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Old 04-17-2008, 12:23 AM
 
Location: Assisi, Italy
1,845 posts, read 3,889,129 times
Reputation: 353

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Quote:
Originally Posted by findinghope View Post
in Phyli we stayed at the crown paza which is in the business distric so its a few miles out of the center city, and we paid about $109--that was a couple of years ago though. but very nice hotel
I was able to book through Hotwire Westin in Boston for 129, Westin in Arligton for 113 and I missed the Westin in PA for 131 so I settled for Doubletree Philadelphia in City Center West at 65 bucks through Priceline. These are all hotels near Amtrak or Metro.

If anyone is looking for hotels, Priceline and Hotwire Forum really saved me a bundle. They identified all the hotels that were being offered on Hotwire and Priceline so I was not bidding for some unknown. The downside with Priceline however is that they only guarantee occupancy for two adults and you need to contact the hotel to sort out the difference. Fortunately the Doubletree has a sofa bed so that is not an issue. I was reading the reviews and someone was raving about the Doubletree who had paid 169 a night so I am stoked.
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Old 04-20-2008, 11:08 PM
 
45 posts, read 241,128 times
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Boston:
Sorry, can't really help with food that much. But I think that eating lunch and/or dinner at Quincy Market would be a good to do at least once. There are all sorts of vendors there-- not just food-- and it has a nice atmosphere in general. And you must try Boston Clam Chowder. :-)
There's also the Aquarium...which would be very kid-friendly, as well as the Boston Science Museum, and the Boston Children's Museum (although the latter is not suitable for the oldest). But museums, of course, can be very pricey and there are plenty of other things to see and do as it is. And as someone else mentioned, most museums in DC are free... so you should definitely take advantage of that. (The DC Zoo is a must for children!)

New York:
I'd definitely recommend The Metropolitan Museum of Art. It's possibly the main tourist attraction in NYC... and in addition to being a world-class museum, it is the largest and best art museum in the USA. Also, although there is a recommended admission, you can pay whatever you want in order to be admitted. There are plenty of things in the museum that can interest the young ones as well.

Buon viaggio!
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Old 04-22-2008, 06:21 PM
 
21 posts, read 56,391 times
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NYC-I stayed at the Affinia Manhatten for $165.00/noc with kitchenette-great room for price except next to fire station. Across from Madison Square Garden-central location. Used Staten Island Ferry to see Statue of Liberty -free and no lines. Took the subway everywhere-clean and cheap. Also walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, walked by 911 site. Went to Times Square at 6am-it was almost deserted so I could really enjoy it. Central Park is great for kids-they have a children's zoo and a dairy. Agree about MOMA-free on Friday evenings (they won't even expect a donation) but very crowded. I also enjoyed the architecture at the New York City Library-tours are free but don't think it would hold children's interest. There are little stores called Jack's where you can load up on snacks and pop.
Washington, DC-agree about great metro system. One place besides the usual sites and the Smithsonians (gotta see the Museum of Natural History, the Air and Space Museum, the Museum of American History-should be reopened and the American Art Museum) is Mount Vernon. It is well worth the money. It has a great museum and if you do go make sure to go to the Revolutionary War Theater that has the bubbles come down on you. Best hamburgers are at Five Guys and a Burger.
The Holocaust Museum was very sobering, thought provoking and much more interesting than I initially thought it would be but I would not take children to see it.
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Old 04-22-2008, 06:55 PM
 
Location: South
303 posts, read 1,229,381 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChunkyMonkey View Post
Gotta go to the North End, Boston's Little Italy, and where lots of Italians still call home. Also enjoy some great baked goods at Mike's Pastries or Modern. Good luck.
Yes, Mike's is a must!
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Old 04-22-2008, 07:23 PM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD/Washington DC
3,451 posts, read 8,153,949 times
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In terms of the Amtrak stations in New York, Philadelphia, and Washington...

NEW YORK - Penn Station is located between 31st and 33rd Streets and 7th and 8th Avenues in the heart of midtown Manhattan (well, maybe not the heart but it's not far south of the heart). Both the 7th Avenue subway (1/2/3 trains) and 8th Avenue subway (A/C/E trains) stop at the station. Day passes on the New York MTA are $7/day. I will note most of the midtown Manhattan is walkable, and in particular Times Square (located at 7th Avenue, 42nd Street, and Broadway) is an easy walk from Penn Station. Grand Central Terminal, located at 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue (equivalent to 4th Avenue) is worth seeing itself - very impressive building inside and outside. Central Park is a little far to walk (located north of 59th Street) but is worth checking out if you like parks. (I will note NYC has a number of attractive, smaller parks in midtown near Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal.) The World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan can be reached most easily from midtown via the E train. One thing definitely worth checking out on a clear day is the Staten Island Ferry; the views of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Jersey City from Staten Island are spectacular, and you can easily see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island from the ferry as you pass fairly close by. One other thing - you can get a subway map at Penn Station at visitors information or at Grand Central Terminal at the MTA Museum.

