This may be the last trip I will be able to take in my life time. I'm driving alone in a Toyota Prius that gets at least 45MPG I'm planning on being in Washington DC on August 28th for the Glenn Beck Rally and see the 2nd to last Space Shuttle Launch from Cape Canaveral on September 16th 2010. I'd like to see many museums in Washington DC (my Congressman is trying to arrange a White House Tour and some other free tickets while in DC) and then drive to New York for the Statue of Liberty, see the top of the Empire State Building and drive by the United Nations and the World Trade Center Ground zero.
P L E A S E I need help with must see sights on the way from Eastern Oklahoma on I-40 to Washington DC to NY ending at the Space Center. I'm a 100% disabled Veteran living on my disability. I only will have available $2000 so I plan on sleeping in the car and showering at truck stops whenever possible.
PLEASE help and advise for this low budget trip especially things to see that are inexpensive and F R E E, whenever possible!
Okay, the first stop you should to is the St. Louis Arch. You can park down by the water for much less than in the regular parking lots--and if you want to take the ride up the arch, it only runs $10.
Next stop, go a little out of your way and visit the Rock and Roll Museum in Cleveland.
Next, head for Pittsburgh and go down to the Three Rivers Section, then go visit the Dinosaur Museum down near the University of Pittsburgh. Next head for the Lancaster, PA area--where the Amish Dutch live. Drive through town and visit their bakeries and drive down some of the side roads, where you'll see people all still travelling by horse and buggy.
Head on down from here to Baltimore and visit the Inner Harbor area, then the Little Italy area and the Fells Point area. There are some great places in this town to get crab, my favorite which is C.J.'s, which is in Reistertown (on the northwest side of town)--and which you will actually pass through before you get to the downtown and inner harbor area.
When in Washington, D.C., visit some of the Smithsonian buildings (like the Aviation Museum--which is the most visited building in the entire world--and the Museum of American History). Also visit the Archives building, which has the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, and also visit the Bureau of Printing and Engraving, where they print all the money--this tour was my absolute favorite of all of them.
Go down by where the bridge crosses over the Potomac from Washington to the Arlington Cemetary. On the Washington side is a great seafood market that you should go get shrimp and steamed corn.
Some of the fabulous monuments are the Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Franklin Roosevelt ones. They also have one for Vietnam Veterans and one for World War II veterans (this one is brand new).
All of the foreign embassies are just north of Dupont Circle out at the far end of Constitution Street. Visit the White House, the Capital building, the Supreme Court building, and the most impressive building in all of Washington DC--the train station (amazing, I know). The train station is just two blocks north of the US Capital building.
If you are there on July 4th, the Washington Mall (between the US Capital and the Lincoln Memorial) is where all the action will be. Normally they have free music acts and free fireworks for anyone that shows up, but get there early, because the mall will be packed on the 4th--especially since the 4th this year falls on a weekend.
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If your going to travel south from NY to get to the Shuttle launch the Chesapeake Bay Bridge is one of those "things" while not a must do, will save you driving time. 26 miles of bridge going over the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay.
Also while your going south, stop off at Kitty Hawk in the North Carolina where the Wright Brothers did their flight.
Your a Vet so check into staying overnight on the military bases along the way to save on hotel bills. Dover AFB in Delaware, Langley AFB in Norfolk, Myrtle Beach AFB in S. Carolina, Jacksonville Naval Base in Florida for a start. Get your Congressmen to work on that one for you. I'm sure you can find enough VFW posts along the way that would be glad to arrange a place to sleep and shower when you need it. Of course, you'd get a lot of free meals in the state park campgrounds from all the old codgers in the motor homes! My best experiences in traveling cross-country is meeting the retired folks in the parks in their motorhomes...a bunch of old farts just having a good time!
One more thing.
When your arriving in the big cities try to do it early in the morning. I mean early, early before the rush hour traffic starts!
The last thing you want to be doing is get caught in traffic in a big city you do not know during rush hour. Especially NY!