatt Summerfield Suites, which is a bit out of town, but I was going to rent a car so it wouldn't matter.

Then I got to thinking that pretty much everything we want to do is on a mass transit line, so I could stay at the QuadrupleTree, ditch the car and not have to worry about driving or parking.

The problem is that we'd also like to hit SFNE, but don't particularly want to rent a car just for that, since it's the only thing we'd need a car for.

Is there any shuttle service or anything from Boston? I saw there was some Peter Pan bus service, but it only runs through Labor Day. Any help would be appreciated.

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Friday, September 11, 2009 5:01 PM

See if Greyhound has anything.

Another option might be a ZipCar.

I also checked and Amtrak does do service from Boston to Springfield. Unfortunitly, the train doesn't leave Boston until 11:00 AM. That'll put you in S[rimngfield at 2:15, and you STILL need a cab to SFNE.

You'd be better off seeing if you can snag a cheap rate for a rental car.

Boston to SFNE is about 2 1/2 hours. If you want to make the most, get to the lot about an hour before the published park open.

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Saturday, September 12, 2009 6:04 AM

Do your self a favor and rent the car for the day. Agawam, MA is an isolated place and not easy to get to other than by car.

I assume you have checked the park schedule and know it is only open weekends now that schools are back in session. Also, next weekend it is only open on Sat Sept 19 as Sunday Sep 20 is listed as closed for a private event. I would reccomend being at the park before opening.

Another tip, if you do go via car. Stay away from Springfield as it is opening weekend for The Big E. The Big E is essentially the state fair for several New England states. If you try to get to SFNE from the north you will get caught in the Big E traffic, which is historically a mess, and could lose signifiicant time.

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Saturday, September 12, 2009 7:37 AM

Leave Boston between 5:30 - 6:00 AM and you should be fine traffic wise. Although, the Mass. Pike (I-90) has a nasty knack for getting backed up between I-495 and the I-84 junction on the weekends. It'll be even more so with all the "leafers" out there.

You'll also need to plan for about $10 in tolls between Beantown and Springfield (round trip). There IS good signage that directs you to SFNE.

If you change your mind, rent a car, and stay in Burlington, MA, you could hit Canobie Lake on Sunday (9/20), as well. I just checked, and CL's open 11-8 on that day.

Another thing to watch out for is that on 9/20, there's a big NASCAR race up at Loudon, NH. I know this because I only live about 20 minutes away from the track.

Bottom line: rent a car, and watch out. New England's gonna be a stinkin' MADHOUSE!!!!!

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Saturday, September 12, 2009 4:37 PM

For starters, Boston to SFNE is easily only a 90-minute drive. Traffic on the Pike will be headed into Boston in the morning and out of Boston in the evening, which is the opposite of what you need to worry about. Having made the drive hundreds of times (I grew up right near SFNE and went to school in Boston), any slowdowns on the Pike due to heavy traffic will be minor. The Big E is a problem, I'll admit that, but I've found that it's just localized backups. The worst part is crossing the South End Bridge from Springfield. On the plus side, the park should have less crowds during the Big E.

A bus from Boston to Springfield is only $46, then the taxi ride from Springfield to SFNE is just six miles. Springfield is the home of Peter Pan, so buses run there frequently, especially from Boston. Again, the Big E might make these services more congested than usual, but it's still easy.

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Saturday, September 12, 2009 7:38 PM

Thanks for the tips. I was thinking it didn't really look do-able. This confirms it for me.

I was wondering about the 2.5 hours thing, as google maps puts it at about 95 minutes, and I drive fast. The train getting there at 2:15 is too late, and there's no way I'm leaving at 5:30am on vacation, (especially when I think I can scam a Q-bot for free.)

If the bus is $46, then that's $92 for me and my wife not including cab fare and the hassle. Turns out that although a mid-size car (G6) for the week rented from the airport is over $300, I can rent a premium car (Maxima) near the hotel for $179.

I changed my mind again on the hotel to the Ramada in south Boston. (Stayed at a Ramada at Holiday World once, and it was nice. Got upgraded to a whirlpool suite for free without even asking.) They have a free hotel shuttle from the airport and I can just get the car once I'm checked in. I'll probably still take the T a lot to save trying to park around town, but the car will be convenient if we want to cruise around at night and check out the city.

I'd like to do Canobie while I'm there, but there's too much other Boston stuff I want to do. (Sox game, Salem, Sam Adams drinkin', ducky tour, more Sam Adams drinkin', the Cheers bar where there is presumably Sam Adams drinkin' going on...)

