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Desperately need advice on summer trip to Chesepeake Bay, MD / Virginia / East Coast area this summer

Desperately need advice on summer trip to Chesepeake Bay, MD / Virginia / East Coast area this summer

Old Jan 5th, 2004, 12:46 PM
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Desperately need advice on summer trip to Chesepeake Bay, MD / Virginia / East Coast area this summer

I have planned several trips over the last few years and inexplicably this one has me stumped. I usually read thousands of posts, plan our trip using all the great advice, and only ask questions when I am trying to fine-tune our itinerary. Since I am brain dead and can?t seem to decide what we should do this year, I have decided to ask for help with planning this trip.

Here are the parameters: We are attending a four-day conference at the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland Hyatt Regency, arriving on a Wednesday in late July, checking out on Sunday. In the past, we always spend the preceding Saturday through Tuesday in the area around the conference and then go to another area for the week following the conference (conference is held in different locations each year). This year, our 14-year old will be with us for the pre-conference portion of the trip and the conference as well, returning home and leaving us to spend the last week sans-children.

Some of the pre-conference destinations that have crossed our minds are: Williamsburg, Jamestown, Busch Gardens, Washington, D.C., Norfolk (my husband would love to see an aircraft carrier), Old Town Alexandria. What else should we be considering? And how much of this can we do from a Saturday afternoon through a Wednesday afternoon? Any thoughts on which airport (DC, Baltimore, Richmond, etc.) to fly into? Is this area way too hot in late July?

Post-conference we have thought about the coastal Boston area ? something romantic since it will just be my husband and me. We would depart the conference (via rental car) on Sunday morning and not need to return home until the following Sunday. Any suggestions? We thought it would be great fun to take a charter sailing trip to our next destination ? any thoughts on this?

We prefer upscale boutique B&B?s and inns but have no objection whatsoever to good value hotels. Location and views are what are most important to us.

I really appreciate any advice you can give. Thanks!!!
Tulsa_Laura is offline  
Old Jan 5th, 2004, 12:56 PM
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I took the kids to Williamsburg in July and thought I had never been hotter in my entire life. But if you are from Tulsa, you should be used to it. The kids also had a great time and I feel it was worth the heat for them to experience such a treasure.
Your teen will enjoy Busch Gardens and their water rides as a diversion from Williamsburg proper.

While in MD, make sure you eat plenty of crabcakes. At breakfast, my DC area hotel even served an Eggs Chesapeake (like Eggs Benedict but with crab meat on top)

If you fly Southwest, Baltimore has great fares.

Hope you have a nice trip!
wsoxrebel is offline  
Old Jan 5th, 2004, 01:06 PM
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July is HOT and humid. Plan lots of indoor activities for the middle of the day.

Maybe a visit to the fort in Baltimore, or a baseball game.

Any history fans in the family might enjoy vists to Rev. and Civil war sites throughout the VA-MD-PA area.

It's a long way from Maryland to Boston, are you sure you want to drive that far? Many beaches along the way. Or maybe a mountain escape? Drive along Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway?

Since you are sans kids, maybe the hokey Poconos hotel with the heart shaped tubs and champagne glass tubs?

I would nix the Richmond airport. Not sure where the conference hotel is, but Richmond is an overpriced airport (not enough competition).
ncgrrl is offline  
Old Jan 5th, 2004, 01:10 PM
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Have you thought about heading south to the Outer Banks?

Either that or take the train north to NYC.
Old Jan 5th, 2004, 01:24 PM
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It looks like that hotel is about 1/2 way or more to Ocean City from DC. Let me just explain a little what this area is like on the weekends.

Starting Friday early afternoon through Saturday morning, Route 50, which is the only road you can take to get there, will be PACKED with DC-area people going to Ocean City, Rehobeth, etc. Traffic is an unbelievable nightmare.

Same thing leaving on Sunday, pretty much all day. I'm just warning you.

If you are arriving on Saturday, I'd take a late afternoon flight - driving out there on Saturday evening won't be so bad. Fly into Baltimore or Reagan. If you are coming from somewhere else, and not driving to the hotel until Monday or Tuesday, the route will be much better.

