East Coast Trip from SFO

Old Jun 15th, 2011, 10:24 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 10
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
East Coast Trip from SFO

We are planning to have a week long east coast trip from SFO.
We are travelling with three kids(13-3).
This is the current plan.
Day 1- Reach New York by evening.
If possible take a night trip.
Day 2 & 3 -New york City Tour.
Day 4-Drive to Washington DcC
Day 5-Washington DC tour
Day6-Drive to Niagra falls
Day 7-Niagra falls tour and return

Please share your suggestions.
Share the good places to see.
Is one day enough in DC?
Any other route?
Thanks..
SamSeema is offline  
Old Jun 15th, 2011, 11:05 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 11,514
Likes: 0
Received 17 Likes on 4 Posts
Consider flying to Buffalo NY and renting a car to see Niagara Falls. Bring your passport if you want to see the falls from the Canada side. Return car and fly or take the train to New York City.
After your NYC tour take the Amtrak train to Washington DC.
You can save a lot of driving over the New York Thruway and all the way across Pennsylvania. Having a rental car in NYC and Washington DC is not advisable.
Two days in DC would be much better than one.
Fly back home from BWI or Reagan National.
tomfuller is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2011, 01:33 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 26,710
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Drive to Niagara Falls from DC and not NYC, why would you add 4-5 hours of driving?

You can easily spend 4 days in DC.

Too many places for a week trip.
Aduchamp1 is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2011, 02:43 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 23,072
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You need to pick 2 of 3 places if you only have a week. Really confused about Day 7 - are you actually saying you are going to see Niagara Falls and then return to NYC or DC for your flight home?

If that is the case, skip the falls and divide your time equally between NYC and DC - the falls will still be there when you return east. That way you do not need to worry about passports (the American side of Niagara falls is mediocre). Look forward to a nice trip to Niagara Falls and Toronto in the future.
gail is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2011, 05:26 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You are trying to see way to much in a very few days You need - at a minimum 3 days each in NYC and DC. If you are going to Niagara Falls - more than 8 hours by road from NYC and much further from DC you need to drop one f the other places.

Spending 2 full days in NYC on a tour bus is a complete waste of time - if that is what you are contemplating. To see antyhting you need to sit on the top of the bus - in rain or sweltering heat, often sitting in traffic inhaling fumes and seeing nothing. Pick out what you want to see and go inside (or tour Central Park or whatever) and actually do or see something.

Similarly for DC - in one day all you will see is the outside of monuments and major buildings but never get inside anyplace. And it;s likely to be even more hot and humid. What do you do if it's 100 and humid???
nytraveler is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2011, 05:36 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,904
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Compare costs of the train from NY to DC for your family. Be sure to include parking, tolls, and gas as well as the rental costs from NY. You really won't need a car in either city as they have fine public transportation and very high parking fees.

I agree with the other posters, Niagra Falls is a long way from the city, so either NYC and Niagra (in which case you probably would want a car for the Niagra part) or NYC and DC and forget the car.
emalloy is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2011, 05:40 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,365
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
A week isn't good enough for DC...I would definitely skip Niagara Falls or add significant time. With a week, Id do 3 days NYC / 3 days DC with travel time mixed in too via Amtrak.
tchoiniere is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2011, 05:48 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 2,886
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I like Tomfuller's plan. Fly right into Buffalo, see the Falls and take the earliest train/plane into NYC. You won't need more than an afternoon at the Falls, imo.

Day 1 Fly into Buffalo: See Niagara Falls
Day 1, Evening/late afternoon: Travel into NYC. I would fly.
Day 2, 3, 4: NYC
Day 4 early evening or late afternoon: Travel to Washington
Days 5,6: Washington
Day 7: Travel back to NYC for your flight or check open jaw flights into Buffalo and out of Washington.

You can also eliminate a day in NYC and add it on to Washington depending upon your focus and interest.

