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Old 06-22-2019, 08:59 AM   #1
arkie6
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Arkansas to Maine - by car...

We are taking a trip by car up to Harrington, Maine later this summer to spend a few days with my wife's sister on the coast.

We are taking 2 weeks to make this journey and planning on seeing the sights along the way. Give me some input on things to must see / must do along the way. This will be me, my wife, and my daughter. We are planning on stopping a couple days in Washington DC and a couple days in New York City, but I haven't really laid out an itinerary or have specific things to visit. On the way back from Maine we intend to checkout western New York and Niagara Falls. Give me some ideas.

The first day, I think we can easily make it to Knoxville, TN or thereabouts since I have driven that in a day on the motorcycle before. The wife mentioned spending a day doing some whitewater rafting in the Smokies. Any input, experiences, or recommendations?

After that I would like to make it over to the North Carolina Outer Banks. Maybe spend a day there.

Then travel up the coast to Washington DC. Spend a couple days in Washington DC seeing the major sites.

Then travel up to New York City via most direct route. Spend a couple days seeing the city and major attractions, Statue of Liberty, etc.

Then travel to Harrington, Maine. The wife mentioned she wanted to see Plymouth Rock, so that is in the planned route.

When we leave Harrington, Maine, we are planning on heading west through New Hampshire, Vermont, and northern New York on our way to Niagara Falls. We will probably split this drive up into two days. Anything specific along the way to see or do?

After a day in Niagara Falls, I don't really have anything on the radar. Maybe go south through Pennsylvania into West Virginia.

We might actually do the whitewater rafting on the return leg of the trip.

Any input or recommendations would be appreciated.
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Old 06-22-2019, 11:18 AM   #2
Tom Renda
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Originally Posted by arkie6 View Post
We are taking a trip by car up to Harrington, Maine later this summer to spend a few days with my wife's sister on the coast.

We are taking 2 weeks to make this journey and planning on seeing the sights along the way. Give me some input on things to must see / must do along the way. This will be me, my wife, and my daughter. We are planning on stopping a couple days in Washington DC and a couple days in New York City, but I haven't really laid out an itinerary or have specific things to visit. On the way back from Maine we intend to checkout western New York and Niagara Falls. Give me some ideas.

I have been know to frequent some of these locales for purposes both lawful and not so lawful. I wil keep it on the clean side since you will have polite company along.

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. . Then travel up the coast to Washington DC. Spend a couple days in Washington DC seeing the major sites.

DC in August or early September is unbearably hot and humid. A half day bus tour in an air conditioned bus would be a good way to spend the hottest part of the first day. Do outdoor stuff like the Lincoln Memorial and the Tidal Basin and Arlington Cemetery (just across the Memorial bridge) early in the a,m. if you can. If you are by the Capitol you can duck into nearby Union Station to cool off, and they have some very good food inside as well.

If you want to stay in a nice historic hotel check out the Mayflower. It's where the FBI nailed Elliot Spitizer (who in turn was trying to nail an $8,000 a night hooker -- woops, sorry, trafficking victim).

(And of course the Tidal Basin is where Wilbur Mills chased stripper Fanne Fox into the waters of the basin years ago, but that was before your time)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fanne_Foxe

You might see the movie "Thank You for Smoking" to get in the right frame of mind and then have dinner or lunch at the Old Ebbitt Grill which is where the lobbyist for the big three evil industries Tobacco, Guns, and Coal, would exchange war stories while seated, literally, within view of the White House.

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Then travel up to New York City via most direct route. Spend a couple days seeing the city and major attractions, Statue of Liberty, etc.
In New York you will want to be on the Hudson or East River for part of your sight seeing, and again, you might want to do it during the hottest part of the day. You'll keep cool and see a lot without exhausting yourself. The ride over to the Statue of Liberty is very short and it may even be closed right now. Ellis Island is interesting if your relatives came through it, but if not I would just take a river cruise around the southern tip of Manhattan and up the West Side

Walk over the Brooklyn Bridge for some great views of lower Manhattan. Then visit Wall Street, where the original JP Morgan Bank building still stands (but is used only for storage), including the pock marks from an Anarchist's bomb that went off in 1920.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=JJ1Fj2fnfAI


Of course there is the 9/11 Memorial a few blocks west. Ride the subways just to say you did and go up to Grand Central Station and visit the Oyster Bar inside. It's a mile walk to Central Park from GCS. and you can pass the Waldorff and St Patricks and Rockefeller Center on the way.

