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Tink#64
07-27-2011, 01:18 AM
We're planning a road trip, from Louisville, KY to New York ( Manhattan) & Eastern Canada. Any & all advice would be so appreciated! We're super excited! We've only had destination vacations & we're really looking forward to these new experiences & being someplace different almost everyday! I'm already reading tour books & scouring the web! Anyone have any tips or must see's/do's for our list? :read: :surf::write:

NJGIRL
07-27-2011, 08:00 AM
Shari, Can you tell us where your stops are?

For NYC you can take a look at the other threads on this page.

Tink#64
07-28-2011, 12:57 AM
I've been reading everything on here! :blush: First I think we'll be stopping in Hershey, PA, only visiting Chocolate World, I don't think the park makes the list this trip, then onto Hoboken, NJ for a stop at Carlo's Barkery! We're huge fans of Cake Wars! lol Then onto Liberty Park in NJ where we'll catch the fairly to Liberty Island, I think I have the names all right. Of course, not doing all this driving straight through, it works out very nicely, to have something to see each day, not driving more than about 9 hours, some days far less when the attractions will be more time consuming. From there onto Manhattan for a couple of days. Hoping to stay Midtown, have read a couple of tour books, actually found a really nice walking tour hitting most of the obvious landmarks & higlights. Planning to make a photo stop in Scranton! :silly: Then onto Niagra Falls. I'm a little ? still about what all we'll do there, it looks just fascinating, trying to read about the various options, guessing we'll stay over night so we can enjoy all we want there & then planning to drive on into Canada.

This is where my plan ends! I know we won't drive too far North into Canada & not knowing anything, I'm not really seeing anything that's grabbing my interest with the exception of Nova Scotia! I really want at least one beach day, wondering if we'll really stay in Canada or make our way back South along the coast with possibly a couple of days in Ocean City, NJ/MD ?
Any & all advice would be very much appreciated! We really want to experience all we can! :woohoo: :thanks:

NJGIRL
07-28-2011, 08:15 PM
I've been reading everything on here! :blush: First I think we'll be stopping in Hershey, PA, only visiting Chocolate World, I don't think the park makes the list this trip, then onto Hoboken, NJ for a stop at Carlo's Barkery! We're huge fans of Cake Wars! lol Then onto Liberty Park in NJ where we'll catch the fairly to Liberty Island, I think I have the names all right. Of course, not doing all this driving straight through, it works out very nicely, to have something to see each day, not driving more than about 9 hours, some days far less when the attractions will be more time consuming. From there onto Manhattan for a couple of days. Hoping to stay Midtown, have read a couple of tour books, actually found a really nice walking tour hitting most of the obvious landmarks & higlights. Planning to make a photo stop in Scranton! :silly: Then onto Niagra Falls. I'm a little ? still about what all we'll do there, it looks just fascinating, trying to read about the various options, guessing we'll stay over night so we can enjoy all we want there & then planning to drive on into Canada.

This is where my plan ends! I know we won't drive too far North into Canada & not knowing anything, I'm not really seeing anything that's grabbing my interest with the exception of Nova Scotia! I really want at least one beach day, wondering if we'll really stay in Canada or make our way back South along the coast with possibly a couple of days in Ocean City, NJ/MD ?
Any & all advice would be very much appreciated! We really want to experience all we can! :woohoo: :thanks:

Wow, my head is spinning. :). First off, Hershey seems off course from your starting point to your second stop. There is nothing wrong with that, but if you are going out of your way you should do the whole theme park. I have been to Chocolate World and took the tour. The tour and looking around the candy stores will only take about one hour and that doesn't seem worth it to me. The park is very nice and has alot of fun rides.

Hoboken....I know nothing about. I know of the show that you are talking about, but have you checked out what happens if they are filming that day? I'm not sure how that works. I don't think that there is anything around there to do, but I can be wrong.

Visiting Liberty Island is a great idea and something everyone should do if possible. NYC has many things to do.

