Hiii I am traveling to the east coast with my boyfriend from mid june- mid july for just over 3 and a half weeks, spending 5 days in New York, and hoping to plan a rough route from New york - Miami. We have three weeks after New York and are hoping to see:
New York (set 5days)
Any recommendation for:
- amazing places to see/eat/party?!
- Hostel recommendations?
We are also traveling by coach/trains? Any experience with what ones are cheapest/ safest?
You'll have no problems in terms of safety on either the buses or trains. The cheapest fares you are likely to find are on Megabus, Boltbus, or any of the intercity bus services leaving out of Chinatown in NYC (you can find info on them via chinatown-bus.org) . With Mega or Bolt, book as far ahead as you can to get the best fares - as they get more expensive the more seats they've already sold. The Chinatown buses between NYC/DC or NYC/Boston typically will run about $10-20 each way.
Amazing places to eat and party definitely depend on your budget as all of those cities cater to serious foodies, but cheap good eats can be found in all the cities. In the Carolinas definitely dry the BBQ at a bunch of different places and I'd strongly recommend The Pit In Raleigh, NC if you get there. but BBQ and traditional southern fare is really a local specialty down there.
If you go through the Outer Banks of NC, the secret is the seafood and while I could offer some suggestions it again would depend on budget, and where exactly you are going, and if you are self catering at all.
In terms of amazing places to see and things to do (trying to skip the obvious ones that you'll already know about),
in NYC one of my very favorite small places to visit is the Forbes Gallery (free) and takes less than an hour if you are down in the village.
Definitely do the walk over the Brooklyn Bridge then walk walk down to the Promenade along the water to enjoy the green spaces and get amazing views of the skyline and Statue of Liberty.
Boston has an incredible aquarium which is one of the best in the world, but if you want to do an aquarium the National Aquarium in Baltimore (just about 30 minutes from DC) is even better.
The Outer Banks of NC have the best beaches anywhere along your route.
In that area try to eat some local Blue Claw crabs which will just be in season and are delicious (but a lot of work).
In Florida - I suggest on your way to Orlando stopping in St. Augustine, a really cool city and the oldest in the US. It's kind of like New Orleans but without the fanfare and crowds in many ways. There is a great hostel there called the Pirate Haus (Pirate themed obviously) which is safe, cheap and dead central to everything you'd want to see. The head guy there (Captain Conrad) probably knows more about hostels on the east coast than anyone I've met.
It's about 2 hours from there to Orlando. In Orlando don't bother with the hostels - you can find a cheap hotel for under $30 right near Disney/Universal/Seaworld via about a billion websites - and they all offer free shuttles to the parks. (although in Florida you'll find the cheapest rental cars in the US - you can find them for as little as $12 a day if you shop around).
If you want to be more specific I can offer some other suggestions for your specific destinations, or offer some that might be of interest to you.
Hope it helps.
Thank you so much for your help! when I have a more detailed plan of where we want to visit I will post again!
You really need to see Washington DC. It would take a week to see the entire Smithsonian but in a day you can see all the famous sites such as the White House, Capital etc by just driving/walking around.
Too much to see in NYC as well . I could recommend getting a NY pass or a NYC pass, to save money (and some waiting) for the main tourist highlights. Definitely go to the Emire State/Rockefeller for great views of Manhattan. And concerning museums I could really recommend the Metropolitan (which is huge), the MoMA and AMNH. I didn't find the Guggenheim that special (the architecture was nice, but the exhibition not so special).
Also have to agree with DocNY on the Brooklyn Bridge part.
For hostels... if you were considering either Candy or Fresh, I'd recommend to search for another hostel... From my own experience I can say that those are not the best I've been to.. (poor service, bedbugs etc.)
Have fun with planning your trip