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Avoid the hassle with convention escapes

Email|Print| Text size + By Richard P. Carpenter
Globe Staff / June 27, 2004

The convention is coming to Boston -- and many residents and workers are planning to flee. According to a survey by the travel retailer Vacation Outlet, 77 percent of Greater Boston residents polled said they are likely to take a trip to avoid the massive traffic jams and baffling detours they fear will occur during the Democratic National Convention July 26-29. Consequently, travel providers are promoting vacation packages as a wonderful way to get out of town. Some examples:

My vote for the best package name is "The Donkeys Are Coming . . . So Get Your A** Out of Town." It's a seven-night Boston-Bermuda cruise on Norwegian Cruise Line's Majesty leaving July 25, the day before the political excitement begins. Prices start at about $740 a person, double occupancy, plus taxes. 02Cruise.com, which came up with the title, also says that for $5 you can get a $25 lunch voucher good at dozens of restaurants ashore, or for $10 you get a $50 voucher.

Call 877-346-3433 or visit www.02cruise.com/groups/dncescape.

Or maybe you'd like Bermuda without a cruise. An "Escape the Convention" package at the Cambridge Beaches cottage colony July 21-Aug. 3 includes four nights' accommodation, breakfast and dinner daily, afternoon tea, and a $125 resort credit (good toward activities, spa treatments, or resort incidentals), beginning at $950 per person. The resort has 94 cottage rooms and suites on a 30-acre peninsula with activities including water sports, croquet, and tennis (with golf nearby), along with five private beaches and a spa/wellness program.

(The fine print: All rates are based on double occupancy and do not include taxes or gratuities.)

Call 800-468-7300 or visit www.cambridgebeaches.com.

The Rosewood Country Inn in Bradford, N.H., notes that it is just 90 minutes from Boston. A special package, available July 25-30, includes tickets to the Fells at the John Hay Estate, a cruise on Lake Sunapee, tickets to the New London Barn Playhouse, pre-theater hors d'oeuvres at the inn, a discount at Daniel's Restaurant, three-course "candlelight & crystal" breakfasts, and a VIP book to the Lakes Region Outlets, with more than $300 in discounts. Rates start at $380 per couple for a three-night package; five-night packages are also available.

Call 800-938-5273 or visit www.rosewoodcountryinn.com.

The Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club in Brewster gets into the act with a DNC (Do Not Commute) Getaway, available July 25-30. Five nights in a one-bedroom villa at the 400-acre Cape Cod resort cost $1,000, which is 40 percent off regular rates.

Call 800-343-6074 or visit www.oceanedge.com.

If you don't want to escape politics completely and are looking for a day trip, head to the New Hampshire Historical Society in Concord, N.H., to learn about another New England Democrat, President Franklin Pierce. The free exhibit, "Franklin Pierce: Defining Democracy in America," opens Saturday and is the largest-scale presentation on Pierce to date, featuring artifacts, paintings, letters, and personal accounts. Wonder what Pierce would have thought of the happenings in Boston, where the nomination of John F. Kerry to be the party's presidential candidate is all but assured? At the 1852 Democratic convention in Baltimore, delegates balloted 48 times over three days before nominating Pierce.

Call 603-228-6688 or visit www.nhhistory.org.

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