USA East Coast roundtrip
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Jul 9, 2012 7:35 AM Last Post By: StanInMaryland
Jul 7, 2012 7:40 AM
USA East Coast roundtripHello everyone I have been perusing this site a while now and thought I would ask for some more personalised advise/hints/tips.
Myself and my mother are travelling to the East coast for a road trip this year. We did fairly similar last year in that we booked flights and a hire car, and that was all. Last year we travelled up the NC coast. This year we are branching out a little more.
Here is our proposed trip http://goo.gl/maps/UEzI
We will be staying with friends in Summit, NJ for 3 days, and in that time will visit New York. We have been there before though, so are happy with just 1 or possibly 2 days. From there on, we have 12 days to travel, and depart from Newark Airport again on the 13th day. The trip is in August.
We would like to spend quite a few days on the beach, however I haven't heard too great things about the NJ coast! We are curious folks though, so regardless will travel down it, but we would perhaps like to stay somewhere a little quiter for a few days. I have heard about Chincoteague and Assateague islands so will be making a stop there. Is there any other beaches or areas on our trip that are worth a stop?
Going inland, we would like to visit Richmond as we have heard good things about this city. Other than the James River, are there any attractions or things to do here that we can't miss? We are interested in most things, we enjoy watersports, historical attractions, museums, zoo's etc.
Following on, we plan to go to Washington, Annapolis, possibly Baltimore, and probably spend our final night in Philadelphia. Are there any unmissables in these cities? Generally, as like last year, we will "go with the flow"! And see what takes our fancy, as and when we are there. However this year as we are spending more time in cities, I am conscious of not missing out on anything drastic!
Also, is there anywhere else on the rough route of our trip that may be of interest?
We are very excited about the trip, considering the success of last year! All advice/tips/hints are welcome!
Thank you in advance.
Jul 7, 2012 7:56 AM
1There are some very nice areas of the Jersey Shore. You also have the Hamptons in eastern Long Island, you can take the bus or the train or rent a car for that area, though lodging is expensive and getting around is best by car. If no car, focus on staying in East Hampton or Amagansett.
There is also Nantucket and Cape Cod off Boston.
Keep in mind all these beaches above are booked solid in August, its the biggest vacation month of the year for them, so you may want to time the beach portion for Tues/Wed/Thur to avoid the crowds and have a chance at good lodging.
A great drive and area is also along the Blue Ridge Parkway in the Appalachians, and also the Asheville NC area is fun, and it has the Biltmore Estate, for a nice winery, spa and outdoor activities.
Jul 8, 2012 8:13 AM
2Nice route and Chincoteague is really a wonderful place to visit. I would try and fit in a trip over to Charlottesville, VA, and visit the University of Virginia and Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home as they are both lovely and he designed them. Natural Bridges as suggested by poster #2 is very nice also.
Jul 8, 2012 11:18 AM
Jul 8, 2012 1:23 PM
4Oddly enough I live near Richmond but the first comment I want to make is regarding NJ beaches. I stayed in a very nice place called Barnegat Light, this is on Long Beach Island off of NJ. This is a very low key place compared to some other beach places along the East Coast, I would recommend it.
Our famiy receives a lot of visitors to our home near Richmond and they all comment about how much there is to do in the vicinity - it is a a great jumping off point to a lot of historical and natural areas. A plus is that a lot of these places are free or very low cost. These are my personal favorites:
Civil War Center at Tredegar Iron Works (this is run by the National Park Service - in addition to the link above you can use www.nps.gov/nr/travel/richmond/Tredegar.html - you can also get information there about Civil War battlefields and sites in the vicinity of Richmond.
Belle Isle (while you have your car parked at Tredegar, you can walk across the James River on a large suspended footbridge to an island that is a full of history and is a lot of fun, too. This is one of our favorite places to go as a family. This site has a good description of this easy hike: www.hikingupward.com/ovh/belleisle/
Virgina Museum of Fine Arts (mentioned above) - this musuem has free general admission but some admission prices for special exhibits. www.vmfa.state.va.us
Virginia Historical Society (this is next door to the VMFA so you don't have to move your car) - also free general admission - http://www.vahistorical.org
Virginia State Capitol Building - beautifully designed by Thomas Jefferson. for tour info - www.virginiacapitol.gov
Canal Boat Tour - for 40 minutes and $6 per person, you get a great overview of the history of Richmond and also a nice little boat ride along the original canal built in the late 1700's. www.venturerichmond.com/experiences/canalcruises.htm
Hollywood Cemetery - OK, bear with me on this pick...here you can see the burial sites of two US presidents, a lot of Civil War notables, but also there is a huge granite pyramid and a cast iron dog with a legend- this is just a nice place to walk around with a terrific view of the James River below. www.hollywoodcemetery.org/
Within 90 minutes of Richmond - West
Appomattox Court House (where the Civil War ended). www.nps.gov/apco/index.htm
Shenandoah National Park (mentioned above)
Monticello - Thomas Jefferson's home (mentioned above)
Within 90 minutes east of Richmond -
James River Plantations - a group of historic homes along the James River. I have seen the Shirley Plantation - the same family has occupied it since 1613.. www.jamesriverplantations.org
HIstoric Triangle - famous colonial sites - Williamsburg/Jamestown/Yorktown
Virginia Beach (90 minutes if the traffic is good) - if you tire of history and just want to get ice cream along a beach boardwalk!
Jul 9, 2012 5:29 AM
Chesapeake is not worth visiting.
You want to stay in xWilliamsburg. Visit xJamestown and xYorktown (note, each has two attractions, the real deal run by NPS, and interpretive centers run by the Commonwealth of xVirginia.)
Btw, your route will take you along this.
Detour to Petersburg. Visit the Petersburg National Battlefield for this site.
xSmithsonian (an easy way to kill a few days).
xLibrary of Congress.
Bike the C&O Canal or Mount Vernon trail
Rent kayaks or a canoe in xGeorgetown.
xUS Naval Academy.
Just walking around.
Museum of Art.
Rhodin Museum (largest collection outside xParis).
Reading Terminal Market.
With that said, it's near two places that are worth seeing, the National D-Day Memorial and the town of Lexington.
Jul 9, 2012 7:35 AM
6There are lots of beaches, but to be honest on the Mid-Atlantic not exactly quiet. Chincoteague is one we do enjoy. Well, actually the beach is on Assateague Island which is a National Wildlife Sanctuary and National Seashore so there is not commercial development of any kind allow on the island. Great bike trails, a chance to see wild ponies, and more mosquitoes than you could ever want. The good news is we don't have malaria. You would certainly want to try to book soon. If you want some hotel suggestions or restaurant suggestions PM me.
Baltimore - if you want to see Fort McHenry and you are not to pressed for time taking the Water Taxi from the Inner Harbor is kind of nice. You have to switch boats at Fells Point but if you have the time to walk around Fells Point it is nice and a great place to have lunch or dinner.
Annapolis - An ice cream at Storm Brothers in the harbor is mandatory for anyone visiting Annapolis. A nice place for a photo is at the overlook on Route 450 approaching the Severn River bridge.
I do worry a bit that you are packing a lot in to 12 days. DC should have at least three days in my opinion (really more), two days at Chincoteague, one day in Baltimore and one in Annapolis and you have already eaten up a week and you haven't gotten south or west of DC.
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