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2 weeks on the east coast in June 2014

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Mar 31st, 2014, 12:40 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Mar 2014
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2 weeks on the east coast in June 2014

Hello everyone,
I am 28yr old guy from India and am going to visit US in the last two weeks of June this year. This will be my first trip to the states.
I will be taking flights through New York and I plan to stay around east coast for the entire duration.
For now I have decided to spend about a week in New York, and a couple of days each at Washington DC and Boston. This still leaves me with about 3-4 days spare. I need your advice on how to spend the rest of my trip.
1. I wish to stick to the east coast and cover some important cities here properly
2. I would prefer to travel via Rail or bus. I could, however, take the flight for short durations (2 hrs flying time tops)
3. My interests are history, museums, music, general sight seeing etc. I am a big foodie(very enthusiastically non vegetarian) and love to try local/new cuisine. I would also like to visit pubs and try local brews. I am not very big on the whole clubbing scene(though NY would have some options I guess) but I enjoy going to pubs with live music, good food and alcohol and generally friendly crowds.
4. Now, I could either increase the length of my stay at each of three cities - NY, DC and Boston. Or I could include one more city around that area which you guys could suggest based on my preferences.
5. Someone suggested to visit Miami, and although I love beaches, I think June would be too hot and humid down there. Am I correct?
6. I was also thinking about including a day visit to Niagara falls.
7. I have a feeling that the three cities I have chosen might end up appearing all too similar by the end of the trip( I may be wrong here) and hence I wanted to include a fourth city which could be slightly different from the others.
8. Other cities which came to my mind - Philadelphia, Chicago, Nashville,Charleston.

Would be grateful if you guys could provide some suggestions. And just in case it helps, I would be traveling on a budget and would look for youth hostels/affordable hotels wherever I stay.

Cheers
Pulkit
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Mar 31st, 2014, 02:38 AM
  #2
Amy
 
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Philadelphia would not only fit your interests very nicely, it's also right "on the way" from New York to Washington. You could go by bus or train very easily from either place; Bolt Bus and Megabus tend to be the cheapest way to go. Philadelphia tends to be less expensive than either NYC or Boston, and would fit really well in a two-week itinerary.

History: There's the colonial history of a city founded to be "The City of Brotherly Love" and religious tolerance; it's the birthplace of the United States politically; there's a large component of industrial-age history; lots of great walking tours and various neighborhoods.

Museums: For art, there's the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Barnes (for Impressionism beyond belief), and the Rodin, for beginning; there's the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology; there's the Mutter (medical) Museum and the Mummers' (big parade of guys wearing outrageous costumes and playing stringband music) Museum, for a bit of variety; the National Museum of American Jewish History; the Philadelphia Museum of History at the Atwater Kent;==and these are just some of my favorites.

Music: There's the Mann Music Center, the Kimmel, and lots of varied smaller venues. To know what's up, you can check http://www.philly.com/philly/entertainment/music/

General sight seeing: The Magic Gardens on South Street, the Dream Garden mosaic, Fairmount Park (including Shofuso, the Japanese House), the various Squares (Rittenhouse and Franklin, for two), the Waterworks, Kelly Drive...it goes on!

Food!! Ah, yes. Street food, local cuisine, Reading Terminal Market, loads of restaurants: we take food seriously, here, in the sense of being passionate about it, not in the sense of being pretentious. See http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...iladelphia.cfm

And there is quite a respectable local brew-pub scene, as well, although I'm not too well-informed on that as I happen not to drink. Two popular pubs are McGillin's Old Ale House (the oldest in the city) and Monk's, and I'm sure there are people who can give you more specifics on that.

Enjoy your planning!
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Mar 31st, 2014, 04:32 AM
  #3
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@Amy - Thank you so much for your detailed reply.
You are right, Philadelphia is very strategically located and seems to be a must-visit.

