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Old 04-07-2008, 06:05 AM
 
Location: Assisi, Italy
1,845 posts, read 3,888,349 times
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I am planning a trip for 19 days July 5 through 24. We are traveling with 4 adults and 5 kids 1,3,5,11 and 16. Hopefully we will have a van from Mystic up to Boston and down to DC and PA.

The other family traveling with us are Italian and want the "American tour".

We will have
5 nights in Manhattan,
4 nights in Boston, (Harvard, Paul Revere's House)
4 nights in DC (Udvar, Capitol, Pentagon, Arlington)
3 nights in PA.(Liberty Bell and Cheese Steak)

Hotels are under control. Can some of you who are nearby or who have done a visit to these areas recently please offer some highlights, add to my list and hints. Thanks.
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Old 04-07-2008, 07:10 AM
 
Location: Amelia View
4,211 posts, read 12,556,243 times
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Wow! Ambitious! And I have to say I'm envious!

Manhattan:
Take a double-decker bus tour (there are four choices, but if you're limited to one, I'd pick the Downtown Loop)
Gray Line New York Sightseeing

Central Park
The Complete Guide to Central Park and Central Park Zoo

So many choices! Check out nycvisit
nycvisit.com - Family Travel (http://www.nycvisit.com/content/index.cfm?pagePkey=171 - broken link)

Boston:
The Freedom Trail. You can take an organized tour
https://store.thefreedomtrail.org/in...ATS&Category=2
or do it by yourselves
A Quick Tour Along the Freedom Trail - City of Boston

The Swan Boats at the Public Garden are fun
The Swan Boats of Boston - Home (http://www.swanboats.com/new/welcome.shtml - broken link)
Make Way For Ducklings sculptures are in the Public Gardens.

Washington:
Take a trolley and/or ducks tour. Trolleys are hop-on/hop-off and a great way to get around the city. Duck tours of the Potomac would probably be fun (didn't do it there, but did do it in Philadelphia).
An example - Old Town Trolley and DC Ducks Package - Tickets and Discounts for Tours, Attractions and Museums

Visiting the White House is more of a pain than is worth it to be honest.

The Smithsonian is a must.
Smithsonian Institution

Philadelphia:
There are many places to visit and some pre-made itineraries to investigate
Itineraries :: gophila.com - The Official Visitor Site for Greater Philadelphia
as well as a list of tours
Tours :: gophila.com - The Official Visitor Site for Greater Philadelphia

A Duck tour is fun
Ride the Ducks :: gophila.com - The Official Visitor Site for Greater Philadelphia
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Old 04-07-2008, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Hampton Roads, Virginia
1,123 posts, read 4,804,625 times
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My best advice is to remember that ALL the museums in DC are FREE!!! Smithsonian, Air & Space etc. I would avoid the $$ tours here because museums will cost in all the other cities. Don't forget Arlington National Cemetary, with a visit to see the changing of the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The Metro system is clean and safe and an easy way to get around.

Downtown DC becomes practically deserted after 7:00 pm, so a drive around the monuments at night is very cool. Also, the National Zoo (also free) will keep the kids entertained - and is close to Metro.
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Old 04-07-2008, 08:10 AM
 
Location: Assisi, Italy
1,845 posts, read 3,888,349 times
Reputation: 353
Thanks for the help so far.

I was in NY and DC in Oct, but without the family. I didn't know all the Smithsonians were free. I went to the Udvar out at Dulles. Kids will love that and we will stay at the Embassy Suites and the Marriot for under 100 bucks over the weekend!!!!

Which Smithsonian Museums would you chose? I did the bus tour of DC, but to be honest, it didn't seem worth the money. We could have just driven around and got about the same out of it.

Ducks. I saw them, but didn't know what they were all about.

I am having trouble with the van since I am only renting it for about two weeks. Guess I will just have to pay more and get it from ImageRental in NY.

Last edited by Bob The Builder; 04-07-2008 at 08:28 AM..
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:45 AM
 
Location: Assisi, Italy
1,845 posts, read 3,888,349 times
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BTW Food ideas would be appreciated.

I want my Italian friends to try Dim Sum in Chinatown NY, Costco Hot Dogs and soda for $1.50 and a Roast Chicken, Genos Cheese Steak and a home cooked prime rib.
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Old 04-07-2008, 11:40 AM
 
4,899 posts, read 16,619,354 times
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Manhattan: empire state building, wall street, broadway
also if you can, cross over to NJ and go to weehawken. you can see the whole skyline from there--
also if you want to try the dinner cruise--it is great. takes you all around the hudson at dusk. we took our italian family -they loved all of these.
and of course, dont miss elles island and the satue of liberty

Philly:
for the cheese steaks, i recommend Jim's steaks on the corner of 4th and south st.
the liberty bell, the old trolly tour was great. you can get on and off anytime. i have never tried the duck tour, but that looks fun.
also dont forget the museam (rocky stairs)
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Old 04-07-2008, 04:11 PM
 
Location: Long Island
286 posts, read 1,199,329 times
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Philly - I second Jim's Steaks over any other. You can also get good Hoagie's there (another Philly tradition)! For kids, check out the Franklin Institute and/or the Please Touch Museum. Both are in the same area of the city, just west of City Hall and on your way to the Art Museum. Philly also has some fun restaurants down in Society Hill (in the historic area) and on South Street. Another fun eating area is the Reading Terminal Market. You can check out what's for sale, and also eat as you go. Or, find a place to sit and eat. You should also look for Philly pretzels. You need to eat them soon after buying, or you'll have lovely paperweights to give as gifts. However, when they're fresh, they're a great snack!

