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East Coast Vacation - need advice

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East Coast Vacation - need advice

Old 03-18-08, 02:52 PM
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East Coast Vacation - need advice -UPDATE with pics!

I'm going to the East Coast next week and need advice on sites/atttractions that I should see:

Boston - staying for two days, never been there and don't know what's good.

NYC - going to stay with family so they know where to take me

Philadelphia - Besides the Liberty Bell and cheesesteaks, what else is there to do?

Washington D.C - Going to stay for two days, which places are worth going to? It seems like there's a ton of places to see.

As always, thanks for the suggestions.

Last edited by matrixrok9; 04-22-08 at 03:03 AM.
Old 03-18-08, 03:01 PM
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In DC I would recommend, the National Mall, Smithsonian, US Capital, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, National Archives and Arlington National Cemetary.
Old 03-18-08, 03:04 PM
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Philadelphia: http://www.collphyphil.org/mutter.asp
Old 03-18-08, 03:05 PM
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Boston - you can walk the freedom trail, visit a number of historic universities or take a duck tour.
Old 03-18-08, 03:07 PM
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I don't know if you like dining, but Philadelphia has some amazing restaurants. If you're looking for nightlife, your best bet might be the Old City area (which is close to the Liberty Bell). If you like weird museums, try the Mütter Museum of medical oddities.

I would highly advise you that on your way from Philly (if you leave in the morning) to DC (if you arrive in the evening), make an afternoon stop in the Baltimore Inner Harbor. If you like art at all, I highly recommend the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, also known as the museum for outsider art: pieces/paintings/sculptures done by the homeless, insane, and general societal recluses. It's just plain awesome. Philly's (more traditional) art museum is also not bad.

Both Philly (well, across-the-river Camden, NJ) and Baltimore have great aquariums. I believe Baltimore's is still better, although I haven't been to the Camden one.

Washington DC has a lot of stuff, and most of it is concentrated on the Mall. Kid favorite museums are the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and the Air and Space Museum. The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia is another cool science museum (and I'd rate it above either of the Smithsonian ones).

DC and Philly both have kid's museums: Philly has the Please Touch Museum (all interactive exhibits) and DC has the Children's Museum. The former is on the smaller side (iirc) the latter you can easily spend half a day there.

Last time I was in DC the nightlife was sort of dead on a weekday. (It was also summer). I guess Georgetown might be fun.

Unless you're a huge fan of history, I would skip seeing the Liberty Bell or doing any tours. You can see it from outside the building and you can walk around the buildings there but for me it seems like a waste of time and money. If you really like history, there are nighttime tours through the city as well, led by someone wearing 1700s garb.
Old 03-18-08, 03:08 PM
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If you're into early American history, both Boston and Philly have a lot to offer.

If you're going to the Liberty Bell, you should also check out Independence Hall (where the Declaration of Independence was debated and signed) and the Constitution Center (within two blocks of each other). If you like Civil War history, there's a must-see museum at 18th and Pine: http://www.netreach.net/~cwlm/

The art museum is cool (and you can run up the steps and pretend to be Rocky - come on, everyone does it).
Old 03-18-08, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Bandoman
If you like Civil War history, there's a must-see museum at 18th and Pine: http://www.netreach.net/~cwlm/
Didn't know about this one.
Old 03-18-08, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by The Bus
Unless you're a huge fan of history, I would skip seeing the Liberty Bell or doing any tours. You can see it from outside the building and you can walk around the buildings there but for me it seems like a waste of time and money. If you really like history, there are nighttime tours through the city as well, led by someone wearing 1700s garb.
Neither the Liberty Bell nor Independence Hall charge an admission fee. I can tell you I got a chill up my spine the first time I was in the hall and saw the actual chair Hancock sat in while presiding over the Continental Congress. But I'm a geek.
Old 03-18-08, 03:14 PM
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DC you are going to deal with lots of museums, but you don't have to go the smithsonian route. Check out the Holocaust Museum or the Spy Museum but be warned that unlike the Smithsonian these cost money.
Old 03-18-08, 03:15 PM
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Boston... if you like baseball.. i say take a tour of the red Sox Stadium.... i hate the Red Sox with a passion but i did take a tour of their stadium and its a nice one... plus its cool to see the different histories around it...


