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East Coast with teen & tween - itinerary questions

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So we'll be travelling at the end of June 2013 for 14-16 days, flying out of Seattle. I know some of the things/cities we want to visit listed here:

Williamsburg, VA (Colonial Williamsburg, Busch Gardens/water park)
Charlottesville, VA (Monticello)
Washington, DC (Smithsonians, Monuments, Arlington Nat. Cem.)
Philadelphia, PA (Historic Sites, Rocky statue)
Hershey, PA (themepark/factory tour)
New York City, NY (Statue of Liberty/Ellis Is, Rockafeller Ctr, NBC tour, 9/11 memorial)
Boston, MA (Historic sites, Fenway/game?)

We are a family of 4, with two sons aged 12 and 15. We prefer skimming the surface of historical sites; after that, the boys' eyes glaze over and the whining begins. The things I've listed above are only the preliminary list; we'll be fine tuning that as we research. My main questions are:
-What's the most time/cost efficient way to travel between major cities? I know we'll need a rental car at some points, and I'm fine with renting for a day or two for some portions; that's what I expect we'll need to do. I'm just not sure at which points that might be.
-Does this order make the most sense? Should we start in Boston and work our way down? Not sure if flights would be cheaper one way or the other. I foresee Williamsburg being a 3-4 day stop that might be nicer at the end, as it involves more recreation time and less sightseeing....opinions welcome!
-Given that we won't be sucking every last piece of history out of each stop due to the kids' interest level, how long should we plan for each stop?
I've visited most of these sites before when I was the same age as my kids will be when they visit them. I remember the trip vividly, and have been wanting to return with my own family, so this will be a great trip, I know! We are planning on returning to the east coast in the future to do a New England trip without kids in a few years; also plan on doing a road trip from North Carolina and points south at a later date, so our focus will really be on the region we've outlined. I appreciate any tips and input!

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