Since we decided to take the week off after Christmas we planned three nights in New York and a train ride up to Boston for three nights as a vacation. Our trip to New York and Boston was booked probably nine months prior to departing. We were hoping for white snow lined streets in New York to stroll down in order to take in the views and decorations of the holiday season. Boston was completely new experience, but we also expected a beautiful layer of snow from the winter storms. What we experienced was a little different than our expectations, but still an enjoyable trip that we would do again.
The direct flight from DFW to New York was very early in the morning before the trains starting running so we elected to use the airport remote parking. The cab or ride sharing fare was going to be comparable to a weeks worth of parking so the added convenience of having a car at the airport swayed the decision to park at the airport.
It took about one hour from the time we parked our car to the time we were past the security checks and at our gate. We planned on arriving two hours early to the airport because of the holiday rush and had plenty of time to get some food and orient ourselves in the airport. The one hour from car to through security included very little lines so that will be useful in planning future trips because DFW is a large airport and just making it from a remote parking lot to the terminals takes some time.
We arrived directly from DFW to New York’s LaGuardia airport. As usual our plan was to take public transportation from the airport to our hotel. There is just a handful of bus routes that you can take from the airport that will connect to the subway system and then in turn get you onto Manhattan Island or wherever else you may be staying. The airports website has updated information on what terminals and what bus routes pick up and what trains are connected to the bus route. The terminals are very well marked to get to public transportation and there is a MTA ticket dispenser inside the terminal near the bus stops. The typical fare for using the subway in New York is $2.75 a trip so if you are going to take the subway often enough the 7 day pass for $31 dollars is the best deal regardless if your stay in New York is less than 7 days. Most travel from the airport is on a select bus service (SBS) route, make sure to slide your ticket through the machine next to the stop to get a receipt prior to boarding the bus. They do not accept the fares on the bus as a way to help move things along. Check out the New York page for more details on our three nights in the city that never sleeps.
Traveling to Boston
There are numerous was to get to Boston from New York including renting a car, riding a bus, taking the train or flying. Taking the train was the most appealing because it leaves right from the city center and arrives right in the Boston city center. The train ride is just over three hours and with the 90 minute ride to the airport and all the extra time air travel adds to a trip the train is the most efficient way to go. While in New York we saw multiple transportation companies in China Town offering to take you to Boston for around eight dollars. No clue how long that would have taken, but for some more money the ride on the train was much more comfortable and dependable.
New York to Boston is on the Amtrak Train and there is really two different offerings of service. The most expensive being the Acela Express that will shave about 30 minutes off the trip if everything runs on time. The accommodations are nicer on the Acela since everything is business class and up, but the coach seats on the regular train our adequate. The route is a single level train car with plenty of space above the seats for luggage and old, but comfortable seats. Power plugs and free WiFi (very slow) were available on our train as well. There are numerous stops, but they are very quick and the scenery is constantly changing so the ride seems to move along quickly. Granted the Amtrak pales in comparison to the rail service in Europe and the UK it is comfortable and efficient enough to get you across the north eastern part of the United States at a brisk 100 mph. Once arriving in Boston travel to our hotel was simple on foot. The arrival station had connections to many subway and other public transport options if needed. Odds are if you are staying near the harbor you can probably just walk to your hotel from the train station.
Days in Boston
The weather did not cooperate much while we were in Boston. It was either wet, or bitterly cold. Our hopes of a picture perfect white background did not come true. Having many layers we were prepared and ventured out on many occasions. We were centrally located in Boston so we were a short walk from everything.
We enjoyed lobster rolls or some sort of local seafood everywhere we went. I think our favorite was the different types of oysters they had from the north eastern coast. Included in our public transit ticket was the inner harbor ferry, which even if you have nothing to do on the other side of the harbor is a great way to see the skyline. It is also an efficient way to get across the harbor and explore the other side of Boston.
The trip back to the Boston Logan Airport is simple with the silver line which we thought was a subway, but was actually a hybrid bus that travels underground. Pretty cool if you have never been on one before. I believe Seattle has something similar. Included in our transit pass, the bus took us right up to the terminal with no fuss and we were headed back home. Spending some more time in Boston in the warmer months and possibly the fall is something we would like to do on a future trip.