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  1. Default Peoria IL to Washington DC with travel trailer

    Hello

    I am new to this site and would appreciate any help anyone can give with our roadtrip from Peoria IL to Washington DC in mid June, with a 35' travel trailer and 2 children aged 5 and 7. We will have 8 days total and the rough plan is to take the route suggested by Google maps ie I-74 E, I-70 E. Our aim is to get there asap and then we can take our time seeing things there and on the way back. On the first day we aim to drive to Cambridge OH and stay at a campsite near there, driving the next day straight to Cherry Hill campsite in the Silver Spring/College Park area of Washington DC. We will then spend 2-3 days exploring DC, probably taking one of the tour buses that you can get on and off. Any suggestions on what museums children of 5 and 7 would enjoy would be appreciated, also any other tips on being in DC with children of this age. My husband would like to see the Liberty Bell and Declaration of Independence while we are in that part of the country so we plan to perhaps spend 1-2 days in Philadelphia area. Can anyone recommend a decent safe campsite in that area, one that we would be able to travel from easily into the city using public transport? Again, any suggestions as to what to do there with young children would be appreciated. We would then journey back and would be interested in ideas of what to see on route back. I appreciate scenery and countryside, my husband is interested in history - not any specific period, just history generally. We are considering visiting Gettysburg.

    Thanks in advance for any help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Minor Adjustments

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Your basic plan looks just fine, but I would suggest some tweaks. Firstly, in western PA, you should get off I-70 on the east side of Washington, and take I-79 south to I-68 east. This will rejoin I-70 at Hancock, MD and save you the tolls, tunnels, and narrow lanes of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, and is only 4-5 miles longer. Secondly, on your way into the Washington/Baltimore area on I-70, you're going to pass within about 10 miles of the site of the single bloodiest day in American history, Antietam, and it would be a shame to just drive past.

    In DC. the National Mall is where 90+% of everything you want to see is located. it is served by 2 or 3 different Metro (subway) stops and the whole thing can be walked from end to end (Just ask all the protest marchers!), so I don't think a tour bus will be necessary. I would recommend that you not try to drive into the city, It's street layout can be confusing, it is always at least moderately congested, and parking is rare and costly. Try to find a campground that allows you to drive to one of the outermost stations of the Metro and use that to get in/out of the city. For kids, I would recommend the Air and Space Museum and the Museum of Natural History for starters, both are part of the Smithsonian Institution, on the mall, and free. In fact, the only thing I can think of that you might want to see in Washington that is not on the mall is the National Zoo, but that's also reachable by Metro.

    In Philadelphia, the obvious kid pleaser is the Franklin Institute. The Liberty Bell and Independence Hall are there, but the original Declaration of Independence and Constitution are in the National Archives in Washington. Other possibilities that you and your children might enjoy are Elfrethís Alley, the Betsy Ross House, or even the USS Olympia.

    US-30 out of Philadelphia will take you by Valley Forge on the way to Gettysburg and you can then continue west to I-81 south to rejoin I-70 for the trip home. As you may have noticed, I haven't given you any suggestions for campgrounds. I'm afraid I just don't know much about them, but I hope my other suggestions prove useful.

    AZBuck

  3. Default Wow! Thanks AZBuck

    What wonderful information, thank you so much. I am particularly grateful for the tips to avoid tolls, tunnels etc - we would never have found that out by ourselves. We will probably miss out Philadelphia - now we know we can see the declaration in the National Archives in Washington! We are Brits so that may explain why we didn't know this... Upon further consideration, 2 cities is probably too much for the children so I am going to look into the option of going south of DC, perhaps taking in a beach area or heading back by West Virginia and a mountainous/scenic route. The information you gave us on Washington will be most useful to us - thank you once again. I am so pleased to have found this wonderful site.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default East Before South

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Glad to be of help. As for beaches, that would be a great alternative to the cities, especially for the kids. But rather than head south from DC, I think you'd be much better served by heading east across Chesapeake Bay on US-50 and head for the Delaware Shore. Rehoboth Beach bills itself as the Nation's Summer Capital because many Washingtonians head there. But I actually prefer some more family friendly towns a bit south of there, or even some undeveloped beach near where I spent my own childhood summers.

    AZBuck

  5. Default mmm..something else to consider

    The Quiet Resorts look good, that gives me something else to think about. I have come across a campsite in Fredericksburg that looks good and am considering using that as our base to visit DC and staying there for about 4 nights. We could keep the kids happy with a day at the amusement park. Looks like we could see a lot from there. Then I am now looking at crossing the Appalachian mountains and heading back via the I-64 into Kentucky and then picking the 65 up into Indianapolis. It would be good to take a different route back and to take the opportunity to travel through West Virginia.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    What are you going to be towing that travel trailer with - or is it a self-contained RV (caravan)?

  7. Default towing

    We tow with an F250 diesel truck.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Okay - you will have enough power to pull what grades you will encounter along that route. Just checking.

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