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Boston: Is the Marblehead & Salem tour worth it?


Andrea A

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Would appreciate any input. We've been to Boston before and have seen the city and many of the excursions offered by Princess. We have never been out to Salem so I pre-booked an all day excursion to Marblehead and Salem.

Now I have second thoughts as some other friends said it's not worth it and kinda corny. I'd like some feedback from those of you who have been to Salem, and am open to other suggestions. We'll be there Sunday 10/3 on the Reagal Princess.

Thanks

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Thank you both, I appreciate the web link. Salem looks interesting but we will be limited to the tour stops. According to the description, we'll see the Witch museum, Marblehead Neck, Hovey Park,Copley Square. We'll be on Chestnut St. called "most beautiful street in America", pass the Andrew Stafford Mansion, the oldest cementary in the country and Witch Memorial Park, and lunch in Salem. Do these stops/sights sound worthwhile?

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I'd say skip it, and see more of Boston.

 

But I like here and love the city, and haven't been in Salem since 5th grade, so what the heck do I know? :D

 

I do know I've never heard of the museum, or of the "most beautiful streeet in America" designation (or of that street). And Copley Square is in Boston, so you probably start or end there.

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I was so hoping you'd stop at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. That alone would have been worth the trip, IMO.

 

Chandler Hovey Park in Marblehead is the location of the Marblehead Light, among the oldest continuously operating lighthouse in the U.S. It has quite a different look to it... Chestnut Street in Salem is a National Historic Landmark and has some very nice old homes -- here's a link: Chestnut Street

 

While these areas are indeed very pretty, I wonder if you will have a similar experience in other ports. Sorry for asking even more questions, but what are your other ports of call and your plans in each? (We just returned from our 4th Canada/New England cruise...)

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Wow, 4 New England/Canada trips. You must really like the area. This will be our first trip, other than previous trips to Boston. I bet you are a good resource, so if you have the time ( and you did ask) our itinieary includes New York to New Port (Booked Newport mansions tours of Samuel Whitehorne House, Kingscote, and The Breakers) It was so hard to decide as several mansion tours are offered, but this one sounds like a nice mixture of history and the opulence of the Breakers.

Next stop: Boston (currently, the Salem/Marblehead tour)

Next: Bar Harbor, Maine I am not booking anything here as my husband and I are spending 5 days in Maine before the cruise. We rented a car and hope to explore most of Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire before drivng down to NY to catch the ship. When the ship docks, we'll just hang out and have some more lobster. Do you have a favorite place in Bar Harbor for lobster?

All these areas are unknown to me so suggestions are welcome. I definitely plan on spending at day in Acadia Park.

 

Next: St John I found an ecology/hiking trip that sounded interesting to me. It goes to Taylor Isalnd and I believe we can see the Bay of Fundy. Are you familiar with this area?

 

Next: Halifax.. I rented Tours by Taxi to go around the island, see Peggy's Cove, etc.

 

Next stop is Quebec followed by Montreal. I hope to see Quebec on our own, and scheduled an all day trip in MOntreal to the Laurentian Mountains, and then we are staying an extra day in Montreal to see the city, and then sadly, home to real life, work and a lot of peanut butter & jelly sandwiches until I can save enough for the next cruise!

 

Any must see spots or restuarants? or equally important, places to avoid? Not much into tourist traps.

 

Thanks to all who take the time to reply

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Are the trips to New Hampshire and Vermont day trips leaving from Bar Harbor? If so those will be long car rides. If you are going and staying the White Mountain area of northern NH is beautiful. Many B&B"s to stay at. Climb Mount Washington or take the Cog Railway. North Conway has a lot to offer for accomodations and retail. You could head south to the Lakes Region and visit there. You could continue straight across and into Vermont and visit Ben & Jerry's and take a tour. But those are a few hours one way (especially to Vermont). Northern NH, Maine and Vermont you may start to get some brilliant foliage, hopefully for you. Good luck.

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Actually, our Maine home base is the Samoset Resort in Rockport Maine. This is a paid for time share exchange so we plan to spend our nights there. we will be making long day trips by car to New hampshire and Vermont, as I mentioned. I appreciate your recommendations as I am collecting data on places to explore. We will spend a day in Acadia Park in Maine.

Keep the ideas coming! Thanks

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Sounds like a great plan. Do you have room in your suitcase for a stowaway? :)

 

Going back to your original question -- Salem/Marblehead tour -- I don't think there's too much of an overlap between that and what you have planned for the other ports. Especially as you've been to Boston before, getting to see some of the outlying areas is nice, and far less touristy. As someone mentioned earlier, Salem is not just about witch trials -- however, the association with the witch trial might be part of the reason for the comment from your friends.

 

I'll get back to you with answers to your other questions... have to look up some restaurant names.

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Thank you WOG and Lisa63. We leave 9/25 and I am taking notes on all your input. I'm sure we'll catch the fall folliage somewhere. I do have links to track it, but plan on enjoying myself no matter what.

I hope to get to Ben & Jerry's, just for the heck of it, and of course L.L. Bean.

Still looking for recommendations for lobster. I hear there are fun outdoor, family style picnic table type places that have the best and very reasonable lobster. If you know of any, kindly let me know.