Is the Big E thing worth checking out? It'd be nice if it took some traffic away from SFNE. I was worried that it'd be a madhouse because it's only open that one day that week.

Thanks again.

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Saturday, September 12, 2009 9:39 PM

I like driving out on the east coast, except for all the damn tolls.

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Sunday, September 13, 2009 7:13 AM

Canobie from Boston is about 45 minutes, an hour TOPS.

If this is your first time in Boston, I would also recomend the New England Aquarium. It's easy to get to as well, just take the T, Blue Line to the "Aquairum" stop.

The T is VERY easy to get around on, once you figure out the diffence between inbound and outbound.

The duck tours are very cool. They leave from both the Museam of Science (green line, Science Park station) and the Prudential center (green line, Prudential stop)

If you get lost, ask a local. I'd also be a good idea to grab a 5-day pass that's good for all T busses and subways.

Yes, the Sam Adams Brewery is worth a stop.

One pice of advice, DO NOT WEAR A STEELERS JERSEY!!!!! (Damn tourists :) )

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Sunday, September 13, 2009 10:12 AM

The Big E is the state fair of the six New England States (ME, NH, VT, MA, CT and RI.) Its a great fair to go to.

Last edited by Touchdown, Sunday, September 13, 2009 2:16 PM
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Sunday, September 13, 2009 10:56 AM

The Big E is phenomenal. I'm probably not going to go this year because I'm just kinda burned out on fairs but it's a good time, especially if you don't mind shoving some cash in your back pocket and eating your way around the place. I wouldn't go expecting to ride a bunch of great rides but I'm generally not too big on fair rides anyway.

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Monday, September 14, 2009 9:11 PM

The Big E is enjoyable though it does cost a pretty penny to enjoy a good day there, I would say not to set your expectations at too high of an extreme for this fair, which many do when they see this is a cross-state agriculture fair (while the Big E does draw trade, arts, and food from all six states, the fair in scale is not too much larger than a solid county fair you might find in the Breadbasket states or out West) I'm not sure which way you're coming from; I grew up with California and Texas state and county fairs.

With that being said, if you have to make a choice between the Big E and Canobie Lake, IMHO, I'd regret missing Canobie, having visted both annually for years.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009 8:01 AM

I've lived in New England all my life and have NEVER been to the Big E.

Besides, Canobie's closer to Boston, and there's NO TOLLS between Beantown & Salem, NH.

Oh, BTW, NH has NO SALES tax, so your signifigant other can shop 'till they drop.

The sales tax in Mass just went up to 6.25%.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009 11:08 PM

Hopman said:
Canobie from Boston is about 45 minutes, an hour TOPS.

If this is your first time in Boston, I would also recomend the New England Aquarium. It's easy to get to as well, just take the T, Blue Line to the "Aquairum" stop.

The T is VERY easy to get around on, once you figure out the diffence between inbound and outbound.

The duck tours are very cool. They leave from both the Museam of Science (green line, Science Park station) and the Prudential center (green line, Prudential stop)

If you get lost, ask a local. I'd also be a good idea to grab a 5-day pass that's good for all T busses and subways.

Yes, the Sam Adams Brewery is worth a stop.

One pice of advice, DO NOT WEAR A STEELERS JERSEY!!!!! (Damn tourists :) )

We're planning on getting the week-long pass for the T. Do you know if they sell them at all the stations? They won't let you buy them online.

Going to rent a car, but found if I get it just Friday thru Monday, it's only $90, and they'll drop it off at the hotel. Still plan on using mass transit for most city stuff, but we'll drive to SFNE and Salem, at least, and maybe to check out the city at night.

We're going to skip the aquarium just because we're not bringing our son. We'll do that if/when we come back with him.

Also, the Patriots cheat and can barely beat Buffalo. ;)

Thanks for the advice.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009 11:46 PM

I can certainly tell that your not from around here :)

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009 7:03 AM

I know they sell them at North Station and South Station. When you get into Logan, you can ask somebody at the info desk.

You actually take the T (blue line) from Logan.

Oh, if you're hungary, head for Fanuel Hall. If you're STILL hungary, try to find a resturant called the "No Name," either that, or the Union Oyster House, America's oldest, continously operating resturant.

Also, the Patriots cheat and can barely beat Buffalo.

... And the Pirates couldn'r catch a cold naked in the middle of Alaska!

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