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Seeking ideas for how to chart out my vacation to the east coast of USA

Seeking ideas for how to chart out my vacation to the east coast of USA

Old Jan 8th, 2013, 08:35 PM
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Seeking ideas for how to chart out my vacation to the east coast of USA

Hi there,

We're a family of 2 adults and 2 children (8 and 4) visiting From Malaysia. We arrive in NYC on 16 July 2013 and return from NYC to malaysia on 6 Aug. Would love some ideas on how to fill that time, best modes of transportation for visiting some of the places i have in mind. Also whether driving is something i should even attempt considering we drive on the right side over here and our country isn't that vast. It's tiny actually! The longest journey I've probably done in a car is like 6 hours!

Roughly my plan was to spend 3 nights in NYC and then fly down to new orleans (is this a bad idea? ) and stay a week and then drive to orlando (Is renting an RV for this something I should consider? bit worried about this drive!) then probably stay a couple of nites in orlando and then get on the disney cruise for three nights. Thereafter from the 28th till the 6th travel back up north stopping at places like charleston, savannah, DC (would love to get ideas here on any places on route I should visit or give a miss) . Very happy to stop overnight at these places. Maybe 2 nites in DC.

Appreciate any advise. Feel free to let me know if this plan is not viable!

Thanks

.
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Old Jan 8th, 2013, 08:46 PM
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New Orleans is a fantastic place to visit, but much of what makes it great is oriented toward adults - great restaurants, bars, music venues, WWIi Museum, etc. I went there the first time when I was 12 and loved it, but we were there just a couple of days. I'm not sure what you'd do there for an entire week with kids.

Since you must make Orlando in time for the Disney cruise, I'd consider instead driving south from NY and stopping along the way - Philadelphia, the beach in Maryland, Washington, DC, Virginia, Charleston, etc. after the cruise, fly back north and hit New England or upstate New York.
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Old Jan 8th, 2013, 10:10 PM
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Double check your cruise. Disney cruises depart from Miami or Port Canaverel, about 50 minute drive from Orlando

DC is a fabulous place to visit with lots of museums, such as air and space) that children would enjoy. It has a wonderful zoo.

An hour south is Mt Vernon, George Washington's home - great garden and lawn might also be fun for kids. Good for a 1/2 day trip out of DC.

An hour further is Frederiksburg with a colonial town center with stores, shops & homes of many famous people open for visitors. Good for a few hours stop and lunch.

*** Williamsburg is Best of all, if you have time to head towards the coast and fit it in. A perfect American Colonial town with people in authentic costumes, playing authentic muscial intruments, games, gardens, etc. Several excellent restaurants. There are also two nice amusement parks: Busch Gardens (beautiful and well kept park) and A Waterpark for the kids. There are many other interesting things to see in this area. Many hotels in all price ranges. Good for 2/3 overnights.

Charleston and Savanah are both real Southern cities with great charm and good food. Good for 2/4 days each.

It will be super hot and humid by time you get to SC or Florida.
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Old Jan 9th, 2013, 05:34 AM
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I think you are stinting on family places (NYC and DC are great) for New Orleans - which is primarily for adults, and has way less to see and do than the other places on your list, and is not the safest city - to put it mildly.

Also agree that coming up the east coast there is a huge amount to see/do with kids - don't miss Colonial Williamsburg, Mount Vernon etc.

And do account for the weather - which is FL up through DC is likely to be very hot and humid (although perhaps not much different than what you are used to).

If you are intent on NO I would do as a flight at the end of the trip - and I think 3 days there is plenty (and kids will be bored by then).
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Old Jan 9th, 2013, 05:39 AM
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Anna,

Don't know why you are considering an RV to drive from NO to Orlando. What exactly are your concerns about the drive? I would just rent a car as RV's burn a ton of gas and are more difficult to drive. Unless you are camping wouldn't a car/van/SUV be more comfortable/easy.
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Old Jan 13th, 2013, 12:00 AM
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thanks a lot you guys. this is really helpful information. Especially the stops between nyc and orlando.