NY: there is a whole lot to see but i suggest taking a tour.

DC: the museums are great and arlington cemetary is a sight to see
Old 03-18-08, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by The Bus
Didn't know about this one.

It is AWESOME. The have tons of artifacts from the Gettysburg battlefield, including tree trunks riddled with shot. They have the actual preserved head of George Meade's horse (much cooler than it sounds). I could spend days in there.
Old 03-18-08, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Bandoman
Neither the Liberty Bell nor Independence Hall charge an admission fee. I can tell you I got a chill up my spine the first time I was in the hall and saw the actual chair Hancock sat in while presiding over the Continental Congress. But I'm a geek.
I dunno. I remember seeing the Liberty Bell a long, long time ago and waiting forever and the payoff wasn't even that great. Not compared to touring the Mint for example.

I still haven't been to the Constitution center. Last time I was walking randomly and ended up in some garden party for the inventor of flavored soda. There were like 20 organizers and the three of us.
Old 03-18-08, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by raven56706
Boston... if you like baseball.. i say take a tour of the red Sox Stadium.... i hate the Red Sox with a passion but i did take a tour of their stadium and its a nice one... plus its cool to see the different histories around it...

Even those with a passionate hate for the BoSox should know the name of Fenway Park.



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Old 03-18-08, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by raven56706
Boston... if you like baseball.. i say take a tour of the red Sox Stadium.... i hate the Red Sox with a passion but i did take a tour of their stadium and its a nice one... plus its cool to see the different histories around it...


NY: there is a whole lot to see but i suggest taking a tour.

DC: the museums are great and arlington cemetary is a sight to see
I love baseball and will definitely try to see Fenway. I hate them as well, they swept my Angels last season.
Old 03-18-08, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Bandoman
Neither the Liberty Bell nor Independence Hall charge an admission fee. I can tell you I got a chill up my spine the first time I was in the hall and saw the actual chair Hancock sat in while presiding over the Continental Congress. But I'm a geek.
Haha, reminds me of a scene in National Treasure.

Great advices everyone, keep them coming
Old 03-18-08, 03:26 PM
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Who are you traveling with? Self? Spouse? Kids?
Old 03-18-08, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by The Bus
I dunno. I remember seeing the Liberty Bell a long, long time ago and waiting forever and the payoff wasn't even that great. Not compared to touring the Mint for example.

I still haven't been to the Constitution center. Last time I was walking randomly and ended up in some garden party for the inventor of flavored soda. There were like 20 organizers and the three of us.
I agree that the Liberty Bell is all kinds of "meh" (I just had to see it once - that was enough, though). Independence Hall is another matter.

The Constiution Center is cool - the "We The People" presentation is fun, and the interactive exhibits are fascinating.
Old 03-18-08, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by The Bus
Who are you traveling with? Self? Spouse? Kids?
Me and my brother.
Old 03-18-08, 03:56 PM
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Washington D.C.


A MUST is the Udvar Hazy Air and Space Museum at Dulles Airport. Do NOT mistake this for the one downtown (although it's also managed bythe Smithsonian). It's on the Dulles airport property and has among other things for you to walk under, around, touch:


- The Enola Gay (A-29 Superfortress that dropped the first A bomb)
- The SR-71 Blackbird (highest, fastest spy plane)
- The Space Shuttle Enterprise (prototype shuttle)
- Concorde
- Modern fighter jets
- Very tall control tower between the IFR approaches for Dulles airport (if they land that way when your there)...the planes go by you at eye level in parallel
- Flight simulator
- All sorts of WWII fighter aircraft too many to name
- The X-prize winner aircraft Spaceship One (not sure if it is on display yet).


