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  1. Default 4thJuly Roadtrip Charlotte - Pittsburgh - Niagara - Washington DC - Charlotte

    Hi All,

    I am planning a roadtrip from Charlotte to Niagara via Pittsburgh and return via Washington DC. The plan as of now is:

    Arrive Depart Location
    N/A 1-Jul CLT, NC
    1-Jul 2-Jul Pittsburgh
    2-Jul 3-Jul Niagara
    3-Jul 5-Jul Washington DC
    5-Jul N/A CLT, NC

    Is it feasible? Need your suggestions for:
    1) Must see places on the way.
    2) Suggested hotels for night stay (Budget $60-70 per night)
    3) Tips for Washington DC in terms of car parking and places to see.

    Thanks a ton in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Certainly

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Your plan is certainly feasible. You not only have time to see a few sites on your driving days, but you're leaving yourself the 4th of July in our nation's capital. But that's only a few sites while on the road, so you're going to have to choose carefully. There is no short list of "must see" places, Where you will stop depends entirely on what you would like to see. For example, on the leg up to Niagara, you might want to take a detour through the New River Valley in West Virginia, or visit the site of the first oil well in the US in northwestern Pennsylvania, or stop at the Lucy and Desi Museum in Jamestown, NY - three wildly different attractions, each of which would be on some peoples' but not everyone's "must see" list. For some ideas of what's available on the Niagara to Washington leg, check this posting.

    For the time that you're in the Washington area, you may want to consider staying outside the city near a Metro station and leaving the car at 'home' while taking the train into town. Driving and Parking in DC can be daunting and expensive, while almost everything you'll want to see is within walking distance of the Mall. While most government offices will be closed on the Fourth, there will be more than the usual number of tourists. It will be worth your while to check beforehand to see which museums and monuments will be open or closed.

    As for motels, the usual suspects would include the national budget chains such as Motel 6, Super 8, Red Roof, Econo Lodge, Travelodge and others. You can also try Priceline, Hotwire and similar bidding sites if you're familiar with them.


  3. Default Thanks

    Thanks for your inputs!

    My type of place would be something which will not require a major detour and will not take more than 2 hours of stopping. Any suggestions with these constraints will be highly appreciated. I also need your help on short listing some areas in Washington DC which are out of city but close to a metro station. This is my first time in US and first time in DC. How is DC from safety point of view? Is it ok to roam around late in the night, or just general precautions would be enough.

    So far the maximum I've driven here is about 4-5 hrs at a stretch and I think I am ready for a longer road trip. Please tell me if this trip will need any additional preps! :-)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Stops

    There are certainly worthwhile stops all along the Interstates. If the ones on that list don't meet your specific needs or itinerary, just get a road atlas and see what attractions are near the highways you'll be on in roughly the area where you'll want to stop. You'll know a lot more quickly than anyone here when something is up your alley. You still haven't given anyone anything to go on besides 'near the highway'.

    As far as DC goes, the Metro lines terminate in Rockville, Glenmont, Greenbelt, New Carrollton, Largo, and Suitland (Maryland); and Huntington, Springfield, and Vienna (Virginia). There are car parks at most outlying Metro stations, and you can get the exact street address of the stop by clicking on the interactive map linked to above. Most hotel/motel web sites will allow you to search for accommodations near such an address.

    As for safety in DC, as with any large city this is going to be a matter of neighborhoods, and I simply don't know the city well enough to offer such advice. I would think that as long as you're in a brightly lit area with lots of people out and about, you'll be fine - just as anywhere else.


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