As for the RV i thought it would be better for the long journey as it has more room. but i suppose and alternative would be to make overnight stops between New orleans and Orlando. any ideas where to stop?
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Old Jan 13th, 2013, 06:14 AM
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I really hope you pay attention to the advice to perhaps not go to NOLA. It is the outlier of your trip. If you "must" then fly there and then fly to Orlando. I don't think I would even like to spend a week in NOLA. It is a pretty long drive from NOLA to Orlando, and not just a whole lot of there, there. Beaches which are beautiful.
I would spend more than 2 nights in DC. There is MUCH to do and MUCH for children especially.
You also need to take into consideration your arrival and departure days and jet lag and logistics of transport to the airport. For jet lag on arrival, I'd add at least a day to NYC
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Old Jan 13th, 2013, 06:30 AM
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Your way from New York (or Washington DC) to New Orleans should be on the Amtrak Crescent train. If the train trip is too long you could spend a night in Atlanta.
4 nights would be plenty in New Orleans. Rent a car or van in New Orleans for your trip to Florida. Plan on spending a night in Pensacola (Gulf Islands National Seashore).
Leaving Florida you have the option of rental vehicle, train or flying back to Washington DC or New York.
The problem with the train is that you arrive in Charleston in the middle of the night.
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Old Jan 13th, 2013, 09:38 AM
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And for information sake, trains in the US outside the northeast corridor are hours and hours late as a way of life.
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Old Jan 13th, 2013, 09:59 AM
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Norfolk Southern has been doing a good job of keeping the Crescent on time. 85.5% in December 2012 and over 80% for 2012.
http://www.amtrak.com/crescent-train...lRouteOverview
Please don't criticize Amtrak on routes that you have never ridden. I have ridden the Crescent, City of New Orleans, Capitol Limited, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, California Zephyr and the Coast Starlight without ever being more than 2 hours late. Sometimes I was early. Imagine that.
More often than not when Amtrak is late it is due to problems with the dispatchers on the freight railroads that they use.
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Old Jan 13th, 2013, 10:42 AM
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And it only takes 24 hours.

http://www.amtrak.com/crescent-train...lRouteOverview
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Old Jan 25th, 2013, 05:50 PM
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Hi there,

I have kinda changed things about based on the advise/suggestions you guys provided. Do let me know if you think this might work better or at all

arrive @ JFK - 7.30 pm 16/7/13

stay 3 Nights in new york (check out 18th)

drive to DC and stay 2 nights (18, 19, 20 )


drive to Williamsburg (stay 1 night - 21)

22nd drive to myrtle beach - 2 nights (anyone done this route - williamsburg to myrtle beach ? Its the longest one on this road trip so am wondering how it is) (stay 22 n 23rd) (do you think 2 nights is too much?)


24 drive to Savannah and stay 1 night (24th)


25 we drive to Orlando

We stay a week in orlando (25 - 1st Aug). i have to stay a week coz i'm booked with interval international! But in that week plan to go down to Miami.

1 August fly to new orleans and stay 3 nights. (1,2,3)

4th we fly back to NYC and 6th we go home.

What do you think? Too busy? I have 2 kids with me btw, 8 and 4


thanks
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Old Jan 25th, 2013, 06:32 PM
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So you skip Charleston? I'd take Charleston over Myrtle any day. Williamsburg to Myrtle: I95 south, exit depends on where you stay in the 60 mile long city that is Myrtle Beach.
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Old Jan 25th, 2013, 06:33 PM
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Annadharmen, your numbers for the beginning of your trip don;t add up
"arrive @ JFK - 7.30 pm 16/7/13
stay 3 Nights in new york (check out 18th)
drive to DC and stay 2 nights (18, 19, 20 )"

If you arrive July 16th in the evening, you would not be staying 3 nights if you check out on the 18th, Only 2 nights and basically only 1 and 1/2 days for NYC.
The drive to DC can take from 4-6 hours plus time to check out of one hotel. the time to get a rental car, check into another hotel, etc.

You could add an extra day to NYC (I know you're coming back at the end for also for 2 days or less) and also add another day/night in Williamsburg

I honestly don't know why you'd want to spend time In New Orleans with children that age.. While every city has children living there and there are alswys things for kids to do, as others have said it's really a more adult oriented place.

With that time would you consider going further north? If you're already flying out of Orlando, you could fly to Boston or even to Maine which would be fun for all of you adn different from all the southern cities and much cooler weather! You can then fly from Maine back to NY or from Boston you could take a train back to NY.

The revised version looks like this
Arrive July 16, stay in NYC until the 19th. Drove to DC on the 19th stay until 22nd.
Drive to Williamsburg , stay 2 nights until the 24th.

Now you have to be in Orlando the 25th? At first you said a cruise, but now it's a vacation rental? In Orlando? Or a side trip to Miami? I would try to fly to Orlando, save the time and long drives you're not used to, and skip the other southern cities, but that's just my personal choice.

