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  1. #1

    Default East coast trip to NYC and DC

    Hi Guys, need help. Flying into Dallas from Sydney. That's definite. We want to see New York, Washington DC and Niagara falls including both sides of the fall. Now do we fly from Dallas into DC, hire a car and do all the touristy things then drive to Niagara and stay in say buffalo and do the tours to the falls from there. Then either drop the car in Buffalo and fly to NY or drive to NY and drop the car at NY as I don't think a car is required there. OR do we fly Dallas into NY, do our things and hire a car to drive to DC via amish country, then either drive to Niagara or fly from DC.

    Our only requirements are that we see DC, NY some kind of amish community and the falls.

    Any help from our American cousins would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Welcome to RTA!

    I'd do a loop trip. Fly into NYC, rent a car (recommend you rent it in NJ because it will be significantly cheaper, so if you have a choice of airports, fly into or out of EWR) and drive to your chosen places. Return the car where you rented it. You can see NYC either at the beginning or the end, don't rent the car till you are ready to leave on the road trip, or turn it in when you get back from it. You also may want to use public transportation in DC, leave the car outside the city.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default A few extra ideas.

    Andy, Definitely do NYC at the beginning or end - or a bit of both - of your trip. As advised above, rent a car in NJ, then you can either go to Niagara and through PA Amish country to DC. Or go from Niagara direct to DC and visit Amish country on the way back to NJ. Drop off the car and if you did not visit NYC before the road trip, then do so after.

    How long do you have for this trip? Are you looking at summer 2016 or 2017?

    In DC a car can be a bit of a handicap when visiting all the monuments and sites. You could spend a lot of time looking for parking, and when you do find a spot, it is quite expensive. (Probably more than in Sydney) Book a hotel which has free parking, and leave the car there, then take public transport to get around. NYC and DC are among the very few US cities with a decent public transport system.

    You might also consider bringing your NRMA membership with you, as it will give you access to tourism information and free maps from the AAA, where ever you travel. I suggest that before you head out on the road you pick up a map of all the relevant States, as well as Ontario. Don't be tempted to rely on your electronics. You will need good maps when on the road. Even if it is only to get the BIG picture and see what else there is along your route.

    If you have a gps and are considering purchasing US maps for it, you may like to reconsider. I found buying a gps in the US cheaper than getting the maps for mine at home.Do some research on pricing before you decide.


  4. #4


    Planning for Aug 2017. Looking at the maps I am also wondering since we have 5 weeks to play with and I don't mind driving I could pick up hire car in NJ as advised, drive to Niagara, staying at Buffalo for a night. If I drive to Washington via Cleveland (overnight stay), on to Pittsburgh (overnight) and then to DC. I have of course heard of Cleveland and Pittsburgh but is it worth the extra driving to see them or are they just big cities. Then drive DC back to NYC and enjoy NY for a week.

    I am also a massive aircraft museum man and see that there is a watsonia air museum near DC, is it the best one out this way because my wife will only tolerate one air museum.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Planes, Planes, Planes

    If you truly are "a massive aircraft museum man", then you should know as you plan that there are several massive aircraft museums in the general area that you're planning to drive through, especially if you are considering going as far west as Ohio. In that case, Dayton and the USAF Museum as well as Wright Brothers sites should be high on your list. Then in DC, yes there's the National Air and Space Museum, but there are also several other restoration and storage facilities in the area including the Garber Facility (where I got to climb into the bomb bay of the Enola Gay several years ago), the Udvar-Hazy Center. Elsewhere in your travels in the northeast, you might want to include some of the other airplane sites including the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in NYC, the National Soaring Museum in Elmira NY, the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport NY, the Golden Age Air Museum in Bethel PA (due to re-open in August), and the The Glenn L. Martin Maryland Aviation Museum.


  6. #6


    Regards D.C., it is good you are planning an Aug 2017 trip as the city's metro system is undergoing a very disruptive, but necessary, re-construction/safety upgrading program where large sections of the track are closed, single-tracked, etc., and planning will be very difficult for the next 9 to 12 months.

    For the most part, you can still get around central D.C. by Metro or by walking. In years past I would have recommended staying outside the city and riding the metro in but anymore you are better off arriving by train to D.C. For a day trip to the Smithsonian aerospace museum you can rent a car -- plan to leave after 9:30am and arrive back to your car return site by 2:30p, or traffic jams and delays are guaranteed.

    For the reasons noted above, I would recommend the loop trip from Newark, New Jersey airport (EWR), the Baltimore, Maryland airport (BWI), or the Philadelphia, PA airport (PHL) for visiting the Amish area of southeastern Pennsylvania and the Niagara Falls.

    Cleveland is a revitalized city with a lively downtown restaurant and pub scene, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and, in August, the Cleveland Indians baseball team (check the schedule if you want to attend a game and plan accordingly). There are also some good Hungarian restaurants (a center of migration during the Cold War especially after the Soviets putdown the 1954 uprising).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Bear in mind that the Amish communities near Lancaster, PA, do not consider themselves a tourist attraction. If something says "genuine Amish (whatever)," chances are, it isn't. There's an Amish-Mennonite Information Center near Morgantown, though I am not sure how genuine it is, either. When you're in the area, be discreet with your camera. Amish do not like having their photograph taken, as it is against their Ordnung (beliefs). They don't seem to mind if you take photos of their farms or gardens, but once again, be discreet. Watch how you drive, as their buggies are very slow and you don't want to risk an accident. The areas around Lancaster with an Amish population: Bird-in-Hand, Paradise, Intercourse, Strasburg, Quarryville. If you're in the area on a Saturday, look for Farmer's Markets.


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