I'm not trying to be smart, but why are you going to Scranton? :confused:. I have driven through there many many times and as far as I know there is nothing special there to see.

Niagra Falls is a great place to spend a couple of days. There are so many thing to do there from the Maid of the Mist, Behind the Falls Tour, Clifton Heights, Table Rock, etc. The falls are amazing!

If you don't want to do Hershey Park I would scrap Chocolate World and Scranton and maybe add Boston or Salem MA. Both places have tons to do. Even a day in Philly to see the Liberty Bell & Independence Hall is a great idea.

After seeing the falls you can take the short drive to Toronto. There is the Wonderland Theme Park and many museums there.

This is just my opinion from being to these places.

Tink#64
07-28-2011, 10:56 PM
NJGIRL, thanks so much for the ideas! Actually looking at the atlas, leaving from Louisville, driving North, it's a farily direct to Harrisburg/Hershey area, about 9 1/2 hours, so just a stopping point for the day really. Then just a few short hours over to the NJ area, actaully DH's idea, & we're just really wanting to see a little bit of a lot of things. We threw in the Scranton, just for laughs as we're huge fans of the show "The Office" & my DS's were happy just to stop & take a pic with Scranton sign, which is in direct route (or so our driving directions showed) from Manhattan to Niagra Falls. We're still in the very beginning of the planning stages.

The more I've looked in Canada, the less time I think we'll spend there, I'd like to see the Canadian Parliament & a few things in that area & that's probably it. With that in mind, probably going to change up the route, possibly starting with Naigra Falls & Canada, and maybe adding in some stops such as Philly as you suggested in making our way back towards home.

I will look into the attractions that you mentioned at Niagra Falls, super excited about that! Do you have any recommendations for anything on the coast line? I really appreciate your help! :thanks:

Mickey'sGirl
07-29-2011, 10:49 AM
Niagara Falls is nowhere near Ottawa, where the Canadian Parliament Buildings are. Just letting you know.

It's about an hour and a half from Niagara Falls to Toronto (The centre of the Universe, and my hometown ;) ), and then about another 4 to 5 hours to Ottawa (Canada's Capital City).

There are plenty of things to do and see in both Toronto and Ottawa, museums and amusement parks (as Rita said), as well as sports attractions (Baseball anyone?), international cuisine, the CN Tower .... Lots to do and see!

lynnek
07-29-2011, 10:58 AM
You seem to be touching the corners of NY State. Some thoughts to beef up the "inbetween". Corning Glass--very nice stop. Look into their website to get into a class of some sort--my kids did the make your own glass ornaments--they loved it. Rochester NY--awesome kids museum, Strong Museum is also there. Incredible Farmers Market on the weekends--not sure if it's only Sat. Finger Lakes is wine country which also produces Concord grape pie--yum! Rochester you can also take the ferry from/to Toronto. Saratoga Springs (north of Albany)--great parks, great natural springs etc. lots of history. NYC--chinatown is awesome, Mood Fabrics from Project Runway fun to visit, Southstreet Seaport. Food go to Menu Pages.com for great finds, costs and ratings of restaurants--do not do chain restaurants in NYC! You'll miss out on lots of experiences--like try Dim Sum in Chinatown--if you have seen Top Chef, I think last season, the cooks did a Dim Sum challenge.

Mickey'sGirl
07-29-2011, 11:01 AM
Rochester you can also take the ferry from/to Toronto. Actually, the ferry is not running between Toronto and Rochester. Not enough volume to get it going well.....

lynnek
07-29-2011, 11:09 AM
Oops! Haven't gone for ice cream to Toronto in awhile:blush:
Shari--obviously we would love to plan your trip for you!!! How many days are you going? What age groups? There is also tons to do in Vermont, NH, Mass etc. Oh and I loved Pittsburgh and Philly too!

