Getting around Massachusetts, like most states in the US, is incredibly easy. However, Boston is unique in its tram system - it's awesome and just another reason to visit the state. So, how do you get around Massachusetts?
Logan Airport is located three miles from downtown Boston and is easily accessible by public transportation and taxi. A free shuttle bus stops at each airline terminal, bringing passengers to the Airport subway station on the Blue Line.
In the summer of 2012, passengers heading into Boston from Logan can ride for free on the MBTA's Silver Line. The pilot programme continues through to the 3rd September, so catch it while you can (literally...)
You can also get into the city via water shuttle. Year-round scheduled and on-call vessels serving Logan's dock provide direct connections to downtown Boston and other popular waterfront destinations in Boston's Inner Harbor, and the towns of Quincy and Hull on the South Shore. Enjoy fantastic views of Boston Harbor and the city from a climate-controlled waiting area. The Massport Route 66 Shuttle Bus provides free shuttle service to and from the Logan Dock and all airport terminals.
The city's transit system is the oldest and fifth largest in the nation. The T helps protect the region's natural resources by providing an alternative means of transport for more than one million people every day. The combination of Boston's compact city layout and its convenient transportation system allows visitors to come to Boston without a car, take mass transit, and explore the city on foot. Bonza!
Your way around Boston is a Charlie Ticket - named for Charlie, the character in the 1959 hit song "Charlie on the MTA" (as the MBTA was then called) performed by the Kingston Trio. The song's lyrics tell of Charlie, a man who gets aboard an MTA subway car but learns he can't get off because he hadn't brought enough money for the "exit fares" that had been established (you won't have this problem!).
The T subway system is comprised of the Blue, Orange, Green, Red, and Silver Lines (which is not a subway line but Bus Rapid Transit).
The Northeast Regional and Acela Express trains run multiple trips daily in between Virginia Beach and Boston, stopping in Washington, DC; Philadelphia; New York; and Providence, among many other stops in between.
To see those back roads and hidden byways, the best way is by car, of course. Most major car rental agencies are located near Logan Airport and some are also located in downtown Boston. A full current driver's license and a credit card are required. It's best to start your rental when you leave the city.
There are multiple seasonal and year-round ferry options for seeing various parts of coastal Massachusetts.
Martha's Vineyard - You can get to Martha's Vineyard from both Woods Hole (via Steamship Authority; vehicles allowed) and Hyannis (via Hy-Line; passengers only). You can also get to Martha's Vineyard on the Island Queen from Falmouth (passengers only), and on the New Bedford Fast Ferry from New Bedford (passengers only). Cost: US$8-36, one-way. A fairly new ferry service from New York City called Seastreak brings passengers from the Big Apple to Martha's Vineyard and back, starting at US$155, one-way, for adults.
Nantucket - You can get to Nantucket only from Hyannis on either Hy-Line (passengers only) OR Steamship Authority (vehicles allowed). The nearby town of Harwich also has a special seasonal ferry called Freedom Cruise Line, passengers only and free parking. Cost: US$18-39, one-way.
Provincetown - There are two companies offering 90-minute "fast ferry" as well as slow boat options that take passengers from Boston to Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod, for the day or however long you wish to spend: Boston Harbor Cruises and Bay State Cruise Company. Cost: US$23-53, one way.
Salem - The Salem Ferry operates seasonally, carrying commuters and travellers between Boston and Salem from May to October. Cost: US$12-15, one way.
Trolley tours offer an entertaining and informative tour highlighting the best of Boston. Travellers can hop on and off while exploring the sites at their own pace. There are several companies running trolleys throughout the city.
Boston Duck Tours are popular with tourists. These are WWII-style amphibious landing vehicles that give an entertaining overview of the city by land and water. Tours are 80 minutes long. They're fun, trust us...