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Salem, Gloucester and Rockport from Boston by train

Derby, UK
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Salem, Gloucester and Rockport from Boston by train

We're coming over in April for 4 nights and we'll be based in Charlestown. We'd like to spend one day in Salem, Gloucester and Rockport. As we won't have a car, we'll have to go by train. The train schedule looks as though it's feasible, but are the main tourist attractions all within easy walking distance of the train stations? Is there a day ticket we could buy or do we have to get separate tickets? Any recommendations for 'must do' attractions in each place? Thank you!

Boston
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1. Re: Salem, Gloucester and Rockport from Boston by train

I think doing all three in one day is probably not a good idea. There are no "day tickets" for the commuter rail and it doesn't run very often except during rush hours, so scheduling all six "legs" will be somewhat of a problem from a time perspective. I would select the one you most want to see (or at most, two places).

North Shore, MA
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2. Re: Salem, Gloucester and Rockport from Boston by train

I agree with Alanm that the three places are a lot for a day, especially when traveling by train. You could combine Gloucester and Rockport perhaps. The train will get you between the two or alternatively you could use the local bus, Cape Ann Transit, or a taxi. You can walk from the Gloucester train station to the downtown area and harbor (the Cape Ann Museum is a good stop along the way). Keep in mind that the return trip is uphill. You can also walk from the Rockport station to Bearskin Neck, the town’s biggest tourist area, but in April, many of the shops there are likely to still be closed for the season.

Salem probably offers the most to the April visitor and could easily fill a day. It’s an easy walk from the train station to most attractions. IMHO, the Peabody Essex Museum is Salem’s star attraction.

http://www.canntran.com/

http://www.capeannmuseum.org/

http://www.pem.org/

http://salemweb.com/

http://salem.org/

Hope you will enjoy your visit!

Derby, UK
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3. Re: Salem, Gloucester and Rockport from Boston by train

Thank you Alan and Route for your quick replies! I think we'd choose Salem and Rockport if we had to go for just two, so I'll have a closer look at the train times to see if we can make it work for us. We're not bothered about shopping (hopefully there will be a cafe open for drinks and a snack though!). We're more interested in the scenery and having a walk around... Even if it's a quick one!

I understand that Rockport is the end of the line - is the train journey scenic, with good views of the coast? I assume we'll get good views of Gloucester as we pass through?

North Shore, MA
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4. Re: Salem, Gloucester and Rockport from Boston by train

Rockport is picturesque at any time of year, and I think you'll find a few restaurants open on and near Bearskin Neck.

You are correct that Rockport is the end of the line. I haven't taken the train to Cape Ann in a long time, but my recollection is that it's not an especially scenic ride as much of it is inland. You'll see Manchester Harbor and have glimpses of the ocean through Beverly, but, if memory serves, the Gloucester part is inland, going through the protected Dogtown area of Gloucester/Rockport. Once you get to Rockport, there's plenty of coast to view, however!

Derby, UK
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5. Re: Salem, Gloucester and Rockport from Boston by train

Thank you Route x

North Shore, MA
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6. Re: Salem, Gloucester and Rockport from Boston by train

You're welcome, U2fan. I do have one other thought. Have you considered visiting Marblehead? It is quaint and scenic somewhat like Rockport and unlike Rockport, is a year-round community. It pairs somewhat easily with Salem. I say somewhat easily because although it is next door to Salem, there is no direct public transit between the two. However, you can take a taxi from Salem and be in Marblehead in less than 10 minutes. To return to Boston, you can take an MBTA bus from Marblehead (or possibly the bus to Wonderland station on the Blue Line and then the subway back to Boston; bus service has been reduced in many places). Here are some Marblehead links if you'd like to check the town out:

http://www.visitmarblehead.com/index.asp

http://www.marblehead.org/index.aspx?NID=10

http://www.marblehead.org/index.aspx?NID=1012

Not that you need a fourth place to consider!

Derby, UK
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7. Re: Salem, Gloucester and Rockport from Boston by train

That sounds really interesting Route, thank you. We were also looking at a visit to Revere Beach, which I think is on the Wonderland route, so that might work quite nicely :)

North Shore, MA
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8. Re: Salem, Gloucester and Rockport from Boston by train

If you decide to do this, I suggest going to Salem first and then Marblehead as it will be easier to get a taxi in Salem than in Marblehead. Wonderland will be convenient to Revere Beach (back to three places! ;-) .

Derby, UK
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9. Re: Salem, Gloucester and Rockport from Boston by train

Ha ha, thank you! We're cramming in as much as we can, making the most a child free holiday :)

10. Re: Salem, Gloucester and Rockport from Boston by train

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