So confused!

Sep 16th, 2015, 01:24 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2015
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So confused!

Here's the deal, I'm hoping I can get some advice here!
My husband and I have booked our flights from England to Boston and back from NYC next August, we have 20 nights to play around with.
My original itinerary :
3n Cape Cod (already booked)
2n Niagara on the Lake (booked but refundable)
1n driving south - Cinicinnatti maybe
4n Nashville
1n Charlottesville
2n DC
3n Ocean City area
4n NYC then fly home
I'm reading that this is a lot of driving, I get that, and there are 3 or 4 heavy days of driving, although we don't mind this too much, and regular vacations are a fortnight so we're quite fortunate to be able to take almost 3 weeks. Something else is to cut out Niagara, I've been before, my OH hasn't. But I'm open to suggestions on how we can tweak this.
Also, the DC area of the trip is a little "hazy" still, Atlantic City/Ocean City/Virginia Beach, I'm a bit confused!
Help/advice/tweaking suggestions are greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance
Wadi is offline  
Sep 16th, 2015, 02:25 PM
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I guess the big question is how you came up with this list. Why Cincinatti? What do you want to go to Nashvilke for? You may have reasons, but it seems like a rather odd and haphazard list. The two cities I mentioned stand out as being the most out of the way.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Sep 16th, 2015, 03:26 PM
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Agree that you are bouncing around like a ping pong ball with too many stops for what don;t seem to be real reasons. Some of these places are very far apart and on summer weekends anyplace near a beach is likely to have hideous traffic jams. Also in summer, while NYC can be hot and humid (90s happen fairly frequently) DC can be even worse. I love it, but would never go in August. (Understand that DC to NYC can take 5 hours on the road or can take 7 or 8 - based on day of week and local traffic conditions/road construction which happens in the summer.)

As for Cincy (I had a client there and have been a couple of hundred times) there is not much to see/do and Nashville (unless you just adore country music) and Charlottesville (???) just don;t make sense to me.

If you are determined to go to Niagara Falls (and I assume you are allowed multiple entries to the US) then take a little time to see things in the same area = perhaps Finger Lakes or ? And why go to the beach twice - both Cape Cod and Ocean City? I would pick one and spend enough time there to relax - and in Aug I would make it Cape Cod.

If I were you I would look at what YOU want to see and do in each place and then focus on the things that are most important to you.
nytraveler is offline  
Sep 16th, 2015, 03:27 PM
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Also - if you post with a more decriptive title you might get more responses.
nytraveler is offline  
Sep 16th, 2015, 09:47 PM
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Y'know, I mapped-out your trip, and I tried to tinker with it using my first instincts... but yours were better, and while I too might either spend more time on Cape Cod and opt-out of the Ocean City leg... that isn't at all 'wrong'.

To you, our gas prices will seem cheap, so that is a comfort... and many of your loooooooong driving days happen well away from most population centers, so that is helpful too.

There is plenty to be said for creating your own plan, and sticking to it, for the appeal that comes from having designed it yourself.

I really don't see anything drastically amiss with what you've started with as your instinct.

I have never been to Ocean City, but I've been nearby and I've never been to Niagara On The Lake, but I have been to Niagara Falls... and I've been to all of the other mentioned spots on your list.

Your whole idea isn't so bad, and because you do have the luxury of SO many days, the few days of long driving will be more easily handled.

I don't think I could suggest any specific thoughts/routes/ideas that would be much better than what you have. Just remember not to spread yourself too thin... and have a good time!
NorthwestMale is offline  
Sep 16th, 2015, 10:37 PM
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Thank you everybody for your suggestions! The reason for Cincinnati was just as a stopover from Niagara to Nashville, nothing particularly special except for the fact that it's a little over halfway and we'd probably just use some motel on the outskirts to sleep for the night. As for Nashville, it's an area which I've always wanted to visit and thought we could go to Graceland at the same time, and possibly see the Smoky Mountains (meaning we'd probably have to extend that to 5n). Also Charlottesville was a place to stop in the way to the DC area, and I've heard it's very quintessentially American (we loved Carmel, CA for that reason). So really Cincinnati and Charlottesville were merely stopovers to break up what would have been a too long a drive.
Probably the most confusing bit for me is to how to play about with the 5nights in the DC area. I was only 6years old the last time I visited (a long time since!) and my folks said that we just visited DC for the day to see Capitol Hill, Lincoln, White House, air museum etc so am toying around with the idea of what to do with the remaining time. I've been t Ocean City in the past (and last time we went we drove from there back to JFK).
Is Virginia Beach an option, say, for 3n, then DC for 2n (but cutting out Charlottesville and staying in Charlotte instead for instance as a stopover) sorry for the long message, I'm kind of thinking out loud!
One of our favourite bits when we did a west coast trip a couple of years ago was the long drive through Death Valley from Vegas to Mammouth, I know that's only about 350 miles though.
Thanks for listening!
Wadi is offline  
Sep 17th, 2015, 03:46 AM
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Re the DC-area part of the trip.

Instead of Ocean City (Maryland, I assume) or VA Beach, look into someplace on the Delaware coast. Lewes is a nice town, for instance.

