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  1. Default Tourist with 10 year old boy Boston to Orlando

    Hello! We are a mother and son flying from Hong Kong to Boston around 2 July and flying home again from Orlando around 22 July. I would like to drive from Boston to Orlando and wonder what's the best way to go about it? Shall I drive on my own and also use the bus or do the whole thing by car? Can you suggest a route to take / what are the must sees on the way? Also can you suggest a reliable car hire company? I've never hired a car before so any tips for things to look out for much appreciated. To maintain flexibility I wasn't going to book any accommodation between Boston and Orlando - is it easy to find lodging as I go along? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    Hi and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    In the US you will find that the best and most flexible way is to travel by car. Many a bus I have caught would leave sometime in the middle of the night, and/or drop me off somewhere at an equally inconvenient hour. Other times the trip took all night Not terribly comfortable.

    In Boston you will not want a car, so I would pick up a rental when you are ready to leave.

    As for the route, that all depends on what places you want to visit what your interests are and what the interests of your son are. We do not really focus on 'best' anything, as what I like best may be the very thing you do not want to go near, etc. The idea of an American roadtrip is that it is designed especially for you to suit your wants and needs. So tell us what you want out of this trip, and what you already have on your list, other than Boston and New Orleans. With three weeks, you have so many options.

    As for accommodation.... realise that you are travelling in the height of the tourism season, and especially your first week, when many travel to celebrate 4th July, it might be wise to book your preferred accommodation.


  3. Default

    Hello, thank you for your kind welcome.

    You give sage advice. My son and I come from a very busy city and last year we did Orlando, New York, New Jersey, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles... Orlando for Universal and Los Angeles for Disney. We did all the landmarks one should do in the other cities.

    So this trip, my son wants to go back to Universal in Florida (which is the ultimate destination) and we are both happy to see cities or small towns - we're really flexible. My son mentioned Boston because he's heard of it. I figured it would be nice to drop in as I've not been there in many many years. I'm open to suggestions if there is a better starting place. At the end of the day, I've got three weeks and I would like to end in Orlando by say 19 July and before that a few days in Tampa as I just found out an English cousin is visiting there then. I'd like to go to New Jersey also to say hi to other cousins and that's really all I have listed as 'must dos'.

    Not even sure where to spend 4 July. Livingin Hong Kong we see fireworks a lot so don't mind if I don't stay in Boston and maybe we can find a small town parade ? That might be nice. And I've always wanted to go to a diner! Silly I know!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Independence Day and Onward

    Boston is as good a place as any to spend the Fourth of July, although I might lean towards one or two of the smaller towns outside the MA-128 beltway, such as Lexington, Concord or one of the even smaller towns. This year the Fourth falls on a Saturday, which means that there will probably be more festivities than usual, and the Fourth is an intrinsically small-town American celebration.

    After spending the Fourth in or near Boston, you can set out for Orlando. There are three basic ways to get there, and you can, of course, mix and match bits and pieces from the different routes to construct your own individual RoadTrip. The only thing I would strongly suggest is that you swing relatively far around New York City rather than trying to drive right through it. The I-84 bridge across the Hudson is under construction, and on a holiday weekend could get backed up a bit. Alternatives include the Bear Mountain Bridge (US-6/US-202) and the Tappan Zee Bridge (I-287).


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Nice small towns.

    Any place west of Worchester would be great for 4th July. These small towns do things so well. I once stumbled upon a festival in West Brookfield, on their town square. It was one of the highlights of that trip. There is a wide choice of small towns in that area, and best of all, scenic Route 9 from the MassPike, (in the vicinity of Southborough) will take you there. Wouldn't take more than a couple of hours, depending on traffic.

    Last edited by Lifemagician; 06-25-2015 at 04:22 AM. Reason: typo

  6. Default

    thank you; that's very kind of you :)

  7. Default

    thank you sounds great :)

  8. Default

    hello how does this look?

    Day Date Movements
    Thursday 2-Jul arrive late Boston
    Friday 3-Jul Boston
    Saturday 4-Jul Boston to (a small town)
    Sunday 5-Jul (a small town) to ???
    Monday 6-Jul ??? To ???
    Tuesday 7-Jul
    Wednesday 8-Jul xxx to New Jersey
    Thursday 9-Jul New Jersey
    Friday 10-Jul New Jersey
    Saturday 11-Jul New Jersey to Harrisburg, PA
    Sunday 12-Jul Harrisburg PA to Gettysburg to Washington DC
    Monday 13-Jul Washington DC
    Tuesday 14-Jul Washington DC
    Wednesday 15-Jul Washington DC to Durham, North Carolina
    Thursday 16-Jul Durham to Savannah
    Friday 17-Jul Savannah to St. Augustine
    Saturday 18-Jul St. Augustine to Clearwater Tampa
    Sunday 19-Jul Clearwater, Tampa
    Monday 20-Jul Tampa to Orlando
    Tuesday 21-Jul Orlando
    Wednesday 22-Jul Orlando
    Thursday 23-Jul Orlando
    Friday 24-Jul Fly home

  9. Default

    I would definitely second the recommendation to travel by car for this road trip. With the flexibility you enjoy you will end up seeing so much more, plus the bus is not really too comfortable. Make sure you have the right level of insurance for the car and for driving - check with the rental company if you are not sure. Remember to build in plenty of rest days when on a road trip, especially as you are traveling with your son.
    In terms of what to see, you will be spoiled for choice. Historic Salem is really worth a visit, about half hour from Boston, and Cape Cod is just beautiful. You'll see some stunning scenery on the drive, too. Concord and Lexington are ideal places to stop in for a night or two.

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