Subject: Boston, Cape Cod, Salem &Maine
On the Cape, be sure to spend a day at the National Seashore - it is gorgeous! It is miles long and no commercialism - just well-preserved nature. If I remember correctly, there is no charge for parking or for use of the beach. If you like to bike, the cape has a beautifully maintained rail-trail that goes from Dennis to the National Seashore's Salt Pond Visitors Center in Eastham - goes by lakes, ponds ocean beaches, country stores and quaint villages and through Nickerson State Park, a beautiful forest and very popular campground of 1700 acres or so. The rail trail is about 20 miles long and is all asphalt. Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce: 617-775-4438 (area code may have changed).

Maine's seashore is gorgeous, also. Since you are trying to fit Boston, Salem, Cape Cod and Maine into a short week, I'd suggest the southern shore - Ogunquit, York, Kennebunkport (George and Barbara Bush live there). We stayed in a dive of a motel on congested Ogunquit Rt. 1 - the nice places book up fast - actually, it looked nice in the picture, but the only nice thing about it was the pool. But while there, we walked along the Marginal Way and found a beautiful place to stay the next time we go up there called the Anchorage By the Sea (207)-646-9384. I believe 2 years ago when we checked it out, the room rates were not unreasonable ($100 per nite?, maybe even less). From your chaise lounge on the lush green lawn, by the gazebo and colorful gardens, you overlook Perkins Cove - SOOOOO beautiful and peaceful - WALK to small beach, or WALK along Marginal Way to the interesting shops and restaurants at either end of the Way. Driving is not fun in summer - Rt 1 is a traffic jam in tourist season. My cousins and their 2 little girls stayed there on our recommendation in October 1998 and loved it. At the southern end of Rt 1 is Kittery - if you are into outlet shopping, you can spend a full day there.

Karen in RI