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Philadelphia & Washington DC in April | First Time Trip

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Vancouver, Canada
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Philadelphia & Washington DC in April | First Time Trip

Hello everyone,

I'd appreciate some advice... I have a week off work booked in early April (starting Easter weekend), and I'm thinking about taking a trip to include Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC.

For this trip I am most likely going to be travelling alone (I'm 27 & F) and I am a very 'active' traveller in terms of rising early and seeing as much as I can, whether it's markets, food particular to that area, historical points of interest, nice viewpoints, museums, local sports games (baseball and hockey are my favourites to watch) -- really ANYTHING.

My initial thought was to spend Sat, Sun & Mon in Philly, then Tues & Wed in Baltimore, then Thurs, Fri & Sat in Washington DC. The Sundays either side will be my travel time to and from Vancouver BC. For the locals from this area - do you think this is a bit ambitious, or reasonably achieveable to see the major sights in those timeframes for each place? (I'm happy to be BUSY).

Thanks in advance!

Silver Spring...
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1. Re: Philadelphia & Washington DC in April | First Time Trip

I think it is reasonable.

Philadelphia...
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2. Re: Philadelphia & Washington DC in April | First Time Trip

Sounds like a good plan to me.

Dearborn, Michigan
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3. Re: Philadelphia & Washington DC in April | First Time Trip

I also think it is a reasonable plan. Not sure how you plan to travel between cities, but be aware that these three locations are fairly close together. If you are traveling by train (which would be how I would do it), you can go from Philadelphia to Baltimore in 58 minutes to 1 hour, 18 minutes, depending upon the train you choose. For the 20 minute difference in time, I would take the much cheaper but slower train.

Baltimore to DC is 41 minutes or so by the slower, cheaper train. Short travel times (all three train stations are downtown) will help you to maximize sight-seeing, a big plus.

Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: Philadelphia & Washington DC in April | First Time Trip

Thanks vjp & Lauren - happy to hear any comments to the contrary too - I know I'd be covering a lot of ground so just want to know if I'm being realistic. Was thinking if it wasn't realistic to see all three places, I could cut Baltimore out and just come back another time - that way I get four days in DC & Philly.

Is anyone able to recommend Megabus? I was looking at options to get from Philly - Baltimore - DC and although the Amtrak is recommended many times in the forum, Megabus looks like a great option as it's $3 - $5 per seat and 2 hours for the journey to Baltimore, as opposed to roughly $32 and 1 hour 15 mins for the trip on the Amtrak - seems like a reasonable tradeoff for the time/cost... Anyone have any ideas as to perhaps why it's not recommended more widely on TA?

Thanks again! :)

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: Philadelphia & Washington DC in April | First Time Trip

Sorry Tyler looks like I was writing my reply and your post went through in the meantime. The attraction for coming to the area was because they are all so close together and I can tick off a lot of major sights in a week!

The train does sound ideal and for around $32 you can hardly complain since I know Amtrak to be regular and reliable! Just wondering what the deal is with Megabus.

Thanks!

Philadelphia...
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6. Re: Philadelphia & Washington DC in April | First Time Trip

Another vote that your itinerary plan is fine. If you want to be thorough about seeing museums, DC has more than you could see in a single visit, but I think 3 days is a good introduction to the city.

Megabus is fine. I think people often recommend the train because it is quicker and more comfortable.

Amtrak has gotten more reliable over the years for the Northeast Corridor, but there's still a possibility of delays. Buses, meanwhile, have to deal with traffic so you could arrive earlier or later than scheduled.

Philadelphia...
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7. Re: Philadelphia & Washington DC in April | First Time Trip

There is also a Bolt Bus service that a lot of my friends & family use & they like it quite a bit. I'm not sure how their prices compare to Megabus.

Also just wanted to throw in - when you're in Baltimore don't miss the American Visionary Art Museum. It's an incredible place.

Philadelphia
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8. Re: Philadelphia & Washington DC in April | First Time Trip

watmi- you should check to see where the bus stops. I know that Amtrak goes somewhere central in Baltimore, but I think that Megabus stops somewhere in a shopping mall. If you end up having to take a taxi from the bus stop, it may end up more expensive.

We don't get too many questions about traveling to Baltimore on this forum as most people want to go to NYC or DC. You may want to ask on the baltimore forum to get better advice.

Edited: 02 February 2012, 02:27
Vancouver, Canada
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9. Re: Philadelphia & Washington DC in April | First Time Trip

Thanks everyone for your quick replies. I guess I'll deal with the logistics of getting to each place a bit later on down the track, but for now I'll stick with the plan of three days in Philly, two days in Baltimore, and three days in DC.

Thanks again!

Lincolnshire
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10. Re: Philadelphia & Washington DC in April | First Time Trip

You also need to be checking on accommodation. April is Cherry Blossom Festival time in DC and Saturday 14th is the parade, so there will be a lot of people in town. The Washington DC forum folk seem very knowledgeable so it might be worth posting your requirements there.

I also found Philly a bit short on hotel choices mid April, though I wanted a room with 2 beds, and I was booking last August! I imagine it might be easier as a single traveller and you sound as if you are prepared to be flexible. I hope you have a great trip.