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Rental Car Agencies in Salem.(.or other northern town)

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Milwaukie, Oregon
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Rental Car Agencies in Salem.(.or other northern town)

We are seniors planning a trip to the area later in the year. The only non-stop flight from our home town (Portland, OR) is to Boston. Do NOT want to rent a car at Logan and drive on freeways. Our primary destination is Maine...have been to VT; NH, MA, and CT on previous trips.

Thinking we would like to take taxi to a nice town north ($50-$60 cab ride OK), where we can spend the night, rent a car, and then drive up the coast for a few nights in Maine. We would return to whatever town we rented the car in, then taxi back to Logan.

Salem comes to mind, but open to other suggestions. Someplace scenic and historic, and easy to get to U.S. 1. Are there rental cars available in Salem (or another suitable town)

Lincoln, NH
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1. Re: Rental Car Agencies in Salem.(.or other northern town)

Cabs to a decent place to stay may be well over that $60 amount. You might want to check some of the rail or bus options out of town. It is also worth noting that from the airport, the road to Salem, Ma is not a big nasty road. Check out Mapquest to go from the airport to Salem. Unless you're driving at rush hour, this trip would be no more daunting than driving in any other area.

You should also check out the rental car options in the suburbs. Salem is a pretty big town and there should be a Hertz there.

But as I think about this, you are going to way too much trouble by flying into Boston. Consider flying into Portland and just be done with it. What do you think?

Dallas, Texas...
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2. Re: Rental Car Agencies in Salem.(.or other northern town)

Trying to clarify exactly what you are trying to avoid. Are you trying to avoid all highway driving, even in the suburbs and other outlying areas? Or are you just trying to avoid driving on the highways immediately around the Boston airport? Avoid driving on any congested city roads?

One possibility would be to take a taxi into Boston and stay one night (it's a lovely city), then take the commuter rail to Salem and rent your car.

Without knowing your exact goals, it's hard to recommend other options for picking up your rental car.

You can also take the Amtrak Downeaster from Boston to Maine and rent a car when you get there.

Milwaukie, Oregon
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3. Re: Rental Car Agencies in Salem.(.or other northern town)

Our thoughts regarding the trip (subject to change if better ideas):

1. Non-stop flight on Alaska Airlines, so we can use miles and avoid changing planes. The only option with this criteria from home airport (PDX) is Boston.

2. Avoid driving on multi-lane, high speed Interstate highways with confusing off/on ramps. Everyone tells us driving in Boston is very stressful. Looking for easy way to get out of Boston traffic, rent car, and head up U.S. 1.

3. Several towns of interest in coastal Maine; plan leisurely drive over 3-4 days stopping at antique shops, museums, and historic sites, from border up to Bath/Wiscasset area.

Thanks for the suggestions so far. I'll study the map more and think about a couple of these ideas.

North Shore, MA
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4. Re: Rental Car Agencies in Salem.(.or other northern town)

There are Hertz and Enterprise offices in Salem. There are also Hertz offices in Beverly (walking distance from the train) and in Peabody on Route 1. Also in Peabody, there are Budget and Avis offices at Sears Automotive at North Shore Mall. We have rented from the latter two many times, but never from any of the others.

Keep in mind that most of the off- airport places have limited hours.

Dallas, Texas...
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5. Re: Rental Car Agencies in Salem.(.or other northern town)

Here is a previous thread about airport transportation options from Logan to Salem. It has useful information about airport van services, etc. tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60954-i1100-k4944…

Lincoln, NH
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6. Re: Rental Car Agencies in Salem.(.or other northern town)

Seriously, if you can drive in Portland, you'll be fine in Boston. Please note in my first reply that from the airport to Salem, it's all smaller roads without the big confusing high-speed highways. "People" will tell you all sorts of things about traffic, it makes for interesting conversation, but not always an accurate portrayal of reality.

North Shore, MA
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7. Re: Rental Car Agencies in Salem.(.or other northern town)

I intended to come back and add more to my earlier post, but got sidetracked. Sorry! As others have said driving north from Logan is not so difficult. The most direct route to Salem is via Route 1A, a secondary road. You can also reach Route 1 north via secondary roads rather than via a tunnel and I-93 in Boston. Take Route 1A north to Route 16 west to Route 1 in Chelsea, or take Route 1A north to Route 60 west to Route 1 a bit farther north in Revere.

If you remain interested in renting a car north of Boston, here’s another option to consider: Take the Logan Express bus to Peabody. The bus picks up passengers at each terminal and then goes directly to a station on Route 1 in Peabody. The driver will call a taxi for you as you approach Peabody (he asks, but you may want to mention it as you board the bus at Logan; he will generally call North Shore Taxi in Peabody). The fare to Salem as of last summer was a flat rate of $17 plus tip. You could also check with one of the rental agencies to see if they will pick you up at the Peabody station. Other visitors have reported that Avis in Peabody picked them up and brought them back to the station at the end of their rental. Enterprise advertises that they’ll pick you up. There is an Enterprise office in Peabody as well as the one in Salem I mentioned previously.

Marblehead...
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8. Re: Rental Car Agencies in Salem.(.or other northern town)

Look at Google Maps to see where Logan Airport is located in comparison to downtown Boston. I am getting the sense that you think you may have to navigate the expressway through Boston, but you won't. Logan is not located in downtown Boston and is actually across the river in East Boston. It is really easy, using Route128north's suggestion of route 1a. I have travelled this 1A ( and sometimes 107) route many, many times. You could easily rent the car at the airport, head out on Route 1a to Salem for the night ( I recommend highly the Hawthorne Hotel-very historic, very good service but call to make a one night reservation since the option is not always available online).

BTW, from Salem you can easily travel up route 1A all the to Maine. Very nice drive, especially if you are not in a hurry.

Birmingham
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9. Re: Rental Car Agencies in Salem.(.or other northern town)

You could take the Mega Bus from Boston to Portland, and then rent a car in Portland. The Mega Bus is as cheap as $1 each way.

Boston, MA
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10. Re: Rental Car Agencies in Salem.(.or other northern town)

I agree with the others. If you can drive from Salem to Maine you can drive from the airport. I understand that the big-dig tunnels can be intimidating, but you won't hit those if you head North on 1A from the airport. Also, we don't have "freeways" like California. Boston roads are 4 lanes on each side of the divider on only a few places ... most areas are 3 or even 2 lanes.

Several of the car rental places are OUTSIDE the airport on Rte 1A which at that point is a divided road, 2 lanes each direction with stop lights. Not sure what exactly the speed limit is, but most peopledrive around 40-45 mph.

A centralized car rental place is being built, so depending on when you'll be here and which rental company you use, you may not even need to drive IN the airport. You'd pick up the rental shuttle bus and go to their location off airport property. (Avis, Thrifty and Hertz are all off-site.)

Edited: 24 February 2012, 18:27