Andrea

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Not sure how far south you want to go, but in Wells Beach there is Billy's Chowder House. Great food and lobster. Right on Mile Road (off Route 1) leading to the beach. You can then go down to the public beach area at the end of Mile Road and get an ice cream or go left to the end of Atlantic Avenue and walk the getty out into the ocean and look for seals swimming or watch the lobster boats return. If you go to York Beach, short sands has a place called Sheldons right on the main strip. They have an outdoor patio overlooking the beach and ocean and serve food out there. Haven't had the lobster there, but the other selections are quite good. Just a little bit further you can go to the Silver (or gray) Fox which is right at Nubble Light. You can eat there and have a view of the ocean and Nubble light for the entire dinner. They also serve ice cream outside there as well. In between these two towns is Ogunquit with a restaurant called Oarweeds in Perkins Cove. The ocean literally comes up and hits the foundation of the building. They have a porch area open to the water with tables. This was a slightly more formal atmostphere, but the lobster was delicious. These are probably quite a ways from you, but are definitely tourist attractions. Kennebunkport is another beautiful town to visit, there is a restaurant right before you cross the bridge going to Dock Square that was pretty good. Forget the name though. Another restaurant right around the corner from Dock Square is right on the marina, but I also forget the name of that one. We had a very nice dinner there once, many years ago. While in Kennebunkport you can take a ride to Walkers Point and see if the Bush's are in town. have a great time.

 

Absolutely do Ben & Jerry's

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If you're staying in Rockport, one of my favorite lobster restaurants is in Lincolnville, just a few miles north of Rockport. It's right on the water and reasonable. Here's the info:

 

Lobster Pound Restaurant & Take Out

U.S. Rte. 1

Lincolnville Beach, ME 04849

207-789-5550

 

And don't miss Camden. It's my favorite place up that way.

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I will go to your favorite restaurant. I can't wait. Any other suggestions? I do plan on seeing Camden and will be driving to Acadia Park for a day. Have you heard of the Samoset resort? It's supposed to be nice, I hope so!

Andrea

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I see you are from New Hampshire. I want to spend a day visiting your state. Are the leaves turning yet? Any particular drives or sites you can recommend? I do have the visitor's guidebooks but I won't be able to cover everything as I will be returning to our hotel in Rockport every night.

Thanks,

Andrea

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Hi again Andrea. Sorry for the delay. In Bar Harbor, we had wonderful lobster at the Island Chowderhouse, which is on Cottage Street. It was walkable from the tender dock. We picked up a walking tour map in one of the visitors center... quite helpful.

 

In Quebec, we had a nice lunch at l'Omelette, which is in the Upper Town on Rue Saint-Louis. On the advice of one of our travel companions, I tried the Canadian pea soup... marvelous! It appeared that many locals were dining here. We didn't want to do the "tourist trap" thing, either.

 

Wow.. you leave in just a few days. I am so envious. :)

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Andrea -

 

One of the greatest places to see fall foliage in New Hampshire is the Kancamangus Highway. It runs essetially from Route 93 in Lincoln over to Route 16 in the North Conway area. There is a website visitnh.com that gives an outline of when the leaves are turning color. Since it depends on warm days and cool nights,a s well as other variables, for the best color you depend on mother nature. We are experiencing some of that now. There are a lot of scenic areas, especially in the White Mountain area, but you will see plenty of trees whereever you drive that will be changing. I-89 north is another place to see great foliage at the right time, but it is an actual interstate highway. The lakes region will be nice. You could take a Mt. Washington ship ride on Lake Winnipesaukee or go to the top of Gunstock Mtn (Gilford) and see everything. There are great views from up there. If you are there though at the right time, the Kancamangus Highway is one of the best spots, but also be prepared for traffic as lots of others know this as well. Good luck and have fun.

 

this map shows the location of the Kancamangus highway (rte 112) from Lincoln to Conway. http://www.visitnh.com/mapsDisp.html?map=wm

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We plan on booking the re-positioning cruise for Canada/New England for Oct 25, 2005 on Princess -- I'm hoping we don't miss all the Fall colours. I'll be looking at this post in anticipation of the next cruise and all the advice the CC have to offer.

 

For now, I'm bouncing of walls for my Tahitian cruise on Oct 14!

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As always, you CC cruisers come through. I can't wait to eat lobster, see New England and experience the fall folliage in New Hampshire and surrounding areas.

 

I'm glad to hear someone liked Salem/ Marblehead. As of now, I'm keeping that trip. I wish we had time to go explore Salem on our own as it sounds like the area has a lot to offer, and I will be stuck on the Princess tour.(no offense to Princess) but I don't know why they don't offer a trip to the maritime museum that people rave about.

 

You'll love Tahiti. I went May '03 on the Tahitian Princess and had the time of my life. I met great people on the CC site and lined up most of our trips, car rentals, etc. in advance. I think I only did one tour through Princess. Have a wonderful time. Be prepared for a smaller ship with small common areas. It was quite rocky, but you'll get to know most everyone on board and never have to wait in long lines for meals, tenders, etc.

Be sure to swim with the sharks and rays!!!

 

Andrea

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