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East coast tour - Part2: Phily, Washington, Niagara Falls

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Aloha to all of you,

as we - meaning my better half and I (both in our late twenties) - are planning a four week trip to the east coast of the US, I'd love to hear some suggestions regarding our itinerary. Basically, we'll kick off with five nice days in NYC, next heading towards Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC, taking a day-trip over to the Niagara Falls before we spend about two more weeks in Florida. As covering all of the stuff in one big topic would be messy, I'd rather go bit by bit. You can find the first part regarding NYC here (http://www.fodors.com/community/united-states/east-coast-tour-part1-nyc.cfm).

So next on our schedule would be Phily and the DC-area, with anything nearby as a possible stop, staying only a single day in Philadelphia. As far as research goes, DC simply seems to offer so much more interesting stuff. Correct me, if I am mistaken. Also, we considered Baltimore and Atlantic City as possible side attractions. However, after checking the usual suspects of sights, activities etc., it feels we might simply skip both and rather add a day in Washington. What's your take on this?

Part 2: (days in brackets)
Phily (1):
DC (3)
Niagara Falls (1)

When checking on sights in Philadelphia, I found the National Constitution Center, the Liberty Bell Center as a must-see as well as the Magic Gardens with it's mosaic most interesting. What else would you recommend?

As to Washington, I've got tons of stuff on my list. I was a bit surprised at its plenty to be honest. But Washington seems to offer a lot of amazing stuff. So I could definately use your help to fill three days of great adventure in DC. My lists consits of the White House, the Capitol, the Library of Congress, a great moonlight tour to visit all the monuments in town, Georgetown, Eastern Market, the Newseum, the Smithosian Institution, the Dupont Circle for a cool evening, the Hillwood Museum & Gardens, the WNC, the Tidal Basin and the Arboretum. Realisticly speaking we want to enjoy our days, so we'll have to find a compromise here and there. I'm curious on how you'd spend three days in DC.

On a side note, we are also looking into visiting Mount Vernon, the Great Falls Park as well as Alexandria. Any comments on that?

Before scheduling all that, we highly considerd renting a car in NYC, driving to Phily and checking out worthy things in the Phily/DC-area. Is there anything special to recommend? In case we end up sticking to the aforementioned, going by bus/train should be the better idea, I believe?

If any of you guys can share excellent experiences from the NY, NJ, Delaware, Maryland and DC-area, we might profit by, we'd be more than happy to spend one or two more days in that region.

Our connecting flights to Buffalo and the next day to Orlando match up just perfectly, so that we won't lose more time than needed and have a whole day to spend in Buffalo, before sallying out to Florida.

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