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10-22-2009, 02:02 PM   #16
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I recommend one of the tour shuttles. They circle the city's hotspots and you get off somewhere and just get back on the next one to come along. They leave from just about everywhere. I used one of the ones that left from the train station. In D.C. definitely don't miss the National Cathedral, National Archives and of course the Smithsonion.

10-22-2009, 02:03 PM   #17
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Meant to say IN D.C., use the tour shuttles.
10-22-2009, 08:50 PM   #18
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If you fly into Boston, you could take Amtrak from Boston to NYC, then from NYC to Philly, then from Philly to DC. Most of the train stations are either downtown or a taxi-ride away from downtown. You can then pick up the rental in DC and avoid all the car issues of those major metro areas. On the other hand, if you've ever driven in London, than NYC should be manageable, even easier since most of Manhattan (the borough where all the tourist stuff is) is a grid. The only thing that gets expensive is the parking. The scenery from Boston to DC along the main highway (I-95) is underwhelming and very unrepresentative of the area.

Amtrak has a (relatively) high speed train connecting Boston to DC and the cities in-between. It's called Acela. Check out Amtrak.

When I take people around New York, my first stop is the Empire State Building. The view from the top is stunning and you get to see the lay of the land, as it were. From there, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Central Park, United Nations, and others are all within 30 minutes walk North, and quieter places like Greenwich Village, Soho, Chelsea, and Meatpacking are within 30 minutes walk South and West.

Enjoy!
10-23-2009, 01:51 AM   #19
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I'm flying into Dulles, but thanks for the advise.
Should I keep it closer to the coast and avoid the larger interstates?
I don't know if the scenery is good driving washington-philly-NY-Boston, I'm thinking of get between them quickly to enjoy the cities more and then drive more calmly down south.

I've been looking at tours for Washington and NY, but it seems most of the spots are within walking distance. The things I'm thinking of seeing in NY are all in Manhattan except for fair miss liberty.

10-23-2009, 06:30 AM   #20
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Don't worry about the flock treatment of the tour buses in DC. If you're wanting to capture as much as possible in DC, just go ahead and use them. You can get off where you want and stay as long as you like. There's a bus at each of the many stops every 15 minutes and they usually aren't too packed. I've done it both ways and the tour buses are the way to go... There is just too much to see in DC and like the last time my wife and I were there, we scored a few tickets to the limitied places there (the top of the Washington Monument, the Capitol) by riding the tour bus from other tourists that weren't going tp use them. The tickets are free, but they limited the amount of traffic to them. I would plan on a day there with all the Smithsonian Museums, monuments, and Arlington Cemetery - you have to see the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Since you're going up and coming back, don't forget about Niagra Falls and the western side of NY/Canada. It would be a straight shot east of Boston and you could come down through Pennsylvania, West Viginia, Vrginia, North Carolina and into Tennessee. There's a lot of scenery to see this route. The only problem with the Blue Ridge Parkway this time of year is the traffic. The fall foliage draws a lot of pepole to the parkway and if you want to capture some of this, I would get on it for a few hours and then jump back on an interstate. There's still a lot to see from the interstate not to discount it and you'll be able to travel faster. Anyways, have fun on your trip.
10-23-2009, 08:36 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by edumad Quote
I'm flying into Dulles, but thanks for the advise.
Should I keep it closer to the coast and avoid the larger interstates?
I don't know if the scenery is good driving washington-philly-NY-Boston, I'm thinking of get between them quickly to enjoy the cities more and then drive more calmly down south.

I've been looking at tours for Washington and NY, but it seems most of the spots are within walking distance. The things I'm thinking of seeing in NY are all in Manhattan except for fair miss liberty.
I live about 10 minutes from Dulles. The problem with using the coastal routes is 1. there is a limited selection and 2. they don't keep you from having to negotiate the interstates and freeways around the cities. To get over to the eastern shore from Dulles you have to go through or around DC anyway. Then you'd have to drive slightly inland to hit Philly, then back out and through New Jersey to reach NYC, then up to Boston. And naturally, these routes take a good deal longer.

Frankly, with you coming into Dulles, I would recommend skipping Boston unless there is something very special you want to see there. You'd easily save a whole day this way. As others have said, you could catch the Acela in DC and go up to NYC and then take the regular Amtrak train back down and stop in Philly and then on back to DC. This is definately a more interesting way to travel and it goes thru some wonderfully beat-up neighborhoods (bad for the locals but great for photo ops).

Mike

QuoteOriginally posted by VaughnA Quote
Good advice all around, I usually stay somewhere around Dulles and catch the Metro at Vienna.

Mike, are you from East TN? (My family is from the Lake City/Clinton Area).
Not from there but went to college at Carson Newman over in Jefferson City. Eastern TN is probably where we'll end up when we retire!

Mike

Last edited by MRRiley; 10-23-2009 at 09:04 AM.
10-23-2009, 12:20 PM   #22
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I agree avoid driving in NYC if possible but NY drivers aren't bad, they're just assertive--you just have to psych yourself up to play buy those rules. DC is the worst--partly because of the byzantine traffic management (you can end up on a no-exit bee-line to Northern Va. in the blink of an eye from just about anywhere in the city) and because half the population seems to be new at driving on the right-hand side of the road. ;~)
10-24-2009, 05:06 AM   #23
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You hadn't mentioned Baltimore as a possible destination but it would be a good choice as a substitute for Boston. Nice waterfront and nautical atmoshpere. And it's right in between Philly and DC.

10-24-2009, 06:13 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by MRRiley Quote
You hadn't mentioned Baltimore as a possible destination but it would be a good choice as a substitute for Boston. Nice waterfront and nautical atmoshpere. And it's right in between Philly and DC.
As a Baltimorean, I'd have to second that--thanks, Mike! Annapolis is another possibility--think, "Plymouth."

Last edited by dadipentak; 10-24-2009 at 06:20 AM.
10-24-2009, 06:31 PM   #25
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I have a friend in Baltimore, so although not in the plans originally, I think I'll check it out and spend some time with my friend.
Forgot about Niagara, can't miss that now can I

Any opinions on an alternative route more to the west for going down from the Niagara. Cleveland-Cincinatti-Nashville?
10-24-2009, 06:53 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by edumad Quote
I have a friend in Baltimore, so although not in the plans originally, I think I'll check it out and spend some time with my friend.
Forgot about Niagara, can't miss that now can I

Any opinions on an alternative route more to the west for going down from the Niagara. Cleveland-Cincinatti-Nashville?
I'll offend the buckeyes but I'd stick to the original route if possible. Much prettier land. I81 is a pain of a highway with all of the trucks but it has a lot of stuff to see if you want to jump off of the interstate for a few miles and then jump back on.
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