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Which way round and how long

Somerset UK
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Which way round and how long

I'm planning a holiday to the eastern side of the USA in April next year.

I want to visit NYK, Philadelphia, Washington, Charleston and Savannah and will use BA Air MIles to fly into and out of either NYK or Washington. As I see it I have 8 options (without backtracking) and would be interested to hear what people think of them. (I'm going to post this on the forums of all 5 cities):

1. NYK - train to Phil - train to Wash - fly to Sav - train to Charleston - fly to NYK.

2. NYK - train to Phil - train to Wash - fly to Charleston - train to Savannah - fly to NYK.

3. NYK - fly to Sav - train to Charleston - fly to Wash - train to Phil - train to NYK.

4. NYK - fly to Charleston - train to Savannah - fly to Wash - train to Phil - train to NYK.

5. Wash - train to Phil - train to NYK - fly to Sav - train to Charleston - fly to Wash.

6. Wash - train to Phil - train to NYK - fly to Charleston - train to Savannah - fly to Wash.

7. Wash - fly to Sav - train to Charleston - fly to NYK - train to Phil - train to Wash.

8. Wash - fly to Charleston - train to Savannah - fly to NYK - train to Phil - train to Wash.

I'm aiming to fly from the UK around the 8th April and return on about the 2nd May and thought going south first might be the best option.

Provisional stops would be 4 days in Charleston, 3 in Savannah, 4 in Washington, 4 in Philadelphia and 7 in NYK.

I'd like to visit Gettysburg and the Amish country so was wondering whether it might be sensible to stop somewhere for 8 days between Wash and Phil and just commute to the two cities.

If possible I would also prefer not to hire a car.

Many thanks and sorry to be so long winded.

atlanta ga
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1. Re: Which way round and how long

I would reverse a little, due to the time of year you are traveling, I would start in the south and move to the north towards the end of your vacation --it may still be pretty cold up north the first week of April. I would also trim a day from both Charleston and Savannah to either: gain another day in DC or do your Gettysburg / Amish leg of the trip. We did DC in four days, and missed alot. You can spend a whole day in the art museum and not see everything. We split the mall area in DC in half, doing all museums/monuments on one end during one day, and the second half the next day, which left 2 days to see all of the things off of the mall (Cathedral, Zoo, Arlington, Mt Vernon, etc...) and it was a constant rush to get as much as we did in. The beauty of DC is that just about everything is FREE. Two full days in charleston and savannah is plenty to get the flavor of both cities (you could also trim a day from NY to allow more time at other destinations.

Somerset UK
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2. Re: Which way round and how long

Thanks - much appreciated. Due to the amount of Air Miles we have we're limited to flying into either New York, Philadelphia or Washington.

We thought options 3/4/7 or 8 might be better because of the weather being too cold in the north - that sounds funny from someone living in the UK!!

Other posters have suggested adding Boston to the mix but we spent 6 days there just after 9/11; others have also suggested getting a rail pass rather than flying.

atlanta ga
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3. Re: Which way round and how long

If youve already done boston, I wouldnt do it again. There is so much to see along the route of the cities that you have chosen, that I wouldnt do a repeat. For instance, you could add colonial williamsburg, the smokey mountains national park, many beach destinations from virginia to florida (water will still be too cold, but to walk on the beach during spring break might be interesting). I am not an expert on amtrack, but it would seem reasonable that it would be cheaper than airfare, and would give you a better view of the country as you travel. The downside is the amount of time it would take by train versus air, would cut into your visit time. Maybe if you flew to the south, and worked your way back north by train you could get the best of both worlds. Whatever you do, please post a trip review upon returning home, I cant wait to hear about this trip, as you will be able to encounter so much along the route you have chosen.

atlanta ga
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4. Re: Which way round and how long

I did a quick search for the date of April 5th from washington DC to savannah by train -- $89.00, 11-13 hour train ride.

DC to Atlanta via Airtran was $144 + junk fees via airtran, with a 1 hour flight. (they will probably have a sale in the future, as that is usually a 80-100 dollar flight -- but sometimes as low as 50-75 dollars).

It might be worth the extra money to basically gain a whole "day" to see your destination.

Clearwater
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5. Re: Which way round and how long

I hope you have been to DC before. 4 days is not much time to see all there is to see.

Somerset UK
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6. Re: Which way round and how long

No I haven't BrianO.

On the east coast of the USA I've only been to Boston and towns and cities further north.

Any suggestions as to how long for each city are most welcome. Lots of people are telling me I should try and spend longer in DC.

Philadephia
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7. Re: Which way round and how long

Walt R - Being from Philadelphia I just wanted to interject a few comments about visiting in our area Lancaster County (Amish Country) and Gettysburg. While you may be able to find some tours that do those areas, your best bet and the one that would give you the most freedom of choice would be to rent a car. From Philadelphia, Gettysburg is at least a 2.5-3 hour drive. From Philadelphia out to Amish country look at least 1-1.5 minimum drive depending on where in Philly you will be staying. Once in Amish country - you may want to visit some of the towns surrounding Lancaster. I'm not sure what you'd be interested in seeing. I'm sure that one of the Lancaster county experts could help you with that. There are the towns of Lititz - think Wilbur buds chocolate candy and the pretzel factory. In Strasbourg there is the Strasbourg railway museum - amazing to see for all of the old train history. Ephrata - the Cloisters. In Lancaster itself there is plenty of outlet shopping and the home of our only bachelor President Buchanan Wheatland. There are quaint farms and plenty of rural scenery just for the looking. At Gettysburg - well... Our bloody Civil War. There are alot of websites dedicated to that period of our history. Do you intend on spending any time in Philadelphia? I hope that helps a little or at least if you can advise what you might be interested in seeing...

Somerset UK
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8. Re: Which way round and how long

Thanks bluize36 I'll bear that in mind.

Our proposed itinerary (see original post here and on the Philadelphia Forum) had us spending 4 days in Philadelphia. One to go to the Amish area, another to go to Gettysburg and the remainder in the city itself.

9. Re: Which way round and how long

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