USA - East Coast June 2013
Replies: 26 - Last Post: Apr 12, 2013 5:01 AM Last Post By: bzookaj
Apr 10, 2013 5:12 AM
USA - East Coast June 2013Hi all,
Myself and 4/5 other friends are planning a trip to the East coast of America in June. We've done quite a lot of research already and would love any advice that you could offer.
Our initial (rough) itinerary is as follows:
London to Boston on Friday 14th June (Afternoon/Evening flight) or Saturday 15th June (Morning flight)
Boston - 3 or 4 nights
New York - 4 nights
Atlantic City - 2 nights
Philadelphia - 2 nights
Baltimore – 2 nights
Washington DC – 2 or 3 nights
Miami - 4/5 nights
- For all of these cities between boston and miami we are planning on getting either buses (Megabus/Greyhound/Bolt) as the maximum travel seems to be around 4 hours and in these cities we are also most likely to be staying in hostels.
We would then fly from Washington to Miami on 30th June or 1st July.
- We are considering renting an apartment in Miami (South Beach) for the 5ish nights we are there. We are also considering renting a car in Miami, depending on price as we're all under 25, so know we would incur young persons surcharge. We were thinking about this to make visiting the Keys and surrounding area easier as we will be in Miami for 5 days or so.
We're all 22 and will have all just graduated so are ideally looking to keep things as cheap as possible. We're looking to see the main sights, go out a fair bit and just have lots of fun!
What do you all think of this plan, it is open to suggestions and variations, so any advice would be great.
Apr 10, 2013 6:37 AM
1That is almost exactly the way I would plan such a tour.
In no particular order:
Note that Baltimore and DC are so close you can easily visit one from the other. DC, once you have figured out housing, is a discount location. (Baltimore and DC are s close they even share an airport). DC has lots of free museums and monuments. It can be a little sweaty in June
It is not necessary to go as far south as Miami to find a good beach, in fact in June Miami will be a little hot. Still it’s known for its nightlife etc. and it’s a pretty famous place to visit.
Philadelphia is not for everyone. I love it, some people think it’s a waste of time. I would stay at a suburban motel (cheaper) take a train in and make it kind of a suburban day trip. Have scrapple and eggs for breakfast, a cheesteak sandwich for lunch and go to a sporting event or rowdy sports bar for dinner. Somewhere in between, take the guided mini-tour of Penn’s Landing, and then the walking tour. See the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. If you are into the Rocky films you can see the Rocky steps as time allows.
Boston and Philadelphia are both US history sites mostly dealing with the Revolution (1776), but Boston also has other offerings like Plymouth Plantation, Salem MA, seafood (especially clam chowder and lobster), and a sweet Italian-American desert known as canolli.
I might be tempted to spend more than 2 nights in Atlantic city. I have not been there in quite a while but I know the type of town, and regularly vacation at a very similar town nearby. The beaches, the amusement parks, the entertainment, the early am bicycle riding, the fishing and crabbing etc. all work well for me.
Apr 10, 2013 6:43 AM
- You have a great plan. You have done your research and have done it well
- If you are not into US history you can reduce or skip Boston and Philadelphia. Although Boston is pretty cool both for history and other things, and Philadelphia is great because of its history, its delicious rib-sticking low-end cuisine, and its rowdy fun-loving sports crowds.
- Miami is great, but, if clubs etc. are not important to you, you might find an equal experience at beaches further north.
Apr 10, 2013 6:53 AM
Apr 10, 2013 6:54 AM
Skipping AC will also let you stick to the (usually) cheaper corridor buses.
If you plan to go to Key West, don't do it as a day trip. Also, book the hostel as soon as you can.
In fact, book all your hostels as soon as you can. They are not as common as in Europe, and they tend to book quickly during peak times (like summer).
You may also want to consider hotels and motels. When you share rooms, the cost per person decreases. A $100 room between four people is $25 per person. Hostel beds generally go for $20-$45 per bed.
Apr 10, 2013 7:22 AM
5Amazing advice so far, thank you very much!!
I had accidentally missed Baltimore off the itinerary when I typed it up. We are planning on visiting Baltimore for 1/2 nights in between Philadelphia and Washington.
I think we will try to keep Boston and Philadelphia in, what you have suggested @LongIslandBob for Philadelphia with the food, sports and bars sounds just our sort of thing. We are planning on catching a baseball game, most probably in NY or Boston, depending on fixtures which I'll check nearer the time.
@LongIslandBob we are going to Miami, both for the beaches and the nightlife, so I think it's probably the ideal place to end the trip.
