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USA East Coast Roadtrip

Munich, Germany
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USA East Coast Roadtrip

Hi fellow travellers

My Dad and I are planning an East Cost road trip at the end of this month and I could use some advice. We'll start the trip in New York, spending a few days in NYC. After that we're planning on driving down the coast, finishing our trip in Miami. We're looking to combine a little bit of urban travel with scenic drives and perhaps an off-the-beaten-track detour or two. Our time frame is 3 weeks (give or take a couple of days). Some of the places we're thinking about visiting: the Hamptons (as a day-trip from NYC), Washington DC, Kitty Hawk, Beaufort (NC), Charleston, Savannah, Daytona Beach, Cape Canaveral, Fort Lauderdale and Key West. After I'd put together an approximate itinerary, there were still 5 extra days left in our three-week time frame. I was wondering if it would be worth to drive north to Boston (and also visit Harvard University campus while we're there). Or would it be best to spend those extra days some place else (maybe move down the coast a bit slower and visit some of the small towns, NC and SC islands and so on?). Or do you think it might be worth to take a detour from the coast and visit some inland attractions (e.g. Blue Ridge Parkway and the Biltmore Estate)? Also, if there are any other places, attractions etc... on our way that you think are worth visiting, please let me know. Sorry for the long message and thanks in advance for your answers. P.S. We are aware that Summer isn't the ideal time to be visiting Florida but cannot travel any other time because of uni/work.

Atlanta, Georgia
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1. Re: USA East Coast Roadtrip

Other places in Florida- Amelia Island and St. Augustine- drive A1A along the coast for a scenic drive rather than I 95. You can then head to Daytona Beach and the rest of your trip.

If you want to do the mountains then yes you can detour over to Asheville and the Great Smoky Mts. NP and then head to Charleston, Savannah and on to Florida.

Beware in the Outer Banks area you may have a tough time getting lodging especially if on the weekend. It is a very popular place.

Travel from Miami to the Keys can be very slow especially on the weekend. Also check for lodging- might find better rates in Key Largo or some of the other Keys and not Key West.

Fremont, California
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2. Re: USA East Coast Roadtrip

Great advise as always from Peachbelle...

A couple of things to also possibliiy consider

Williamsburg - interesting historical area as well as other family activities

http://www.visitwilliamsburg.com/

Also two possible day trips from Washington DC

a) Go see Gettysburg - Civil War Battleground - interesting movie, mural, museum, and battlegrounds

www.destinationgettysburg.com/index.asp

b) or go to Amish area of Pennsylvania and see Lancaster County.

http://www.padutchcountry.com/index.asp

Cleveland
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3. Re: USA East Coast Roadtrip

Anna, welcome to TA and the road trips forum!

If you want to see Boston, is there any possibility of flying into Boston?

What are your interests? Do you like thrill parks (coasters) or would enjoy a great rafting adventure? If you like music, you could swing through Nashville and visit Chattanooga (check out the iconic Lookout Mountain, Rock City, and the underground Ruby Falls) before the Biltmore Estate in the Asheville area, which also features beautiful waterfalls.

Beware that heat and humidity isn't the only weather worry. At the moment, Florida and the East Coast currently are facing the prospect of a hurricane landfall, and hurricane risks will heighten through September.

Are you skipping Orlando? If you are a Harry Potter fan, Diagon Alley opens at Universal Studios on July 8 and seems likely to be another major attraction in the Orlando area.

https://www.universalorlando.com/Theme-Parks…

If you want to see a great American university, you could visit Princeton in NJ if you decide to fly into NYC. It's considered one of the best and most beautiful in the world. Search for "Cleveland Tower Yankee Doodle Tap Room" in the search engine at the top of this forum.

You likely could add five days of activities easily in the Philadelphia and Washington areas, perhaps checking out the King of Prussia Mall near Philadelphia if you're interested in shopping. E.g., see post 10 in this thread.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60798-i335-k74240…

Longwood Gardens is the best botanical garden in the U.S. and Winterthur is the top museum of American design. Washington proper has days' worth of attractions, especially if you enjoy museums. Try out your German in Lancaster County Amish Country on your way to Gettysburg.

Read through relevant threads in this forum for many months. Perhaps also read through relevant trip reports in the trip report sticky at the top of this forum.

Good planning!

Edited: 01 July 2014, 21:53
Tacoma, Washington
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4. Re: USA East Coast Roadtrip

For nature viewing there would be 2 areas....

1. Shenandoah National Park to Smokey Mts national Park connected by the SKyline and blue ridge parkways.

2. In New england outside of Boston you could visit BH, VT and Maine

You dont need a car for NYC, Boston or DC.

I am unsure how much time total this trip is---4 weeks????

4 days NYC

3 Boston

3 DC

between these cities you could fly or take the train.

If you fly into NYC you could go up to Boston for a few days then rent a car for 6 days driving around nre rngland and then coming back to Boston

From DC you can do the one way rental to Miami. these are the two routes:

route 1:

5 days driving through Williamsburg, VA, Norfolk, outer banks of NC

5 days visiting Charleston and Savanah

5 days treking down to Miami

the above can always be shortened.

The other option is from DC

3 days drive to Shenandoah and the blue ridge parkway

1 day to drive to Charleston

2 days Charleston

2 days savannah

5 days driving down through florida

some other options are: Finger Lakes, Niagara falls in NY state, the mountains of Pennsylvania and Amish country in Pennsylvania.

You could also explore a bunch of beach towns down NJ coast then take a ferry to DE/MD coasts before going to DC

Munich, Germany
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5. Re: USA East Coast Roadtrip

Thank you all for your answers, they were very useful to me. We've decided to change our itinerary a bit, to avoid possible hurricane landfalls at the coast. We're still planning on driving from NYC to Miami though and are searching for a good car rental company. We're hoping to find one that doesn't charge an extra fee for a one-way drop-off (picking up the car in NYC and dropping it off at Miami Airport), since most companies seem to charge an exorbinant fee of 500-600$ for a one-way rental. I've heard that there are some companies that offer one-way rentals without such a fee between certain popular locations, such as NYC and Miami, just haven't been able to find any such offers. I've also heard that car rental companies usually don't demand a one-way drop-off surcharge if you rent a car through their European branch office. Does anyone have experience on this?

Atlanta, Georgia
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6. Re: USA East Coast Roadtrip

Check out this post for helpful info-

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g1-i12567-k4713887…

Cleveland
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7. Re: USA East Coast Roadtrip

You may or may not encounter a hurricane or severe tropical storm. So perhaps plan a primary, preferred route, and an alternative route. Be advised that if bad storms reach into the mountains, the consequences, such as heavy flooding, also can be very dangerous and impede travel.

Southern Florida can experience the most intense hurricanes as a result of the much warmer ocean waters further south.

8. Re: USA East Coast Roadtrip

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