Road trip ideas

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Road trip ideas

Postby Nahum » Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:41 pm

My brother and I want to go on a road trip for a week, but we need help in finding good destinations. We are are open to any area in New England, Upstate New York and as far south as Virginia Beach. We want to explore nature. Thank you for your input.
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Re: Road trip ideas

Postby JMacDonald » Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:49 pm

Here is a website that will give some information: http://www.roadtripusa.com
Best Wishes, | Joe
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Re: Road trip ideas

Postby mlipps » Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:41 pm

Assateague Island in the Chesapeake Bay is one of the coolest places I've been on the East Coast.
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Re: Road trip ideas

Postby jlawrence01 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:02 am

mlipps wrote:Assateague Island in the Chesapeake Bay is one of the coolest places I've been on the East Coast.



Assateague and Chincoteague are both very interesting. However, the Delaware coast and the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia provide a lot of great nature walks, a couple of small zoos, and a lot of other natural surprises. I lived in VA for three years nearly 30 years ago and missed all of it. Fortunately, an error that was corrected in September 2012.
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Re: Road trip ideas

Postby hazlitt777 » Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:05 am

I've always found the DK publishing books helpful.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0756685559

In my state, I found some good "road trip" guidebooks. You might be able to do the same out there.
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Re: Road trip ideas

Postby reggiesimpson » Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:15 pm

Just north of the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge is one of the best restaurants i have ever eaten in.............Stingrays....... aka chez Exxon. Its inside an Exxon station a few miles north of the bridge on the east side of the road. Unbelievably tasty!
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Re: Road trip ideas

Postby blueridge » Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:22 pm

If you can move it a little bit west, three words...Blue Ridge Parkway.
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Re: Road trip ideas

Postby kenschmidt » Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:52 pm

blueridge wrote:If you can move it a little bit west, three words...Blue Ridge Parkway.


My thought exactly - hit Skyline Drive and Shenandoah National Park and just keep drivin' 8-)
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Re: Road trip ideas

Postby nisiprius » Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:18 pm

Almost any place is interesting once you "drill down" for the actual neat local things. One of the things I always do--the time for doing this may be fading but it still works--is I always Google for "tourist bureau" and "chamber of commerce" and "convention bureau" for the area I'm interested in. I do this a couple of months before the trip. Not just the big city, but the small cities in the area. Usually, there is a place where you can give them your name and address and check off any number of guidebooks on various subjects.

For example, you mentioned "upstate New York." OK, very well. Let's try "Syracuse Convention"--ah, Google fills in "... and visitor's bureau." And there is Order a Guide and "If you would like to receive a single copy of the Syracuse Visitors Guide in the mail, please use the form below." Increasingly these days they will also offer a downloadable PDF, which is the case here.

This is the same sort of literature you find in racks at e.g. "Welcome to [State]" interstate rest stops. The thing is, it turns out to be FAR more comprehensive than bookstore guidebooks and has page after page of little, sometimes schlocky attractions and restaurants and this and that. This Syracuse guide, for example, is 100 pages long. And they tend to be full of ideas you might not have thought of. As well as huge numbers of non-chain lodging possibilities.

These "Visit XYZ" booklets are better than Fodor's or Lonely Planet or what have you because they have so much more in them. And they are in some ways better than surfing the Net because surfing the Net tends to find only targeted things you're looking for, while leafing through the booklets you happen on stuff you'd never think to Google for.

(The reason Syracuse came to mind is that we didn't get there. We had planned to spend a week camping at a state park just off the Erie Canal bikeway and spend some time riding up and down the canalside bike trail and exploring the area, and eventually getting to the Erie Canal museum--but on day 3 I hurt my knee, not badly but badly enough to cut the trip short...) We did get to Chittenango Falls, which is, on the one hand, not a terribly big or impressive waterfall--and yet, it was so pretty, so unusual in the way the water spread out in a symmetrical pattern over rocks that almost formed steps. I'm not recommending a trip to see Chittenango Falls, but I'm saying that time spent "drilling down" for small local attractions can be time well spent.
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Re: Road trip ideas

Postby Rainier » Thu Jul 11, 2013 8:27 pm

Go north into Canada and keep driving north. You can drive all the way to James Bay, an arm of Hudson Bay.

