When considering where would stay in the Boston area, we looked at a number of options including hotels and AirBnBs. However, this concert was a big one (U2), so the accommodations were being snapped up quickly and increasing in price by the day, so we knew we had to move fast. We had to consider how we were going to get to and from the concert venue.
Boston has a great transit system that includes rail and bus transportation. This was one of the things we loved most about visiting Boston. We could stay in a quieter area on the outskirts of the city and ride in to the excitement. Our difficulty with this trip, was that the concert was at Gillette Stadium, which does not always have direct public transport service. The reason I did not say that it never does is that there is something called the "Patriots Train" which is a rail service that runs directly to the stadium, particularly on game days for the New England Patriots NFL team, and it occasionally runs for concerts. An announcement had not been made as to whether it would run for the U2 concert, so we took a chance and decided to book our stay in Dedham, Massachusetts, which is just about mid-way between downtown Boston and Gillette Stadium. We figured if the train wasn't running, we would try Uber or a cab.
Typically when we have come to Boston for concerts, we make some time to head in to Boston to tour around the waterfront. This is a picture from one of our previous trips:
The beauty of the Boston Harbourfront is undeniable. I highly recommend taking a walk around the area. And there are ample opportunities for walking, bike, bus and boat tours, and so much more. Not to mention the Boston Aquarium which is pretty amazing in itself.
Unfortunately, this time around, my husband and I were battling colds and decided to save our energy for the concert. That being said, we did take some time to take in a few things in Dedham.
First, our hotel. We stayed at the Fairfield Inn. If you stay here, just a note that the entrance is located around a corner that has lots of trees, so it sort of came up on us quickly.
Bonus to this vacation is that it's a Marriott property, so you earn points if you're a Marriott rewards member. And, lucky me, I had enough points to get our whole 2 night stay for free!!
There is a restaurant attached to the hotel (although not affiliated with the hotel). Very convenient if you're looking for a quick bite to eat. There were also lots of TVs in the restaurant if you're looking to take in some sports while you're there.
The hotel was undergoing some renovations while we were there (actually, a fairly extensive renovation), which meant some of the facilities were temporarily closed or relocated. While we were staying there, the front entry way was being re-tiled which meant using an alternate door, and the breakfast area was being renovated, so there was a temporary location set up down the hall. Our room was located 2 doors down from the temporary breakfast location, which was convenient for the morning, but we didn't hear any sort of noise, which was great.
Our room had some nice amenities like lots of USB and wall outlets to plug in chargers and laptops. The desk was comfortable with lots of space, and had a section that could pull out if you needed more desk area. There was a good size TV, microwave, coffee maker and small fridge.
The breakfast was nice and consisted of things like muffins, bread, oatmeal, yogurt, fruit, cereal, juice milk, coffee and, my personal favourite, a waffle station. We never left feeling hungry.
The pool area was lovely, and for much of our trip, I had it to myself. It's in the middle of the complex, so it wasn't breezy. Lots of lounge chairs and tables with chairs and umbrellas.
Across the street was a shopping area called "Legacy Place". This complex had a number of stores, a natural foods grocery store, cinema and bowling alley. There is also valet parking and a free parking garage for those who take their vehicle. We went over to have a look at some of the shops, and have a quick bite to eat at the Shake Shack (which was delicious). After supper we went to J.P. Licks and each got a delicious ice cream for a treat. Highly recommend!
The next day we spend some more time by the pool and walked down to the Dedham MBTA station. The location was excellent for those staying at the Fairfield Inn or the Marriott Residence Inn (next door) as it was just a short walk down the street. There is no parking on the side we entered on (we walked), so if you have mobility issues and would like to drive there, it would be best to get directions at the front desk to the parking area, as parking is on the other side of the tracks. Please note that there is no building at this stop, so nowhere to buy tickets. You can purchase through an app (see the MBTA site for more information: http://www.mbta.com/fares_and_passes/mticketing/) or you can pay cash on board. At the time of publication of this post, it was $6.25 each way for a trip in to downtown Boston or out to Foxborough, if you pre-purchased tickets or bought through the app. If you purchased with cash on board it was $9.75.
Dedham Corporate Center Station
When it came time to head to the show, we called an Uber well before show time so we could head out and have some supper. We got to have our first ever ride in a Tesla. Fun!
If you've never seen Gillette Stadium before, this venue is impressive. Very large, and lots of places to shop and eat within walking distance. There is parking on site, but double check parking rates, it can get expensive.
One thing we did not even think about when we took our Uber out, was the demand for Uber, Lyft and cabs afterwards. Everyone was charging a premium and wait times were outrageous. This is the one area that my husband will give feedback for this post. He said "If you don't mind sitting in a bit of traffic, take a vehicle. Parking may be expensive, but our ride home wound up being double the cost of parking.".
Overall, we enjoyed our stay in the Boston area, only wish it had of been longer and that we had been feeling better so we could have gone downtown. We hope to get back again soon.
We would definitely recommend the Dedham area if you're taking in a show at Gillette as it was easy to get to, there was lots of shopping near by, and close to public transport.
Have you been to Boston? Where do you like to stay? Feel free to share in the comments below and/or connect with me on social media: