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10-22-2009, 07:50 AM   #1
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Eastern USA trip

I'm going on a trip to the USA, to Nashville (TN) for business. But I'm taking the chance the week before I want to check out some cities in the east coast.
I'm travelling with 1 or 2 friends. The plan is to rent a car and check out Washington, Philadelphia, New York and Boston and then go down to Nashville.

I'm taking my K10D and Sigma 17-70mm plus batteries and cards. I don't think I want to take any extra lenses because of the hassle...
I'm looking into getting camera insurance but I'd rather not have to use it :P

I'm looking at places to visit and I'd like advice for these and about the trip in general.
Any particulars I should be aware of?
Like, I've read drivers can be very aggressive in the highway and traffic in NY is a killer (I might not use the car there)

10-22-2009, 08:41 AM   #2
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I can speak for DC a little. I'd recommend taking the metro (rail system) into the mall area and then walk from there to the monuments and museums of the smithsonian. The mall and surrounding area are target rich environments. You may also want to check out Arlington Cemetary. If you are into aviation the new smithsonian facility at Dulles is spectacular.

If you have the time, take in a bit of the Blue Ridge Parkway or Skyline Drive when heading south. The views and fall colors are nice right now but may be gone when you arrive. Even so, it's a nice drive.
10-22-2009, 08:49 AM   #3
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Never Drive a Car in NY city (elsewhere its okay). take the public transport. if you want to drive from NY to Boston, don't take the George Washington Bridge (your gps will probably route via GW bridge, take the tappan zee bridge). and since you're from UK, don't get into the NY madam tussauds
10-22-2009, 08:49 AM   #4
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New York can be a bit much for a first time driver, but the public transportation is great (24-hour subway, buses,) and there are plenty of taxis, so it's best to save yourself a headache and get yourself a MetroCard.

When is your trip, and what kind of stuff are you into?

10-22-2009, 09:28 AM   #5
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Thanks for the quick replies.

My knowledge of everyday USA is from movies, so wasn't sure how bad NY really is for driving, so thanks

I'm travelling on the 30th and have to be in Nashville on the 8th Nov. (night), so it is quite a bit of road.

I'm portuguese and living in Scotland, so I've driven left and right side. I don't really like big cities, but I want to check them out for the novelty and the iconic spots. I like walking to discover cities, that works fine for Europe I think, but not in the USA.
My idea is to jump from spot to spot, and enjoy the road trip, so good scenery there would be great.
(I've done many trips across the Highlands, so I've done long drives before)


Any must do/try while there?
10-22-2009, 09:47 AM   #6
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Even if you are ok with driving I'd recommend the metro in DC. It's a tough city to navigate and the metro gets you to most of the good stuff around town. Parking is big trouble around the mall from my experience.

If you have time try to get out and see some of the non-city stuff instead of spending all of your time in the metropolis of the east coast. As I mentioned before, maybe the Blue Ridge Parkway or Smoky Mountains National Park which are both fairly close to your probable route. Make sure to hit some of the Nashville music scene as well.

Last edited by VaughnA; 10-22-2009 at 10:08 AM.
10-22-2009, 11:18 AM   #7
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I am from Southern Calif and managed a couple of trips to Washington DC. I usually insist on driving myself but the wife talked me into taking a DC tour bus. There are a good number to choose from. It was great, we had limited time but we were driven to most everything important to see and we had no parking hassles. The second day I drove back to two places I wanted to see a little more in depth and then wandered around on our own. The tour gave us a great over view in a limited amount of time. This was about 8 years ago.

Have a great trip
10-22-2009, 11:30 AM   #8
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The Blue Ridge + Sky Drive seem very attractive, although it'll probably take a long time. Does it flow or gets congested with tourists? The drive down to Nashville will have to be quick.
Big highways can be boring because they don't generally have the best view, so I prefer not to take them unless time is a big issue.

For DC, I was thinking getting somehow down to the Mall area and walk a bit would get you to most interesting places. Might visit Arlington Cemetery, do you get good views from there?

10-22-2009, 11:37 AM   #9
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Where are you flying into?

Assuming NYC, I would do NYC one day, take a quick drive up to Boston and then work your way back down thru Philly and DC.