Tink#64
07-30-2011, 12:27 AM
We're only taking a 10 day trip and trying not to rush, but want to visit the obvious major attractions in NY & beyond. Actually now starting our trip with Niagra Falls, obviously I've not done my homework yet on Canada, just perusing guide books & rtying to consult the atlas. So I'm guessing a couple of days around Niagra Falls, definitely on US side, possibly Canada. From there onto NY, staying in Manhattan a couple of days. Then heading down the coast area, possibly hitting Philly & seeing the Liberty Bell, maybe other stops, I just don't have it all planned out yet. It's tons of fun discovering what there is along the way that we might want to experience! I'm really thinking a couple of days in Ocean City MD on our way home, I think that would be relaxing after our whirlwind trip! I appreciate all the advice & info! :thumbsup:

NJGIRL
07-30-2011, 11:19 AM
We're only taking a 10 day trip and trying not to rush, but want to visit the obvious major attractions in NY & beyond. Actually now starting our trip with Niagra Falls, obviously I've not done my homework yet on Canada, just perusing guide books & rtying to consult the atlas. So I'm guessing a couple of days around Niagra Falls, definitely on US side, possibly Canada. From there onto NY, staying in Manhattan a couple of days. Then heading down the coast area, possibly hitting Philly & seeing the Liberty Bell, maybe other stops, I just don't have it all planned out yet. It's tons of fun discovering what there is along the way that we might want to experience! I'm really thinking a couple of days in Ocean City MD on our way home, I think that would be relaxing after our whirlwind trip! I appreciate all the advice & info! :thumbsup:

Niagra Falls...I would spend two days on a Canadian side (More to do there), but also 1 day on the NY side. The NY park is actually very pretty now (it wasn't always like that) and there is enough to do for a whole day. A walk down the Bridal Falls, a trip to Goat Island, Views from the overlook, just walking around the park. In Canada we stayed at the Embassey Suites. They were very nice.

Philly you can easily spend two or three days, but if you want to skip the museums do the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall & Constitution Center. They are in a compact area. Depending when you go they have re- enactors on the park benches telling the stories of our fight for freedom. Stay at the Omni in Old City. It's a very nice hotel and only two blocks from Independence Hall. Get tickets for the Lights of Liberty Walking Tour. You start behind Independence Hall after dark and a customed guide takes you all throught the city to historical sites. You have head phones on and are hearing about what these sites meant during the war. The thing is each historical building has laser lights on them with a picture that has meaning to what you are hearing. It was very cool. You end up back at Independence Hall at the end. During the day you can also walk two blocks in the opposite direction to Penns Landing. From there you can take the River Links to Camden ($7 per person round trip). There is a very nice aquarium or you can tour a battleship instead. Both are worth the trip.

O.C. MD... we just looked into that because we had to go in that area to delivery donations to a cat sanctuary. Most hotels that I looked at (oceanfront so we wouldn't have to move the car) had a min. 3 night stay and were about $400 per night without taxes. We only wanted to stay one night to go on the boardwalk so we skipped the stay.

I would suggest DC or Williamsburg, but both of these places have enough to do to be trips on their own unless you just want to hit Busch Gardens on the way home or maybe even just Water Country USA.

I still think Salem or Boston are great one or two day trips.

I love the Office too and if you are just driving through and stop to take a quick picture that is fine but I wouldn't go out of my way for that when there are so many more interesting things to do in the areas you are traveling. One thing about the sign (someone from that area maybe able to let you know for sure), I can't remember if you will be able to stand by it. I don't think so, I think it is on a busy highway and it is elevated, but maybe I am wrong.

