The INBOUND team is excited to bring you voices from all over the INBOUND community through our series of guest blogger posts. For more detail on each author, check out their bio at the end of each post.
Make INBOUND into an Extended Vacation: 7 Great Add-on Destinations
This guest post is by the HubSpot Marketing Blog's Corey Eridon. Apply to guest blog here.
This year, INBOUND is hot off the heels of Labor Day. For Bostonians, that marks the end of summer. The last long weekend before the kids go back to school. The last time you’ll wear white in 2015.
(Unless you’re like me, in which case wear white whenever you want. What an arbitrary rule.)
If you suffer from serious wanderlust like yours truly, you’ll see this as an opportunity to turn INBOUND into an extended vacation -- either right before the event over the holiday weekend, or right afterwards and even on into the following week.
Some of you with vacationing on the brain might be familiar with all that Boston and the surrounding area has to offer, and know just where you'll go with those extra days. But more than ever, thanks to the global profile of INBOUND, HubSpot's Dublin & Sydney offices, and HubSpot partners around the world, people from all over the United States and the entire globe are planning to pack their bags and come to Beantown for INBOUND week.
For those people, I present this blog post. A rundown of places you can go, suggested modes of transport, and fun things to do in and around New England if you’re looking to turn this week into an extended vacay.
1. Explore Boston
INBOUND takes place in Boston at the BCEC -- but that’s a convention center that, unless you really get out and about every night, only shows you one little corner of Boston (commonly referred to as either “The Seaport” or “South Boston”).
With all the parties taking place at INBOUND you’ll get a pretty good sampling of The Seaport. But, you might miss out on the heart of Southie, as well as other popular neighborhoods like The Back Bay, Cambridge, Charlestown, The South End, Fenway, Dorchester, Beacon Hill, and Chinatown. These neighborhoods all provide a great little trifecta that makes me happy to call Boston home: equal parts history, culture & entertainment, and top-notch dining.
Since you’re already in Boston, you can get around just fine with a combination of Ubers/Taxis, public transport via the MBTA (locals call it “The T”), and walking. I strongly recommend you leave the car at home if you plan to extend your vacation in Boston -- it’s just not worth the cost to find a place to park it.
2. Get Out of the City
Boston isn’t the only cool city in Massachusetts. One of my favorite areas happens to be the North Shore (Sorry South Shore people! I like your shore too!) While the city of Boston boasts some spectacular waterfront views, getting out of the city to places like Gloucester, Salem, Rockport, and Newburyport provide a totally different harbor-town feel.
You may recognize Salem from its notorious history as the site of the Salem Witch Trials (and it won’t let you forget it when you’re there), but it also has a bustling harbor that offers antique ship rides and plenty of dockside dining and drinking. Similarly, Gloucester, Rockport & Newburyport have active waterfronts that any water-lover will enjoy touring, as well as picturesque New England towns that look like the ones you see in movies.
Coming from Boston, it’s really easy to get to Boston’s North Shore via the MBTA Commuter Rail. Check out the MBTA Commuter Rail schedule for train times, and once you’ve selected your train, head to North Station by The Garden to get your ticket and board. If you’ve rented a car, you can also drive -- the cities I listed will take about 45-90 minutes to get to, assuming traffic conditions are low-to-normal.
3. Get Out of Dodge
Had quite enough of us “massholes”? ;-) Head out on a tour of greater New England. If you’re not looking to go too far, may I recommend New Hampshire? One of my favorite locations is The White Mountains, which comes highly recommended for those who enjoy nature more than the hustle and bustle of a city. You can either get out and hike in the mountains, or just take a nice, scenic drive through some truly gorgeous mountains that stay beautiful year-round. If you want to stay overnight and are open to some… interesting lodging choices… you should check out the Adventure Suites in North Conway.
And even if you don’t want to stay there, you can ask to take a tour. I recommend you ask to see The Cave Room. Coolest. Shower. Ever.
A car is critical here. I’d recommend renting something from your car-rental-company-of-choice. (Hertz and Enterprise come to mind if you’re from outside the country and not sure which brands are trustworthy.)
4. Hit the Rhode
A tiny state right on the border, Rhode Island has something for people lookin’ to party, or people lookin’ to chill. If you put yourself in the former bucket, head to Providence. If you put yourself in the latter bucket, head to Bristol -- a nice lazy beachtown for those looking to soak up the last days of a New England summer.
Feel like you’re both a chill person, and a partier? I have somewhere for you, too! Go to Newport. Playground for the rich and famous, sure, but they let plebes like us in, too.
If you’re interested in Bristol or Newport (my favorites spots in RI), rent a car to get there. Parking in Newport can be a bit tricky, but keep trying: even during their big Newport Waterfront Events, you can usually find something if you’re determined. If you’re going to Providence, you can easily get there on the MBTA Commuter Rail from nearby South Station, and then get around with cabs while you're in town.
5. Head Into the Mystic
Whether you decide to play Van Morrison or not is up to you, but if you go to Connecticut, I insist you check out the charming town of Mystic. It’s a great day trip, so if you’re only looking to extend your stay for a day or two, this is a great way to spend your time. This seaside city appropriately has a newly updated aquarium with whales, seals & dolphins, boat tours, and kayaking and canoeing. If you’d like to stay the night (maybe you can ask your significant other to meet you there for a romantic long weekend!), there are the kinds of inns you’d expect out of a maritime New England town.
You could drive if you really wanted to, but I recommend taking the Amtrak train out of South Station or Back Bay Station. It stops right in Mystic, which is a fairly walkable town. Plus, wifi and bar onboard, both ways.
6. Grab Your Main Squeeze for the Upper-Right-Hand-Corner of America
Boston is known for a few things -- lobster being one of them. But if you didn’t get enough during INBOUND and want to go to the most epic source of lobsters in the U.S. of A, head to Maine for your extended holiday. It’s really hard to go wrong anywhere in this positively gorgeous state, but my favorite cities that I can recommend to you are York and Portland. Portland has a little more hustle and bustle, and more of a harbor town, whereas York maintains more of a beach town feel. But I recommend you check out both if you have the time -- particularly for the puffin tours in Portland, and the simply remarkable cliffs in York. (They also have a cute old-timey candy shop, quite close to the beachside arcade.)
You’ll definitely need a car to get here, so either rent or just take the one you brought. Once you land in these towns, however, you’ll be able to get around on foot easily.
7. The Land of Ice Cream, Cheese, and Beer
Hope you packed your flannel shirt. Vermont is the home of all the kind of food you never want to stop eating. (And beer. To wash it down.) Some of the can’t-miss locales include stopping by Ben & Jerry’s for some seriously chill ice cream, the Cabot creamers, and the Sugarbush Cheese & Maple Farm. Unsurprisingly, they provide cheese and maple syrup samples.
And if you do want to wash those treats down during your Vermont tour, stop by the Vermont Pub & Brewery for some locally brewed brewskies.
Again, you’ll need to rent a car to make this your extended vacation destination. But it’s worth it -- driving through Vermont will provide you with the perfect vista for post-event unwinding.
Oh, the Places You Will Go
Whether you choose from one of the destinations above, or take this idea and run with it all the way to a spot of your choice, consider flying out a bit early or staying on another few days to really soak up all our beautiful home has to offer.
We'll see you in September!
Corey Eridon is Managing Editor of the HubSpot Marketing Blog. she is a Bruce Springsteen fan who makes a living in business despite having received a liberal arts degree.