We are starting to plan our holiday to America. We would like to sample the American life and to visit all the wonderful sights along the way. We'd like to include trips to great museums (science and historical), animal centres and amusements. We have 4 young children aged between 2 and 9 years. It will be our first trip to America. We have heard so much from friends and family that we are desperate to experience the country ourselves. Our first thought was Florida and to stay put and enjoy the parks. Now we feel we want to see more and don't necessary want to be sucked into all the big tourist attractions costing more money than we can spare. So instead we thought we'd try to fly in at one airport and drive part of the country and fly back from another airport. We fly from England and hope to land some where on the East coast, with the aim to work our way down to Florida. We would hire a car but don't want to spend the entire time driving. Can you advise us on accommodation, sights to see, not so well known places that are worth visiting, and where to start. Thank you for your help. Sam
Just so you know that the USA is one of the most expensive destinations you could pick, and a one-way car rental will incur hefty drop charges as well. The East Coast has a great deal of history condensed into several small areas such as the historic areas of Virginia, and Washington DC has excellent sights and museums (I love the Smithsonian). Colonial Williamsburg is another one-of-a-kind living museums that you will also never see duplicated, and very interesting.
Further south, I recommend the Savannah and Charleston areas of Georgia and South Carolina.
How long have you got? Traveling down the East coast in a car with 4 young children doesn't sound like my idea of a holiday. It's 1500 miles from Boston to Miami for example!
Another idea to consider ...
We flew to Boston with our 3 children and traveled around New England for 3 weeks which was great. Boston is a lovely city with lot's of history, Boston Tea Party, Paul Revere and his night ride etc. You could check out Lexington and Concorde, two towns just outside Boston with lots of history from that period. Also north of Boston is Salem which has a good museum about the Salem witch hunts ( the kids will enjoy that) and south is Plymouth I think? which has an interesting reconstruction of an original European settlement. We drove North into Maine and New Hampshire to see the fall foliage but you could easily drive down to New York for a few days. Lots of possibilities, you could even drive to Buffalo and sea Niagara, about a 10 hour drive I seem to recall.
hope it goes well.
Thank you both for your response. I was aware that the travelling to America would cost a lot. We very nearly booked a 3wk holiday in Florida April time, staying in a villa which looked to cost £6000. We now feel that it would be too touristy, hence the idea of travelling around a bit.
We were thinking 2-3 weeks. Reading your responses maybe travelling as I first suggested isn't such a great idea. I'm open to suggestions. Having never been to America and always wanting to go, our only criteria is, that its child friendly, the need to stay in a villa to keep us all together, nice scenery, good museums and educational places around. My friend recently recommended Yellowstone? Any words of advice?
I will take a look at your suggestion Nick, it sounds interesting. And Daawgon I take on board your suggestions too, my problem is choosing the best location with minimal travelling to get to see attractions further afield i guess.
Yellowstone is awesome, but also one of the most remote destinations in this country. I think your original plan to stay on the E. Coast is more practical if you don't want to be driving constantly. I think the mistake many foreigners make is trying to see too much at one time - this is one huge country, and it's near impossible to do it all at once. Choose one area that interests you. The original 13 colonies of this country is one very interesting and historic area, and that's why I recommend the Colonial Virginia area as a good base.