Lots of forest, no people, long days and maybe the northern lights.
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Re: Road trip ideas

Postby widestance » Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:57 pm

I always thought Maine was a nice destination.
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Re: Road trip ideas

Postby Big Worm » Sun Jul 14, 2013 4:59 pm

Bar Harbor Maine was pretty sweet during the summer 30 years ago.
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Re: Road trip ideas

Postby EternalOptimist » Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:31 pm

"When nothing goes right....go left"
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Re: Road trip ideas

Postby Philliesfan » Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:50 pm

This is an excellent website for finding different attractions:

https://roadtrippers.com/welcome?mode=explore

I highly recommend it.
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Re: Road trip ideas

Postby Padlin » Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:05 pm

Do you have passports? If not skip Ca. otherwise heading north into Me. Taking 1 as long as you can stand it is nice. Stops in Camden/Rockport area, Acadia, then farther up through blueberry country to Campabello. From there you can take the inter-island ferry and island hop to mainland Ca. and over to Fundy. You only have a week so that's probably it.

Or you can head to Niagara, Letchworth State Park, the finger lake and wine country. Just south in Pa. are Elk herds if you can locate them. Head back to NYC via the Poconos in North Eastern Pa.
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Re: Road trip ideas

Postby VictoriaF » Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:17 pm

nisiprius wrote:For example, you mentioned "upstate New York." OK, very well. Let's try "Syracuse Convention"--ah, Google fills in "... and visitor's bureau." And there is Order a Guide and "If you would like to receive a single copy of the Syracuse Visitors Guide in the mail, please use the form below." Increasingly these days they will also offer a downloadable PDF, which is the case here.


Speaking of upstate New York, I am mildly curious about Saratoga Springs. Is it anything like European mineral-springs spas? I've been to some in Budapest and in the Czech Republic, but it would be nice to have them domestically.

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Re: Road trip ideas

Postby 22twain » Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:24 pm

You can bathe in the mineral waters at Saratoga Spa State Park:

http://www.nysparks.com/parks/saratogaspa
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Re: Road trip ideas

Postby czeckers » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:01 am

The drive to the top of Mt. Washington in N.H. is quite spectacular if you're heading North. If you want to go South, you can just head down along the coast, you can hit Assateague island and the outer banks of N.C., then cut inland and go up Skyline drive on the return trip. There are some neat caverns including Crystal Caverns as a side trip from Skyline drive.

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Re: Road trip ideas

Postby protagonist » Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:11 pm

For something really wild and rarely visited by Americans, or even Canadians, consider the Magdalen Islands (Iles de la Madeleine)...it's a ferry ride from PEI, so it will take you a while to get there (my recollection is 12-14 hrs from W MA to the ferry dock in PEI, overnight in PEI, and then a 5 hour ferry ride) , but the drive is pretty. Magnificent, and fascinating culture/food/music (great beer!) The water is warm enough to swim. Or the north shore of the St Lawrence from Quebec City to the terminus of the road (I think that is Havre St. Pierre....if you are really adventurous there are ferries from there to the Labrador border).

If you would rather head south, everything is beautiful along Skyline Drive/ Blue Ridge Parkway.

But if you only have a week, both would probably be too much driving, unless you are a driving fool. I'm guessing you live near NYC from your opening post. Cruising around New England for a week, you can't go wrong in the summer.

If you go to Canada you now need a passport.

You mentioned VA beach....if you make it that far, I would put in a few more hours and head down to the southern part of Hatteras or Ocracoke. (spelling?) The drive to VA Beach isn't spectacular, but Cape Hatteras is beautiful when you get south of the main center. YOu can rent a house there for not an outrageous fee, especially if you are sharing, and especially on the sound side.
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Re: Road trip ideas

Postby protagonist » Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:18 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
nisiprius wrote:For example, you mentioned "upstate New York." OK, very well. Let's try "Syracuse Convention"--ah, Google fills in "... and visitor's bureau." And there is Order a Guide and "If you would like to receive a single copy of the Syracuse Visitors Guide in the mail, please use the form below." Increasingly these days they will also offer a downloadable PDF, which is the case here.


Speaking of upstate New York, I am mildly curious about Saratoga Springs. Is it anything like European mineral-springs spas? I've been to some in Budapest and in the Czech Republic, but it would be nice to have them domestically.

