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  1. Default NYC - DC - Niagara - Adirondacks - Whalewatching: British family of 5 on the road!

    Hi Roadtrip America

    I am bringing my family (wife and kids aged 13, 10 and 6) to explore the East Coast between August 3 and 25. We have got the use of a flat in NYC (5 days), a friend's house in Washington(3 days) and we want to visit another friend in the Adirondacks (2 days). My wife wants to see Niagara Falls (and the kids will enjoy that too) and I want to see whales feed off the coast near Provincetown. All in 3 weeks.

    So may I pose these questions:
    1. THe drive from Washington to Niagara looks like a whopper. Is it worth just doing it in a day or is there anywhere to break the journey that will be rewarding?
    2. The drive from Buffalo to the Adirondacks looks like a similar proposition. GoogleMaps suggests that both these are 7 hour stretches. To break or not to break?
    3. I don't particularly want to see Boston after having spent time in NYC and DC, but the drive from the Adirondacks to Martha's Vineyard is too much. Any suggestions about where to stop?
    4. Car Hire. We will pick up a vehicle in New York. Any suggestions of what the best company to use/car to hire/way to approach the problem?
    5. Whalewatching - any suggestions?

    Thank you in advance for any help


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO



    Add 20% to Google drive times to reflect reality. Google never has to stop for anything and is never delayed by traffic or road construction.

    You can use our car rental facility (Hotels and Cars in the top green toolbar) to check rates and availability, and you can also use a European consolidator such as It will almost always be cheaper renting from an off-airport location.

    All 3 of the legs you describe can be driven in one day with minimal stops on major highways if you just want to get there. However, if you want to enjoy the drive, see some sights, and do some activities it sure wouldn't hurt to break them up.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Take time to enjoy beautiful Pennsylvania.

    Be aware that having a car in NYC and DC can be more of a handicap than an assett. Parking in both places is difficult and expensive, and both cities have excellent public transport. As well as that, there is a good commuter train service between the two. I suggest you pick up the car after your visit to DC. All the sites in DC are accessible by public transport.

    From DC to Niagara Falls you will be passing through beautiful Pennsylvania, and I would definitely recommend that if you have the time you make it a two day trip. You could make your way to Harrisburg, from there follow the Susquehanna valley on route 15, and you could take that all the way into Corning NY, site of the Corning museum of glass. Most of that is still multi lane highway, but much more scenic than the interstates.


  4. Default

    I hope that you have a wonderful visit.

    I second the observation that a car in NYC and DC will be a bit of a hassle; and there is good train service (Amtrak) between these cities.

    I also second the opinion to take the time to see some of Pennsylvania en route to Niagra. Two possibilities are (1) to stop in Wellsboro PA and then visit the Leonard Harrison State Park to visit "the Grand Canyon of PA" (nowhere near in the class of the real Grand Canyoon but very pretty and with some nice hiking, or (2) go to Gettysburg and spend a day exploring this most famous Civil War battlefield (it's really a pretty area, the history is both fascinating and very moving).

    Traveling from the Adirondacks to Cape Cod you could shorten bit with a stop in the Amherst Mass. area which is a nice part of Mass. or take in more history and stay in Concord Mass, one of the famous revolutionary war locales. There is a really neat old inn in the center of Concord that has a great restaurant and charming rooms ( $$$$ ??) I have no affiliation with them, but when I worked in that area we used to steer our busness guests that way for the fun of it.

    I don't know the whaling outfits on the cape, but they run out of other placers as well (such as Glouchester).

    The other responder is correct ... all of the drives you mention are doable in a day; you don't have to break them up. But it could be a lot of fun, and I'll bet the 6 year old would appreciate it!

    Good luck.

    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 07-15-2012 at 10:27 AM. Reason: New Members may not post off-site links

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