We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

travel logistics for 3 areas of interest

everett,wa
Level Contributor
18 posts
1 review
Save Topic
travel logistics for 3 areas of interest

Can you advise me of the best way to see Mt. Vernon, Monticello, and Colonial Williamsburg? I am considering getting a motel near Mt. Vernon after flying in late Sunday night into BWI (8pm) and seeing Mt. Vernon for 1/2 a day on Monday, driving to Monticello Monday afternoon,seeing Monticello Tuesday. Wednesday head to NY for 4 days, then WA.DC for 4 days and then Williamsburg for 2 days. This would be the last week in Nov. and the first week in December-nonpeak tourist hours, thus we are hoping for short lines and getting around faster. thank you!

Williamsburg...
Destination Expert
for Williamsburg
Level Contributor
6,832 posts
59 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: travel logistics for 3 areas of interest

If you arrive in Williamsburg before the weekend of Dec. 4 - 6, crowds will be lower. CW does get busy during Thanksgiving weekend, peaking at Grand Illumination, Sunday, Dec. 6 this year. So it'll be busier than in say, the first two weeks of November, with some good programming, etc. Holiday decorations, made with natural materials, will start to go up around Thanksgiving, and candles appear in windows. All low-key but quite beautiful. Just don't expect tinsel and glitter in the Historic Area!

Don't know if you'll be interested at all, but Busch Gardens will be premiering Christmas Town Nov. 27, the Friday evening after Thanksgiving.

Charlottesville...
Level Contributor
317 posts
46 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: travel logistics for 3 areas of interest

I agree with Zoey that the timing is very important. The weeks that you have chosen are definitely very busy times in NYC and Williamsburg. Charlottesville won't be too bad and I've never reserved a hotel room at that time in DC, but there will be a lot of people in town checking out the Christmas tree and other decorations, attending the Nutcracker, and doing their holiday shopping. Also, try to leave C'ville no later than 5 AM (earlier would be better) to head to NY or you will be stuck in horrendous traffic in DC and Baltimore.

Laura

Virginia
Destination Expert
for Virginia Beach
Level Contributor
6,445 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: travel logistics for 3 areas of interest

Is the length of drive from BWI at night to Alexandria okay with you? Of course, it will feel earlier for you coming from Wa.

A half day at Mt. Vernon is okay with you? Just sort of a quick look? There's lots to do and see that could take a couple of days otherwise.

I guess there's a reason for the bit of a south-another 3 hours or so south-north-south again- further south zigzag in the agenda. Could you visit Mt. Vernon when you come to DC? Could you do a circle instead? Some overlapping travel time could be devoted to touring.

Charlottesville, VA
Level Contributor
21 posts
55 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: travel logistics for 3 areas of interest

I suggest that you buy tickets to Monticello online (http://www.monticello.org/visit/tips.html) so that you can get an early house tour. You can have them keep your tickets at the box office under "Will Call." If you buy your tickets at the box office, you may find you have to wait 2-3 hours to go into the house. (On a recent Saturday, we arrived at noon and the soonest we could get the house tour was 3pm.)

You may be able to do this at Mount Vernon and Colonial Williamsburg as well. -- Jean C. (eleanordew)

Williamsburg...
Destination Expert
for Williamsburg
Level Contributor
572 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: travel logistics for 3 areas of interest

I am confused. Why would you come to VA to see two sights about 3 hours apart, then go to NY and DC then back to VA? Unless I am missing something, a better itinerary would be to do DC and Mt. Vernon first since flying in to BWI, then Monticello and Williamsburg over 2-3 days, then to NY. A more concise trip plan would save you so much travel time and expense. You are right about non-peak tourist times for the VA part of your trip. The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas week are very slow.

Arlington, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Arlington
Level Contributor
2,924 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: travel logistics for 3 areas of interest

+1 to Catneal's suggestion on doing Williamsburg before NYC. You don't want a rental car in NYC or DC, frankly, given the traffic and expense issues. I'd suggest:

Fly into BWI, rent car, stay near Mt. Vernon.

Next two nights, Chrlottesville.

Wednesday AM, drive to Williamsburg. It'll take you about 2 hours. Spend two nights.

Drive to BWI. Return the rental car. Get on the train to NYC at the BWI Amtrak station.

Four nights NYC. Leave NYC by train back to DC.

Four nights DC. Take the MARC commuter rail or the Super Shuttle back to BWI for your flight.

The cost of 8 extra days rental car + parking in NYC and DC will be far higher than your round-trip train fare between NYC and DC, and any extra taxi and subway fares you may incur.

7. Re: travel logistics for 3 areas of interest

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 7:32 am, February 24, 2010