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Football trip from Alabama to Penn State

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Aug 3rd, 2011, 12:49 PM
  #1
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Football trip from Alabama to Penn State

Need suggestions and ideas for our upcoming trip from Alabama to Penn State for the Bama game on Sept. 10. We would like to see a little of DC, Philadelphia and NYC. We plan to stay in Harrisburg prior to the game (it was the closest place we could find!). We are bringing our new tailgate trailer, which could prove to be problematic in the "downtown" areas of these cities. Our idea is to basically stay somewhere centrally located and just "day trip" from there. ie, somewhere near DC, then on to Philly and go from there by train to NYC. We have 10 days to do all this....are we just crazy to think we can do it? Oh...and one more thought...all this happens to fall the week prior to the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Will that be a problem as far as heightened security goes?
Thanks for any help! (I'm new on here, as you can probably tell!)
bamagal is offline  
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Aug 3rd, 2011, 01:05 PM
  #2
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Guess I need to clarify exactly what I'm looking for....best mid-range hotels, best restaurants, sights not to miss, best routes to take, specific do's and don'ts from those of you who are "in the know" about this area of the country, etc.
Thanks so much in advance!
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Aug 3rd, 2011, 01:07 PM
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Do you HAVE to lug that thing around?
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Aug 3rd, 2011, 01:38 PM
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Welcome to fodors...

www.classic.mapquest.com

Like 800 miles via KnoxVille Virginia Maryland

took me a couple of days on the interstate

took my time on the way back visited DC the Smithsonian

then drove to Front Royal and Skyline Drive

to www.blueridgeparkway.org for the most scenic drives

priceline.com betterbidding.com wyndham.com best hotel deals

for me... do not think you have enough time for DC

just relax have fun go back down through the mountains

you might catch some fall color up high...

Roll Tide! (and Joe who?)
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Aug 3rd, 2011, 01:40 PM
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Used to stay here all the time in my AirStream Land Yacht

Cherry Hill Park. As the closest RV park and campground to Washington, D.C., Cherry Hill Park is the perfect place to stay while camping and exploring our nation's capital.
cherryhillpark.com

Perfect for DC
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Aug 3rd, 2011, 01:43 PM
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sorry typo above meant not enough time for

NYC spend more time in DC far less crowded

touristic prettier more interesting

Happy Travels!
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Aug 3rd, 2011, 01:47 PM
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Harrisburg is only about 10 miles to the west of Hershey.

If you haven't been to the town you might enjoy a ride along Chocolate Avenue. They no longer operate tours of the factory but they have an attraction "Chocolate World" that is still open.

I would suggest you not plan on taking the train to NYC on 9/11 as President Obama will be in town. I would expect very heavy police presence and numerous streets downtown to be blocked off.
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Aug 3rd, 2011, 01:51 PM
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Welcome to Fodors!

You are close to Gettysburg PA. if that interests you!

as lovesitaly said, can you drop the trailer and take the car? (sounded like "leave the gun and take the canolis")

Forget trying to lug that beast into NYC, Philly or DC.

Roll Tide! (but I will be rooting for PS!) Hey don't forget to try the ice cream at the Penn State Dairy!

-john

-john
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Aug 3rd, 2011, 01:52 PM
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Forgot, when driving from Philadelphia to Harrisburg, I assume you will connect to US 78? If so, aboout 30 miles west of Allentown (55 miles east of Harrisburg) there is a 250,000 square foot Cabela's in the town of Hamburg.

Worth stopping into.
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Aug 3rd, 2011, 02:37 PM
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Bamagal --RTR!! Wish I was making that trip. My stepson had the nerve to get married last year on Sept 11 during the Penn State game Cardinal rule of the SEC -- no fall weddings on big game weekends.
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Aug 3rd, 2011, 03:37 PM
  #11
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Wow! Thanks for all your help so far! (I just found Fodor's this morning.)
And YES, we have to lug that thing around...told DH it would really slow us down. But he insists! It's not a camper or Rv, but a tailgating trailer (Big screen TV, stereo, grill, etc.) Don't know why we have to take it since we do have tickets to the game ) Guess this is a football trip with sightseeing on the side. Could NOT miss the opportunity to see Joe Pa in HIS house...He coached against the Bear, for Pete's sake!!!!
All of your suggestions have been well received...I too think NYC is way too much. And yes, we already planned to eat chocolate in Hershey! Lots of Bama fans are staying there I hear. And I'll be sure NOT to tell hubby 'bout that Cabela's! (Bet he's already put it in his itinerary!)
Will check pout all the links you all have provided...and qwovadis, I like your idea of the scenic route home.
I love this website already!
Thanks to all for your advice....I'll check back often and then "report " back after the trip.
(Sure hope it cools off some by then!)
Roll Tide ya'll!
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Aug 3rd, 2011, 05:22 PM
  #12
 
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Ifyou do NYC by train that is possible - since driving/parking a trailer things issimplynot possible.

Not sure how many days you will have in NY witheverythng else you want to do. If you decide on this get Amtrak tickets in advance for a discount and don;t pay extra for the "faster" Acela - it really isn;t.

Hotel options depend on how many you are (many hotel rooms have 1 double bed for 2 people). If there are more than 2 you will need a larger room and can't use Priceline for discounts.
Tell us how many you are and budget and people canmake recos. Discount sites that let you choose for moe than 2 people include tavelzoo.
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Aug 3rd, 2011, 05:29 PM
  #13
 
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I used to live in the beautiful Buffalo Valley near PA Rt. 45.
If you think I-80 or US 322 east might be too busy after the game, you can get to Lewisburg (US 15) by taking Rt. 45.
Instead of pulling the rig into DC, park at the Greenbelt (MD)
METRO station and ride into the city.
When in PA I'm a Nittany Lion fan. When in Oregon I'm a Ducks fan. (We're #2). We were beaten fair and square by Auburn.
I'm hoping that JoePa gets to go to at least one more bowl game in his life.
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Aug 4th, 2011, 07:34 AM
  #14
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There will be four of us (we always get 2 rooms) and in the past when we travel to games, we just go online or call the individual hotel we want to use. Are the discount sites really a discount? When I research places and prices, they all seem to come up the same price....I'll try travelzoo. We're thinking of staying in/near Philly so I appreciate your train advice nytraveler. Thanks!!!
Tom, thanks for your advice....which route do we need to take to game from Harrisburg? 322? IS it a four lane? How long a drive on game day? We already have parking passes so hopefully that won't be problem....AFter the game won't really matter since we will probably continue to tailgate for a while.
And Tom....don't talk to me about Auburn!!!! All us Bama fans had our Ducks T-shirts on the day of the game, but I couldn't bring myself to even watch it. (I was still pouting from our fiasco in Tuscaloosa!!!)
Can't wait to arrive in Happy Valley!
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Aug 4th, 2011, 09:13 AM
  #15
 
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Yes US322 finally got rid of the bottlenecks south of Lewistown.
Since you want to tailgate, get an early start out of Harrisburg on game day. The traffic around State College can get crazy on game days.
There is a stretch of 2 lane US 322 north of Penn Nursery (near Rt. 144).
If you wanted to take a cave tour by boat, you can visit Penns Cave which is the headwater of Penns Creek. There is a good road from Penns Cave off Rt. 192 to Route 45.
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Aug 4th, 2011, 10:12 AM
  #16
 
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Ifyou are staying near Philly your time in NYC will be very limited - it's not commuting distance and Amtrak isn;t that cheap. So you would have part of one day in NYC.
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