BTW the MOMA is closed for renovations. But here's a song about Paul Cezanne by the Five Chinese that features the MOMA. It's also totally crazy, just like NYC

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgrcFSalWGQ

If you like Architecture the AIA publishes a guide book on the whole city. 570 Lex, the original GE Building, is one of my favorites.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Electric_Building

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After Niagara Falls, I don't really have anything on the radar. Maybe go south through Pennsylvania into West Virginia.
If you have never been to Pittsburgh, you owe it to yourself to stop by. What a town. Great food all over, and you can walk to a lot of sites from the Point. Walk over the Andy Warhole Bridge to see the Pirates play. Or take the funicular to Washington Heights for views of the city and then go to Bighams Tavern for lunch/dinner. Get WileECoyote to meet you there - he's just a few miles southwest in Bridgeville
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Last edited by Tom Renda; 06-23-2019 at 05:16 AM.
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Old 06-22-2019, 11:30 AM   #3
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Your trip can take you close to the Gauley River in West Virginia....A+

Also if you go near New River Gorge bridge in Fayetteville, WV, go down under the bridge for some great pictures.
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Old 06-22-2019, 12:35 PM   #4
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I could suggest a thousand things to see and do. It comes down to what kind of things does your family enjoy. There are hundreds of sights and drives and museums and adventures to be had.

If I was showing someone not from the US, I'd take them along the Cherohala, then to Fontana dam, eat at Cafe Rel, then to Wheels through time, then the Biltmore House, stay at the Grove Park Inn, drive the BRP up to VA - unfortunately the outer banks would be a huge diversion but the memorial is pretty basic so I wouldn't fret over it. I've spent a week out there and it's fun but not a lot to see or do (I did learn to hang-glide on the dunes - count on half a day for that!) In DC there are a million things to see, so many museums and memorials, you could spend a week there and not see all of it but I would recommend at least a couple of days there. Much the same in Philly, and more of the same in NY and Boston, but you could eat up all of your time and still not see a fraction of them. For example - Liberty - you will eat up most of a day getting to the ferry, waiting in line, sailing over, walking around for 30 minutes, then waiting in line and sailing back. A good way to get an overview is to take bus tours, if you're happy to see things "from the outside" - we've done that in many cities as a way to help decide what to do with the remaining days.

I guess I've been fortunate to spend a lot of time in all of these places individually (usually a week or more each, and some like DC or NY, on multiple occasions). To experience even the bare minimums on a trip like yours would take months.

So I guess I'd say, if visiting the east is a one-time thing, and you like museums and memorials, I'd plan to spend at least a couple of days each in DC and NY, and forget about the stuff along the way. If you prefer scenery and roads, then take the Cherohala, BRP, and such over.
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Old 06-22-2019, 12:40 PM   #5
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I'll recommend Alexandria Bay, NY, and a tour of Boldt Castle. (side bar: if you played the original version of Myst, this place will make you say hhhmmm)

And Gettysburg, if you've never been there. Turning point of the Civil War, and for me a sobering experience to contemplate 12,000 men marching across an open field directly into cannon and musket fire from the entrenched North on the other side.
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Old 06-22-2019, 01:31 PM   #6
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Sounds like you're trying to do lots of stuff in a short time.
Maybe the DC thing, do the monuments, memorials without doing the Smithsonian.

I would say no trip to the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast is complete without a visit to a big Seashore town. Skip the expansive and time consuming Outer Banks, and head East from DC to Ocean City Md. It may be the best Beach City on the East Coast. If you need an overnight, and have spare time, you could camp at Assateague State park(the National park next to it is not nearly as nice). You should be able to reserve a spot with just a couple weeks notice as long as it's not a weekend.
Keep in mind rip currents are very real off the Coast, especially if a Hurricane is parked a couple hundred miles away. Learn and teach the family what to do.

