NYC - Boston - DC - Roadtrip Advice

Travel Forums North America NYC - Boston - DC - Roadtrip Advice

1. Posted by mulderstu (Budding Member 7 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

I wonder if anyone could be kind enough to help me with a road trip holiday we have planned for the summer of 2007 for a adult family of 3. I know it is not exactly the areas which you stated but any advice will be appreciated.

Well this is the story. I have booked a three week holiday from 29 June to 21 July. Arriving JFK Airport. I have booked car hire for the entire duration. I will book a motel around 7 miles outside NYC or any other major city and leave the car at the motel as it is free parking and take public transport in.

The routes we are thinking of taking are as follows.

The first one is spend 3 days in NYC before heading up to the southern states of New England (RI,MASS,CONN)and spend around 5 days in these areas.
From there we head all the way down to DC spending about 4 days to do the journey.
I think we will be in DC and surrounding areas, i.e Arlington for 5 days before another 3 day journey heading back up to NY and maybe visiting Philadelphia on the way.

Do you think you could do this route in three weeks without feeling rushed and getting stuck in traffic jams on the I95?

Are there alternative routes between Boston and DC which are more scenic but at the same time relatvily fast?

The other options, if the above route sounds too stretched is to just to concentrate on the areas North of NY (New England) or South (Capitol area/Virginia).

We would love a holiday with a bit of variety from rural wilderness locations to a major city.

Any help on this subject will be appreciated as we have never been on a roadtrip on such a scale.


2. Posted by foggyidea (Budding Member 19 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Fun trip that you have scheduled. I think that three weeks is adequte, but you are likely to feel rushed regardless. I live in MA, Cape Cod actually, and we drive down to Philly several times a year, as well as a yearly trip to NYC. To be honest, we don't use the 95 route any longer. We much prefer the (from boston, south) Rte 90 to Route 84 ( near worcestor MA,) and then head south on 84. You can pick up Rte 80 towards Philly.

I don't find that Rotue 90 is that scenic. It's all highway and cities, with the exception of Mystic Conn. which is a beautiful spot.

Based on your description of rural over metro I think that the "inland" route would be more to your liking. While you're in New england, Mass. area, take a day trip out tothe Cape and dirve up to Provincetown!!! It's a fun palce to visit and the Cape is a beautiful place!!

Cape Cod is very busy in the summer, as is Washington, but they are definitly worth visiting. Near Philly and surronding areas are the old Revolutionary war sites and also the Amish farmlands. Gettysburg is a neat visit for a day if your are interested in old war sites.

Best of luck and have fun!


3. Posted by mulderstu (Budding Member 7 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Sorry, Forgot to mention that if you have any must see locations whether it be for scenery or your typical american town, between Boston, NYC and Washington i would love if you could mention them.

4. Posted by mulderstu (Budding Member 7 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for your reply Don. Intersteing information and i do think Provincetown is a must like you say.

5. Posted by abesworld (Budding Member 48 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

DEFINITELY go to Philly, it's the greatest. A very scenic route out of Boston is 90 to 84 West (Not south, there isn't one), then get onto route 380, go west to 81 south, then take 476 south, takes you back to 95. It's beautiful up there by the Poconos, maybe even stay a bit out there, it's great. Lakes, mountains, everything. If not, the drive is very scenic anyway. The Lehigh Tunnel is very fun (on route 476, about a mile through a big mountain). 476 and 95 don't pass directly by center city Philadelphia, but you can get onto 76 east at Conshohocken off of 476 and take that right in. Or get into Philly on your way back from DC. Boston's also a great town, lots of fun. Have a great time, I've done most of this trip several times before, and it's always great. I wish I could stop as much as you will be doing, I'm usually going between Philly and Boston without stopping. But the route up 476 is beautiful, especially when you're a bit out from Philly.


6. Posted by Jimz (Budding Member 34 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Having lived in Boston as well as southern New Jersey near Philadelphia, I find your projected itinerary interesting and workable. Three days in New York (which is very expensive) I suspect you will find either to be too long or not long enough. I think it provides a good starting point. You can always fill in what you may initially have missed at the end of your trip. I would personally spend more time than you have allocated in New England and less in the Washington D.C. area. Aside from Boston and the Harvard Square section of Cambridge (take the MTA around Boston and environs plus the Freedom Trail historical tour from mid-city to Bunker Hill and "Old Ironsides"), Provincetown, Plymouth, and Cape Cod, the restored village of Sturbridge about an hour west of Boston in Massachusetts is well worth spending the better part of a day. In addition, Cape Ann, a short distance north of Boston, contains the towns of Gloucester and Rockport, the latter of which is a fantastic picturesque fishing/tourist town with good restaurants and places to stay. While touring Rhode Island, make sure to at least have lunch or dinner in Newport on the waterfront. The harbor is worth visiting. But, the main attraction in Newport consists of the huge "cottages" along the Atlantic side of town built by the wealthy 100 years ago. They can and should be toured. I second the recommendation of visiting Mystic Seaport in Connecticut. Some of the time I would cut from Washington (a day or two) could be spent in Philadelphia (see the historic section around Independence Hall) and perhaps, since you will have a car, drive to Atlantic City about 70 miles to the east on the ocean. Walking the boardwalk and dipping into a few of the casinos is worth the time. The drive is an easy one on the Atlantic City Expressway. The main sights in D.C. proper can be easily seen in three days unless you want to spend significant amounts of time in the Smithsonian buildings.
Gettysburg, which was suggested by another contributor is a good thought if you have the time, but it is about a 2 1/2 hour drive west and south of Philadelphia. If you go there, in addition to the park and battlefield, the Eisenhower farm is adjacent to the city. A shorter journey would be to New Hope, Pennsylvania an hour or so north along the Delaware River. It contains a number of nice shops and restaurants and can be walked easily.
Make sure you have hotel reservations for the various destinations you are considering. They are crowded in the summer, including Washington, even though Congress will not be in session.
Good luck with your trip.


7. Posted by mulderstu (Budding Member 7 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Thanks everyone for your replies.

It sounds like there is just so much to do in both of these places. I think it may be best just to concentrate on one area, whether it be south of New York down to places Like shenandoah national park or North of NY around the New England area rather than the original idea of a whirlwind tour.

All you help is much apprecited and i have noted down the places and alternative routes you have mentioned.

Thanks again

8. Posted by foggyidea (Budding Member 19 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Mystic, Conn is a nice place to stop and visit for a couple of hours. Funny enough, but battle ship Park in Fall River Mass is pretty cool, too... If you 've ever been interested in going aboard some big ships!!

I'm sorry but I had my routes mixed up...even numbers run west and east, and odd numbers north and south... So like Abe said, 84 west, then 81 south, and route 90 is what you'd take in and out of boston to get to route 84...

95, is the one that runs north to south that I mostly avoid!!!

NYC is very expensive to visit but if you are there and you want to see a Broadway show you can get great half price tickets the day of the show at the Times Square box office. There is usually a great selection of shows to choose from and it's a great way to see the show for a reasonable price... Plus you can see the Times Square cowboy!~! hahaha


9. Posted by mulderstu (Budding Member 7 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Can anyone tell me how much i would expect to pay for parking(Multi-storey/Street parking) and how easy or hard they are to come across in DC and Philly, if we decide to drive in from our motel and not take public transport in. I wont bother asking about NYC!!!

And is it true that most of the tourist attractions in DC (i.e FBI Building) are free as i have come across one or two websites stating this?