DC - I would not miss the Air and Space Museum or the American History Museum (where they have Old Glory, TV and sports memorabilia). As to monuments, I love the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial and the Washington Monument. For eating, Georgetown has some nice restaurants, as does Adams Morgan.

NYC - so much to see. If you have time and desire, check out a broadway show. You can get discount tickets the day of the show at TKTS in Times Square. I think they also have a booth down in the South Street Seaport. Google TKTS for more info. I would also do the boat trip around Manhattan Island - nice ride and you'll get pictures of the whole of lower Manhattan. Sadly, the only pictures I have of the WTC is from one of the boat rides.

As to restaurant ideas, China Town and Little Italy are right great, and in the summer, you'll get outside seating if you'd like. Little Italy may not be as authentic as you're used to, but they still make great "house" wine!If you want a monster burger, check out Jackson Hole (several locations around the city)
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Old 04-08-2008, 12:24 AM
 
Location: Assisi, Italy
1,845 posts, read 3,888,349 times
Reputation: 353
I am going to research all these ideas. Thanks all

Does it make any sense to buy Amtrak passes? For 1800 bucks, we can get 15 day passes for all of 9 of us. It will take us into Boston Back Bay, Washington DC Union Station, NYC Penn Station and Philadephia 30th street. We might need to rent a car here and there or take two taxis. But how is mass transit in these cities?

I spoke with a van rental guy yesterday and he said unless I was going to rent it for a month, he could not provide one for me. Churches and locals get first choice. BTW, a van, if someone would rent one to me for two weeks with fuel, tolls and parking would probably run me 2500 to 3000.

Would traveling in this July weather be just horrible with the kids without an air conditioned vehicles?

If we drive two cars, then we would probably stay farther out of the centers. I am not too happy about having Francesco following me for a thousand miles.
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Old 04-08-2008, 10:44 AM
 
4,899 posts, read 16,619,354 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob The Builder View Post
I am going to research all these ideas. Thanks all

Does it make any sense to buy Amtrak passes? For 1800 bucks, we can get 15 day passes for all of 9 of us. It will take us into Boston Back Bay, Washington DC Union Station, NYC Penn Station and Philadephia 30th street. We might need to rent a car here and there or take two taxis. But how is mass transit in these cities?

I spoke with a van rental guy yesterday and he said unless I was going to rent it for a month, he could not provide one for me. Churches and locals get first choice. BTW, a van, if someone would rent one to me for two weeks with fuel, tolls and parking would probably run me 2500 to 3000.

Would traveling in this July weather be just horrible with the kids without an air conditioned vehicles?

If we drive two cars, then we would probably stay farther out of the centers. I am not too happy about having Francesco following me for a thousand miles.
i would definately try to fit everyone into 1 van so no one gets lost. try "enterprise". we rented one in our own town when family came from italy so we wouldnt need 2-3 cars. yes you will need air conditioning.
i dont know about amtrack cause it takes longer with the train than driving. and if there are any other drivers, they can help. don't forget to tell Francesco he will need to get his international drivers' license ASAP--beurocracy may delay him...
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Old 04-08-2008, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Hampton Roads, Virginia
1,123 posts, read 4,804,625 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob The Builder View Post
I am going to research all these ideas. Thanks all

Does it make any sense to buy Amtrak passes? For 1800 bucks, we can get 15 day passes for all of 9 of us. It will take us into Boston Back Bay, Washington DC Union Station, NYC Penn Station and Philadephia 30th street. We might need to rent a car here and there or take two taxis. But how is mass transit in these cities?

I spoke with a van rental guy yesterday and he said unless I was going to rent it for a month, he could not provide one for me. Churches and locals get first choice. BTW, a van, if someone would rent one to me for two weeks with fuel, tolls and parking would probably run me 2500 to 3000.

Would traveling in this July weather be just horrible with the kids without an air conditioned vehicles?

If we drive two cars, then we would probably stay farther out of the centers. I am not too happy about having Francesco following me for a thousand miles.
Last summer we rented a Jeep SUV for 10 days and the base price was around $250. WAY better to rent 2 cars. I dont think that you can even rent a car without AC anymore - it is standard on most vehicles. If you have your own vehicles, you can stay outside of the city for cheaper, and use public transportation to get into DC or NY (not sure about Philly). You will also be able to see areas that are not 'downtown'.
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