I used to do many of these trips with our kids; now we take a much more leisurely approach to travel. I certainly understand the need for families to cover a lot of ground during the summer break. Have a great time!
Bowsprit is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2011, 10:11 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 26,241
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Since you are coming from SF (where I also live, but I grew up in NY), let me compare your plan to something local:

Day 1 - Arrive SF, night on the town
Days 2 and 3 - tour SF
Day 4 - drive to Los Angeles (6 hours, at best)
Day 5 - tour Los Angeles
Day 6 - drive to Sedona (8 hours)
Day 7 - tour Sedona and drive back to ?

As you can see, it's really not a workable plan.
sf7307 is offline  
Old Jun 16th, 2011, 11:10 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Niagara Falls by train is not really an option. It takes fully as long as driving - and much llonger getting across the border- since they re checking a whle train.

And if you decide on Niagara Falls be sure you have your passports - all the good stuff and the decent hotels are on the Canadian side. Also, you need to allow time for border crossing. If it's a slow time it can be 15 minutes - if a busy one it can take an hour.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Jun 18th, 2011, 08:43 AM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 10
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you all..This is great.We are changing our plan based on your suggestions..Will get back to you all with the new plan.
SamSeema is offline  
Old Jul 17th, 2011, 11:36 PM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 10
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi All,
This is the current plan based on my Aunts availability in Newyork and plane tickets.

Day 1-Reach DC at 10 PM .
Day 2,3,4 -Tour DC
Day 5 morning-Drive to New york
Day 6,7-Tour New york
Day 8 -Fly to Buffalo
Day 9-evening flight to SFO from Buffalo.

Hope this is a good plan.

Now I need help in deciding each tour.

1)Washington DC.

Here are the places what we are planning to cover.

Capitol Hill.
See the White House from outside.Walk to White house from Capitol.
National Mall - Smithsonian Museums
Washington Monument -
Lincoln Memorial
Pentagon
Arlington War Cemetry

Any other places we should see,especially intering for kids?

We have three days in DC.Sunday,Monday and Tuesday.
I havr booked Capitol tour on Monday 11 AM .

Where should we start our trip?
What all places we should cover on each day.
I heard best way to commute is by cab or walk in DC.

If anyone has those deatils please share.

Where to start on each day and what all target for each day?

Do you suggest to take any tours?

Any other places to visit in DC?

Thanks a lot.
SamSeema is offline  
Old Jul 17th, 2011, 11:41 PM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 10
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
One more point.We are planning to stay in Arlington or Mclean area in DC.Heard both around 10 miles from DC and has nice hotels.Any other suggestions?
SamSeema is offline  
Old Jul 18th, 2011, 05:08 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,365
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Definitely makes a lot more sense than your original plan.

I would definitely plan on seeing more of the monuments. I am going in August and we are planning on cabbing it to the Jefferson Memorial then walking to FDR, Korean, Lincoln and Vietnam. We are also going to go to the WW2 Memorial a different day - closest to the Washington Monument. You definitely want cab / subway for transportation along with walking.

Can you your the Pentagon nowadays? Check on that.

You could look for a night tour to cover the monuments but with a 3 year old, they do end quite late. During the day, tours do not work as well as they have longer lines and you waste time.

With such a limited time for museums, I would go through their website and pick / choose highlights.

Get timed tickets to go up the Washington Monument. Probably need to get them now. Not sure when your trip is. Same goes for the National Archives which you should go to.

I would scrap the rental car to NY in favor of Amtrak but check the cost difference. You don't want a car in either city.
tchoiniere is offline  
Old Jul 18th, 2011, 06:07 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 10,210
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
This plan is certainly more workable, but I'd still skip Niagara Falls in favor of someplace like Colonial Williamsburg or some other place either in the DC area or between DC and NYC.

I think you should also consider that there are going to be pretty hefty drop-off charges for a rental car if you drive between DC and NYC. Since you don't really need a car in DC (the Metro will work much better for you, particularly if you are staying in Arlington), you could save a lot of money by reorganizing your itinerary a bit and taking Amtrak from DC to NYC.
doug_stallings is offline  
Old Jul 18th, 2011, 06:30 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,142
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Agree this look s much better.