You are 1 to 1 1/2 hours from DC (with decent amount of traffic), Richmond is another 2 hours south of DC, Williamsburg is about 4 hours from DC, as is Norfolk, I think.

Driving to Boston from MD would be a nightmare - it would take about 10 hours, not counting NJ shore traffic on the weekend.

Having said all of that, I'd suggest flying into DC, spending Saturday, Sunday, and Monday in DC and Old Town Alexandria (it's only 20 minutes away), then going to your conference Monday night.

For afterward, unless you fly to Boston, I wouldn't go that far. How about the beach? Ocean City is a little crowded for me, but Rehobeth is a little more laid back. Or you can go to the NJ shore (not my area, so maybe someone else can tell you where).

The Outerbanks is also a great idea.

If you like nature and hiking - the idea of Shenandoah National Park is great - you can drive all up and down Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway and stay at B&Bs along the way - that would be VERY romantic!


kaudrey is offline  
Old Jan 5th, 2004, 01:25 PM
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Forget Boston= the drive is way too long..

I looked up the Hyatt and you are in Cambridge,MD

The closest airport to the hotel is Washington National ( Reagan National Airport)....

For a side trip, with your child, Annapolis is good, also Old Town Alexandria ..You don't mention if your child is male or female...Females tend to like the little shops in Old Town where as a boy would be very bored...
You could also take your child to DC to the Smithsonian Museum, the Air and Space Museum and the Holocaust Museum..ALL of these museums would appeal to male or female alike...

You could also go to Philadelphia or NYC for the weekend with your hubs..and take in some Broadway shows...
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Old Jan 5th, 2004, 02:26 PM
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I would suggest that unless you get better prices for National Airport, that you fly into BWI -- I-97 from the airport takes you right down to US50/US301 that you follow to Cambridge. I usually find better auto rental out of BWI as well as flights.

I would visit DC if you family hasn't been there before. Almost everything is free as far as museums & historical sites. Baltimore, Annapolis, or Williamsburg might make for good family time too. Kings Dominion is located between Richmond & DC, but unless your family is very into history, Richmond would only be a very minor stop. If you decided on Skyline Drive/Shen. Park, try to visit Harpers Ferry too.

Should you go to Norfolk, I'm afraid that w/ post 9/11 measures, the closest you will get to an aircraft carrier is by taking a harbor cruise from Norfolk, Hampton, or Newport News that goes near the base and/or Newport News Shipbuilding. Should you go to NYC for your post-conference activities, see the Intrepid as well as the submarine (Growler) and by then the Concorde should be on display at the Intrepid Museum. Enjoy your trip.
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Old Jan 5th, 2004, 02:43 PM
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DC is hot, hot, hot at that time of year. We've lived here for 40+ years and it's a given. Your conference is on the route between Annapolis and Ocean City. Your trip to any airport Sunday will be miserable because you'll have to come back over the Bay Bridge and Ocean City traffice south is a nightmare. Again, a given. You might be able to avoid the mess by flying home out of Philadelphia, but that's a guess.
Having said all that, your hotel is delightful. Just south of there is St. Michael's which has beautiful places to stay and is quaint, but not much for a 14 year old. North is Ocean City which is a zoo, but as a previous writer said, Rehobeth is a more pleasant idea.
You could fly into Dulles or National and go south for an easy drive to Williamsburg/ Busch Gardens. Lots for all ages. We love the Outer Banks, but a bit far for this trip. DC has great stuff for all ages to see and do. Annapolis is fun for a night or two. Same with Baltimore with the Harbor (GREAT Aquarium!!! and restaurants) and Camden Yards which is fun even if you aren't a baseball fan.
If you aren't going south of DC, BWI is by far your best bet for airports.

Good Luck!
droots is offline  
Old Jan 5th, 2004, 09:37 PM
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Do you like the outdoors, beaches, hiking? I would suggest you head southeast and check out the Chincoteague/ Assateague area. There is a Maryland state park on the Maryland side, and a national park on the Virginia side. Miles and miles of beaches, the wild ponies, birdwatching, etc. Search this forum on Eastern Shore of Virginia, it is quiet, rural, and quaint. Some nice B&Bs down Cape Charles, Virginia way. Drive across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (17 miles) to Virginia Beach. Check out Nauticus in Norfolk Waterside area, and there are lots of things to interest a teen in Virginia Beach area. Check your map and some of these options to make your decision.
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Old Mar 29th, 2004, 05:08 PM
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BWI has got to be the closest to Cambridge, plus you do not have to deal with the DC traffic. Its much easier to get in and out of, and navigate around.