It's totall worth it, I thought they had a shuttle running from downtown to the museum, but I'm not sure.

Link: http://www.nasm.si.edu/udvarhazy/
Old 03-18-08, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeeden
Washington D.C.


A MUST is the Udvar Hazy Air and Space Museum at Dulles Airport.
That place is fascinating. Well worth a trip.
Old 03-18-08, 04:03 PM
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Washington DC

Bullfeathers for lunch, best damn burger I've ever had.
Old 03-18-08, 04:03 PM
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I lived in both Boston and DC for years...

Good Boston walks:
1. Beacon Hill, Charles Street (amazingly historic and ritzy neighborhood, gives you a feeling for what they're talking about when they say "blue blood Boston")

2. Common, State House, State Street, Government Center, Downtown Crossing, Old State House. Fanueil Hall, Quincy market, Big Dig, Harbor (a long walk, maybe 2-3 miles, but you can take the whole day to do it and not get bored)

3. Take the Red Line T to Harvard Square, walk around. Stop at Kendall on the way and check out the insane Stata center (lots of good shopping and food in Harvard Square)

4. Newbury Street, Copley Square, malls (glitzy shopping district. If you have time and care, check out the main reading room at the Library, it's like something out of ancient Rome)

5. Big Dig, North End, across the bridge to Charlestown Naval Yard (The Big Dig has to be seen to be understood. North End is a great Italian neighborhood with some of the best Italian restaurants in the country. the naval Yard is home to Old Ironsides)

Museums to see in Boston (in order of my preference):
1. Isabelle Stewart Gardener Museum (an increible Renaissance art gallery in a restored 15th century Italian palace... in Boston)

2. MFA (maze-like, world famous collection)

3. Van De Graaf generator at Museum of Science (zap!)

4. Aquarium (very cool ascending spiral layout)

DC things to do:
1. National Mall. Don't miss the Air and Space Museum. The Sackler Gallery is a little known personal favorite as well.

2. M Street in Georgetown, walk around Georgetown

3. Vietnam Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, down the steps and walk along the Potomac to Watergate

4. Adams Morgan or DuPont Circle for nighttime

5. Tidal Basin and Holocaust Museum

6. Union Station is surprisingly cool

7. The National Cathedral (truly incredible and I'm not religous)

Last edited by Hiro11; 03-18-08 at 04:08 PM.
Old 03-18-08, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by matrixrok9
Me and my brother.
Well, in Philly, Delilah's then.
Old 03-18-08, 05:52 PM
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If you're in DC soon I'd definately go to the tidal basin as the cherry blossoms should still be out. I believe the festival is this weekend.

I haven't made it to the Dulles branch of the A&S yet, but it's definitely on my to-do list. By the way, there's a Ferarri dealership about 5 miles further NW on Route 28 if you like hot cars.
Old 03-19-08, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeeden
Washington D.C.


A MUST is the Udvar Hazy Air and Space Museum at Dulles Airport. Do NOT mistake this for the one downtown (although it's also managed bythe Smithsonian). It's on the Dulles airport property and has among other things for you to walk under, around, touch:


- The Enola Gay (A-29 Superfortress that dropped the first A bomb)
- The SR-71 Blackbird (highest, fastest spy plane)
- The Space Shuttle Enterprise (prototype shuttle)
- Concorde
- Modern fighter jets
- Very tall control tower between the IFR approaches for Dulles airport (if they land that way when your there)...the planes go by you at eye level in parallel
- Flight simulator
- All sorts of WWII fighter aircraft too many to name
- The X-prize winner aircraft Spaceship One (not sure if it is on display yet).


It's totall worth it, I thought they had a shuttle running from downtown to the museum, but I'm not sure.

Link: http://www.nasm.si.edu/udvarhazy/

Don't forget my favorite thing to see at that museum, The original Close Encounters of the Thrid Kind space ship model.

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