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East Coast + mid-east trip advise themeparks + culture!


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Being from Belgium, I want to make a trip oversees again next year. This year I went with a friend to the West Coast, but now I'm going to plan everything on my own.

I want to combine themeparks with cities, with culture with nature.

 

I think until day 10, everything looks pretty solid. Everything is a short drive, so that shouldn't be a problem I guess.

 

After day 10, the main goal is to do Cedar Point, and head to Chicago to fly back home.

A national flight would be an option, but makes it more complicated with renting a car etc, so I made a trip to Chicago including Cedar Point and some cities and parks.

 

I still have some problems though.

 

1) There isn't any nature at all included in this trip. And at the west coast I LOVED Yosemite Park. Is there anything like that somewhere on my trip? Where and what is it?

 

2) Are cities like Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinatti, and Indianapolis worth visiting? If so, I can add extra days/half days to visit the city. I also have 2 people who rather spend time in the city while me and my gf are at a themepark, so it's rather important.

Keep in mind I'm mainly into the atmosphere a city has, and if there's any culture to see.

 

3) PLEASE let me know things I should see on the road, or in the cities. Of course I'll do the major things, but if you know anything nice, PLEASE tell me.

 

4) Is 3 days for New York okay? I went to Chicago this summer and I thought one and a half/2 days was just enough. It's financially better to visit NYC for only 2 days, but I don't want to have a the feeling that I missed something.

 

Seriously, thanks in advance for your help!

 

 

 

 

DAY 1: flight, arrive in the evening

 

DAY 2: New York

 

DAY 3: New York

 

DAY 4: New York

 

DAY 5: Six Flags Great Adventure

 

DAY 6: Philadelphia

 

DAY 7: Washington

 

DAY 8: Washington

 

DAY 9: Kings Dominion/Richmond

 

DAY 10: Busch Gardens Europe

 

DAY 11: Pittsburgh

 

DAY 12: Cleveland/Cedar Point

 

DAY 13: Cincinatti/Kings Island

 

DAY 14: Indianapolis

 

DAY 15: Chicago

 

DAY 16: Six Flags Great America/Chicago

 

DAY 17: Chicago

 

DAY 18: flight back home

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Day 9: Kings Dominion.

 

There is nothing in Richmond for tourists. Seriously, unless you change Richmond with Williamsburg then you might have something to think about.

That's the kind of advise I want. Thanks!

I just did a quick read on Williamsburg and sounds/looks very interesting.

 

Just wondering, is Kings Dominion actually worth a visit? Cause together with Six Flags Great America, I might skip out on those, to limit the cost of this trip a bit.

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Unfortunately I am not going to be much help, but I just wanted to let you know that I'm glad you loved Yosemite!!!! There is nothing really like it on the east coast (or anywhere!), as that part of the nation has more rolling hills and flat areas as opposed to the mountains we have here on the west coast.

 

You will find that the east coast is very GREEN, though, which I always find to be nice out there. As far as finding 'nature' check out www.nps.gov, which is the National Park Services website. They can provide a good start to finding our treasures.

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There's a TON to do in and around the Washington DC area (depending on what you're into), but if you're going to be in the area, and you're also going to SFGAdv and SFGAm (so I'm assuming you'de have/get a SF season pass), might as well go to SFA as well on one of those two days. If it's a summer weekday, you could probably get on everything in about half a day and still have time to continue sight-seeing. Alternatively, many of the museums in DC close around 6pm, so you could always head to the park in the evenings (just check to see how late the park is open til).

 

As far as what to see in DC...

 

National Harbor is pretty cool, but that's not really in DC. Natural History and American History are great (but quite large). Holocaust Museum is very touching and emotional. National Zoo is pleasantly nice, though a lot of hills and not very fun on a hot day.

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KD doesn't have much worthwhile to do if you are coming from Europe quite yet, but next year they are building an Intamin Giga coaster, which if you don't know is pretty much one of the most hyped coasters of 2010 right now. Wait and see how it turns out, and perhaps even read some reviews of it before you go to KD.

 

My only other advice is I think Pittsburgh is an awesome city, and Kennywood is an awesome park right near the city. I really would recomend doing/seeing both. You could probably do them both from anywhere between 1-3 days.

 

East coast nature is nothing really at all like what is on the west coast...but there are the Appalacian Mountains, and some nice rivers/lakes. I don't know if you guys would be interested in this after seeing Yosemite, but there's plenty of little cheesy parks with water falls, scenic overlooks, hiking trails, etc. I could give you specific places if you want, but I'm just not sure you'll want to go in the most absolute rural areas of Western MD, Western PA, and West Virginia.

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There's a TON to do in and around the Washington DC area (depending on what you're into), but if you're going to be in the area, and you're also going to SFGAdv and SFGAm (so I'm assuming you'de have/get a SF season pass), might as well go to SFA as well on one of those two days. If it's a summer weekday, you could probably get on everything in about half a day and still have time to continue sight-seeing. Alternatively, many of the museums in DC close around 6pm, so you could always head to the park in the evenings (just check to see how late the park is open til).

 

As far as what to see in DC...

 

National Harbor is pretty cool, but that's not really in DC. Natural History and American History are great (but quite large). Holocaust Museum is very touching and emotional. National Zoo is pleasantly nice, though a lot of hills and not very fun on a hot day.

 

Thanks! The SFa might be a good way to spend one of the 2 evenings in Washington. You're right!

 

I'll definitely get some travel guides in the library, but I keep this stuff in mind!

