With September coming to a close, you probably know the rhythm of how being on campus works. You probably have even figured out the buses to Portsmouth and Dover, with a little help from the UNH Mobile App! Now it’s time to try getting really off campus. The University of New Hampshire is located between two major cities in New England: Boston, Massachusetts and Portland, Maine. Both of which are accessible by the Downeaster Amtrak service from right here on campus. Having not spent more than a day in Portland, here are my pro-tips on getting to Boston and exploring Beantown as a Wildcat…
1. The Downeaster
We are extremely lucky to have a train station right here on campus. Not sure what I’m talking about? Head over to the Whitt and you’ll see the Dairy Bar. Right there. That’s the Durham-UNH Amtrak Station with daily service between Boston and Portland and all stops in between.
The Downeaster is a quick way into the heart of Boston from UNH. The (about) hour and twenty minute ride brings you into North Station/TD Garden and from there you can hop onto the green or orange line of the T and get to wherever you need to go.
The Downeaster has on board amenities of free wifi, a cafe, and bathrooms. A heads up though, this train can run a little late sometimes, so make sure you have the Amtrak App on your phone. And just because the train may be late doesn’t mean you can be! Remember to always arrive at least twenty minutes before your scheduled departure.
Some other useful information about the train: Amtrak offers a multi-ride college ticket for NH, MA, and ME students! For $86 you get six one-way tickets, which is pretty cheap.
2. C & J Bus Lines
Sadly, we lost our weekend bus services from Durham to Boston South Station over the summer (and rather unexpectedly). This doesn’t mean that we no longer have access to this service. By connecting with the Coast Bus Service (like Wildcat Transit and also free to UNH Students), you can get to the Portsmouth and Dover C&J Stations. Once you get to one of these stops, you get direct service to Boston South Station.
3. Zip Cars
While this might not be the most popular way to get to Boston from campus, it is still an option. If you have a driver’s license, you can get a Zip Car membership for cars right here on campus! Once you have your membership, just reserve and pick up your car and you’re free to head into the city!
Now That You’re in Boston…
Once you pick the way that is best for you to get to Boston, you’ll need to make sure you can get around the city! As I mentioned earlier in this blog, you can pick up the Green and Orange Lines from North Station. If you have never been to Boston, that may be a very confusing statement. Let me introduce you to the T. The Green and Orange lines are just two of five lines that go through Boston– Green, Orange, Red, Blue, and Silver. To take these lines, which make up the subway system, I highly recommend getting a Charlie Card. To take the subway or public buses around the city, you need to have either a Charlie Card or a Charlie Ticket. The Ticket is a paper ticket that you insert into the gate to get into a T Station. The Card is plastic and offers a reduced price for rides around the city. Reduced fair = big savings. The Charlie Cards are free and can be picked up at the North Station T Terminal.
Now that you can get on board, you probably want an idea of where you are going, right?
Green Line Highlights: Boston Museum of Science, Park Street, Fenway Park, House of Blues Boston, Museum of Fine Arts (free admission with your UNH Student ID), Copley Square, and visit friends at Boston College, Boston University, Emmanuel College, Emerson College, and more!
Orange Line Highlights: Chinatown, Downtown Crossing, and State Street.
Blue Line Highlight: The New England Aquarium (offers reduced admission for college students), Government Center.
Awesome Ideas of Places to Stop By:
Boston is a city where there is a lot to do if you know where to look… I won’t give full details of everything, but I’ll give a few recommendations of places you really should try for yourself in the city!
Now that you have some tips to get into Boston and a list of places to go, head down and explore!