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Thoughts on 2 week itinerary East Coast USA

Sydney, Australia
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Thoughts on 2 week itinerary East Coast USA

Hi guys,

Planning a trip in November this year to the States partly for conference part family trip. Have a conference in Chicago from 18th to 20th November with exam in Chicago on 21st. Will then have from then till the 2nd of December to do what we please. Will be traveling from Sydney with wife and 2 girls (1yo & 2yo). I had planned on hiring car in Chicago, then driving East possibly to see Niagara falls, then onto NYC, then finishing in Washington. Couple of things: do you guys think that an itinerary like this is doable, I guess spending day at the falls and 3-4 days each in NYC and Washington with driving time added on top obviously. If so, what things should we see on the way and are there any particular towns that we should plan to stop in and see/ stay? I would plan to hire car in Chicago and leave it in Washington from where we would fly out of - any one know of good hire companies and also how I may get around the huge fee that is tacked on fo returning vehicle in different city to which it was hired? At a push, I may be able to get a couple of extra days leave but it would be difficult.

Thanks for any advice you have,

Illinois
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1. Re: Thoughts on 2 week itinerary East Coast USA

Weather could be iffy in late November, especially near Niagara Falls. They get a lot of snow in that part of the country.

Thanksgiving is on November 24 this year, and that usually kicks off the holiday season.

Would you consider flying to New York, or would that be too pricy for the family?

Illinois
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2. Re: Thoughts on 2 week itinerary East Coast USA

You don't really need a car in Chicago, New York, or Washington. If you would be willing to give up seeing Niagara Falls, it would probably be cheaper to fly the family to New York rather than renting a car and paying what is now charged for gas. You could then perhaps take a train to Washington.

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: Thoughts on 2 week itinerary East Coast USA

Thanks IlliniTrav,

That sounds like a much better idea. Didn't take the weather aspect into account. Sydney that time of year is probably very different;-)

Will look into flights to NY. I was thinking a bit of a road trip would be a nice way of seeing a little of the US but not if I'm having to change into snow chains!

Thanks.

Chicago, IL
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4. Re: Thoughts on 2 week itinerary East Coast USA

I'd also recommend flying from Chicago to NYC then look into the train to Washington. Amtrak offers several trains daily between NYC and DC. The trip is around 3-hours which is comparable to a flight when you add transit time to/from the airport, check-in time, etc. You'd also have the chance to see a bit of the east coast outside the cities.

If there is snow in November, it probably wouldn't be enough to require snow chains. But, it could add significant time to a trip due to reduced driving speeds.

Illinois
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5. Re: Thoughts on 2 week itinerary East Coast USA

Renting a car in the US and bringing it into Canada will cause a problem with Insurance. You may need to make special arrangements.

Delavan, Illinois
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6. Re: Thoughts on 2 week itinerary East Coast USA

I can't imagine needing snow chains in November in any of the region you have mentioned. Heck, I lived here all my life and only once ever needed chains, though end of November in upper New York state the weather can change on you in seconds.

I can't guarantee that you could take a car into Canada, but I've been able to rent them in the US and drive them to Mexico, a much more challenging proposition, so I expect that there are those that will allow you to take one to Canada, but contact them directly and get it in writing BEFORE you show up to claim your car.

The drive is a long one, but not unconceivalbe given your timeline. Some things you could do besides the obvious sites in each location:

Near Niagra Falls: Toronto is only 1 hour away. I think it might be a more cosmopolitan city than New York, but don't tell that to any New Yorkers. Largest Chinatown (for resident Chinese, not just shops and restaurants) of any city in North America. One of my favorite "zoos" is African Lion Safari (http://www.lionsafari.com/) in Cambridge, Ontario (suburb of Toronto) for their drive through feature. (With a rental you may wish to take the optional park-provided bus or skip the baboons thatt can tear up a car.)

Near NYC: So much to see and do here your 3-4 days are best spent in NYC.

Near Washington, DC: Annapolis, MD with the US Naval Academy and beautiful downtown harbor area are a good side visit. Washington's home in Mount Vernon would be on my must see list for a trip to DC. Colonial Williamsburg (VA) is a bit further, but I can't think of a better time to visit than when you would be there. And if you go to Williamsburg, don't neglect Jamestown and be sure to say "Hi!" to my great, great, great...grandfather while you're there.

BTW, if you drove from Chicago to DC (rather than NYC first) you would go through Indianapolis, IN (about 3 hours from Chicago) where they have the best children's museum in the country. Might even make a good day-trip for your family while you're taking your exam.

7. Re: Thoughts on 2 week itinerary East Coast USA

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