Avoid the traffic of the Philly area by back tracking and going up I 81. Or if you plan anything in NYC area go up Delaware RT 1 and Catch I 295 to NJ Turnpike, save some dollars and go from 295 to NJ turnpike north at 168 they are only a mile apart there. Lord knows you'll be spending toll money from there on up.
If you weren't trying to hit DC and Niagara Falls along both ways, I'd recommend a stretch of PA 6 to cover ground in a scenic setting.

I'll leave the rest for others closer to their backyards.
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Old 06-22-2019, 02:12 PM   #7
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I would say no trip to the Mid-Atlantic/Northeast is complete without a visit to a big Seashore town. Skip the expansive and time consuming Outer Banks, and head East from DC to Ocean City Md.
Not a bad thought.

Or, visit Annapolis and St Michaels, MD for a look if, like me, you like old historic towns more than the beach scene.

BTW watch out for I-295 in rush hour. It gets way too close to Camden for my taste and carries too much local traffic - I'd just pay the full tolls on the NJ turnpike
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Old 06-22-2019, 02:44 PM   #8
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Not a bad thought.

Or, visit Annapolis and St Michaels, MD for a look if, like me, you like old historic towns more than the beach scene.

BTW watch out for I-295 in rush hour. It gets way too close to Camden for my taste and carries too much local traffic - I'd just pay the full tolls on the NJ turnpike
After about 5 years and 2 trillion dollars they finally got those jug handles, lane shifts, hairpin turns and MGB sized potholes fixed on that section of Interstate. It's almost like I forget where I'm at when I drive it.
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Old 06-22-2019, 03:16 PM   #9
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Lord knows you'll be spending toll money from there on up.
And be careful with those. I got on one of those (Baltimore I think) that was pass only, no cash booths. Got the ticket in the mail a couple weeks later, around $30 plus the toll fee iirc.
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Old 06-22-2019, 03:23 PM   #10
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After about 5 years and 2 trillion dollars they finally got those jug handles, lane shifts, hairpin turns and MGB sized potholes fixed on that section of Interstate. It's almost like I forget where I'm at when I drive it.
Oh common. It used to be a challenge to go thru at 60 mph before they fixed it.

Now, it's barely any fun at all!
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Old 06-22-2019, 08:42 PM   #11
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And Gettysburg, if you've never been there.
Agreed! Spent an entire day there, with our personal guide (retired army colonel) and it was fabulous. Another "if that's your thing" option. Nothing else near there, however.
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Old 06-22-2019, 08:46 PM   #12
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Wow, Harrington is minutes from Acadia, hopefully it will dominate much of your visit with them. I heard Arcadia isn't allowing private vehicles and you need to use the Park buses. World class park and Bar Harbor's cool as well.

The outlets in Freeport, ME. LL Bean and every other major retailer's store or outlet is just north of Portland. All located in just a few blocks of each other. A shopper's dream if ever there was one.

Plymouth Rock may dis-appoint after Acadia National Park, really not a whole lot to see at the Rock , and it's a half a day out of the way to/from Maine unless you were going to Cape Cod or Plymouth Colony anyway. I get folks interest in early New England history. Freedom trail in Boston would probably be more memorable in terms of history, but more time and money.

Maine is like Florida you get to the border and you still have a long way to go. They are very forgiving with the 75 mph speed limit, NH is not.

I wish you had a month. So much to see.

Kancamagus Highway and Mt. Washington in NH are your way to New York.
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Old 06-22-2019, 09:03 PM   #13
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Hey Arkie, if you're interested in seeing some of the Civil War history in and around Richmond, VA, and we plenty of room at our house if you so desire. Petersburg is the site of the crater, as seen in the film Cold Mountain.
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Old 06-23-2019, 07:30 AM   #14
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Thanks everyone for the input so far. I'm taking notes. Keep it coming.

In the past, we have went out west on these 2 week summer excursions hitting all the big national parks. In 2007 we went out and met Desmo for a beer on the beach in California. We took my truck and did a lot of camping in National Parks on that 2007 trip. In 2017 we drove to Washington and Oregon and back. Drove the Beartooth Highway on the way there and played in the snow in July.