After Orlando, fly to Maine or Boston to spend 3 nights, and then plane or train back to NYC for 1 and 1/2 days.
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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 01:48 AM
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hi thanks very much. ok i think i have an idea of how to move from here. just to answer some of the questions.

I stopped at myrtle only coz its a beach and its about 6 hours from williamsburg (didn't want to drive longer than that at any given time). Chose savannah over charleston coz it struck a chord with me when i watched"forces of nature' : ) . Hv been wanting to visit eversince. was actually struggling with this bit. any ideas for a stop other than myrtle beach but within a 6 hour drive from williamsburg (BTW is williamsburg really something special?) what specifically is nice here? Thanks


Yes i made a mistake. i had intended to stay just 2 nites in NYC. Might extend to 3 given the very valid reasons you provided.

New Orleans in non negotiable. My 8 year old insists she wants to see the "birth place of Jazz". Its actually a pain for me to make this detour but she's bent on it!

my week is in orlando.. decided to can the cruise and visit the parks instead.

about the car rentals, i thought of taking a train to washington from NYC and renting a car from there. What do you think?

btw love the boston and maine ideas! Thanks!
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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 05:08 AM
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Just be aware that Myrtle beach in July is very crowded. VERY. It's a beach destination for people from all over the country. Traffic will be awful especially if you travel on a weekend. I would go to Wilmington instead.

BTW, I've driven from Williamsburg (nice place) to Charleston (nicer place) in 6 hours. I usually only make one stop, though.
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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 06:08 AM
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Your child may want to see the birthplace of jazz - but you can visit jazz spots all over the country. And the French Quarter of NO is not really a place for children. Yes, there are many places with jazz, but they are mostly bars and clubs (kids may not even be allowed - I would definitely check in advance) and there is a massive amount of drinking/partying going on - in both the clubs and the streets (mobbed with drunken revelers). There are a couple of places that hae musical performances that don;t focus on booze - but you need to identify them (check out Preservation Hall) and determine how to get tickets.

The slogan of NO is laissez les bon temps reoulez (let the good times roll) and the French quarter is all about partying/drinking as soon as you hit late afternoon. It's not really a family destination

It is also a high crime city - with very dangerous areas adjacent to the the French quarter. A colleague of mine was accosted by 2 young men with guns, forced to lie on the ground, had his watch and wallet stolen, and they were debating shooting him when a police car came around the corner and saved him. They told him he had no business in the area - only a couple of blocks from the quarter. (he had mistaken directions and went a couple blocks in the wrong direction.)

In any case - there is no reason to spend more than a couple of nights there with kids.
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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 12:16 PM
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You can avoid Bourbon Street altogether to get away from the drunkenness and partying. Head to Frenchmen St instead, there are bars and clubs there, some of which open early. We went to the Maison most nights about 5.30pm and had a meal there and listened to great music.

Preservation Hall is a must, tickets available from their website. Also try one of the Jazz brunches that are offered at some hotels. Spending time on the Paddle Steamer is also a good option for children and their is a Dixieland Jazz band playing on there also.

If you are interested in more than just the music, then do the Free Walking Tour of the Garden District which goes to one of the old cemeteries. There are also Swamp tours, and tours of the old Plantation houses available.

I would agree with Nytraveller three or four nights would probably be sufficient.
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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 01:02 PM
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Hi, Anna,

This past summer we took a long vacation with our kids, ages 16, 14 and 11 this past summer. We started in Pittsburgh, drove to upstate New York, then drove to New York City, stayed there a few days and then drove to DC. By the end of this trip, my kids were tired and really didn't enjoy the last days of DC.

I would leave out New Orleans. Jazz may have been born in New Orleans, but it also had its heyday in New York. I think some--not all-- clubs in the city will let in minors. I ended up not pursuing this but initially it looked promising. You will need to research this....Birdland, Blue Note, Jazz Standard are all well known.

There are also some great outdoor concerts all over the city, some of them jazz or blues. Here's one list:
http://gonyc.about.com/cs/music/a/summermusic.htm
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Old Jan 26th, 2013, 02:11 PM
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What does your 8 year old "expect" in the birthplace of jazz. I don't think it would be appropriate for her to go in a jazz club. There is plenty of jazz elsewhere--how about Catfish Row from Porgy and Bess in Charleston.
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