Here’s How to Get to the Encore Boston Harbor Casino
Take a bus, train, boat, or bike—just don't drive.
At long last, the 210,000 square foot Encore Boston Harbor is scheduled to open this Sunday, June 23 at 10 a.m. While it seems like the cursive “Encore” at the top of the gigantic gambling palace is visible from basically everywhere in the Greater Boston area, actually getting to the casino, located in Everett, is no small feat. For months, executives have been hard at work devising a strategy to get prospective patrons to the Encore’s doors, and at a press conference Wednesday, they shared all the details of this transportation plan. Want to make sure your path to the slots is streamlined? Read on.
If all the MBTA drama this week hasn’t scared you off for good: Trains to shuttle buses
For the Encore-bound with MBTA access, there are options aplenty. Make your way to the Orange Line’s Malden Center or Wellington stops, where there will be free shuttle buses to the casino leaving every 10-20 minutes. On opening day, there will also be free shuttle service from the Blue Line’s Wonderland stop.
If you’re an out of towner: Park and ride
Ditch your car at one of the park-and-ride lots in Londonderry, N.H., Rockland, or Millbury. $7 later, you’ll be on a “premium” shuttle to the casino’s front doors.
If you’re more of a ‘grammer than a gambler: Harbor shuttle
While some can’t wait to get their hands on the Encore’s 3,000 slot machines and 88 poker tables, others are much more interested in the endless new Instagram backgrounds a $2.6 billion casino can provide. One of the coolest visuals you can get this Sunday? The view from the long-awaited harbor ferries, specially designed by the casino to shuttle guests to Everett from the World Trade Center in the Seaport and Long Wharf North downtown. A trip will set you back $7, but you’ll be riding in style: a press release says the European-style boats feature “plush seating, gloss-varnished teak wood and a below-deck salon seating area with large hull windows and overhead skylights.”
If you want to burn some cals before hitting up the Encore’s 15 different dining options: BlueBike
Okay, so James Bond probably wouldn’t approve of rolling up to the casino in bike shorts and a helmet, but if you want to work up the appetite to capitalize on the Encore’s vast array of restaurants (not to mention the free-drinks-while-gambling policy), you’ve got to get some cardio in before you settle yourself in at a slot machine. The BlueBikes dock conveniently located right at the front of the casino makes the option even more tempting.
If you decide to go on a whim: Uber or Lyft
What happens when Lady Luck beckons and the next bus isn’t coming for half an hour? If you need to make your way to the blackjack tables but can’t quite time the public transit options right, you can always take a rideshare. Getting a car to take you (and your pockets full of earnings) back home afterward will hopefully be simple as well— the casino has created a special parking lot for Uber and Lyft drivers where they can wait to be assigned a ride, then drive up to the casino’s door.
If you’re early, sober, and really really brave: Drive
While the Encore staff are welcoming a wide variety of transit options, there’s definitely one mode of transportation they’re frowning upon.
“If you want to have a nice day on Sunday, don’t drive,” Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria said.
Parking on the neighboring streets of Everett is strictly forbidden, and any vehicle found doing so will be towed and ticketed $50. While there is parking available at the Encore, it comes at a price ($22 for 6 hours, $42 for 24 hours, the Boston Globe reports). There are 3,000 spots available, but casino officials anticipate that 50,000 people will show up for opening day—so finding a legal place to park will be kind of a crapshoot.
If you have gills: Swim
While dogpaddling your way to the Encore’s front doors wasn’t exactly endorsed by casino officials, Mayor DeMaria did proudly mention during the press conference that the part of the Mystic River surrounding the Encore was just given “an A rating to swim.” Take the term “card shark” to a whole new level!
Read more about how to have the most fun possible at the Encore Boston Harbor Casino