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2) Are cities like Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinatti, and Indianapolis worth visiting?

 

Pittsburgh has an interesting setting, so could be a decent stop. (along with a stop at Kennywood)

 

Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis though I doubt would make decent stops. Those cities are not going to seem very interesting after seeing nice cities like DC and NYC.

 

Unless you want to go to the rock and roll hall of fame in Cleveland. Otherwise I'd just say keep on driving past these cities.

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2) Are cities like Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinatti, and Indianapolis worth visiting?

 

Pittsburgh has an interesting setting, so could be a decent stop. (along with a stop at Kennywood)

 

Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis though I doubt would make decent stops. Those cities are not going to seem very interesting after seeing nice cities like DC and NYC.

 

Unless you want to go to the rock and roll hall of fame in Cleveland. Otherwise I'd just say keep on driving past these cities.

So it would be

Richmond area - Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh - Cedar Point

and then Cedar Point to Chicago, right?

(edited cause I forgot Pittsburgh)

 

That's a reasonable option to cut the costs. Only thing stopping me from picking that option is Kings Island near Cincinnati. i'm not sure what to do.

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Are you more interested in Theme Parks/Roller Coasters or more into tourism/scenery? That is basically what you will have to decide.

 

Depending on what interests you more your schedule could be easily changed.

 

On your schedule right now, if you are interested more into viewing the cities I would say BGE, Cedar Point and Six Flags Great America (Due to being near the same city your departing from) would be the only theme parks that you should absolutely do.

 

However if you are more into themeparks, there are several different options you can take.

 

And to answer your question, in my opinion Kings Dominion is a nice park to spend the day at, but not something that I would travel a lot for.

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To add some nature to your journey you could drive through a portion of Shenandoah National Park. When leaving Richmond/Williamsburg going towards Pittsburgh, take I-64 East to Skyline Drive. You can drive all or a portion of the road heading north through the park and then jump over to I-81 North to continue your journey.

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Are you more interested in Theme Parks/Roller Coasters or more into tourism/scenery? That is basically what you will have to decide.

 

Depending on what interests you more your schedule could be easily changed.

 

On your schedule right now, if you are interested more into viewing the cities I would say BGE, Cedar Point and Six Flags Great America (Due to being near the same city your departing from) would be the only theme parks that you should absolutely do.

 

However if you are more into themeparks, there are several different options you can take.

 

And to answer your question, in my opinion Kings Dominion is a nice park to spend the day at, but not something that I would travel a lot for.

You mean Six Flags Great Adventure, right? Practically on the way from NYC to Philly?

 

I'd like a combination of both scenery/tourism and themeparks. To limit the cost I might just visit SFGadv, BGE and cedar point. Then SFgreatamerica is an option if my company wants to visit Chicago (I already visited Chicago this year).

But, I don't want to exclude any parks just yet, although KD looks the least attractive, unless the 2010 ride will be huge.

 

@ Yellow Jacket: thanks. Is the nearby park Monongahela National Forest worth it? Cause the pics on Google images look amazing.

 

 

 

 

To everyone, thanks so much for the help. I'm off to bed, but I'm hoping to read some more tomorrow!

I sure appreciate it, and if anyone needs any information about West-Europe, just let me know!

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I was actually talking about Great America in Chicago since you said your plane was there.

 

Great Advenure is a great park, but I believe it is a little out of the way from New York to Philly, I think maybe an hour detour? I am not sure on that though, someone else could answer that.

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Unfortunately, I am not sure about Monongahela Natl. Forest. I was actually heading south when I did that drive and combined Skyline Drive with a portion of the Blue Ridge parkway heading south to Roanoke, VA. I do know that Skyline Drive was created with motoring in mind and has many spectacular overlooks.

 

Something else I just remembered is Luray Caverns about halfway along the drive on Skyline Drive. http://luraycaverns.com/index.html

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Unless you go to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, you could probably skip it and head to Cedar Point from Pittsburgh.

 

Pittsburgh has some neat tourist attractions that offer great views of the city. Take the Duquesne incline railway up Mt. Washington for some really awesome views above the skyline. Once at the bottom, you can hop right over to Station Square for a trip on the duck boats that will take you right into the rivers and through downtown for some really neat views of the city and sports arenas. Of course, if you hit those places, Kennywood isn't too far away and is a great nostalgic amusement park!

 

There isn't a whole lot to do near Cedar Point (except for a lot of indoor water parks), but Put-In Bay on the Lake Erie Islands would definitely be worth an afternoon if you have the time. You can hop on a ferry from Sandusky to this neat little island. Once you get there you can rent bikes, golf carts and ride around. There is the Perry Monument that you can take an elevator up for some great views of Lake Erie and the surrounding islands. Although, it is a seasonal type place and it can get quite crowded with rowdy college kids clogging up the bars/restaurants.

 

Kelley's Island is a bit bigger, but a little more secluded and can also be reached by ferry in Sandusky. I have never been there, but have heard it is quite nice if you are into peace/quiet and hiking/nature.

 

Hope you have a great visit!

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To add some nature to your journey you could drive through a portion of Shenandoah National Park. When leaving Richmond/Williamsburg going towards Pittsburgh, take I-64 East to Skyline Drive. You can drive all or a portion of the road heading north through the park and then jump over to I-81 North to continue your journey.

 

Just want to chime in and say that I second this option. If you like park and nature settings, Skyline drive is very scenic and makes for a great day trip or 1/2 day trip. You can stop and hike down to waterfalls and such if you have more time. Much better than anything you can do in Richmond.

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