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Advise on places to visit please

UK
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Advise on places to visit please

Hi, we are from the UK (2 adults and 2 children aged 8 and 6) and are planning a trip to New York, we would like to combine it with a visit to Boston and am thinking to add Philadelphia and Washington and travel on the Acela Express. Do you think this is too much to do in two weeks, we could add one or two more days if needed? Could you also recommend any sights that would be worthwhile seeing in Philadelphia.

Many thanks :)

San Diego, CA
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1. Re: Advise on places to visit please

Philadelphia is about 2 hours by car from NY. It might be tough to drive and sight-see all in one day with 2 small kids. The Liberty Bell is free and you walk through on your own. Independance Hall has tours and is also great (free). I believe they have a carousel in Central Park during the summer-have not seen that. Empire State building is a fabulous view but be prepared to wait in line to get in the elevator. You can take a ferry to both Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty and then back to Battery Park (not too far from Ground Zero). Have fun.

Bucks County...
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2. Re: Advise on places to visit please

I think it is a great idea, except that I would leave out Boston. There's not as much to see or do there as compared to the other cities, and it is out of the way. Spend the extra days in Washington. I would do roughly 25% NY, 25% Philadelphia, and 50% Washington.

If it were me, I would break it down this way.

For 14 days, 1st and last are travel days, so that leaves 12 days. I would do 3 days in NYC, 4 days in Philadelphia, and 5 in Washington. I know this seems counterintuitive, but unless you want to spend most of your time in NYC in art museums, 3 days is plenty.

Philadelphia and Washington are more child (and tourist) friendly than NYC.

You can think of NYC as London with straight streets and traffic going the wrong way (watch out for one-way streets) . Philadelphia is sort of a cross between London and Paris, but with a more genteel feel. Washington is like Paris, but with free attractions.

The Acela Express doesn't save you a lot of time compared to any other AMTRAK train, and most people think it is not worth the extra cost. It does have the advantage of getting track priority if there are any problems, but that is usually more important to a commuter or business traveler. Up to you...

Philadelphia...
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3. Re: Advise on places to visit please

I agree that Boston does not add enough to your trip given how out of the way it is. However, If you are very interested in early US history then you ight want to keep it.

Regarding DC vs NY vs Philly, I see it this way. DC is great for museums, monuments, and walking around Gerogetown, but mostly museums. Lots of really big museums. (The Air and Space Museum is especially interesting). If your kids can take only so much of looking at exhibits, then plan accordingly. Both NY and Philly offer more varied activity, though NYC is much larger than Philly and not as pedestrian friendly.

As for Philly, my recommendations depend somewhat on the season. What time of year will you be here?

Lynn

Edited: 19 June 2011, 15:25
Bucks County...
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4. Re: Advise on places to visit please

The Museum of American History (in Washington) has been renovated and is geared more towards kids now.

UK
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5. Re: Advise on places to visit please

Thanks everyone for your responses I didn't expect so much help so quickly. You have all definitely given me a lot to think about. We are thinking of travelling in June next year, along time away I know but we travel alot for example this summer we are travelling through NorthernThailand, we like to plan things well in advance and do independent travel.

Anyway your comments have given me a lot to think about, we have been to NYC before so we know what to expect (infact we got engaged in NYC in 2003), my husband has been there alot as his friend used to work there a couple of years before. We definitely want to do NYC as we want our children to visit we are looking at renting an apartment in Greenwich Village, my husband has also been to Boston before I haven't so I would like to visit, based on your comments (and I am suprised about DC I thought see the Whitehouse and a few other things and that would be it) I am now thinking do 14 nights so would plus travel on top of that...

5 nights NYC

3 nights Boston

3 nights Philadelphia

3 nights Washington

I know your comments said do more time in DC but we were only thinking about 1 or 2 nights there so have increased it somewhat.

Many thanks

Philadelphia...
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6. Re: Advise on places to visit please

I imagine you would get different responses about itineraries asking folks on the NY and Boston boards!

I'll have to respectfully disagree with the above. Partly because I lived in Boston before moving to Philly, I think that it's a very pleasant city to visit and offers architecture, weather, and sights you don't see in the other 3. It depends on what you want to see, of course. For all four cities, 2 weeks seems a little tight. It's doable but a couple of extra days would make it less rushed.

I actually think the closest European equivalent of Philadelphia is Glasgow, a former industrial powerhouse city that outsiders often look down on but actually has a lot to offer. Well, that, with the architectural scale of Amsterdam and hotter weather in the summer. The sights here basically boil down to:

- historical sites, especially related to the American revolution

- one of the best collections of colonial, Federal, and 19th century American architecture in a walkable City Center

- good museums, including the Museum of Art (excellent) and places that would interest the kids (Franklin Institute, the US Mint)

- vibrant food culture at all price points.

Philadelphia...
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7. Re: Advise on places to visit please

Sorry, I was writing at the same time as your post.

I think 3 nights in DC is plenty unless you want to go wild on museums.

Cherry Hill, NJ
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8. Re: Advise on places to visit please

Well, I would put Boston before NYC and move one night from NYC to Washington in that schedule. Fly into boston and go S or DC and go north and fly out of the end city, use trains from city to city and cabs in the city.

I used to schedule a regular run along that path, and the 2 week schedule actually looked like:

Start at Boston - 3 days

Train to NYC - 3 days

Train to Philly - 3 days

Train to Baltimore - 1 days

Train to DC - 3.5 days, fly out in evening

Most of the train travel would be in the evening to maximize tourist time.

Philadelphia...
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9. Re: Advise on places to visit please

As Loonbeam states, you should start with Boston and work your way South.

Also, please note that short term (less than 30 days) apartment rentals are illegal in NYC. Please see this FAQ topic from the New York forum: tripadvisor.com/Travel-g60763-c147344/New-Yo…

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10. Re: Advise on places to visit please

My husband and I are going to see a philly, braves game in September and wondering about a nice hotel near there, probably 3 stars. Is the airport far away from there? What would you suggest as far as places to visit for two days. How about getting around Philly, should you rent a car or take taxi's or tour buses? Thanks Parkerftmyers