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  1. Default NYC to Washington and back in 4 days

    My boyfriend and I (both from Holland and both in our early 30s) would love to go on a road trip down to Washington DC and back this coming week. He's never been anywhere south of NY (I have) and would love some recommendations for routes, places to stop, things to see etc. I know that we could easily spend 4 days (if not 4 whole weeks) in Washington DC alone but time is limited and this will be more of a wetting of the palette. We can always go back to the places we love as we've recently moved to NY. We love both the city and the country so short hike recommendations would not fall on deaf ears. Also historical, cultural, culinary ideas etc..would be greatly appreciated as well as sleeping accommodations. I understand it's best to overnight outside of D.C and take the metro in on city days. Thanks so much in advance for your time, excited about joining this Roadtrip America group!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    With just 4 days available, and considering that DC is your focus, I actually think your best bet would be to make this a train trip instead of a roadtrip.

    NY to DC via I-95 that isn't exactly a country stroll - as it is packed with traffic the whole length. There certainly are great places where you can get away in a similar distance - like the mountains of Pennsylvania or the Delaware Coast for example, but I don't think I would try to cram both types into the same short 4 days.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default On the Other Hand

    It is also possible to take a relaxed, 'sampler', drive down over a day, spend two days in DC, and take a different, though similar drive back. Looking at it as a counter-clockwise (or anti-clockwise, if you use British English) loop, it would go something like this. Leave NYC on I-78 west, which will join I-81 south into Harrisburg. From there take US-15 south and stop in Gettysburg. The battlefield makes a great place to just stroll around and contemplate the nature of 19th century warfare, even if you're not interested in the American Civil War. Continue south on US-15 to Thurmont, MD and if you are still in the mood for a nature hike, Catoctin Mountain National Park will be just off to your west. If you happen to leave the beaten path here and encounter Navy SP (Shore Patrol) guards, you'll know that you've wandered into the grounds of Camp David. Then join I-270 at Frederick, MD to head into Washington.

    As Michael noted, a car is more of a hindrance than an asset in Washington, so look for a room near one of the Metro stations, and use that to get around. Most everything you would want to see in Washington is near the National Mall. I would, however, plan on leaving Washington relatively early in the afternoon of your second day there and head over to Annapolis, home of the US Naval Academy, the capital of Maryland, and a great place to take an evening stroll by the Bay.

    In the morning, take the Bay Bridge over to Maryland's Eastern Shore and work your way eastward to Lewes, DE. This is where your countrymen landed in 1631 to establish part of Nieuw-Nederland, a fact celebrated in the town flag and at the Zwaanendael Museum. Then take the ferry (reservations highly recommended in the summer) over to Cape May, NJ and follow the garden State Parkway back north to NYC.


  4. Default

    AZBuck- Wow thanks for the tips, feeling motivated about the trip. Printing out your itinerary as we speak! Thanks!! Dank je wel!

  5. Default

    Michael- Yes you're right, I think we'll take our focus off of D.C and focus more on the land in between. We can delve into Washington D.C on a later trip and take the train down. Thanks for your advice! Groetjes!

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