Tink#64
07-30-2011, 11:23 PM
NJGIRL - You are awesome! :thumbsup: I'm taking notes of everything you are telling me! WOW - I had no idea that the hotels were that outrageous in OC MD! I hadn't even gotten that far yet. I just happened to read it in the list of 1,000 places to see before you die (really cool book) & thought it being on our way home - well? hmm Maybe not! ha ha

I really appreciate all of your help! :thumbsup:

NJGIRL
07-31-2011, 02:36 AM
NJGIRL - You are awesome! :thumbsup: I'm taking notes of everything you are telling me! WOW - I had no idea that the hotels were that outrageous in OC MD! I hadn't even gotten that far yet. I just happened to read it in the list of 1,000 places to see before you die (really cool book) & thought it being on our way home - well? hmm Maybe not! ha ha

I really appreciate all of your help! :thumbsup:

I only checked out 5 hotels and they were all on the beach /boardwalk so you may be able to get something cheaper without the min. stay. BTW I have that book also. I love it!

Tink#64
08-02-2011, 01:39 AM
OK NJGIRL, you are obviously very well traveled! So I just read someting about Point Beach NJ on another thread here. What do you know about that area? You know I'm craving a beach before we come home! And I'm on the hotel search in OC, MD, good golly, they're all really old & quaint or really expensive! I'm leaning towards quaint if we stay there! LOL :D

NJGIRL
08-02-2011, 02:42 PM
I know nothing about Point Pleasant. :blush:
I have always found seasonal beach resorts to be way overpriced for the quality of the accomendations. If you want a boardwalk & beach try Wildwood or Ocean City NJ. Wildwood is much bigger of the two. We are so close that I haven't stayed in a hotel for years in either city so I don't know the cost. They may end up being as much as OC
MD?????

The problem is that you are covering so much area, that there are just too many fun things to do to make a choice.:confused:

We took a trip to Philly yesterday, parked at the Camden Aquarium in NJ and took the ferry over to PA. Did the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Christ Church (Ben Franklin's grave site) and back over to NJ for the Battleship. That was a fun day!

We are leaving for OC NJ on Saturday for three weeks but have rented a house. It is a nice town for families, but it is "DRY". Wildwood's boardwalk is huge and has great rides, games and food.

Tink#64
08-03-2011, 01:10 AM
NJGIRL thanks for the info! I'm still studying the coastline for a short relaxing break on our way home. I'm really thinking we'll do OC, NJ or OC, MD. I still have a long time to plan, but I love the planning & learning time, next best thing to being there!

NJGIRL
08-04-2011, 08:45 AM
then onto Hoboken, NJ for a stop at Carlo's Barkery! :

Cake Boss is a very sore subject in my town right now! ;)

Did you know that Buddy charges $30,00 to deliver a cake himself?

hoop de do
08-04-2011, 10:22 AM
Do you have passports. You'll need them to cross into Canada. Sounds like a great vaca, hope you have a great and safe one. :thumbsup::thumbsup:

ElenitaB
08-04-2011, 11:25 PM
Rita, correct me if I'm wrong... but I was under the impression that unless you live in Hoboken, you can't park there.

OP, if you're planning on stopping in the Finger Lakes area (between NYC and Niagara Falls), you might consider going to Cooperstown, Corning Glass and Howe Caverns.

Sounds like a great trip but a LOT of driving! :drive: Have fun planning!

Tink#64
08-05-2011, 01:55 AM
Yes definitely a lot of driving! But we're excited, we've never done a "Road Trip" seeing so many things & being someplace different every couple of days!

Cake Boss - OMG, you are kidding me? I've been reading some not so favorable things about Carlo's Bakery! Hmm, I was reading a blog the other day, not good! We've pretty much decided a photo op at best! DH & youngest DS are big fans of the show & being in the area were the reason's that Carlo's Bakery was even on our list! But if we can't park in Hoboken, then it's out completely! We were planning to spend the night in the area to be able to hit Liberty State Park in the early AM - that seems to most advantageous for our trip out to the Statue of Liberty.

