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Topic: Dr. Cossack's Grand Eastern US Tour of 2014, Travel suggestions wanted!

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Doctacosa
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Posted on May 19, 2014 at 16:11:24 [Post link]
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It's Spring time, which means it's time to plan vacations, right? At least, that's what everyone seems to be telling me, even though I don't mind to (and usually!) travel outside of July.

The main idea I'm playing with this time is a train-based trip on the eastern part of the USA. I've only been in the country once, there are quite a few places that I want to see, and it has trains. One can never have enough trains.

The way I'd be doing this would involve Amtrak's USA Rail Pass, which allows for 8 trips on the span of 15 days. This means that I get in a city, have 1-2 day(s) to look around and do stuff, then I get back on the train to the next destination. I know this only leaves a bit of time in each location, but I see this as a sort of sample run: if I discover an area that seems interesting, I can always plan a later trip with more time alloted!

As such, I'm turning to you, asking for your opinion. Which cities should I go to? What are "can't miss" things to see in each place? Where should I spend the night? Who wants to meet up with me, maybe? :)

I want to at least stop by the following, making my way down from Montreal:
- New York City
- Boston
- Philadelphia
- Washington DC

From there, I'm debating if it's realistic / worth it to go down ALL the way to New Orleans (or skip that) then possibly come back up by Chicago and/or Detroit (ick), or if I'd enjoy it more if I focused on a smaller area.

Also, does anyone have a suggestion on the best time of the year to do this? I've done such vacations anytime from early June to late November, so I've got plenty of options.

Any suggestions / comments on this plan, especially on the itinerary? I'd love to get feedback from people familiar with at least one or two of these locations! If you're not comfortable with sharing some information here for whatever reason, feel free to send me a private message!


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DiKatze
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Posted on May 21, 2014 at 6:22:02 [Post link]
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Oh man oh man, where do I even begin?

First off, both summer and fall are good times, especially fall in Boston where all the trees turn into variety of colors and all of our fall goodies are out(pumpkin spice all the things!) Unfortunately I won't be here in September because I am going abroad and I want to get to see you :( But it's up to you whether you want to go in when it's warm or cool, still will be full of tourists either way.

I cannot really say what are the best places to stay, in big cities like Boston and New York hotels can get pricy, but it is possible to find good deals online as I'm sure you already know. My family always stays at a Comfort Suite or Days Inn when it comes to hotels.

However when it comes to places to see and things to do for Boston and New York City, I do know those, though I do not know what kinds of things you'll like to see so I'll give a variety

Boston:
-Museum of Fine Arts
-Boston Museum of Science
-New England Aquarium
-Boston Common (ride the swan boats!!!)
-Duck Tours (cars that drive on land and float on water, get a lovely and fun tour of the area!)
-Isabella Steward Gardner museum
-Quincy Market (for eats and shopping!)
-Freedom Trail (leads to all major historic sites related to the Revolutionary War)
-USS Constitution Museum @ Boston Harbor
-Boston Tea Party Ship (where you can start your own revolution by throwing tea into the harbor!)
-If you like seafood, Boston and New England in general is famous for it, especially the clam chowdah. Check out any of the local sea food places there
-Also, don't leave without having a slice of Boston Cream pie!
-There are two main train stations: South station and North Station. The subway system is known as the "T". The ticket that gets you into the sub system is known as the "charlie card" and you can keep adding funds to it whenever you need to
-AND Let us know when/if you are coming to Boston! Figs and I will totally meet up with you and we can give you a tour of the area and/or just hang out ;)

New York City:
Metropolitan Museum of Fine Arts
American Museum of Natural History
Central Park
Time Square (daytime for not so crowded, nighttime is absolute insanity)
Broadway (perhaps catch a Broadway show?)
Staten Island Ferry (most awesome at nighttime!)
Museum of Modern Art
New York Botanical Garden
Ellis Island (for the Statue of Liberty)
For eating I recommend buying food at the local convenient store or eating at a local place, chain restaurants there are ridiculously expensive!

Eeee! I can't wait for you to make the trip! I hope you will have tons of fun! :D

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Posted on June 17, 2014 at 3:14:09 [Post link]
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You should come to Ohio! We have... uhh.. the Rock Hall!! And... wait something else will come to me. :P
Sorry I can't be much help with the locations you selected, the only one I've been to was D.C., and I was 10! Just make sure you don't go during any big events in D.C. (unless you want to)! I can imagine that it can get crowded during certain days, especially sometime like 9/11.

I do not think going down to New Orleans would be worth it for this trip exactly, since you will mostly be sticking around the upper half of the U.S. It would probably be better if you went on another trip, but stayed more towards the south (especially depending on how much luggage you have). I took a bus ride from Tokyo to Nagoya, and another train ride from Nagoya to Hiroshima, and let me just tell you, it was fun but it was also very tiring and a huge hassle at times. I also tried to pack lightly, but I was in Japan for 2 months, so it was a challenge!

Also, I would suggest probably the fall time, instead of July-August, because the humidity and heat can get pretty gross here (especially if you do decide to go to New Orleans! Bleh!)



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Posted on June 28, 2014 at 4:13:29 [Post link]
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Well I will be near DC until the end of August, and back in NY for the rest of the year. So that'd be cool if I could encounter you somewhere along the line

As for NY you best be athletic to be able to traverse somewhere like the MET annnnnd Central Park annnd somewhere else--those two places are huge. Only go to the Met if there's something you actually want to see there, and plan to go JUST TO THAT EXHIBIT and leave because, once again, it's huge. Like Xbox. That huge. A note also, you pay what you feel--you don't need to pay their "suggested" price and can literally go in with a penny if you want (or pay student price, or a dollar)

Just get in touch with me somehow if you do plan on going and I will give you a survival guide.


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Posted on June 30, 2014 at 18:45:27 [Post link]
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My hometown of Salida, Colorado. Has the Arkansas River run through it. Big into the Arts, there are so many art studios here, resturaunts and more. If your an art goer, and like to be surrounded by mountains, Salida is the place. ;)


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Posted on January 29, 2015 at 22:49:33 [Post link]
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Ya' know, we never got a post travel write up here to let us know about your trip! Day by day notes would be good!


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Posted on February 3, 2015 at 8:37:10 [Post link]
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As a west-coaster, I can't offer any suggestions on where to go.

As an American, I only ask why on Earth you'd want to visit this miserable country.


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