Just note that driving in the Northeast US in summer can be a bit of a challenge at times, and is nothing like driving in the large expanses of the West. You'll want to be careful about timing your road trips. For example, driving to a beach area on a Friday or coming back on a Sunday can be miserable.
vincenzo32951 is offline  
Sep 17th, 2015, 04:12 AM
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If you want to see the Smokies then you need to cut out Cincinnati and come further south to hit I40. Come down I77 from I78, I would guess.
I40 will take you near the Smokies on the way to Nashville.

I find it a daunting itinerary--as someone said like ping pong.
I guess you want a beach destination. You could consider the NC beach--around Wilmington.
As for time in Washington, 5 days should be easy to fill. Suggest getting a guide book and map it out.
Charlottesville is a worthy stop. Not sure how Charlotte fits in.
Gretchen is online now  
Sep 17th, 2015, 05:04 AM
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Nashville is an amazing destination for a few nights, whether or not you like country music. The posters here who say otherwise are misinformed. It's got a great music scene beyond country, great coffee, excellent barbecue, beer, and bourbon, and is a generally wonderful and cosmopolitan place. However, Graceland is in Memphis, over 4 hours away by car, and that's hardly an easy day-trip.

I'd cut out Niagara on the Lake and the drive to Nashville from the trip and fly there directly from Boston. (Cutting out that sidetrip and the hundreds of miles of driving will allow you to spend a night or two in Boston and not spend three full days on the road. Then slow down and drive from Nashville to Charlottesville, making at least one overnight stop along the way to soak in the scenery in the Great Smoky Mountains.

The only difficulty with my plan is that you must get a one-way car rental, and that can add expense. Price the option before abandoning this plan entirely, but in terms of better use of time, I think it's much to your advantage.
doug_stallings is offline  
Sep 17th, 2015, 05:14 AM
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Doug, I only saw one person here suggest there is "not much to do" in Nashville. I think the issue for some of the rest of us was simply "what are you looking for that makes a 12 to 14 hour drive out of your way" worth it to you? But I think the OP answered that with "always wanted to see" plus seeing Graceland.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Sep 17th, 2015, 06:22 AM
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I think the reference for not much to do was Cincy. Nashville has plenty--but it's out there. ;o)
I'd give up Niagra also.
Gretchen is online now  
Sep 17th, 2015, 06:35 AM
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Thanks everyone for your thoughts. There's certainly a lot of food for thought!
Nashville isn't an absolute must, it was a place that I've always fancied visiting but not desperate to, so I'm happy to tweak!
I've been to Niagara twice before and enjoyed it, my husband hasn't, that's basically for him to see, but I get that it's a long way out!
The things which are certain are the hire car, the 4n at end in NY, and whilst I have booked Cape Cod and Niagara, they are refundable if I decide to cancel. (I thought though as we fly to Boston I'd really like to do Cape Cod)
Another alternative just to confuse myself a bit more, is to go south to Savannah and drive up the coast via Myrtle and up to DC, then NY, missing Tennessee completely!
Wadi is offline  
Sep 17th, 2015, 07:30 AM
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Frankly, I think covering the East Coast from Boston and Cape Cod to Savannah makes a lot of sense -- and not doing the other, more distant western destinations.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Sep 17th, 2015, 09:37 AM
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Agree with Patrick but make it Charleston. Drive by Myrtle!!
There is MUCH to do on the Southeast coast and more scenic than Ocean City and VA.Beach.
You could drive to Asheville, down to Charleston and then head up the coast to DC and NYC.
Gretchen is online now  
Sep 17th, 2015, 09:40 AM
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Not to confuse things more, but have you considered going into New England from Boston? Maine would be nice at that time of year. It migh cause you to backtrack a bit, but worth considering.

Definitely skip Ocean City. NC beaches might be nicer. While Nashville has a lot to see and do, it was not to my liking. But lots of people like it. It des have good barbecue.

Agree that sticking to the East coast would be a better trip. Pelnty to see along the way.
yestravel is offline  
Sep 17th, 2015, 09:45 AM
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Thanks everyone! So miss out Savannah and do Charleston instead? I always imagined Savannah as being the preferred option (as it's more popular and heard of, certainly here in England)
Wadi is offline  
Sep 17th, 2015, 11:04 AM
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I agree with the others on skipping Niagara on the Lake. One of my favorite towns. Maybe because it reminds me of the small towns in the Lake District of England.
gardendiva is offline  
Sep 17th, 2015, 11:57 AM
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Charlottesville is a much nicer town than Charlotte, have been to both, my husband went to UVA and my niece lives in Charlotte. You can visit Monticello and the grounds of UVA which was designed partly by Thomas Jefferson, especially the rotunda.
jamie99 is offline  
Sep 17th, 2015, 12:06 PM
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If you're driving as far south as Savannah, I'd say do two nights in Charleston and two nights in Savannah. It's worth doing both and the fairly short scenic drive between them is nice too -- with a stop in Beaufort for lunch.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Sep 17th, 2015, 05:16 PM
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I'm not sure I understand your interests, but I would encourage you to make sure you know what YOU want to see and do and make sure that you have time to do those things. You might try plotting them out on a calendar. Just as one example, I can't imagine seeing the things I would want to see in DC with just a 2-night stay -- for my interests (which are irrelevant!), I'd want at least 3 days in DC (so 4 nights). But we all travel for different reasons, and only you can decide what YOU want to do / see / experience. Good luck!
kja is offline  

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