Thanks
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Mar 31st, 2014, 06:04 AM
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Reading your post the city that came immediately to mind was Charleston. There is no shortage of history, and it will give you a look at a different part of the US. Philadelphia would be "more or the same" in a way that Charleston would not. It will likely be hot and humid, but the whole of the east coast will be hot and humid in the summer. The earlier you go the better. And you can take the train to get there. Savannah would be another option but is further.
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Mar 31st, 2014, 06:40 AM
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As I was reading your post Philadelphia came to mind immediately. It has everything you are looking for and Amy gave you some great advice.
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Mar 31st, 2014, 06:53 AM
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New Jersey Transit has a line from 30th St. station in Philadelphia to Atlantic City. https://www.njtransit.com/sf/sf_serv...SchedulesMapTo
Amtrak also has a line to Newport News VA from Washington.
If you really want to go to Miami, fly.
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Mar 31st, 2014, 10:16 AM
  #7
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@thursdaysd - Exactly why I am quite intrigued by Charleston, it should be "different" than all the others cities I am planning on.
Basically it boils down to either Charleston or Philadelphia. Depending upon train connections and stay options I will finalize. Thanks for your inputs.

@schmerl - Yep, amy had some very useful advice. Will be taking down those pointers if I finalize Philadelphia

@tomfuller - Thanks for the train map. Not too sure about Atlantic City or Newport as of now. But I guess a day trip to the former might be possible.
Dropping the idea of Miami all together.

Thanks everyone
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Mar 31st, 2014, 12:29 PM
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Pulkit,

It sounds like you have a nice start on your trip. I would say that NY, Boston, DC, and Charleston are all a bit different in terms of the feel of the cities. You would not want a car in NY, Boston or DC. and I would guess that Niagra Falls is off the table, and that is good as it is not really a "day trip" from any of the other places.

There are great museums and lots of history in NY, DC and Boston, so you can plan on which things to see in each. There are also some free things to take advantage of too. I would not want to visit only fine art museums in all these citiesalthough I do love them, Boston has a great museum of science, NY a wonderful museum of natural history and DC has the whole Smithsonian complex. There are walking tours, food tours, etc. in all of them too.You could spend the whole time in any of the cities and not run out of things to do.
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Mar 31st, 2014, 05:21 PM
  #9
kja
 
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Have you already booked your flights into/out of NYC? You might be able to save some time by flying open jaw -- into DC (or further south, if you opt for Charleston) and out of Boston.

With 2 weeks, and a desire to "cover some important cities here properly," I'm not sure you have time for anything other than NYC, DC, Boston, and EITHER Philadelphia OR Charleston, especially if you have to get back to NYC at the end of your time here. In fact, I'm not sure you have time to add either Philadelphia or Charleston! I must admit that I like NYC, DC, and Philadelphia more than Boston, but YMMV.

Enjoy!
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Mar 31st, 2014, 10:18 PM
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@emalloy - I just saw some day tours to Niagara from New York (including return flights) being organized by some travel agents and was contemplating. I have heard about museum of the natural history and the Smithsonian and they are already on my to-do list. Thanks for your suggestions

@kja - I am taking direct flights from New Delhi to NYC. Its a 15 hr flight and not only do i save on time compared to the other connecting flights (which take about 22 hrs usually) I also save on costs.
You have interesting point there, and in fact initially I had planned to spend about a week in NY and 3 days each in DC and Boston but I am getting tempted to add one more city to the mix as I would love to see Philadelphia. Lets see I might cut down a day or two from NYC to increase my stay at other cities. Thanks for your inputs.

Cheers
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Mar 31st, 2014, 10:45 PM
  #11
kja
 
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Don't forget to count the time you need to get from place to place! Once you consider packing/unpacking, checking in/out, getting to/from train/bus stations, and getting oriented to your new location, you will "lose" 1/2 day on average. Can you extend your trip to 16 days (or even more)? That would give you something like 5.5 days in NYC, 3 days in DC, 2.5 days in Philadelphia, and 2 days in Boston (not counting your travel time; some "days" by this count could be two half-days). BTW, you would probably do well to put all your time in NYC at the end of your trip so you can be there on the night before your flight a keep your changes of location to a minimum.
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Apr 1st, 2014, 01:29 AM
  #12
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@Kja- Yeah, have been looking up Megabus and Amtrak schedules to calculate traveling times. NY-Phily-DC have about 3 hours distance by bus within each. This is super convenient and makes me wanna rethink including Boston in my itinerary (though DC to Boston is about 7 hrs by train and can be managed)
I might reduce my time in NY to increase either DC or Philadelphia.
As for return, my return flight is on a Monday afternoon and I intend to get back to NY the evening before.
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