Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Day Trips in the Northeastern US

DSC_1850A friend of mine asked about things to see between DC and Boston. At this point having lived in DC, Baltimore, New Jersey, New York,and Boston (never thought about that until now), I think R- and I have done just about every day trip between DC and Boston. This is what I suggested:

I'll mention some of my favorites going from south to north following roughly the path of route I-95 (which I think is nifty since it extends from the tip of the Florida Keys to Maine). 36 hours NY Times is a good resource for all of these places.

Just south of DC. Shenandoah's a great national park (though best time to go is fall for amazing foliage)

If you do stop in Baltimore, there is of course the touristy inner harbor, but fell's point is a more interesting neighborhood, and fort mchenry is a pretty spot where the star spangled banner was written, and has a great local crab shack (LP Steamers) nearby. Also the american visionary arts museum is a unique art museum (features amateur art), enroute to ft mchenry.

Eastern shore of Maryland, has some quiet sleepy classic east coast beach towns. Rehoboth beach and ocean city are the main ones. and some really beauittful national parks, assatague and chincoteague form these beautiful spits (islands) ringing the seashore (some ocean city assateague photos). Closer to 95 (so less of a detour, ocean city could be a several hour detour) there's st michael's which is a cute small town.

Directly enroute near Delaware, there's Kennett Square in the Brandywine Valley, mushroom capital of the us. a minor foodie destination. one of the hardest places to get a reservation in the US apaprently is there. Talula's table. the famous-ish longwood gardens are nearby. small town tourist attractions like the Wyeth museum (American impressionist) and horseback riding.

Another worthy detour might be Fallingwater (a few hours drive off into pennsylvania). Worth it if you're at all into frank lloyd wright. also, nice parks around there, and amazingly a pretty amazing molecular gastronomy style restaurant basically in the middle of nowhere in the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort.

Of course there's Philadelphia. Not much to say except went to Morimoto a couple times there and it was a disappointment both times, and dated now. And Pat's and Genos are the classic places to get cheese steaks.

Atlantic City really is a pale and more expensive imitation of las vegas, so I wouldn't necessarily recommend it except the boardwalk is nice and nearby cape may is a nice jersey beach town. If you detour to ocean city on maryland's eastern shore, you can take a car ferry over to cape may new jersey near atlantic city, saving a lot of driving. Further north along the jersey shore you can visit the site of the MTV tv show, but I've never been.

Then of course there's NYC. of course, tons of recommendations for nyc if you want.

45 min north of NYC, there's probably my favorite restaurant anywhere at this point. which is blue hill at stone barns. Opposite philosophy of the whole molecular gastronomy thing, but even ferran adria calls it one of the best restaurants in the world. The restaurant is on a farm, and all of the food is from the farm, much of it picked that day.

Another 4 hour detour will take you to ithaca in the finger lakes, which has really beautiful hikes, waterfalls, gorges, pretty great food with great local produce, and surprisingly good wineries. (there are wineries all throughout from virginia to boston, and i've found nearly all to be pretty much unpalatable, except for the finger lakes, and maybe long island)

Mystic seaport is along the way in Connecticut. Though i haven't been since i was a kid but doesn't seem super exciting.
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