East Coast Trip from SFO

Old Jul 19th, 2011, 04:59 AM
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SUNDAY - One of you would have to get in line at the Washington Monument ticket office by around 8 am (ticket office opens at 8:30am). If one of you is willing to do that, then yes, you could still get tickets. Otherwise, the Post Office Pavilion tower is a good alternative. White House should be last stop on Sunday as is somewhat away from the monuments. See the White House from the Pennsylvania Avenue side. From there, walk to Farragut West Metro at 17th & I st. or to McPhearson Sq. Metro at Vermont Ave. & I st.
http://www.nps.gov/wamo/planyourvisi...servations.htm

MONDAY - You "could" possibly still visit the Archives but it will mean your whole family waiting in a very long line line, outdoors, in the heat. I don't recommend it. Alternately, ONE of you could wait in the general admission line and call the family on cell phone to come join when he/she is getting close to the front of the line.
http://www.archives.gov/nae/visit/reserved-visits.html

TUESDAY - The Pentagon tours are the ONLY way to see the inside of the Pentagon. You could just go and see the outside of the Pentagon, including the 911 memorial.
http://www.whs.mil/memorial/
You'll probably have time left on Tuesday to return to DC and see anything you missed or that didn't make it on your original list.
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Old Jul 19th, 2011, 05:14 AM
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Another Smithsonian that I would recommend is the Portrait Gallery. We spent a lot of time there and it was great. We are going back again this year. They have a gallery of Presidential Portraits. There is also a gallery of sports and movie related portraits that your kids would be interested in. If you have time, I would try to stop here. Maybe if you decide to skip over the Archives due to the line?
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Old Jul 19th, 2011, 06:59 AM
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The Newseum is fabulous, but not the place for a 3-year old. It can easily take 6 hours to fully see it, plus there's very little that would be visually interesting, most of it requires reading, and understanding, or at least an interest in, history.
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Old Jul 19th, 2011, 07:30 AM
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Having grown up in the SF Bay Area, I found the U.S. side of Niagra Falls shockingly shabby and unexciting (compared to Yosemite's falls, for example). The Canadian side is much cleaner but still very touristy. Not much there compelling enough for a special trip for your group given your home base, I am afraid.

When we go to D.C., we easily can eat up several days at the Smithsonian complex, and we only visit a few (I want to do a week of nothing but DC museums one day). I agree with others - pick a few "must sees," and then if you have time, you can do more. The Natural History, American History, Air and Space Museums are some favorites. We haven't yet seen the American Indian Museum and some others, looking forward to another trip soon. These are big buildings. There are places to eat in some of them. http://si.edu/Museums and http://si.edu/Dining

Enjoy your trip!
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Old Jul 20th, 2011, 04:39 PM
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Thanks everyone.Almost there.
One q..What to see in Capitol?
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Old Jul 21st, 2011, 04:25 AM
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Start here - http://www.visitthecapitol.gov/
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Old Jul 21st, 2011, 04:55 AM
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Just a few comments from a D.C. area resident--

Sunday: This is all do-able, but if the weather is hot and humid (it's supposed to be pretty unbearable this weekend), then wait to do the monuments at night and visit a museum instead. BTW, I don't know your budget, but the Monuments by Moonlight tours can add up for a family. You might want to walk the monuments on your own in the evening. You'll be able to take your time; there are Park Rangers available to answer any questions you might have; and it's safe--you'll be out there with hordes of other tourists doing the exact same thing.

Monday: Too much! As sf7307 stated, the Newseum is wonderful, but it requires a commitment of a minimum of 4 hours (and 6 - 8 hours is better) and there's nothing there for the 3-year-old. If you are willing to split up, the Newseum could be great for the older kids (10 and up, I would recommend). Also, kids get in free this summer with a paid adult admission.

Tuesday: You have plenty of extra time here, so you can move some museums from Monday here.
You aren't missing anything by not going on the Pentagon tour. It's a pretty boring tour of a huge office building. If you want to see the Air Force Memorial and the 9-11 Memorial at the Pentagon, those are open at all times and don't require any tickets.
Also, when you visit Arlington National (not War) Cemetery, you might want to take the Tourmobile tour. The Tourmobile stops at 3 sites and provides commentary on a drive through the cemetery. You can walk to the major sites (e.g. Kennedy gravesite and Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers), but they aren't particularly close together and the cemetery is hilly. On a summer day, it may be a bit too much for the younger kids. See the Tourmobile website for details.

Finally, here are some good places to eat with kids on the Mall while sightseeing/museum hopping: Cascades Cafe (underground between the National Gallery of Art East and West), Mitsitam Cafe (American Indian Museum), Longworth House Office Building Cafeteria (ask your guide how to get there after your Capitol tour).
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Old Jul 21st, 2011, 10:18 PM
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That really helps.I am changing my plan to cover Museums in the day.Sunday is going to Thunder storm..will we need am Umbrella?

I am getting down at Metro Center Station.From here can I take a bus to go to Air & Space Museum?
or Can we take metro from one stop to another ?Or only Cab?

Thanks,
Seema
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Old Jul 21st, 2011, 10:49 PM
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We actually took a google map to go from one place to another .

How is the National Zoological Park?
Kids wants to go there.It is little far,so may be we can cover this on Tuesday.
Thanks,
Seema
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Old Jul 22nd, 2011, 04:30 AM
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L'Enfant Plaza is the closest metro stop to the Air and Space Museum.

As much as I like the Zoo, I don't see how you are going to fit it in as you really should go there in the early morning (when animals will be moving around). It is also a bit removed. With how many museums you have lined up near the mall, I think you may be better served leaving out the zoo. Or skipping the Newseum altogether and going to the Zoo.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2011, 08:15 AM
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Finally--See this plan.One more time give me your suggestions.We are leaving tomorrow.

