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East Coast vacation

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Jan 8th, 2014, 12:16 PM
  #1
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East Coast vacation

My wife and I are planning a trip to the East Coast this spring (either April or May or both). We live in Seattle and would like to see Boston, New York, Washington D.C. And if we have time the Maine coast. We are both retired so the only factor in the length of our vacation would be cost, however, three weeks would not be out of the question. Looking for any ideas how to plan the itinerary. Thanks.
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Jan 8th, 2014, 12:48 PM
  #2
 
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You know, I was just looking up ways to do this as R&D for the company I work for, Get Up and Ride Bike Tours. We were trying to look up customizable concierge/itinerary builders and finding there weren't any! We just do bike tours right now, mostly in Brooklyn, but I split time between here and DC and know a lot

There are some cool new sites like Sidetour.com and Vayable.com that can connect you with cool locals to share personalized experiences with you- I love them!

Also, AirBnB is a great way to live more like a local and save some money- and often the hosts are down to give you lots of recommendations. My dad and I use it all the time when we travel.

Also I must recommend you take the train while you travel around the area! It is the best way to get from city to city, but book your train tickets in advance because the prices go up like flights do closer to your travel date.

Hope that helps, and hope you have a fantastic time- get in touch if you want specific recommendations!
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Jan 8th, 2014, 05:14 PM
  #3
kja
 
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I think that should be a quite enjoyable 3-week trip. How much time to spend in each location depends on exactly what you want to see and experience -- you might want to look through some guidebooks at your local library or bookstore. You might also want to consider Philadelphia, which is well worth a day or two IMO.

As lisamarkuson noted, trains should work well for you. At that time of year, I would probably plan on starting in the south and working your way north.

Hope that helps!
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Jan 8th, 2014, 07:47 PM
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You could fly into D.C. and fly out of Maine using amtrak between cities. DC has so many free things to see so spending more on hotels is not so bad there. We like staying in Dupont circle area but you could also look over by Union Station.
There is the Acela Express from DC to NY and you can take it to Boston. I would drive once I left Boston just to explore Lexington, Concord, the coast going up to Maine. Beautiful coastal drives.
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Jan 12th, 2014, 10:46 AM
  #5
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Thanks for your suggestions. I especially like the idea of flying to D.C. and taking the train to New York and Boston, then driving up the coast to Maine. Thanks to all that replied to my request.
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Jan 12th, 2014, 05:27 PM
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When looking for lodging be aware that New York state has law against short-term sublets and almost all are illegal (unless the legal tenant is staying in the apartment and renting out a room - but the landlord still may not allow it).
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Jan 13th, 2014, 03:25 AM
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May is kind of early for the Maine coast but you can still have a great time. Portland is great for any time but if you get out on the water, it's going to be cold. We enjoyed a tour of Casco Bay with stops at various islands via the mailboat cruise. We like to visit different "lobster shacks" for lunch but it's generally outdoor dining on picnic tables. I see Five Islands Lobster opens May 10 for the season. May can be gorgeous but it can also be cold and damp. You can get lobster at many traditional restaurants, you just won't have the outdoor ocean view/watching boats. The good news is off season rates for lodging.
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Jan 13th, 2014, 06:23 AM
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I agree with the others to start in DC and work your way north. Try to do this in May rather than April for best weather. May is perfect for NY and Boston, and I think it's great for Maine as well unless you want beach weather. (Although if you have to go in April I'd still do it, just higher chance of rain and cold). I think minimum time would be 4 days DC, 5 days NY, 4 days Boston, 4 days Maine. With three weeks I'd add an extra day to NY and the rest to north of Boston (on the way to Maine you can stop on Cape Ann, north of Boston, and Portsmouth NH).
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Jan 13th, 2014, 08:09 AM
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Also, AirBnB is a great way to live more like a local and save some money.

Short term rentals of this nature are illegal in New York CITY (NOT New York State, nytrav is wrong).

Fly open jaw (SeaTac to DC, Boston to SeaTac) and go north. Starting in the north to end in DC will be frigid and not pleasant. Hotels in NYC will cost 30-50% more than an equivalent quality lodging in DC or Boston. Part of the reason is because there is no legal market in NYC for short-term rentals.

And if you like sporting events, you'll be there at the right time for early season baseball to watch three decent or better teams (Nats, Yanks, Sawx) - a far cry from what has been available in your area. Rumors abound that there is another major league team in New York but there has been no confirmation that such team is major league quality.
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Mar 5th, 2014, 11:44 AM
  #10
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Thanks for all the replies. We have confirmed our first ten days. We are flying into D.C. on April 29th, taking the train to NY on May 4th and leaving on the 9th. We are flying out of Boston on May 17th. We plan on visiting the Cape Cod area and maybe Connecticut. Looking for suggestions on what to do and stay in those areas. Also, should we take the train to Boston and drive to the Cape (this would be a Friday) or take the train to say New Haven rent a car there and travel the coastline north. The last scenario would require additional rental car cost. We have seven full days unplanned from leaving NY to flying out of Boston. Thanks. mm
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Mar 5th, 2014, 02:49 PM
  #11
 
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Can you take 4 weeks instead of 3?

I would fly into Washington national airport which has metro service to many hotel neighborhoods. 4 or 5 nights. Then maybe the train to NYC, 5 or 6 nights in the city , and then train or short flight to Portland Maine. Here you could rent a car for a week and explore the coast of Maine for a few nights, no pre-bookings necessary at that time of year so you could stop wherever the road takes you. Or, if the early-May weather is not co-operating (a definite possibility), just spend a couple of nights in the Portland/Freeport area and then drive down along the coast to Boston a little earlier than planned. Plan as many nights in Boston as you wish, realizing that you can also visit Cape Cod or Newport Rhode Island or the New Hampshire lakes if the weather is nice.

It looks like Hertz/Avis car rentals picked up in Maine returning to downtown Boston or Cambridge are running about $300 per week right now, and could come down before May with coupons and discounts. You'll probably want to plan your "in Boston" days at the very end, after you've finished exploring with the car, so that you don't incur hefty parking charges at your hotel. Then just take the cab or public transport to Logan airport on your final day.

One thing to watch for if you lengthen your visit, is college graduations in mid May, not a good time to be booking hotels in Boston. The first weekend looks fine and the 2nd weekend in May also seems to currently have good availability but then rates start jumping quite a bit.
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Mar 5th, 2014, 07:54 PM
  #12
 
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Madison Beach Hotel-Madison,CT (east of New Haven)
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