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Tour from Washington DC going to Niagara and NYC??

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Los Angeles...
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Tour from Washington DC going to Niagara and NYC??

I am planning a family trip to Washington DC from March 22 to March 30. We are going to see DC for a few days on our own, but while on the east coast from Los Angeles we would really like to see NYC and Niagara Falls. I was looking at the 5 day tours from Tours4Fun but have read posts on here that scare me.

My question: Is there a GOOD bus/rail tour company that you would recommend that hits Niagara and NYC? If not, what would you suggest we do instead? The bus tour seems like a great option in that we can cover Niagara, NYC, and Boston in about 4 days with hotel included. Thanks in advance for your help!

Portland, Maine
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1. Re: Tour from Washington DC going to Niagara and NYC??

These places are far apart. You'll spend most of your time sitting on a bus on not especially scenic expressways.

Niagara Falls is out of the way and it will still be out of season there. You could easily take Amtrak from Washington to New York. You could travel on to Boston if you wanted, but four days is still a fairly short amount of time to see New York.

Can you arrange your flight to be "open jaw," flying into Washington and then returning from New York (or Boston?)

Los Angeles...
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2. Re: Tour from Washington DC going to Niagara and NYC??

I can not do an open jaw on the flights, they are already booked in and out of DC on the dates I mentioned. I also understand that these places are far apart, but while we are out on the east coast we would like to at least do the highlights of NYC (2 days max). Also, Niagara is on the bucket list so I definitely need that as well.

We were originally planning to do a couple days in DC, then take a 5 day bus tour, then spend 2 more days in DC. Unfortunately, the 5 day tours that I was looking at seem to have horrible reviews! I would be open to doing a bus tour as long as it was a well run tour. I know that there will be a lot of driving involved, but we figured at least we wouldn't be the ones doing the driving. If however, it would be better for us to do something on our own I am certainly open to that. We would like to do highlights of NYC (2 days max) and then do a day in Niagara. 3-4 days for the whole thing. If this is the best option, I'd love to hear how best to get from place to place.

Thanks!

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: Tour from Washington DC going to Niagara and NYC??

I am interested in the replies as I am planning to do similar in sep-oct this year

Brooklyn, NY
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4. Re: Tour from Washington DC going to Niagara and NYC??

Better plan: do one of these two itineraries:

Tale the train from DC to NYC. Do two days there. Fly from NYC to BUF and do one night at Niagara. Fly from BUF to BOS and do a day or two there. Take the train or fly from Boston back to DC.

OR: Fly from DC to BOS. Do two days there. Fly from BOS to BUF, and spend a night at Niagara. Fly from BUF to NYC, and do two nights there. And then take the train back to DC.

JetBlue (which is a fabulous discount airline) flies all of these routes non-stop. You can probably put together a multi-city itinerary with them that won't cost much more than a bus tour, and you'll have many more hours to spend actually seeing the places you want to see instead of on a highway on a bus with a tour guide who only speaks Chinese.

Edited: 26 February 2014, 01:17
Los Angeles...
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5. Re: Tour from Washington DC going to Niagara and NYC??

Brooklyn, that sounds like good advice. I think that we would actually be ok skipping Boston and just focusing on maybe NYC for an overnight (2 daytimes) and then Niagara for an overnight, then back to DC. How long is the train ride to NYC? And then we should plan on flying from NYC to BUF, and then another flight from BUF back to DC?

DC is really the focus of the trip, but I definitely want to hit the two spots above as well. In NYC we would like to hit all the highlights (empire state building, statue of liberty, WTC, etc). Do you think we should book a bus tour of NYC once we get there? If so maybe someone can recommend a good one?

Brooklyn, NY
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6. Re: Tour from Washington DC going to Niagara and NYC??

Well, you can't hit all of those things in two days in New York, so you'll have to pick. You'll hit even less if you try to do a bus tour: theyr'e slow and lousy for transportation. If you want NYC advice, I'd suggest reposting in the New York City forum, we'll be glad to help you. (Personally, I think you're still doing WAY too much, and you should pick one or the other, but that's your call.)

The train website is www.amtrak.com - you can find everything you need about train schedules and fares there.

I don't know who flies from BUF to DC, you'd have to look into whether you can get good fares. I know JetBle serves DC - BOS, BOS - BUF, and NYC - BUF. You can check www.kayak.com to see what you can find in terms of fares.

Dallas, Texas...
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7. Re: Tour from Washington DC going to Niagara and NYC??

I've never read anything good about any of the bus tour companies that cover Niagara Falls. Complaints are common. They are more geared towards international travelers, especially visitors from China.

If NF is an absolute must, the best way to get there is to fly. There are relatively inexpensive fares between JFK and Buffalo, and also between Buffalo and Boston.

2 days isn't long enough to see NYC highlights, but you can certainly see a few things if you are determined to keep your stay there short.

In general, keep in mind that it's not about the number of different places you travel to, it's about the number of different great experiences you have. Doing all that traveling means you are giving up a lot of time. There will be lots of things you will want to do that you will have to skip due to travel time requirements.

8. Re: Tour from Washington DC going to Niagara and NYC??

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