I've done some reading, apparently for ground travel between US, Canada & Mexico, we can get buy with passport cards which is a much better value! Actually, apparently Canada doesn't require you to have passports to enter "technically, but they require you to have whatever documentation is needed to return to your country & the US requires the passport for re-entry! I have two teens just under 16, so they would need new passports after 16 anyway, so the cards will do nicely for us! Thanks for the heads up on the Niagra Falls areas to visit, I'm really looking forward to many cool sights/experiences there! I've decided, that we need to experience from both sides, apparently very different!

You guys are fantastic! I REALLY appreciate all of your help! :rocks:

NJGIRL
08-05-2011, 09:00 AM
Rita, correct me if I'm wrong... but I was under the impression that unless you live in Hoboken, you can't park there.

OP, if you're planning on stopping in the Finger Lakes area (between NYC and Niagara Falls), you might consider going to Cooperstown, Corning Glass and Howe Caverns.


Ellen, I don't know anything about Hoboken so I really don't know. You are probably right. I do know that his cakes are way overpriced now that he is famous and I have heard that they really aren't that good.:(

The Finger Lakes area is very pretty. Watkins Glenn has a gorge with a waterfall that is a fun day trip plus all of the things that Ellen mentioned. :thumbsup:

Tink#64
09-12-2011, 01:15 AM
After watching all of the 9/11 Tributes/Coverage today, I am so looking forward to visiting NY & the WTC site! I think the memorial site just looks amazing & I'm sure that it will be an experience that will stay with us forever. I'm just overwhelmed with my feelings of the whole thing and I'm so glad that we're planning this trip and will get to experience the WTC memorial site for ourselves next year! I had already changed my plans & cut down our Niagara Falls stay by a day to allow more time in NY for that opportunity & a few other unique experiences that weren't fitting into my original itinerary. I think this will be a very moving & special family trip! :flag:

NJGIRL
09-12-2011, 11:04 PM
Shari, what is your final itinerary?

Tink#64
09-13-2011, 12:48 AM
Rita, I'm still in the planning stages but my revised plan is as follows: Drive from Lou. KY to Nigara Falls, Ny side & hope to arrive in time for the Friday night fireworks! We're planning to spend all day Saturday touring Niagara Falls, I've made tons of notes of what we want to experience there. That afternoon we're going to walk across Rainbow Bridge into Canada & see the sites from that vantage point.

On Sunday we'll drive into Manhattan (with that pitstop for my DS's in Scranton, found info on "The Office" sign & "shop" in the Mall at Steamtown! lol :D) & plan to experience Times Square Sunday evening. I have a great walking tour for Manhattan for Monday to see all of the landmark buildings in the Midtown area & on Tuesday we'll visit Ellis Island, Liberty Island, WTC site & Central Park.

Wednesday we'll head to Philly, I'm not sure of the details for that stop yet, more homework to do! :blush: From there we're driving to Virginia Beach for a couple of days of fun in the sun & visiting the old & new Cape Henry Lighthouses & drive home on Saturday or Sunday.

If you have any more advice, I'm all ears! My family is already tired of hearing about next years trip, but I'm just getting warmed up! I love the planning stage! So much to look forward too! I'm so grateful to you & everyone that has shared advice, & experiences & helped me with planning this crazy busy trip! :thanks:

NJGIRL
09-13-2011, 10:46 PM
It sounds like a great plan! I wish I was going with you. :blush:

If I already didn't mention it, while in Philly stay in "Old City" (the Omni is nice) if you plan on seeing the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. That way you will not have to use transporation. Betsy Ross's House and Ben Franklin's grave are right there too. Another fun stop in Philly is Eastern State Pen!

Tink#64
09-14-2011, 01:15 AM
Thanks Rita! :thumbsup: I appreciate all of your time & help! :tiphat:

diz_girl
09-16-2011, 12:36 PM
If you're looking for more touristy stuff to do in Philly, then your top pics besides the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall would be the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) area and Penn's Landing.