@bzookaj - thanks for the suggestions about Miami. It sounds like we should definitely try to rent a car as we do want to go to the keys and Everglades. We are booking flights in the next couple of days and will then be booking hostels soon after.
2 votes for Atlantic City and 1 against so far, maybe we can cut it down to one night? I have spoke to two friends who have lived in Boston and Philadelphia and they both recommended Atlantic City, so I think it'll be worth the visit!
Apr 10, 2013 7:54 AM
6I don't know why someone would recommend Atlantic City to anyone that didn't live on the East Coast and was looking for a quick weekend trip. It's a bit of a dump. If you like to gamble, I guess it's worth checking out, otherwise it would be good to skip. I would suggests cutting that out and extending your stay in NYC by a day or two.
You don't need to spend 2 nights in Baltimore. 3 nights in DC sounds about right.
Apr 10, 2013 8:14 AM
7I did a similar trip several years ago and found Washington DC the most interesting city -- lots of monuments of course, but there's also a lot of history, plus the tours of various places like the FBI, White House, government buildings, Smithsonian Institution, etc. Whatever you're into, you'll find something of interest in Washington -- you might want to spend at least 3 days there.
Boston -- 2 or 3 nights is probably enough.
Philadelphia -- one full day should be enough.
Apr 10, 2013 8:50 AM
Apr 10, 2013 8:50 AM
9If you want to gamble, you can now do so outside Baltimore, though not sure how easy it would be to get there by transit.
I still would highly recommend skipping AC.
(And for the record, the count in this thread is three against going, and one for.)
Apr 10, 2013 11:05 AM
- Another vote to skip AC, or only go for 1 night. It's a dump with lots of old people gambling. Nightlife is only happening on weekends and it's not exactly exciting in my opinion. But maybe a bunch of 22 year old guys will find it interesting for 1 night (be prepared to spend a good amount of money on entrance fees to clubs and drinks).
- I would reallocate your nights a bit differently. You really need a minimum of 5 nights in NYC, 6 would be better. 3 nights in Boston and DC is typically enough. They're not that big. Baltimore could be skipped or you can do 1 night. Philly needs 2 nights or so.
- In NYC, try to stay in Downtown Manhattan below 23rd Street if you want to party a lot. Keep in mind that there is a lot to explore in Brooklyn as well, so 5-6 nights is really necessary.
- Weather could be pretty crappy in Miami. Keep that in mind. July is officially hurricane season and it is typically humid. You don't need a car in South Beach itself. It's actually an expensive hassle to have one. So I wouldn't get one there. Don't know if you can get an apartment right in South Beach for a cheap price. If not, I would recommend Tropics Hotel & Hostel. You can get a room with 6 beds all for yourself. Otherwise, check Airbnb.com. You can get to South Beach from the airport via a direct airport bus form terminal E for around $2.50 each.
- There is really no need to stay in South Beach for more than 2 nights. After that, pick up a car and drive down to Key West stopping at the Everglades along the way. Then stay 3 nights in Key West. Great place and great nightlife. You'll enjoy it much more than pretentious Miami I suspect (where you have to pay to get into most clubs etc as a group of guys, and may not get in at all at some places).
Apr 10, 2013 11:46 AM
11If Atlantic City is a total dump (I don’t know ‘cause I haven’t been there in a while) then skip it, especially since you are planning on a beach town further south. I go to nearby Wildwood (youth oriented, amusement parks, a little low class but a lot of fun) and Cape May and Ocean City (classier) on a regular basis.
Public transportation to and from AC (NYC-AC-Philly or Philly-AC-Philly) works well and that’s why I still recommend it. Heck, if you keep your receipts, a lot of times the casinos will redeem your bus fare for chips. Even if you’re not really in to gambling, free bus fare is free bus fare. But if has fallen off the edge, then it has fallen off the edge.
Apr 10, 2013 12:09 PM
Apr 10, 2013 12:19 PM
13Oh, I haven't checked baseball ticket prices this season, but the NY Yankees are known for high prices and the NY Mets are known for losing.
Bzook knows a lot more about the stadiums, but Boston's stadium is an old classic, I hear people actually pay (when there is no baseball game going on) just to take a tour of it. Washington and Baltimore traditionally have low ticket prices, but last year they started winning so that may have changed.
In Boston, roughly midway through what is supposed to be left field, there is a giant wall with chairs on top known affectionately as The Green Monster. Most Americans like to rib them for it (what? couldn't you afford a whole stadium?) and one famous baseball player, seeing it for his first time during practice, is alleged to have asked "do they take it down during games?
But If the home team hits a ball over that wall, the crowd goes crazy!
Apr 10, 2013 12:26 PM
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