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Northeastern United States

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Travel Guide North America USA Northeastern United States

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Introduction

Road to Quabin Reservoir

Road to Quabin Reservoir

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The Northeastern United States is historically and culturally one of the most significant areas of the United States. Encompassing New England and part of the Mid-Atlantic, the Northeast was the site of the original 13 states that formed the United States after the War of Independence.

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Geography

The Northeastern United States is bounded to the north by Canada, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by the American South, and to the west by the American Midwest. The region occupies a total area of 469,630 km2.

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Cities

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Sights and Activities

Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park - Maine

Acadia National Park - Maine

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Acadia National Park is a National Park located in the U.S. state of Maine. It reserves much of Mount Desert Island, and associated smaller islands, off the Atlantic coast. Created as Lafayette National Park in 1919, it was renamed Acadia in 1929 and is the oldest National Park east of the Mississippi River. The park includes mountains, an ocean shoreline, woodlands, and lakes. In addition to Mount Desert Island, the park comprises much of the Isle au Haut, parts of Baker Island, and a portion of the Schoodic Peninsula on the mainland. The park is home to some 40 different species of mammalian wildlife. Among these are red and gray squirrels, chipmunks, white-tailed deer, moose, beaver (Castor canadensis), porcupine, muskrats, foxes, coyote, bobcats, and black bears. Many other marine species have been observed in the surrounding area and waters.

Adirondacks

View from Algonquin Peak

View from Algonquin Peak

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The Adirondacks refers to the park and mountains located in this area. The Adirondack Park is both the largest and the first government-protected park in the contiguous United States. It covers a vast expanse - bigger than New Hampshire - of rugged, thickly wooded, mountainous terrain in northeast New York State. The Adirondacks are a popular destination for all lovers of outdoor activities, from hiking and skiing to ice and rock climbing.

Appalachian National Scenic Trail

The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, also known as the Appalachian Trail or the A.T., is a 2,175 miles (3,500 kilometre) long hiking trail that has one of its terminus points in Maine and the other in Georgia. This trail attracts countless thru hikers, people that do the hike in one trip, and section hikers, people that hike different parts of the trail at different times in order to do the whole trail, every year. This trail goes into some of the best preserved wilderness in all of the East Coast.

Statue of liberty

Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty

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One the most famous statues in the world is the statue of liberty. It's not only an icon for New York but also for the entire country. The statue was a gift of the French people to celibrate the centennial of the Independence of the United States. The statue was constructed in France, and after completion shipped to the USA, where it was stored for 11 months, to await the completion of the pedestal, the 46-metre-high statue could finally be unveiled in November 1886.

Liberty Island was closed after the attacks of 9-11, and only reopened in 2004. The crown can be visited again since July 2009, but only by a few people a day. Two smaller statues predates the statue that is placed in New York. One stands in Paris in the Jardin de Luxembourg, and a second stands in front of the city hall in Maceió, in Brazil. After the success of these statues, it was decided to go huge. Nowadays there are several copies of the statue of liberty to be found all over the world.

Ellis Island

Ellis Island - Immigration Facility

Ellis Island - Immigration Facility

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Close to the Statue of Liberty and actualy a part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument, Ellis Island is the place were millions of new Americans entered the country. Between 1892 and 1954 around 12 immigrants passed the Ellis Island Immigration Station, of 2% were denied access to the United States. 1907 was the bussiest year at Ellis Island with over a million people arriving that year. Some of the notable names that started their new lives in the USA here were: writer Isaac Asimov, gangster Lucky Luciano, actor Rudolph Valentino, Olympic swimming champion and actor Johnny Weissmüller (Tarzan) and comedian Bob Hope, after who the library of Ellis Island has been named. Nowadays the island is home to the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, which is visited by millions of people, usualy in combination with a visit to the statue of liberty.

To reach Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty you need to take the boat service with the Circle Line, which is the only company that has services to the Islands. The ferry leaves from Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey and from the southern tip of Manhattan in New York City.

Empire State Building

Empire State

Empire State

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The Empire State Building is with 381 metres (or 448,7 metres if you include the antenna) the highest building in New York City at the junction of Fifth Avenue and West 34th Street. Built in a typical art deco style, that was in fashion before World War II, it was the heighest in the world from the opening in 1932 until it was surpassed by the North Tower of the World Trade Center in 1972. After the terrorist attacks at September 11, 2001, it again became the tallest building in the New York skyline. Visitors primarily come to the tower to have a look at the panorama over New York at the observation deck, which is located at the 86th floor. Most tourists tend to forget that in the building around a thousand offices are located, employing around 21.000 people. The building has been the sight of many films, most notable is King Kong, and maybe the least know is the film Empire by Andy Warhol, which is a 8 hours and 5 minutes long film showing the Empire State building from July 25-26, 1964 from 8:06pm to 2:42am (the difference in the time, is because of the speed at which the film is projected.)

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Weather

The northeast of the US has somewhat less extreme weather compared to for example the midwest or southeast where extreme cold or hot weather occurs. That said, temperatures can hit 40 °C in summer here as well and during relatively brief winter periods temperatures can plummit to around 40 °C below in the extreme northeastern hilly and mountainous areas. In general though, summers from June to September are nice and warm, between 25 °C and 30 °C during the day and between 15 °C and 20 °C at night.