The previous posters are correct about the traffic, Route 50 is the way to get to Cambridge, and on the weekends traffic can be a nightmare (Starting FRriday afternoon). If you are arriving later on a Sunday afternoon, you should not have a problem heading to the Shore. Ocean City is a nice beach area, although it can tend to be a little commerical. Just north of OC is Fenwick Island, Dewey Beach or Rehoboth. Why not consider a few days in Annapolis - its on the way to Cambridge from any airport you fly into (BWI, DCA or IAD), and is a charming waterfront town, not to mention home of the Naval Academy. You won't see any aircraft carriers, but you could spend a day and go to Gettysburg to see the battlefields. If you leave Annapolis at 9 am (traffic should be subsiding by then), you could be in Gettysburg no later than 11 (its 80 miles). If you stayed in Gettysburg until 5 pm or so, you'd be back in Annapolis for a late dinner or sunset. Spend your other day wandering Annapolis, and seeing the sights there. From Annapolis, Cambridge is only an hour or so, and as long as you are making the drive during the week and non-commute times, you should not have an issue with traffic.

For your other week, the Outer Banks is wonderful. Or, you could fly (www.southwest.com) from BWI into Providence and do your Boston/Cape Cod week. Good luck with your plans!
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Old Mar 29th, 2004, 05:58 PM
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If you like flowers, Longwood Gardens is at its peak at that time. They are exceptional.
Kennett Square is just north of the DE/PA border, southeast of Philadelphia. Nice B&Bs nearby. And an Andrew Wyeth museum. Not a great day for teen-boy, but it's sort of on the way from DC/Baltimore to Philly & points northeast.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 01:19 PM
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Forget Williamsburg for the 14 yr. old, unless History is an obsession, much too hot. At that time of year in that area, I would concentrate on air conditioned museums in DC, which are plentiful. Don't forget Arllington, tomb of the unknown soldier and the changing of the garde, (very impressive). My parents took me there when I was about that age, and I never forgot it !!! I am sure the 14 yr. old would not mind a water park or Bush Gardens, Va.
After your conference, you may want to entertain the thought of flying into (PVD) Providence, Rhode Island. Air fares are good right now. From Providence, you are just a short drive,approx. 1 hr. to Boston, if you go north on I-95. Recommend walking the Freedom Trail, taking the duck boat tour (www.ducklandwatertours.com) and take the old trolley on wheels tour (excellent-very informative).
Also before going north, I would explore Newport, Rhode Island. If you like water, scenery, sailing, biking, boating of any kind, this is the spot, very romantic, excellent seafood restaurants, little village shops to explore, huge mansions to tour, and a very scenic cliff walk to enjoy along the ocean front (aprox. 3.5 mi.) bring comfortable footware and a camera.
Also from T.F. Green Airport,(PVD), if you travel south on I-95 for about 45 min. you will be in the historic Mystic & Groton, Connecticut area. Some places to consider in this area......Mystic Seaport, Mystic Aquarium, Mystic Village, USS Nautilus Museum (you go on board a real submarine, and its free),and two of the worlds largest casino's, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun are within minutes, of Mystic, Ct. Plenty of entertainment !!
Check out these sites......
Hope this helps...........Have fun !!!

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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 01:33 PM
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If you go to D.C., you will enjoy the Spy Museum & I think your son will also. Check out: http://www.spymuseum.org/siteintro.asp for info.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 02:03 PM
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Folks, please note that this thread dates back to January, and Tulsa_Laura is long-gone.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 02:40 PM
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Not so fast, "anonymous" -- Tulsa_Laura posts "arriving on a Wednesday in late July, checking out on Sunday."
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Old Apr 22nd, 2004, 04:39 PM
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But she hasn't posted on these boards since a week after her OP in January. If she's still around monitoring these responses, she's sure being discreet about it.
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