DC to New York is about 4 hours and New York to Niagara Falls is about 7 hours. I personally don't think Niagara Falls is that big a deal. Anyway here
is an itinerary which you may like. You can research the areas and perhaps you'll want to skip some or spend more time in others.
DC - 2 nights
Gettysburg, Pa - 1 night - lots of history
Lancaster, Pa - 2 nights - Amish attractions - don't miss Wheatland either
Hershey, Pa - 1 night - amusement park and chocolate factory
NYC - 2 nights - to much to mention
Hudson Valley - 1 night - stop at West Point Military Academy or Storm King Art Center and if you like art and you there on a Saturday, try www.artalongthehudson.org
Ithaca, NY with waterfalls, wineries, and Cornell University - 2 nights
Letchworth State Park - night around that area
Niagara Falls - 2 nights
If it is during the summer here are 2 places a few hours from Niagara Falls that may interest you. One is the Chautauqua Institution (www.ciweb.org) and the second is LilyDale and you can read my review. If these places interest you then you would have to cut something else out probably.
Also note Ithaca is 2 hours from Cooperstown with The Baseball Hall of Fame and other museuems, a brewery, and Lake Otsego which is very nice.
Have a great trip and let us know how it goes.
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