Am flying from Scotland to Jacksonville, Orlando for the football, USA v Scotland, in May of this year, it is our intention to drive up the east coast back to New York to fly back home. I was wondering if anyone can suggest some worthwhile stops en route to New York. We don't really want to do cities, perhaps some towns with a bit of history attached to them and any recommendations for hotels en route.
Many thanks for your help.
Here are a few suggestions:
Head north from Orlando to the coast and visit San Augustine. This is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the entire United States. Originally a Spanish settlement, it became part of the US when Florida did back around 1830.
From here head north to Athens, Georgia. This is a fun college town (University of Georgia) and has lots of great places to see local bands (lots of bands started in this area). From here head north to the Great Smoky Mountains (largest national park on the east coast)and then to Asheville, North Carolina to see the Vanderbilt estate. Next head north past Roanoke, into the southern portion of the Shenandoah National Park and then over to Charlottesville, Virginia and visit "Montecello", the former home of Thomas Jefferson, the writer of our "Declaration of Independence" and also the third president of the country.
Next head straight east to Williamsburg, the first capital of Virginia--and a city which has been preserved as a "historic living monument"--where the entire town still looks as it did in 1763, and you will find people performing as actors throughout the town--playing the part of George Washington, or Patrick Henry, or former famous clergymen, or British Governors of the day--and people acting as regular tradesmen/tradeswomen of the period. From here it is a short journey to either Jamestown--the first permanent English settlement in the US--or to Yorktown, the final climatic battle of the American Revolutionary War.
Head north from here to Washington DC, stopping at Mount Vernon (George Washington's old house) on the way. In Washington, see all the monuments, plus the Smithsonian's space museum, plus the capital building and the "White House", where our presidents all have lived during their term of office.
I'll continue the route on my next post.
Once you arrive at Baltimore, take time to either visit the "inner harbor area" (known for its shops and seafood restaurants), Little Italy area, or else the "Fells Point Area"--a place with a lot of fun bars. It was in this last area that Edgar Allen Poe used to write his famous scary stories (such as "The Raven") over a pint of ale. (Thus the reason the local American football team here is named the Baltimore Ravens).
Head north from Baltimore towards York and then Lancaster, Pennsylvania. If you get off the main road and take some of the side routes, you'll see lots of the locals still traveling around by horse and buggy. These are the Amish people, who still believe that man was not meant to use technology. They still all get together whenever one of their members get married and put up (build) a house and barn with the couple to help them get started in life. The Pennsylvania Dutch (descendents of the original Dutch settlers) here still bake great stuff and feature it in their local fairs or bakeries. When I lived in Baltimore, I'd go here often on weekends to buy stuff.
From here head up to Reading, Pennsylvania. This town seems to be one gigantic collection of discount shopping outlets (I think there are at least 8 major outlets malls in this town--and it's probably the best shopping spot in the country for discounts).
From here its not too much farther on over to New Jersey--and then into New York City.
Have a great trip.
[ Edit: Clean up loose ends on directions ]