US East Coast April 2013
Replies: 15 - Last Post: Jan 12, 2013 2:06 PM Last Post By: LongIslandBob
Jan 9, 2013 2:44 AM
US East Coast April 2013My family will be visiting friends in New Jersey in March/April. We plan to spend a week exploring New York and then will be spending a week in Orlando doing the Theme parks. We will then have from the 14th April until the20th April during which time we would like to do a circular round trip commencing in NJ and ending there before flying back to Australia. It would be great to get some recommendations on interesting places to see. I was thinking of starting with Lancaster and we would like to travel up to Boston. Would appreciate recommendations on which towns/sights to include along the way? Thanks
Jan 9, 2013 5:38 AM
1What are your interests? History? Art? Music? Food? Shopping? Hikes? Bikes? Night clubs? Strip clubs? Remember, we don't know you and what we like may be what you hate.
To clarify, where in NJ? Newark?
Are you willing/able to rent a car?
Jan 9, 2013 5:59 AM
Jan 9, 2013 6:34 AM
While I was in college my family moved to Amish country (Morgantown PA) for a few years.
The Amish actually welcome a certain kind of tourism and they craft everything from rocking chairs to quilts just to sell them to tourists, but they are uncomfortable being seen as sort of freak show.
To view the Amish and not make an ass of oneself, and spend some time shopping through various Amish markets. Many of the shop clerks etc. do not mind having their picture taken (even taken with you), but ask first.
To give you quality recommendations I need more info.
How old are the kids?
What are your interests?
Jan 9, 2013 7:32 AM
5If it was me I'd head to Washington DC if you're so close, for the treasure trove known as the Smithsonian Museums. America's best treasures all on hand and absolutely free (but then I'm a geek and can never pass up the chance to see stuff like the Apollo 11 capsule).
Jan 9, 2013 11:38 AM
6A more interesting way to go from Lancaster to Boston would be to head North, up the Hudson River Valley, then East across Massachusetts, explore the Berkshires, then Amherst/Northampton on the way to Boston. The problem is, it's really not the best time of year for that. Spring comes late to the higher elevations. It will likely be chilly and soggy, trees will be nearly bare, etc.
Boston itself would be a fine destination, but a road trip in that area may not be the best use of your time.
If you take a more coastal route from NJ to Boston, you could stop at Newport RI along the way (with a slight detour). That's fun any time of the year. Note that it's not a good time to visit Cape Cod.
Jan 9, 2013 12:17 PM
Jan 9, 2013 2:11 PM
8If you're in Jersey and have already done NYC, I would suggest going to Boston for 2 days, Philly for 2 and then take a day trip to DC. I don't know what you are looking to do though. I did all the heritage/touristy stuff in DC (White House, monuments, Arlington cemetary etc.) in a day and even had time for a visit to Bob's Chili Bowl (nice!). Unless you are intent on going to all the museums, 1 day is enough. Apart from the heritage stuff and the museums, DC is pretty much one big grey ghetto with little to entice the tourist. Philly is really cool and has a lot of historic/heritage stuff as well, if you are interested in that (I found it immensely fascinating, but if you don't give a hoot about American history it may not be as interesting for you. Boston, again, has a considerable amount of historic stuff (Try the freedom trail) and is also great for drinking, if that's one of your hobbies.
Jan 11, 2013 2:01 AM
9Thanks for all your replies. We are a family of 3. My daughter is 13. In addition my sister will be touring with us. We will be in Upper Saddle River in NJ. Our interests are music, history and art. We would like to see the big cities but would be appreciative of any tips regarding quaint and interesting towns to see en route. From what I can gather it would appear that it is better to go south to Philky and Washington. We will be hiring a car.
Jan 11, 2013 4:22 AM
As an alternative, you could head down to DC, then make a loop through Charlottesville, Luray and Harpers Ferry.
Jan 11, 2013 5:19 PM
Jan 11, 2013 8:56 PM
12Huh, I tried posting this before and it didn’t go through. I don’t think I said anything wrong so I guess it’s a technical glitch on my end.
Having now heard more about you and your interests, I too would recommend you make a bee-line for Washington DC (the free museum capital of the world), while there, take the guided tour of the capitol building, and consider taking the metro to Old Town Alexandria for shopping and architecture.
I’m not sure about hotel recommendation but the DuPont circle area is kind of an artist hang out (used to be a gay hang out but, whatever, things change). There are some seedy neighborhoods nearby so I don’t recommend going on along aimless walk alone at night, but the main areas are not dangerous.
If the weather cooperates (I doubt it) a side trip to Baltimore’s inner harbor would be great. See the aquarium, take a boat trip to Fort McHenry and then chow-down on seafood or go to nearby Little Italy and enjoy some pasta.
More in a bit.
Jan 11, 2013 9:05 PM
13When you leave DC make a a day-trip to Philadelphia. Start at Penn’s Landing take the guided mini-tour then accept the tour guide’s green piece of paper and go on the walking tour of historic Philadelphia. It ends near Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell which, if you’re interested in that stuff is worth a couple hours.
Spend the night in or near Reading PA. It has no major sites, and the minor one is some odd Pagoda built on top of a mountain over-looking town a long time ago by some industrialist who “found Buddha” or whatever.
Reading is quaint (Victorian) town with lots of interesting architecture, even the old factories have been preserved, in all their odd architectural beauty and turned into a series of factory outlets.
On our way back to NJ you’ll pass the town of Easton and then, just before your go over the rover and back to NJ there are two fireworks shops, one on each side of the highway. You can get the really good stuff there. For about $100-$150 you can buy a great fireworks show. For $300 or so you can fight-off Al Qaida. I’d recommend buying a $50-$70 pakcage of small fireworks and 1-2 “cakes” as a grand finale.
You’ll have to prove that you don’t live in PA, you’ll have to sign an agreement that you won’t detonate them in PA, and if you get caught with them on certain NYC area bridges or tunnels, (or caught with them on a plane) you will be in deep doo-doo.
But I’m telling ya, if your sister approves, buying the fireworks and setting them off at your sisters house will be a treat for all, especially for husbands and 13-year-olds.
Enjoy your journey.
Jan 12, 2013 10:56 AM
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