Victoria


I've never been to the baths, Victoria. But Saratoga is a charming town, and there are great performances at SPAC (Saratoga Performing Arts Center)- outdoor theatre, sort of like Tanglewood, but IMHO the acoustics are better on the lawn than at Tanglewood because, if my memory serves me well, it is more of a natural amphitheatre. At least that is my recollection....I haven't been to SPAC in almost two decades.

For an interesting take on the rise and fall of the baths at Saratoga, I refer you to what was probably the juiciest, spiciest, raciest article ever to grace the front page of the Tuesday New York Times Science section....http://www.nytimes.com/1999/02/23/scien ... all&src=pm
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Re: Road trip ideas

Postby Barefootgirl » Tue Jul 16, 2013 1:57 pm

Nature? upstate NY?: Adirondack Park. Nothing compares east of the Mississippi.

Worth checking out.

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Re: Road trip ideas

Postby CV » Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:11 pm

Mt. Washington Valley, NH (North Conway). Did you mention if this was a road trip on motorcycles or by car?
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Re: Road trip ideas

Postby Groundhog » Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:44 pm

We like to head north for the cooler weather. As others have mentioned Maine (lighthouses, Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park) and New Hampshire (mountains, covered bridges, Mount Washington) were some places we've enjoyed visiting.
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Re: Road trip ideas

Postby leonard » Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:20 pm

Part of the fun of a road trip is hitting the road without a plan.
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Re: Road trip ideas

Postby hsv_climber » Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:25 pm

Barefootgirl wrote:Nature? upstate NY?: Adirondack Park. Nothing compares east of the Mississippi.

Worth checking out.

BFG


Watkins Glen is better. :happy
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Re: Road trip ideas

Postby hsv_climber » Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:28 pm

- It is hot down South.
- There are ticks up North. http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/stats/chartstab ... ality.html

Pick your poison :-).
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Re: Road trip ideas

Postby Rob5TCP » Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:42 pm

Last month we were in Bar Harbor and Freeport (the shopping was not for me). It was beautiful country.
Arcadia / Bar Harbor is probably fairly crowded now, but there is plenty of hiking in Arcadia that you should have plenty of solitude (if that's what you want).
It's a long drive from NY, 8-10 hours, but worth it. The mountains (admittedly smaller ones) by the Ocean were spectacular.

http://www.nps.gov/acad/index.htm
http://www.barharborinfo.com/preserving_our_island/
http://www.yelp.com/biz/acadia-national-park-bar-harbor

Bar Harbor is an interesting town. Lobster is ubiquitous (one day we had it for all 3 meals).
There are also many smaller islands that would be great to explore (we didn't).

I have never been upstate to the Adirondacks, but I hear it's spectacular - maybe next year when we drive to Montreal.
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Re: Road trip ideas

Postby protagonist » Tue Jul 16, 2013 7:31 pm

Rob5TCP wrote:Bar Harbor is an interesting town. Lobster is ubiquitous (one day we had it for all 3 meals). .


Adirondacks are beautiful, as are much of the Appalachians from GA to ME.

Rob5TCP wrote:I have never been upstate to the Adirondacks, but I hear it's spectacular - maybe next year when we drive to Montreal


Montreal (and Quebec City) are also interesting destinations. I don't know where you will be coming from, but if you are going to Montreal, Burlington, VT is a very nice place to stop for a good meal and a nice little city to walk around with beautiful lake views (there is a passenger ferry from, I believe, Plattsburgh NY). And from there you can head to Montreal via the Champlain Islands. My town of Northampton, MA and the surrounding hilltowns is also a somewhat undiscovered gem (though less so....these days we get tons of weekenders from CT and the NYC area).
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Re: Road trip ideas

Postby fsrph » Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:08 pm

Big Worm wrote:Bar Harbor Maine was pretty sweet during the summer 30 years ago.

I second that. Acadia National Park is there and it is awesome. Lots of good links about Acadia here - http://www.acadiamagic.com/.

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Re: Road trip ideas

Postby Peter Foley » Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:26 pm

I too would recommend Bar Harbor and Arcadia National Park. You can make a number of interesting side trips to see the many unique lighthouses along the Maine coast. There is some easy hiking near Bar Harbor if that interests you.
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Re: Road trip ideas

Postby bill1958 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 9:42 pm

Big Worm wrote:Bar Harbor Maine was pretty sweet during the summer 30 years ago.

+1 check out Southwest Harbor while there.
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