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Boston to Cape Cod prepare makes weekend journeys simpler for vacationers

Boston’s buttoned-up South Station doesn’t usually conjure pictures of fold-up seaside chairs, straw hats and rolling Yeti coolers. However on weekend mornings in the course of the summer season, that’s what you’ll see.

As a substitute of frenzied passengers operating to catch a prepare to a different East Coast metropolis, right now’s throng of delighted vacationers awaited the CapeFlyer, a weekend passenger prepare to Cape Cod. It runs in the course of the 15 weekends of summer season — up till Labor Day — from Boston to Hyannis with a handful of stops in between.

I not too long ago dragged my two younger youngsters on a CapeFlyer journey. It occurred to be the week of history-making warmth waves all over the world. That Sunday, Boston broke a document.

Vacationers like Ken McKeel, 56, from Goldsboro, North Carolina, had the identical thought. He was there along with his household, trying to beat the warmth and see the Cape’s world-renowned seashores. The explanation they took the prepare: value.

On Sundays, you will get a same-day, round-trip ticket for half worth, or $20.

My children have grown up going to Cape seashores, and by no means flip down an opportunity to play within the Atlantic or eat at one of many many seafood shacks. Plus, getting out of metro Boston’s scorching and steamy ambiance wasn’t a tough promote, regardless of the early departure time of seven:45 a.m. I additionally promised them ice cream, one of many Cape Cod meals teams.

After we arrived at South Station terminal, located smack in downtown Boston, the scene was akin to an airport in Cancun or every other tropical seaside vacation spot: people eagerly awaiting solar, surf or possibly a frozen cocktail with a view.

Taking a prepare to Cape Cod is smart. In the event you’ve ever gone there by automotive on a summer season weekend, the largest downside is site visitors.

The one two methods to drive to the hook-shaped peninsula are the Bourne and Sagamore Bridges. Each constructed within the 1930s, the bridges are usually not meant to accommodate right now’s degree of site visitors. So, the wait to cross one can take hours.

The ambiance on board the CapeFlyer is as relaxed as a seaside trip. There’s a bar automotive serving wine, beer and blended drinks, and loads of riders had been sipping a rose or a beer whereas admiring the surroundings.


“I might examine the CapeFlyer to the ferries, in that the minute you step on any of them, you’re on trip,” mentioned Kim Foley MacKinnon, a Boston-based journey author who wrote the e book “100 Issues to Do on Cape Cod and the Islands Earlier than You Die.”

“It’s step one to leisure,” she mentioned. “That’s the vibe.”

Patrons have beneath three hours to get pleasure from their journey. However the CapeFlyer affords one journey to the Cape and one journey out every day. In the event you miss it, you’ll be caught on the lookout for one other strategy to get house.

As soon as the prepare crosses into Cape Cod, by means of the Railroad Bridge, it is a slower journey. The prepare can run solely about 30 mph due to the Cape’s older rail infrastructure, in keeping with Thomas Cahir, administrator of the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority, which runs the prepare along with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

That is removed from a criticism, although. It simply means there’s extra time to take a seat again and benefit from the journey.

Earlier than the pandemic, about 15,000 passengers took the CapeFlyer, Cahir mentioned. Ridership has been gradual to come back again however is steadily rising. In 2021, some 6,000 passengers took the prepare. This yr, Cahir expects to exceed that quantity.


Riders arrive in Hyannis, the industrial hub of the Cape. It’s house to the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum and the place to catch a ferry to Martha’s Winery or Nantucket. There are whale watching excursions, deep sea fishing excursions, and boat excursions that supply a view of the well-known Kennedy Compound, the place JFK launched his 1960 Presidential marketing campaign. If Hyannis isn’t your velocity, you possibly can take a bus to the opposite 14 seaside cities. They’re all comparatively shut and value a go to.

“It’s onerous to overlook on the Cape as a result of there are such a lot of decisions, and every city has its personal taste,” mentioned Jeffrey Heth, who publishes the “Guidebook of Cape Cod” alongside along with his spouse, Mary.

Jack Boland, 23, and Niall McMahon, 22, each from Dublin, Eire, had been taking the CapeFlyer as a part of a post-college journey throughout America.

They had been drawn to the Cape for its seashores, fishing tradition and JFK historical past. They stayed the weekend in Hyannis.

“We didn’t have a automotive so we made it work,” Boland mentioned.

The CapeFlyer is definitely cheaper than renting a automotive, and the eco-friendly side of public transportation additionally appeals to youthful vacationers.

Jordan Cornwell, 27, was visiting from Orlando, Florida. She took the Friday evening CapeFlyer with two associates. They stayed the weekend earlier than heading again to Boston on the prepare Sunday night.

On the journey down, Cornwell and her associates noticed two little boys catch a fish off the prepare platform at one of many stops.


“The entire prepare was clapping,” Cornwell mentioned. “There have been some actually pleasant individuals on the prepare and everybody was chatting.”

The CapeFlyer “got here in throughout sundown and that was actually fairly,” she mentioned.

When requested if she’d journey it once more: “Most positively.”

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