The subway (NYC) and the Metro (DC) are the ways to get around those cities. Philly is drivable but I don't know anything about Boston.

I'd recommend staying somewhere just inside the Beltway in VA for your visit to DC. This way when you leave (assuming you stay overnight before heading to TN) you will be driving in the opposite direction of traffic.

If you have time you might want to spend some time in the Smokies (Gatlinburg (its a tourist trap but is on the edge of some beautiful scenery)) and maybe spend a night there or in Knoxville which would leave you an easy 3-4 hour drive into Nashville.

Feel free to ask me more about the DC area or eastern TN.

Mike
10-22-2009, 11:40 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Phil1 Quote
I am from Southern Calif and managed a couple of trips to Washington DC. I usually insist on driving myself but the wife talked me into taking a DC tour bus. There are a good number to choose from. It was great, we had limited time but we were driven to most everything important to see and we had no parking hassles. The second day I drove back to two places I wanted to see a little more in depth and then wandered around on our own. The tour gave us a great over view in a limited amount of time. This was about 8 years ago.

Have a great trip
I might do this for NY, though I generally don't like the idea of being dragged in a flock.

Parking outside and using public transp. seems most likely for DC and NY.
Should I expect to pay allot for parking elsewhere?

Any suggestions for Philly and Boston?


Keep' em coming
10-22-2009, 11:45 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by edumad Quote
The Blue Ridge + Sky Drive seem very attractive, although it'll probably take a long time. Does it flow or gets congested with tourists? The drive down to Nashville will have to be quick.
Big highways can be boring because they don't generally have the best view, so I prefer not to take them unless time is a big issue.

For DC, I was thinking getting somehow down to the Mall area and walk a bit would get you to most interesting places. Might visit Arlington Cemetery, do you get good views from there?
It would take 3 days at least to do the entire Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway (almost 500 miles of 45 mph driving) if you want to be able to enjoy it...

Mike
10-22-2009, 12:04 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by MRRiley Quote
Where are you flying into?

Assuming NYC, I would do NYC one day, take a quick drive up to Boston and then work your way back down thru Philly and DC.

The subway (NYC) and the Metro (DC) are the ways to get around those cities. Philly is drivable but I don't know anything about Boston.

I'd recommend staying somewhere just inside the Beltway in VA for your visit to DC. This way when you leave (assuming you stay overnight before heading to TN) you will be driving in the opposite direction of traffic.

If you have time you might want to spend some time in the Smokies (Gatlinburg (its a tourist trap but is on the edge of some beautiful scenery)) and maybe spend a night there or in Knoxville which would leave you an easy 3-4 hour drive into Nashville.

Feel free to ask me more about the DC area or eastern TN.

Mike
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).
10-22-2009, 12:31 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by edumad Quote
I might do this for NY, though I generally don't like the idea of being dragged in a flock.

Parking outside and using public transp. seems most likely for DC and NY.
Should I expect to pay allot for parking elsewhere?

Any suggestions for Philly and Boston?


Keep' em coming
Use the Metro in Boston downtown aswell. you could park the car in the metro station parking lot (some metro station has parking lots) . parking rates vary from 5 to $7 per day. MBTA.com > Official Website for Greater Boston's Public Transportation System, apart from boston downtown, you could drive elsewhere around boston.
10-22-2009, 12:53 PM   #14
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'I might do this for NY, though I generally don't like the idea of being dragged in a flock.'


I totally agree but on your own you miss a lot of narration and detailed explanations on the tour ( provided it is a good tour). I am not good in a cattle car either but found the tours usefull for a few hours. If you are on your own, really do some homework first on location specifics. Have a great trip.
10-22-2009, 01:10 PM   #15
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I was a first timer a couple of years ago to a lot of the area you are talking about. We were staying in a little town in Delaware we drove within about an hour from Manhattan and took the train the rest of the way. used the subway system the rest of the time and it really was nice. We did take a three hour bus tour to make sure we caught all of the hi lights and really enjoyed it. then we just jumped the subway to go back to the places we didn't get enough time at. What a hoot, great people.

I agree with the group and highly recommend there information.

I hope you enjoy your self.
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