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East coast USA

Melbourne, Australia
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East coast USA

We are arriving in New York 25 June 2014 for a holiday departing 20 July. We are interested in thoughts of how to allocate time for say, New York, Washington DC, Boston and other places.

Dallas, Texas...
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1. Re: East coast USA

What are your interests? Do you want to include low key beach or mountain time? Any kids?

Are you willing to rent a car and drive for part of the trip? Or would you prefer not to?

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: East coast USA

We're Australian. No kids; healthy 55-60 yo couple. Interested in sight-seeing, museums, politics, American history, enjoy walking, especially walking historical tours, love beaches, genealogy, tennis. Happy to rent a car or not. Appreciate vey much your speedy response.

Maine
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3. Re: East coast USA

In Boston do the Freedom Trail with a guide, not self-guided. Listen to the presentation at the Old North Church and upstairs at Faneuil Hall. The duck boat tour in Boston is also fun, interesting, and unique. Add Philadelphia to your list both for museums and history, and I would give the most time to WashingtonDC.

Maine
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4. Re: East coast USA

In Boston do the Freedom Trail with a guide, not self-guided. Listen to the presentation at the Old North Church and upstairs at Faneuil Hall. The duck boat tour in Boston is also fun, interesting, and unique. Add Philadelphia to your list both for museums and history, and I would give the most time to WashingtonDC.

As a starting point I would give a week each to NY and DC and half a week each to Boston and Philadelphia. That leaves you a few days to play with depending on what else you want.

Boston, MA
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5. Re: East coast USA

Is there anyway you could fly to DC or Boston and work you way north (or south) from there and then fly out of your last stop?

If you need a little downtime consider a few,days on Cape Cod in Massachusetts or the Lakes Region or White Mountains of New Hampshire. All very drivable from Boston.

Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: East coast USA

Thank you. Very helpful. We are now thinking of our holiday in four parts: Washington DC & Philadelphia: 7 days; Boston, Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard: 6 days; Niagara Falls, Cleveland: 5 days; and New York: 7 days. Using NY as our base going out on the three individual spokes with a day or two in between at NY. Does this make sense? We are a little unsure about the Niagara Falls/Cleveland leg: whether to allocate that much time or whether, in fact to do it? If we take that part out, we have a more relaxed pace and more time to see NY, Boston, Phili and Washington DC. Any thoughts?

Boston...
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7. Re: East coast USA

Cleveland?

Hmm.

Have you worked out the travel distances? NY is maybe central but it makes no sense to think of spokes. I'd think of a line down the coast and then a flight to Niagara Falls if you want to see it. Amtrak runs from one city to the next and there are buses that are about half the price of Amtrak if you're on a budget. Having a car in any of these cities is a burden. They all have good public transportation and you really don't want to pay 40/night to park a car that you won't use. The only exception would be that if you wanted to tour Cape Cod, you'd need a car for that. Martha's Vineyard is a ferry-ride from Cape Cod. Very nice place. Worth a day or two. I'd drive to the Cape, see Sandwich, maybe drive along the Canal or along the coast, spend the night in Falmouth or Hyannis and then do an overnight on the Vineyard maybe? Three or four days in Boston would I think be enough.

New York and DC are I think harder because they've got so so so much going on.

If I were you, I'd do the legwork and figure out exactly what you want to do in each place. You can spend a week or a weekend in DC, Boston, and NY each. Depends on what you want to see and what experiences you'd like to have.

Be forewarned that the Cape and Islands are at a premium during summer. You'll find lots of Cape traffic especially on weekends and high hotel rates then too. Many places will also only rent by the week, so getting accommodation for a day or two can be tricky but it's not impossible.

Dallas, Texas...
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8. Re: East coast USA

Using NYC as a hub and returning between each leg of your journey doesn't really make sense. You'd have to pay to park the car in NYC and repeatedly deal with driving into and out of the congested city.

I would drop Cleveland. If you want to do Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard in addition to Boston, you'll want more than 6 days. Cape Cod is more a place to linger and explore vs a place to drive through for a night or two.

Consider adding Newport, RI to your list.

Maine
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9. Re: East coast USA

I'm intreagued - why Cleveland? It certainly does not have the stature of the other cities on your itinerary, and (deserved or not) is often the butt of jokes, hense the comments here. Niagara Falls is nice and worth seeing, but the Canadian side is much better than the American side so if it's worth the trouble of going there, I would put in the cost/effort to be able to get into Canada. It's worth a day or an overnight, not any more than that given your interests. I think a short flight from NYC to Niagara Falls would be a good way to go. I would give DC/Philadelphia more time and make Niagara a 1-2 day trip. I'm not sure the spokes idea is helpful, as others have said. The crowds and traffic on the Cape is definitely something to take into account.

Melbourne, Australia
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10. Re: East coast USA

We really appreciate these inputs. Thank you very much. We are now leaning towards giving Cleveland the flick and possibly Niagara Falls also and concentrating on just NY, Boston and surrounds and Philadelphia and Washington DC. Your insights on hire cars are invaluable. We are now thinking: 3 days upon arrival in NY (hopefully get over the jet lag!) Train or bus to Philadelphia; stay 2-3 days; bus or train to Washington DC; stay 5-6 days; bus or train back to NT; stay 2-3 days; bus or train to Boston, get hire car in Boston fir5-7 days; bus or train back to NY; stay 3 days. Is that starting to look like an ok skeleton of a trip?