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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks!
We`re planning our vacation from June 18 to early July.
We are leaving from Ottawa,ON and driving towards Virginia Beach.

We will likely go trough NY, PA DE, and VA, Google itinary

I thought I`d ask some help from fellow forum members as we have never been to any of these states, so any help is appreciated!

The plan for now is to rent a cabin at the First Landing State park for a week.

If you know good spots to stop along the way (attractions, good accomodation, family restaurants with healthy food, nice lakes or beaches, etc.) feel free to share, as we are traveling with young kids (6 months, 3 years, and 5 years), and we will have to break the trip to and back in smaller parts.

We will bring our bikes, hiking boots, so if you know any easy trails or paths that would be appreciated.
 

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Sounds like a great trip! I live in the general area (Northern Virginia; Washington, D.C. suburbs) I'll put some comments and suggestions together for you over the next couple of days.

More later.
 

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You should consider taking a tour of the US Mint in Philadelphia, I hear that is rater worthwhile.

Other than that your path seems a little out of the way from everything... When I am driving that route, I usually take 95 through Baltimore, and DC then 64 down past Richmond.

And I am kinda a Food Junkie, so...

If you drive through DC you should eat at:
Matchbox Restaurant‎
713 H Street Northwest
Washington, DC‎ - (202) 289-4441‎
 

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My favorite hiking spot in the DC area is the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park in Great Falls, MD, just a short distance outside the Beltway (I-495), west of DC. Two parts of it are especially interesting:
The history of the place, as illustrated by a restored section of the canal complete with locks, (seasonally) a short trip on a canal boat with an onboard guide, and exhibits in the lockkeeper's house.

The Billy Goat Trail, that takes you along the edge of a bluff overlooking the Potomac. It's easy walking and quite safe. You would not expect to find such a wild place just a few miles from the Nation's Capital. The potholes scoured in the rocks along the trail are utterly astounding, especially when you consider how high the area is above the river's present level. To get there, follow the towpath downstream for a short distance, enjoy the view of the falls off to the right, and then look for the trail heading off toward the right and up the hill.​

Drive upstream a bit farther and you can cross the Potomac at White's Ferry on a cable ferry, the last of about a hundred ferries that once operated on the river.
 

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I would recommend taking a small detour and go the second route that your itinerary suggests and go through DC. there is an unlimited amount of stuff for the kids down there(air and space museum come to the top of my mind for children that age) not to mention food and even though being canadian some of the monuments aren't AS meaningful as they are to us still pretty cool.

oh yeah an I am partial to MD and DC over DE. Ill go over the route later and look for more specifics
 

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Just make sure you drive very slow in the left lane, with your right turn signal on.:icon_wink: Oh wait, that's just the retired canadians here in FL. Have a blast. I couldn't imagine taking a 6 month old on a car vacation. You're more adventurous than me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Thanks for all the ideas so far! Really appreciated.

The itinary is the shortest route as calculated by Google; I'm open to change it based on what you guys think!

With everything you`ve suggested, I've got a good 2 hours of internet research to do! Keep them coming!

Also, any areas to avoid given major traffic or basic safety?

Thanks again!

Just make sure you drive very slow in the left lane, with your right turn signal on.:icon_wink: Oh wait, that's just the retired canadians here in FL. Have a blast. I couldn't imagine taking a 6 month old on a car vacation. You're more adventurous than me.
lol!! At first I thought you refered to the retired Americans who come up here to visit Niagara falls! :biggrin:

Regarding the 6-months old: It`s our third one: you get tougher with each.
I would never have even thought about doing this with our first one!! Plus, our baby girl is super easy (fingers crossed - hopefully it stays that way!).
I guess that`s Karma: our first two sons (especially the first one) were really tough (as in 15 months without a sigle full night of sleep)!!
 

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A few more thoughts. As mentioned above, I think there are a lot more points of interest if you take the Balto-Wash route vs. the Delaware one. Or you could consider a circle trip, down one way and back up the other.

I moved your route over to 81-83-695-495-95 at Google Maps, and it only added about 45 minutes. Though the route is susceptible to rush hour congestion, just as the Delaware one would be subject to weekend beach congestion.

The C&O Canal towpath is a good spot for biking.
 

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You should consider taking a tour of the US Mint in Philadelphia, I hear that is rater worthwhile.
If you plan to do that PM Bravo12; he works there. He should be able to give you some good info. He could also tell you where in Philly to get the best cheesesteaks (he'll probably say Tony Luke; I would agree with that).
 

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As you are leaving the NYC area, get on the garden state parkway where it meets 95. Take GSP to Cape May NJ (southern most point). Cape May itself is pretty nice. Take the Ferry from Cape May to Lewes, DE. This is a much more pleasant way to get down there. Then you can spend a couple of days at one of the beach towns, bethany Beach is nice with kids, rehoboth beach, any one of those will do.

Then you can take the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, which in itself is very cool and impressive on your way to see DC.

Here is a link for the ferry:

http://www.capemaylewesferry.com/
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I think you should make it a week earlier and swing down through Massachusetts for WBM... :lol:
That's what I wanted to do in the first place, but I've got a client meeting on the 16th that I can't move...:icon_cry:

Galager, toddlamp, bbottomley - thanks for the suggestions! Looks like cheesesteaks are an institution in PA!
 

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I'd say see if you can hit the Baltimore Aquarium, the Camden Aquarium (don't wonder around Camden EVER!), definitely get some philly cheese-steaks, plus as suggested the please touch museum, the Franklin Institute and then when going through NJ check out the cape may zoo or all of cape may and if you're down there check out the lobster house. While going up through NJ there's always 6 flags Great Adventure, and then just about everything in NY
 

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I have travelled from Philly to DC many many times and always take I-95 from PA -> to DE -> MD via the very top corner of Delaware. If I had a trip like yours I would definitely try to head down Jersey to Cape May and cross in DE via the ferry. My family used to go to Cape May all the time when I was young and recently started again. It's a great little beach town and the Lobster House rocks!!

If you go that route I can't really help you past Cape May, but I can tell you that the Bay Bridge is awesome.
 
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