PHILADELPHIA - 30th Street Station is located just outside Center City (the name commonly used for Philadelphia's downtown), between 29th and 30th Streets and Market and Arch Streets. You can use any Center City bound SEPTA Regional Rail train to one of the other two Center City stations (Suburban Station or Market East) for free with an Amtrak ticket or ticket stub. The historic sites are located primarily on Independence Mall, which is between 5th and 6th Streets a couple blocks on both sides of Market Street. Market East Station is about 4 blocks west of Independence Mall. You can also get to the historic area via the Market-Frankford Line, which runs under Market Street in Center City and has stations at 30th and 5th Streets (among others); SEPTA's Convenience Pass (which is not well-named) costs $6 and allows you 8 rides/day. (Try to buy the Convenience Pass in 30th Street Station. You may also be able to get a SEPTA rail system pocket map there.) Actually, if you stay in Philadelphia for 4-5 days, a week pass would be appropriate and is much easier to use (it has unlimited rides and magnetic strip fare collection.) Like midtown Manhattan and probably even moreso, Center City Philadelphia is very walkable. A few other places worth seeing include Reading Terminal Market (next to Market East Station), the Franklin Institute (located along the Ben Franklin Parkway at 20th Street about halfway between City Hall and the Art Museum (both of which are impressive buildings), and the Italian Market in south Philadelphia along 9th Street in the Ellsworth Street/Federal Street area. The best way to get there is to take the Broad Street Line (a subway, it connects to the Market-Frankford Line at 15th Street/City Hall) south to Ellsworth-Federal station and walk 5 blocks east. Finally, 30th Street Station is itself an impressive building worth checking out; be sure to look at the memorial statue to fallen WWII soldiers at the east end of the building.

WASHINGTON - Union Station is located about 1/2 mile from the U.S. Capitol Building, between F and H Streets NE and North Capitol Street and 1st Street NE. IMO, Union Station may be the nicest train station in the U.S., even nicer than Grand Central Terminal or 30th Street Station (both of which probably rank in the top 5 themselves). There are many shops there, and the WMATA (aka Metro) Red Line stops there. Day passes on the Metro cost $7.80/day, though you have to buy them after 9:30 AM on weekdays. You can easily walk to the Capitol Building from Union Station, and some other government buildings, like the Supreme Court Building, are next to the Capitol. Incidentally, the street system in DC is strange to non-natives; all streets have a quadrant direction (NE, NW, SE, or SW), depending on where they are located relative to the 2 Capitol Streets (a north-south one and an east-west one). The U.S. Capitol Building is the zero/dividing point for street addresses in both cases. With the Smithsonian Museums, my favorites are Natural History and Air and Space; I think they are located almost opposite each other on the Washington Mall, a little east of the Washington Monument. The Lincoln Memorial is worth a visit too. One place I definitely think is worth visiting that hasn't been mentioned yet is the Washington Cathedral; the only problem with the Cathedral is it isn't close to a Metro station. Still, there are some bus routes that go there and you could always use a taxi too. The Cathedral made a big, positive impression on me the only time I was there (so far; I just moved to the DC area and probably will get there again some time in the next couple of months). WMATA (the Washington area transit provider) is really good about providing maps; they have a couple different maps at the very least at every rail station in the system. Finally, like it's brothers to the northeast, Washington is a walkable city, though perhaps not quite as walkable as New York or Philadelphia due to a significant number of odd-angle and 5 or 6 way intersections.

One final thing - I'd like to suggest that spending at least one day in the overlooked big (though not as big) East Coast city, Baltimore, would be worthwhile. With Baltimore, Penn Station (the Amtrak station) is located just north of downtown, while most of the attractions are located just south of downtown, so you'd need to use the light rail line, one of the bus lines along St. Paul (and Charles) Street, or a taxi to get there. The Inner Harbor has a number of attractions, including the National Aquarium, the Baltimore World Trade Center building, and some neat, nearby neighborhoods (something that is also true with the tourist attractions in New York, Philadelphia, and Washington). If you do stop in Baltimore, make sure you get a crabcake; a good crabcake is something you'll remember. You can also get good crabcakes in Washington if you don't stop in Baltimore.

Last edited by CHIP72; 04-22-2008 at 07:58 PM..
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Old 04-27-2008, 10:54 AM
 
1,263 posts, read 3,735,399 times
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Sounds like a great trip. Love those cities (esp. Boston). Enjoy!
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Old 04-28-2008, 10:31 PM
 
Location: Northern California
23 posts, read 57,663 times
Reputation: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob The Builder View Post
I was able to book through Hotwire Westin in Boston for 129, Westin in Arligton for 113 and I missed the Westin in PA for 131 so I settled for Doubletree Philadelphia in City Center West at 65 bucks through Priceline. These are all hotels near Amtrak or Metro.

If anyone is looking for hotels, Priceline and Hotwire Forum really saved me a bundle. They identified all the hotels that were being offered on Hotwire and Priceline so I was not bidding for some unknown. The downside with Priceline however is that they only guarantee occupancy for two adults and you need to contact the hotel to sort out the difference. Fortunately the Doubletree has a sofa bed so that is not an issue. I was reading the reviews and someone was raving about the Doubletree who had paid 169 a night so I am stoked.

Bob, how do you determine what hotels Priceline offers in advance. I am ready to make an offer on a hotel in DC now. Thanks, Dennis
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Old 04-29-2008, 11:04 PM
 
Location: Assisi, Italy
1,845 posts, read 3,889,129 times
Reputation: 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by MRPD114 View Post
Bob, how do you determine what hotels Priceline offers in advance. I am ready to make an offer on a hotel in DC now. Thanks, Dennis
Here is the Priceline Hotel List for Washington DC from Priceline and Hotwire Forum

Priceline Hotel List - Washington, DC - Priceline and Hotwire Forum

Match the area and description and bingo. Remember to place your bid by clicking the Priceline link on their site so that they get some credit-

BTW, don't forget to book your White House tour at least a month in advance.

Last edited by Bob The Builder; 04-29-2008 at 11:28 PM..
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