The Art Museum area also has a few museums other than the PMA. The Rodin Museum is for adults and older kids and the Academy of Natural Sciences is mostly for kids, although adults enjoy it too. Then there's the Franklin Institute, which is more scientific, but interesting. Also close to the museum are are the Waterworks, Boathouse Row and Fairmount Park. For little kids, the Please Touch museum, located in Fairmount Park but you need to drive to get there, is housed in a building once used for the Centennial Expostion of 1876. The Waterworks is behind the museum of art, along the river, and walking along the river on a nice day is so nice.

The Penn's Landing area is also nice. There are several ships to tour and one, the Moshulu, is still a restaurant. You can also take a shuttle to Camden, where there is the Adventure Aquarium and the Battleship New Jersey.

Then there's also the Philadelphia Mint and Elfreth's Alley, both also in Old City.

There's realy so much in Philly that you need a good week to see most of the major stuff.

NJGIRL
09-16-2011, 06:20 PM
Please look into doing the Lights of Liberty Tour. It's a night tour and you won't be sorry, it's great!


As Amanda mentioned the Philadelphia Art Museum is great, but with kids in tow I highly recommend the Franklin Institute (which she also mentioned). It was in the movie National Treasure. They have a "beating heart" which the kids can walk through and they love it. There is also an IMAX there, and alot of other cool hands on stuff to do like a rock climbing wall, a surf board challange and much more.

Tink#64
09-18-2011, 01:00 AM
Wow! ok, now you guys are making wish that we had more time in Philly! I may need to rethink the end of our trip, as we had been planning only about a half a day here to see a few sights, namely my DH & DS's wanted to see the Rocky statue! lol :shake: Of course DM here is planning for us to see more of the historical sights! I'm taking notes from all that you guys are sharing with me, I've just not had time to delve further into all that Philly has to offer so that I can firm up my plan.

IF we only have a half day there, what would you all recommend as our must do's? It's really tough, it sounds like we could easily stretch this trip into two weeks to take in the best of the best of what each of the area's that we're planning to visit has to offer. Alas, we cannot, I'm stretching it as it is to 10 days & want to do all that we can, but still want it to be more relaxing than commando style vacation! It's going to be tough! :D

NJGIRL
09-18-2011, 03:09 PM
IF we only have a half day there, what would you all recommend as our must do's? It's really tough, it sounds like we could easily stretch this trip into two weeks to take in the best of the best of what each of the area's that we're planning to visit has to offer. Alas, we cannot, I'm stretching it as it is to 10 days & want to do all that we can, but still want it to be more relaxing than commando style vacation! It's going to be tough! :D

If you only have a half day in Philly I wouldn't bother. By the time you get into the city and park there isn't a whole lot of time to do anything. The art museum (Rocky) and the Liberty Bell/Independence Hall aren't together so you will have to drive, park then drive and park again. I think you will be very rushed. You may not be spending enough time at Niagara Falls either so maybe you can skip Philly this time around and put that time towards extra at Niagara.

We are not beach people so if it was our trip we would be skipping VA beach altogether and doing more in Canada and Philly because we find them more interesting.

It's hard because you are covering a very large area with alot of things you could be doing. What about splitting up the trip into two trips.

Niagara Falls, Boston or Salem & NYC could be one trip. The next could be Philly, Washington DC & VA. Just a thought!

So many places to go but so little time to go! This is the exact reason we don't do Disney every year. There are too many places we want to see!

diz_girl
09-19-2011, 05:24 PM
If you only had 1/2 day, then you should make two stops. Parking isn't too difficult at either location, as there are several parking lots/garages nearby. The first is to see the Liberty Bell and walk around the Independence Hall area. Then hop back into your car and go to the second area on the other side of Center City (downtown for the Philly uninitiated), which is the art museum area, so the boys can run up the rocky steps. You can then walk around to the back of the museum and there are a couple of gazebos, the Waterworks, and the Schuylkill river (and boathouse row) to walk along. I'd highly recommend that you stick around the city for dinner, or else you'll be stuck in rush hour traffic. Basically, get out by 4 or stick around until 7.