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Review my itinerary for DC trip and comment, please

Litchfield, Illinois
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Review my itinerary for DC trip and comment, please

Friday, we (61 yr. old grandpa and 14 yr. old grandson) begin our trip to DC.

Friday: Travel day getting as close to Gettysburg as I can.

Saturday: Tour Gettysburg and drive to Frederick, MD

Sunday: Drive to Harpers Ferry and go to Air & Space Museum at Dulles Airport, check-in at Alexandria, VA

Monday: Possibly drive to Mount Vernon early and take Metro to Mall and sight see for a while.

3:00 P.M. TOUR OF U.S. CAPITOL AFTER TOUR, go to Air & Space museum on Mall

Possibly visit a memorial or two.

Tuesday: Start early and visit our choice of museums and memorials all day.

Wednesday: Drive to Annapolis for walking tour and short cruise.

Thursday: Drive to Baltimore and sightsee National Aquarium and Fort McHenry

check-in motel at Ronks, PA

Friday: Ride Strasburg Railroad and do buggy ride and maybe something else in morning and drive to Hershey and visit amusement park spend the night in Hershey.

Saturday : Begin drive home 2 stops Ohiopyle s.p. and visit grounds at Fallingwater and next stop: The Wilds @Cumberland, OH

PLEASE COMMENT. I have studied the message boards for weeks and value the opinions of fellow travelers. Thank you.

Cleveland
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1. Re: Review my itinerary for DC trip and comment, please

See posts 10 and 11 in the following thread, especially regarding military parades.

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

If you could get to Washington by Friday evening, perhaps see if tickets still are available for the Marine Barracks Evening Parade (see post 8 in the following thread):

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g1-i12567-k7554765…

Unless you can hike some steep stairs for Harpers Ferry's historic vistas, such as Jefferson's Rock, perhaps substitute Antietam or even Monticello for Harpers Ferry.

Are you planning a visit to the Tombs of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, a memorable activity for Washington? Have you considered a visit to Yorktown or the Battleship Wisconsin in Norfolk, where you also can tour the world's largest naval base? All of the above might more interest your grandson than the National Aquarium and Fort McHenry, especially as there is a great aquarium in Chicago. Yorktown is much more historically significant than Ft. McHenry.

If you visit the Wilds, it can be a real snooze on a hot day as the animals will be invisible in the tall grasses of the park. Its evening safaris are good, but typically booked far in advance.

Perhaps consider skipping Lancaster County Amish Country and Hershey, and instead visiting Dayton and nearby Kings Island in Mason.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g60785-c185858/Dayton…

Possibly also check out the "Tecumseh Outdoor Drama." If interested, arrive early for the stunt tour.

Good planning and best wishes for a memorable road trip!

Lewes, United...
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2. Re: Review my itinerary for DC trip and comment, please

Hi

What a truly lovely idea, a grandpa and grandson history road trip! But this Friday? Yikes!

Your trip is not so very different from one we enjoyed earlier this year, so here are some of my thoughts based on what we experienced.

It's a pretty straight but long run from home to Gettysburg on I-70/I-76. There is some lodging in Gettysburg area, but much of it is in smaller properties and B&Bs. If you'd prefer a chain hotel, and you drive that far, you might want to try and head for Frederick and stay the first 2 nights there. More lodging and dining choices, and Frederick isn't far from Gettysburg. However, you may feel it's too far to drive - it is a very long way, and I'm not figuring on the 14 y o sharing the driving!

Do please make sure you start your Gettysburg visit at the wonderful visitor center, it will set the scene and the cyclorama is not to be missed.

Between Frederick and Harpers Ferry, there are some more battle field sites, like Monocacy River and Antietam, but I'm not sure you have time for them. At Harpers Ferry, even if you don't have time for the full Virginia Heights hike, please try if you can and get to the overlook over the town and where the 2 rivers merge.

The museum at Dulles is just awesome, probably more so if you are a young boy. We managed to spend a long half day there, and only tore ourselves away because we had a plane to catch at that airport! Do understand that, although it's part of the Smithsonian Museum Trust, so free to get in, car parking will set you back $14.

Alexandria is a lovely town. A stroll around 'old town' after dinner would be great, if your legs can take it. It's a really easy drive from there to Mt Vernon, a matter of 10 minutes max. Do book tickets online in advance to avoid the lines. Braddock Road Metrorail station in Alexandria has a large parking lot, so leave the car there and take DC's Metrorail all the way to the Mall. The stroll between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument is a great walk, but you've a lot to pack in that day, it seems!

Which museums you visit is your call. All the ones we had time for were wonderful. I love art so added some of those, but we had longer in the city. Even after the Udvar Hazy, you would still enjoy the Air and Space, it has different 'hardware'. Also, right next door is the Native American Museum, which we found utterly fascinating as foreigners. It' also has the best cafe/lunch stop in a museum, unless McD is your preference! You can also get a glympse of the White House from nearby. I could go on, but you don't have any more time for seeing other attractions and your plans are fine as they stand. However, if you wish a break from the history and museums, to do something a bit more fun and kid friendly, do ask. Not my area of expertise, but I could make a few suggestions! However, you do have Hersey and an amusement park later in your plans, too!

Will you be staying within DC area, or staying in Alexandria the whole time? Do check out Metrorail passes, if the latter, you will get your money's worth! And, as per above comments, you'd be close to the Arlington Memorial, too.

The drive to Annapolis will be lovely after time in the city. If you have spare time, try and visit a small community on the edge of Chesapeake Bay. Even some with no history of note can have some lovely homes and perhaps different architecture to what you are used to back home, with the colonial style.

I take it the tourism in Baltimore is during the day and a day trip, and that you are not staying in that city? I would advice that, if you have not made set plans.

Once you head back west, deeper into WV, you've reached areas unknown to me for me to comment.

Have a fantastic trip, and any questions, do ask!

SWT

Cleveland
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3. Re: Review my itinerary for DC trip and comment, please

Also, consider visiting the Lincoln Memorial and the Korean War Veterans Memorial after dark, when both IMO are truly spectacular though in different ways.

Tacoma, Washington
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4. Re: Review my itinerary for DC trip and comment, please

A few issues/observations:

1. What do you plan on doing in Harpers Ferry. If you do alot it could be tight this day. I dont recall the museum hours but if it closes at something like 5 this could be difficult.

2 Monday i suggest just going to the mall and do air and space in the morning. They show movies which involves getting tickets. It may be easier to do both here and the Native American museum together (next to each other) then its a short walk to the Capitol for your tour---then you can come back after to finish anything up. I think the museums could be closed at 5 pm. Dont know the hours they set for this summer.

3. tuesday focus on the memorials at one end of the mall in the AM, in the PM do American and natural history museums. Could also do the archives and Newseum (paid museum)

4. When are you traveling? You and yur grandson could see a baseball game in DC or in baltimore. The baltimore stadium is a short walk from the National aquarium.

Litchfield, Illinois
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5. Re: Review my itinerary for DC trip and comment, please

Thanks for the excellent comments and tips. We traveled to DC in 2002 but my grandson was too young to appreciate it. I am excited about revisiting many of those places. We did not visit the National Aquarium or Mount Vernon on that trip.

6. Re: Review my itinerary for DC trip and comment, please

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