Winters last from December to March with average daytime temperatures mostly around zero or slightly above, though more inland to the north temperatures are lower. Nights are well below zero during this time, even along most of the coastline where conditions are milder. In general, the further north you go it is a bit cooler, both during summer as well as winter, while inland conditions are somewhat warmer during summer and colder during winter. Precipitation is quite evenly distributed throughout the year, with sometimes very heavy snowfall in winter. During summer, heavy showers can occur, especially after periods of hot weather.

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Getting There

By Plane

The main airports are:

By Bus

There are quite a few bus companies offering services including Greyhound.

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Getting Around

By Car

Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.

For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.

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Eat

New England's cities and tourist areas have a wide variety of excellent restaurants. A few famous items of local cuisine include New Haven's pizza, Vermont's maple syrup, Southern Massachusetts and Rhode Island's Portuguese cuisine, and Maine's lobster and blueberries. Everywhere along New England's coast there are local restaurants offering fresh seafood, fried clams, and clam chowder. It can be kitschy, but there is a certain pleasure in spending a summer afternoon at a New England seaside restaurant eating seafood and watching boats come and go in the local harbor.

A special local treat is to attend a clam or "lobsta" "bake" or "shore dinner" at a coastal location. These venues typically serve only a complete clam or lobster dinner at a fixed time that includes all the ingredients of a traditional New England clam or lobster bake, including, of course, steamed clams or lobster, baked potatoes, corn on the cob, baked beans, and traditional desserts. Sometimes steak or hamburger is offered to those who will not eat lobster or clams. Inquire locally in seaside communities for locations and times.

Some of New England's smaller towns have old restored taverns which in the 18th and 19th centuries provided lodging and food for weary travelers. Most of these restored taverns no longer offer lodging, but offer meals featuring typical "New England fare" such as pot roast and a variety of steaks and poultry. Many of these restaurants also offer seafood.

If you know where to go, the Mid-Atlantic is a food-lovers paradise. New York City has the world's best upmarket dining scene hands down. The D.C. area has an unlimited supply of cheap, delicious, immigrant-run restaurants featuring cuisines from every corner of the world. Philadelphia takes its fast food seriously and is an excellent place to try American street food including, of course, the Philly Cheeseteak. New Jersey's diners are iconic, Baltimore's are funky as they come. And the coastal areas of Delaware and Maryland are rightly famous for their magnificent crab feasts.

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Drink

Boston is known for its drinking establishments known locally as bars or taverns or pubs, including the Cheers bar of TV fame. New Haven is home to hundreds of bars and restaurants, and has a thriving scene including the Playwright, the largest Irish Pub on the East Coast, a huge space holding two thousand people built out of church parts salvaged from Ireland. In addition, several other cities in the region have an active nightlife. Microbreweries and wineries are also located throughout the region, and many can be visited by travellers.

Be aware that New England states have strict laws on driving while under the influence of alcohol. Some New England police departments enforce these laws by stopping traffic near popular bars and interviewing drivers, or by stationing unmarked police cars in or near the parking lots of popular establishments.

Types of stores that sell alcohol for off-premises consumption vary from state to state. Generally, wine and beer may be purchased in groceries and convenience stores but harder liquors may only be available from retail liquor stores known locally as "package stores" or "packies". While former "Blue Laws" prohibited the sale of alcohol on Sundays in Massachusetts and Connecticut, many those laws have since been repealed. However, some cities and towns remain "dry" or do not allow for the sale of alcohol. Other New England states have slowly repealed such alcohol sales bans, but be aware of this odd tradition.

New England is Dunkin Donuts country. Although it has donuts in the name, this is a coffee chain. They are easy to find all over New England, especially southern New England where you are probably within a mile of several locations at once. For those unfamiliar with it Dunkin Donuts (sometimes referred to as "Dunk's" or "Dunkies") is a fairly barebones experience. If you want fancier coffee, most towns will have a few locally owned coffee shops as well.

Few parts of the world can boast the nightlife to be found in the urban areas of the Mid-Atlantic. New York City's nightlife probably needs no introduction. From the diviest dives to the swankiest wine bars, as well as the best jazz in the world, New York's really got it all in this category. Philadelphia, Allentown, and Baltimore offer quirky, rougher-edged, and less accessible, but very lively bar and clubbing scenes. Pittsburgh defies post-industrial-city expectations with a lively and surprisingly classy nightlife scene. Washington, D.C. would at first glance seem the exception, with its reputation for bland, poorly dressed staidness and early closing times. The early closing times are a bummer on weekdays, but weekends have become hot for clubbers in the last 5–10 years.

Local drinks are many, mostly in the beer category. Most famous of all is Yuengling brand (pronounced ying-ling), America's oldest brewery. In most of Pennsylvania, ordering a 'lager' will net you a Yuengling lager.

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Sleep

Hotel and Motel Chains

There are dozens of hotel and motel chains, ranging from budget to top end. Allthough they are not the most charming accommodations, they usually have a very decent midrange service with good rooms and are generally good value. At least you know what to expect and in some cases they are either the only or the best option in the area. Some of them include:

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This is version 27. Last edited at 13:38 on Mar 14, 16 by Utrecht. 9 articles link to this page.

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