My wife has been to all 50 states after we picked up Washington and Oregon on that 2017 trip. I still have a ways to go, but this trip into the NE will get me within 5 or 6 of having all 50 I think. States remaining: Alaska, Hawaii, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan. I think we are going to Hawaii next summer and then plan an Alaska cruise after that. North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan will likely be sometime after that, maybe just me and the wife on a touring bike after I retire in a couple years.
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Old 08-23-2019, 07:52 PM   #15
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Well?
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Old 08-26-2019, 08:33 AM   #16
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If it ain't too late stop by The Clam Shack in Kennebunkport Maine and get the lobster roll It's $20 and once you finish it you'll be pulling out another $20 to get a second one.
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Old 08-26-2019, 06:35 PM   #17
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How was the trip? Tell us all about it. Oh, post some pictures, and not just of ninag.
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Old 08-26-2019, 08:55 PM   #18
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Oh crap, I forgot about this thread.

The trip is over and it went well. I'll summarize some of the points along the way.

On the way up we stayed in Nags Head, NC. Took the daughter to the beach, looked for shells, and checked out the lighthouse.

Next was Ocean City, Maryland. Walked the boardwalk, ate some steamed crabs, checked out the beach.

Next was Washington, DC (actually stayed just outside DC in Maryland). I did not care for the traffic at all, but we survived. Parking sucks. Got on a tour bus and checked out a couple of the Smithsonian Museums, the Capital rotunda, the Lincoln Memorial, and several other memorials along the way.

Next stop was New York City. We actually stayed across the river in NJ next to the Meadowlands Arena and used the NY/NJ transit to get through the Lincoln Tunnel into New York City. The first night we checked out Times Square and just gawked at the hustle and bustle. The next day we got on a ferry and went around the Statue of Liberty. Then we checked out the 911 Memorial and World Trade Center. Daughter wanted to ride the subway, so we did that. Next day we got on another tour bus and checked out more of the city. That afternoon we rented bicycles and road the loop around Central Park.

The next day we drove to Maine. Did I mention the traffic sucks in this part of the country? Driving over the Washington Bridge was an experience for this country boy, but we made it thanks to Mr. Garmin. I-95 through Connecticut, through Rhode Island, then into Massachusetts and around Boston, then to Bangor, ME, and then over to coast of Maine. It was a long day. We didn't get to my sister-in-laws house near Harrington, ME until 10 pm.

Next day they took us to Acadia National Park and Cadillac Mountain and then down to Bar Harbor. Next day we went to the brother-in-laws boat building business to check that out and then we went on one of the boats that he built and checked a bunch of lobster traps. I think we got 18 keepers. Checked out some seals on an island. Daughter got to pilot the boat while out in the open water. Put the lobsters in a cooler, took them home, boiled them, and had a feast.

The next day we left Maine and drove across New Hampshire and Vermont. While crossing Lake Champlain into New York on a ferry, we had a dinner of lobster salad from the left-over lobster from the previous night. Made it to Lake Placid, NY to spend the night.

The next day we drove to Niagara Falls. Checked out the falls. It is pretty impressive to say the least. I was planning on spending the night there, but the wife was getting anxious to head back towards home so we drove to Erie, PA. I took the daughter down to the state park and we checked out the beach. That was pretty cool - big waves, lots of sand, no salt.

The next day we drove to Johnson City, TN.

The next day we went white water rafting out of Erwin, TN on the Nolichucky River. That was pretty cool (actually, the wife got kinda cold early that morning) - lots of Class III and IV rapids. We all made it out safe and sound. I don't think anyone in our raft even fell out. The wife was relieved. She wanted fun, but not that much "fun". We just did a half day float which was plenty. That afternoon we drove to just outside Nashville, TN and spent the night.

The next day was a 6 hour drive home on I-40. We put right at 4500 miles on the wife's new-to-her Lexus RX350.

I didn't take hardly any photos. I think the wife has some that I need to get copied onto my PC.
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Old 08-27-2019, 06:33 AM   #19
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Sounds like a great trip!
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