For hotels in Arlington (there are no Metro stations in McLean), I would strongly suggest finding a hotel within a few blocks walk of a Metro (subway) station. Here's a map of the Metro system. Click on different stations and the hotels will show as "red Squares" on the maps. You'll find the most suburban hotel options at the stations "ROSSLYN" and "CRYSTAL CITY".

http://www.stationmasters.com/System...ystem_map.html

You need to reserve your tour of the Pentagon AT LEAST 7 days in advance. Here's info: http://pentagon.osd.mil/tour-guidelines.html I would plan on the Pentagon tour and visiting Arlington Cemetery on the same day (eat at the Pentagon).

Capitol Hill - I assume you mean the Supreme Court, Library of Congress, and the Capitol building. Some good places for families to eat close by are http://www.wethepizza.com/ and http://www.goodstuffeatery.com/. You might see ONE of the many Smithsonian museums on that day as well.

If you are here during baseball season, consider going to a game - the stadium is right on the Metro at the "Navy Yard" stop.
http://www.stationmasters.com/System.../navyyard.html
http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/...x.jsp?c_id=was (home games are RED)

Also, have you seen this?
http://www.fodors.com/world/north-am...washington-dc/
bardo1 is offline  
Old Jul 18th, 2011, 06:43 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 77
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I agree on skipping the car. It is pretty easy to take the light rail into DC and then walk or cab around. (You could walk everywhere - we did last year - but it would be a lot of walking for a little one, especially in the heat.) I wouldn't do organized tours in DC as it just seems easier to get places on your own.

Most of the Smithsonian museums are pretty close together, they are free, and there are rarely lines (I think they might briefly check your bags), so it is very easy to just wander in and out and hit the highlights. I would pick your "must sees" to make sure you get to them, and just see how you feel about seeing others. We knew we wanted to hit Natural History and Air & Space, but some of the others my son was interested in when we got there, so we just breezed through to see a couple of things in each (that way there was no pressure trying to schedule them all out). There is a carousel on the Mall that is unbelievably fast - might be boring for your oldest and too fast for your youngest, but the middle child would probably love it (my 8-year old did).

I really like walking around Georgetown. It probably wouldn't be that interesting for your younger children, but you could have a late breakfast or dinner there and just wander the streets a bit. There are ice cream shops and cupcake bakeries you could bribe the kids with if necessary.

I don't think one day in Niagara Falls is too crazy. It is amazing and something you should see, but there is not all that much to do there (but I do have a short attention span).
moosey is offline  
Old Jul 18th, 2011, 10:55 PM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 10
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you all.We are trying to book light rail from DC to new york.

This is the daily plan in DC based on your suggestions.I know it is really a lot with three kids,but this is what we are targeting.Please let me know your suggestions.

Sunday :

Cabbing it to the Jefferson Memorial then walking to FDR, Korean, Lincoln and Vietnam.
Visit White house & Washington Monument & WW2 Memorial.
Washington Monument-->Not avaialble for booking.All filled.Can we still see?

Monday :

National Archives-->Not avaialble for booking.All filled.Can we still see?
Capitol-->Booked the tour at 11 AM
Natural History and Air & Space
National Mall
Newseum



Tuesday :

Arlington Cemetry
Pentagon Tour-->Not avaialble for booking.All filled.Can we still see?

night tour if we survive.

Thanks
SamSeema is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2011, 02:52 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4,365
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There will be long walk up lines for those that did not get tickets. I would go up the tower at the Old Post Office instead of the Wash. monument. Its free and less crowded.

Monday is too busy. I would move one of the museums - Newseum- until Tuesday and get an early start at Arlington.

There is no need for a night tour if you walk the monuments on Sunday.
tchoiniere is offline  
Old Jul 19th, 2011, 03:37 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you are coming this summer you should be aware that the weather in both cities is likely to be hot and humid - this week will be 90s and humid - nothing like SF. Be aware that everyone - esp little kids - should be careful to remain hydrated.

As for Niagara Falls - the best sights are on the Canadian side. I assume you all have documets so you can cross the border. If you can only see form the US side I wouldn;t bother. (All the photos and video you see of the front of the falls are taken from Canada - not the US.)
nytraveler is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -