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Drive NYC - Philadelphia - DC ?

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Granite Bay, CA
posts: 77
reviews: 24
Drive NYC - Philadelphia - DC ?

My husband and I are planning a trip - probably in the spring. We have NEVER been back east (left coasters) and are thinking of flying into NYC do a couple of days, drive to Philadelphia do a couple of days, drive to DC and do a couple of days.

Is this doable? Should we spend more time in any one spot? Any other suggestions?

Destination Expert
for Philadelphia
posts: 2,963
reviews: 4
1. Re: Drive NYC - Philadelphia - DC ?

I think your plan sounds fine except that you should take the train rather than drive. In all three cities, a car is unnecessary, burdensome, and expensive to park. Traffic is bad. Amtrak between these cities is fast, frequent, easy, and comfortable. All three cities have public transportation.

Baltimore, Maryland
Destination Expert
for North Conway
posts: 11,088
reviews: 40
2. Re: Drive NYC - Philadelphia - DC ?

You could organize the trip a thousands different ways but this is as good as any. So long as you don't intend to stray from cities agree that don't need car

posts: 6,576
3. Re: Drive NYC - Philadelphia - DC ?

I wouldn't drive it as a car will cost you $$$ in parking fees.

Bucks County...
Destination Expert
for Philadelphia, Train Travel, Bucks County
posts: 6,649
reviews: 73
4. Re: Drive NYC - Philadelphia - DC ?

I agree with the others. You do not need nor want a car in any of the three cities. AMTRAK is the way to travel between the cities. Philadelphia is very walkable, as is most of the areas of DC you will likely visit. Same for New York, though the distances are further. Public transit is easy in DC and Philadelphia. I use cabs or foot in NY. Cabs are plentiful in all three cities, especially NY.

Marlton, New Jersey
posts: 5
reviews: 33
5. Re: Drive NYC - Philadelphia - DC ?

Definitely doable. Im a Philly local/Jersey girl who does go into NYC a lot and I would suggest 4 days NYC, 3 Philly, 3 DC if you had a week and depending on your interests.

You definitely don't need a car but do take a look at Amtrak's prices before you commit to not driving. It's definitely drivable-realistically 2 hours from NYC to Philly driving with another 3+ from Philly to DC. Traffic would be annoying though and parking does add up.

What are you into-what do you hope to see?

Cherry Hill, NJ
Destination Expert
for Philadelphia
posts: 6,654
reviews: 53
6. Re: Drive NYC - Philadelphia - DC ?

By the time you factor in tolls and rental (will assume you will fly in), Amtrak usually works out cheaper for a group of up to 4 if you buy tickets in advance and skip the priciest service levels.

How long to spend in each area will vary based on interests. I typically find 3 days decent for NYC, 3 for philly. Washington is a wild card because there is a LOT to see there depending on interests.

posts: 379
reviews: 4
7. Re: Drive NYC - Philadelphia - DC ?

We live near Philly and have done the mentioned drives many times. NYC to Philly 2+ hrs depending on traffic. Philly to DC about 3+ depending on the traffic. Both are pretty easy and straight forward drives if you have a gps.

I agree that you actually wont need a car to get around in either one of the 3 cities as everything is a walk-able distance. If you end up staying at a hotel with discounted parking rates, great! If not, you will rack up quite a bit of $$ for parking. But I definitely could not do without a car as it gives me much more freedom as to when I want to leave, come or get somewhere else... have never been a train person, but that's just me...

For a limited time frame I would say NYC 3 days, Philly 2-3 days and DC 2 days. If you are interested in museums, plan 3 for DC.

8. Re: Drive NYC - Philadelphia - DC ?

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