Family trip to DC & beyond?

Jul 12th, 2003, 09:18 AM
  #1  
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Family trip to DC & beyond?

Our family of four has an opportunity to visit DC for our first time ever. Is it possible to also take in NYC and Boston? We have 7 - 9 days. I'm thinking of we could fly into Boston for a couple of nights, then on to NYC for a couple then to DC for a 3 or 4 night stay. Family of four includes a 14 and 9 year old, travel will commence from the Pacific NW. Thanks!
porterbill is offline  
Jul 12th, 2003, 11:49 AM
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Sure, it's possible. But if you try to do 3 cities in 7 days you'll spend a very large proportion of your time in transfers. Whether you fly between them or take Amtrak (which is what I do), each leg will take 4 to 6 hours. But if this is going to be your only family trip to the East Coast, then I say go for it!

If you end up weighing a choice between flying vs taking the train, remember that the train stations in these 3 cities are right in the center city, where you could even walk to your hotel from the train station, whereas all the airports will require transfers as well as the early arrivals, luggage hassles, cramped seating, etc. that all air travel now entails. The time spent ends up being about the same and the hassle much more. Kids go half-price in Amtrak and the "regular" trains don't take much longer than the Acela and cost half as much. Plus, you'll get to see some of the countryside, which is very different from what you're used to! The train from Boston to DC goes right along the coastline --sometimes very scenic, sometimes a history lesson in the waxing and waning of industrial enterprises.
Anonymous is offline  
Jul 12th, 2003, 12:29 PM
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I agree with "Anon" that you're certainly trying to do a lot of traveling - why not pare it down to two cities? Amtrak will be a good way to get between the cities, unless you get a good deal on a rental car, buy you'll need to factor in tolls and parking when comparing to rail (or bus).

Since air travel usually is cheaper when you can book roundtrip, it could be just as nice to use the same airport both ways, and just make a round trip to another city. I'm going to suggest DC & Williamsburg, or DC & Philadelphia, or all three, closer than your Boston/DC & between.

If you are traveling light (eg: 1 bag per person & can move easily) then you can reach the downtown parts of cities from Boston/Logan, LGA/NY, and DCA/Reagan/DC using mass transportation.

A note on Amtrak's routes: you'll see water from time to time, but you're not really traveling *ON* the coastline. You'll see some of Long Island Sound, some Delaware River, Susquahanna, Chesapeake, Potomac, but you'll never see the ocean. But it is a very nice ride at times, mixed with urban blight at others.

http://www.amtrak.com/savings/anseladams.html
will give you details of 20% on the best available rail fare on Amtrak travel between July 8 - November 9, 2003 in the Northeast Corridor for travel to New York City
rb_travelerxATyahoo is offline  
Jul 12th, 2003, 12:47 PM
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Our family of four traveled to DC and NYC in June for a total of 10 days. We did 6 nights in DC and 4 nights in NYC. The time in DC was just enough, although we didn't see everything we had listed in our plans.

NYC probably requires at least a week to really see the city. BTW, we did take Amtrak from DC to NYC and it is highly recommended. Had an Amtrak special fare which cost us $144 for the entire family. Train was clean and on time.

Have a great trip!

Be sure to go to the Spy Museum in DC, that was the favorite of our teens, ages 14 and 16!
DeeDee is offline  
Jul 12th, 2003, 11:22 PM
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We also did the NYC to DC trip with Amtrak, stopping off for a night in Williamsburg. It was a great trip and one our son still talks about some time later.
prue is offline  
Jul 13th, 2003, 10:36 AM
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We did a DC, Williamsburg, Jamestown, Norfolk/Virginia Beach trip with our kids and loved it. It's a nice mix of government, history, and outdoor recreation, wiht limited time spent on actual transportation. Check out the websites for all the places. Also, Busch Gdns, a big amusement park, is near Williamsburg. If your kids haven't been to the Atlantic, it's a thrill to go to Va Beach and stick your toes in, finishing up with a beach. (But going to NYC would be very tempting! We hope to do it on a separate trip.)
gocats2002 is offline  
Jul 13th, 2003, 10:35 PM
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I agree with others to focus on two cities and would agree with DC & NYC. In DC definitely do the zoo, the Smithsonian (my kids like American History & Natural history museums the best), the monuments. You could rent bikes and pedal on some of the trails - check out the Potomac Pedalers web site at www.bikepptc.org. you can bicycle a biking/ jogging trail from the lincoln Memorial to Mount Vernon - I've done it without TOO much strain! Do your kids like amusement parks and roller coasters? Some of the East Coast's BEST coasters are at Paramount's King's Dominion (2 hours south of DC by car) and Busch Gardens Williamsburg (another 2 hours down the road). NOT to be missed if you are a coaster enthusiast!
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