Sunday:
1)Air & Space
2)Natural History
3)White house
4)Mourments

Monday
Capitol
National Archives
Americal History
Old post office
Potraits

Tuesday:
Pentagon
Arlington
Any pending from the above or Zoo

Wednesday :
We have till till say 12 PM as well.
Train starts only at 2 pm.
Not decided yet what to do.

I have not all all planned for New York.
Any suggestions what are the must see on New York?
We are in Newyork Thursday,Friday and Saturday till 4.

Buffallo:
We are reaching Buffalo at 8 PM.
So looking for a hoter near to Rainbow Bridge.
We are planning to go to Canada in the morning aso that we can safly come back.
Our flight to SFO is at 6 PM.
Any risk there?
Or should we just see from Americal side?
I heard that there is trolley trip and boat ride near to the waterfall.

Any suggestions ?
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Old Jul 22nd, 2011, 08:29 AM
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>>

At the top of the page, click on "Destinations>New York", or get a guidebook, you're going to need it.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2011, 08:36 AM
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It's only 40 minutes from the Buffalo airport to Niagara Falls Canada. I think you'll have time to get to hotel in Niagara Falls Canada (which I strongly suggest) before 9:00 pm or a little later, sleep, get an early start, see what you can, and then start heading to the Buffalo airport about 3:00 pm.

NYC: You REALLY need to do some preliminary investigating. The options are endless. Two things I (personal preference) would not miss are a (free) round-trip ferry ride to Staten Island and back. It goes very close to the Statue of Liberty and has nice views of the city. The other is a walk across the Brooklyn bridge - also great vistas. start on the Brooklyn side. These two have NO lines - there is so much to see and do in NYC that I would be reluctant to spend any time just waiting in a line if there is a no-wait alternative.

But again, read through the links below and come back with YOUR ideas - the Fodorite's comments will follow.

Here are few Fodor's highlights -
http://www.fodors.com/world/north-am...rs_choice.html

And a few neighborhoods to explore -
http://www.fodors.com/world/north-am...hborhoods.html
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Old Jul 22nd, 2011, 09:20 AM
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For NY, I would look at the American Museum of Natural History (need most of the day) as well - maybe even skipping the one in DC as I like this one more. I would definitely walk through Central Park - including the zoo (even if you do the DC Zoo as they are significantly different). Agree with the Brooklyn Bridge. Go to Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Center) for a great vantage point of the city. Do this rather than the Empire State Building as there are less lines and you get a great view of the ESB. I would also go to St Patrick's Cathedral. I know people here disagree but I would walk through Times Square.

1 thought for the National Zoo is for Wed morning. Get a very early start and go to the zoo. The grounds open very early so get there as early as possible and leave around 11 as you will have to retreat to pick up luggage or check it at Union Station. This may not be a great option and I may be more tempted to do the Zoo on Tuesday morning, going to Arlington Cemetery for the 8:30am tour on Wed morning, as I believe you are staying in Arlington so it wouldnt be far to backtrack for luggage.
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Old Aug 13th, 2011, 09:31 PM
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We had a wonderful vacation.Please see the details below.

Washinton DC:
Weather :Not that hot and it rained second day.
Transaport :From Hotel we took Metro always.Inside DC we took Hop on Hop off ( 2 days up to 7 PM).I think we spent around 100$ for 5 of us.Toddler was free.Fisrt and last day we took cab and walked.

Places Visited in DC :

Sunday:Kids had jet lag and could start only by 10.30.
1)Air & Space--Get down at the Metro and walked.Kids loved it.
2)Natural History -Walked
3)White house --by cab
4)Old Post Office -->It was closed ,just saw the building.
Lunch -Mc donalds inside Air & Space

Monday
Capitol--Took the tour and it was really good.
Potraits --Didn't like that much.
Mourments -->All the Mourments except Washington Mounment.
Jefferson Memorial then walked to FDR, Korean, Lincoln and WW2 Memorials.It was such a wonderful experience.We walked around the big basin and really enjoyed the walk as well.

Tuesday: Got on to the bug from Union Station to Washinton Mounment.Got a ticket for 6 Pm to get in there.Came back and took the buus to Arlington.
Arlington ..Change of guards was really good.We took another tour there.12$ each I think.That was help ful.
Pentagon ..Nothing to see there.We just had luch from the pentagon mall.
George Town ....Couldn't go in the boat ride ,because of wt and kids didn't want to miss 6 'O clock appointmnet at washington Mourment.

washington Mourment...We went up and it was wonderful view.

Dinner : at friends house.

Wednesday :
Packed all the stuff and checked out from the hotel.Went to zoo and spent 3 hrs there.

Back to Union Station and had lunch there.
Amtrack to New York.--This train got delayed(almost 1 1/2 hrs) due to some other train's breakdown.

Finally in New york..soooooo crowded.
Took a cab and got the rental car.

Thursday -->Natural History Museum--It was good but everything in new yourk is expensive.Lunch in the museum was soo expensive.Luckly got a parking outsie the Museum.
After that took metro and went to Time square.
Kids liked Toys r us over there.
Then went to mpire state building and was in the looong line to go up.And it was expensive too.
Finally saw the night view from the top and went back home.
Next day was soooo tired.
Started only after noob,went to New Jersy and took the ferry to see the Statue of Liberty .
Spent evening with friends.

Flight to Buffalo in the evening and stayed in Canada side.
Saw the Falls in the night.
Next day went in the maid of the mist tour..It was sooooo good.
Really enjoyed the horse shoe fall.

Back to airport and back home.

Over all it was an excellent trip and we loved DC the most t hen Canada and New york the last.
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