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Touring from Baltimore

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Newcastle Australia
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Touring from Baltimore

We will be in Baltimore for a conference in mid November 2014. We are thinking of touring around for 2-3 weeks (ie. from mid October) beforehand. We are planing to fly in and out of Baltimore but can be flexible about this. We have not been to the east coast of the US before. We certainly would like to go to Washington and New York, and were also think of driving a "loop" going inland west of Baltimore, then south, and east again to travel back up the coast to Baltimore to take in some of the natural areas and historic sites. we also will have no time to see Baltimore during the conference. Can someone please provide a little guidance as to how we should allocate our time? We would not plan to travel north of New York because we will probably come back to the US in a couple of years to see that area, besides it will be getting a little cold and the leaves will be gone from the trees by late October.

Sorry if this is a bit vague.

To provide some idea of our "likes" ,a couple of years ago we drove from Nebaska to Seattle via lots of small towns and historic/natural sites (not via the interstate unless we could not avoid it) and had a great time taking in the feel of the small towns interspersed with the occasional tourist feature, as well as the attractions of Seattle, including the "underground" Seattle tour. We are happy and would like to do some of our travelling by train if possible.

Thanks very much

Baltimore, Maryland
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1. Re: Touring from Baltimore

Not sure how you should allocate time but consider Charleston sc as your southern border, Allegany mountains as west border and N.Y.. lots to fill up time.

Annapolis
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2. Re: Touring from Baltimore

This is difficult to answer because there are so many possibilities. Maryland is sometimes called "america in miniature" because of its diverse geography. From the mountains to the coastal plain and everything in between. I think your loop should include at least a portion of the Blue Ridge mountains as the western extent of your trip. Beautiful scenery, and definitely a nice byway. For the Baltimore exploration, you can base at a BWI airport hotel, if budget is an issue, and take the light rail into town. Check out the touristy inner harbor, then hop on the water taxi to see Baltimore from the water. It will take you to Fells Point, which is a more intersting section with many shopping, dining and sightseeing options. Also, by water taxi you can get to Ft. mcHenry, which has a short movie about its significant role in US history that is worthwhile. The grounds are also nice for an afternoon stroll in good weather. This Baltimore "overview" can be done in a day. For the easternmost leg, I would head across the bay bridge and spend a day at Assateague Island. Detour through the Blackwater wildlife refuge near Cambridge for some amazing salt marsh and wildlife views (even kayak tour with some outfitters is available if you want).

Maryland
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3. Re: Touring from Baltimore

Hard to really help but you may want to grab an east coast tour book and see what strikes your fancy.

I agree with Neslaw re: potential borders.

You may want to fly into New York and fly out of Baltimore and see New York, DC, Philadelphia, and Baltimore before you rent a car. Easy to get between those cities via bus or train and having a car will be an expensive hindrance. I'd add Richmond and maybe Skyline Drive to the mix.

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4. Re: Touring from Baltimore

Actually in Oct, we can still have quite warm weather and leaves. The temperature is quite variable at that time of year so you will want to pack accordingly. Therefore, Skyline Drive may still be quite beautiful. Caverns in that area too. Cities to see: DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, NYC. Try the Groupon site for each of these cities. You should be able to get decent prices on historic sites and/or Broadway shows. If you drive, you could easily drive from Baltimore to Central Pennsylvania/Lancaster County, then over to Philadelphia (or Baltimore-Philadelphia-Lancaster) before heading to NYC. Central Pennsylvania/Lancaster County is where the tourists go to see Amish people (which I personally think is strange, but it's "a thing" here). Not far from there would also be Hershey, PA (think Hershey's chocolate)). Altogether, Central PA would require 1 overnight for you, but you would be off the highway and mostly meandering farms.

Any interest in sports? Each major city you plan on seeing has both a Major League Baseball team and a National Football League team. I recommend seeing at least one of the games in Baltimore. It's the birthplace of the Star Spangled Banner (played before every baseball game), and both stadiums are nice. Depending on your actual arrival to the US, Baseball may not be an option).

DC: The zoo is free, Smithsonian Museums are plentiful, Holocaust Museum is quite popular. I think the White House tour is over rated.

In Baltimore: Without a rental car, try the Charm City Circulator, a hop on-hop off bus. Fort McHenry, for the history. Inner Harbor for the tourism. Try eating crabs, just to say you did, Maryland-style. Have your hotel recommend a local crab shack. Crabs in tourist areas will be both overpriced and underwhelming.

Philly: See the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall.

NYC: Times Square, Statue of Libery (You have to buy tickets in advance to climb to her crown) & Ellis Island, WTC/Ground Zero,Too many options to list. Plus whatever your personal interests you can find it in the city.

Transportation: You could take the MegaBus between each of these cities. Travelzoo.com offers discounted rates (also available on MegaBus website) and it will be cheaper than train, but be aware that traveling on a weekend via MegaBus may result in a late bus. Personally, I would recommend the rental car over trains and buses. Driving yourself would save you time. You can't hail a cab in Baltimore. DON'T use the subway in Baltimore. If you arrive in NY, you can use public transportation until you leave. You could always watch the rental car rates in each city, looking for a one-way rental ending in DC. Tolls between NYC and DC are pricey.

Newcastle Australia
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5. Re: Touring from Baltimore

Thanks everyone for your responses. You have been very helpful!

6. Re: Touring from Baltimore

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