Replies: 17 - Last Post: Jan 29, 2013 1:53 PM Last Post By: ianw6705
Jan 27, 2013 3:59 PM
My partner and I are travelling to the East coast from Australia in September/ October. We are looking for recommendations on which cities to go to and how long. At the moment we are thinking of:
New York - 6/7 Nights
Washington DC - 2 nights
Chicago - 3 Nights
Is it worth going to Niagara falls? If it is where should we stay? Should we pop up to Canada, possibly Toronto or Montreal? If not where should we add to our trip? We are hoping to go for around 3 weeks.
We have never been to the states and are in our twenties so not too keen on going to only museums but want to see the sights.
Thank you SO much for the help we really really appreciate it!!!
Jan 27, 2013 4:13 PM
Are you willing/able to rent a car?
Jan 27, 2013 4:22 PM
2Sights such as the white house,Lincoln memorial, time square, central park, Broadway, Statue of Liberty. The big famous sights. Probably not strip clubs (would be a little uncomfortable considering I'm going with my boyfriend lol).
we dont really want to rent a car - We drive on the other side of the road in Australia. We are thinking probably buses or just flying. We have heard the train is a bit of a mission and expensive... Is that correct?
Jan 27, 2013 4:23 PM
Jan 27, 2013 4:39 PM
Cheap bus to
2 nights Philly
Cheap bus to
3 nights DC
(The big thing here is the museums, mainly those of the Smithsonian, but you can't see the "big famous sights" without taking in a few of them).
Cardinal (train) to
3 nights Chicago
Bus or train to (or flight to Buffalo, then bus to)
4 nights Toronto, with a day trip to Niagara Falls
Bus or train to
4 nights Montreal
That's 21 nights.
Between the cities of the northeast (Boston through DC), cheap buses are plentiful. Some, like Mega and Bolt, are as little as $1 per leg when booked well in advance. They are also on par, time-wise, with the trains. Save your money and use the buses here.
Jan 27, 2013 4:41 PM
Jan 27, 2013 4:44 PM
6Thank you so much for the help!
should we add some days and go to Miami? Or best to just leave it out?
Jan 27, 2013 4:56 PM
7If you add days, I would head to Boston, with maybe a night in Burlington, VT to try and catch some fall foliage.
But Miami is fine, if that's what you want. Being without a car is more of a headache there if you want to explore beyond South Beach, but you'll get plenty of beaches, and it's low season there (cheaper hotels).
Jan 28, 2013 1:31 AM
I don't know how strongly you feel about not wanting to drive on the right in a foreign country, but I would really encourage you to think about it. I'm from Melbourne and I'm a very cautious (read "nervous") driver. A friend absolutely insisted that I get a car and drive - and it was the best part of the holiday :-)
I spent 2 1/12 weeks in the US in Sept-Oct 2012 and I did over 2000 miles. It is definintely the best way to explore the country. It's really not as difficult as one imagines. It will give you a lot of freedom and flexibility!
Jan 28, 2013 5:25 AM
9New York - 6/7 Nights
Washington DC - 2 nights
Chicago - 3 Nights
Miami - ??
I still don't quite understand how long you have in total. We (from Melbourne) have done a couple of east coast trips, and it's all good - but if you tell us your total trip time, we can more easily provide some good itinerary pointers.
Jan 28, 2013 5:45 AM
Jan 28, 2013 6:15 AM
11I would second bzookaj's routing. FWIW, Via is the train service that connects Toronto to Montreal. The bus, Megabus, is significantly cheaper, though, of course, less comfortable. Both the bus and train are cheaper the farther in advance you buy your tickets. You can break up the Toronto-Montreal journey by stopping in Kingston, an attractive, pleasant, and historical city that offers boat tours of the 1000 islands. From Montreal to New York, Amtrak is your best option. It is sloooow but quite scenic and relatively cheap.
You can visit Niagara Falls for the day via train (GO transit...right now showing train/bus combo...but in summer it'll be train all the way) or by bus (Greyhound or Coach Canada).
I would highly recommend including this part of Canada in your journey...way more exciting than Miami...and no hurricanes! If you are into live music, Pop Montreal takes over the city, Sept 25-29. If not, you might want to reverse your trip to hit up Montreal earlier as the weather can start to turn (i.e. get a bit cooler and rainy) by late September.
Jan 28, 2013 10:48 AM
12I would suggest more time in Wash DC. Chicago seems out of the way, its a long long train ride, and a 2 days to drive a car, unless you fancy a 12 hour drive.
Pop up to Canada? I dont know, how time you have? I would rather rent a car in Wash Dc after touring and head to the Smokeys, Appalachians, Asheville, Bluegrass country, Charleston, Colonial Williamsburg.
Niagara Falls- Ughh- skip
Bus to Montreal. Or fly from Chicago, Porter Airlines
Miami- no loss there.
Jan 28, 2013 11:23 AM
Jan 28, 2013 1:46 PM
America’s NE corridor (Boston-NYC-Philadelphia-Wash DC) is easily travelled without a car. Lack of a car in that area means you miss out on a few side trips and nature destinations but while in the cities it just kinda gets in the way. Buses and trains between those cities are so cheap a car make sense only if you have 3-5 people in your travel party.
New York City is expensive so depending on our budget, 6/7 nights might be a little much. It’s a 3-night-minimm town but most folks go there 4-5 nights.
I’ve been to Niagara falls twice and I have no doubt I’ll go again. I really like it but it is a loooooong trip from anywhere except Toronto, so if you’re not going to Toronto, it’s probably not the best way to maximize the utility of an $2,000 plane ticket.
Through September the bluefish (which are caught at night) are still running off the New Jersey Coast, you can easily get a bus from either NYC or Philadelphia to Atlantic City. It’s a town known for its beaches, gambling, entertainment and food, you can even exchange your bus ticket receipt for casino chips (so the bus ride is “free.”). I’ve gone ocean swimming near there in mid/late September but the weather can be spotty that time of year and I wouldn’t count on swimming.
Chicago itself can be seen without a car, but to get there, I fly (I live outside of NYC.) It’s a great town and has a couple of nice sites, but it’s not really about the sites, it’s about the atmosphere, the raucous sports crowd, and having fun.
Carracar suggested going NYC to Montreal by rail. I haven’t done that myself, but I can certainly confirm there are a lot of nice hiking/nature destinations along the route.
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