Johnny D and Kai seek East Coast road trip advice...


Hello Fellow Zoners!


Once again, Kai and I are planning to take an extended road trip and are wondering what people have to recommend.


This year, we'll be heading from Berkeley straight to New England (Acadia NP, Maine) then making our way south along the coast through Boston, NYC, New Jersey, Philly, and Virginia to see a boatload of ships.  From there we'll be heading due west through Oklahoma to the US Army Artillery Museum.  Maybe hit New Mexico from there.

In between, we are hoping to check out a couple of national parks (Shenandoah, Smokey Mountains?) and possibly a few Civil War battlefields.


Looks like it's gonna be a lot of driving, but we're wondering what you all have to say and/or suggest for "must see" stops in the general area (Niagara Falls?  Mt. Washington?).


We're just starting to plan, so any input is welcome.



Johnny D

Monticello in Virginia is a "must see"

Independence Seaport Museum in Philly is also really cool for history buffs.  Its the home of the USS Olympia, the flagship of Commodore George Dewey's fleet at Manila Bay in 1898:

For Civil War battlefields, Petersburg is interesting and well preserved.   The birthplace of trench warfare:

Mystic Seaport in ct..."old mystic village" is pretty cool, w tons of stuff in immediate area for someone traveling w kids to enjoy (mystic aquarium, various beaches, youre right on  Ct , RI border) the seaport has the last wooden whaling ship in the world, which has been refurbished recently in an amazing undertaking of craftmenship to build it (rebuild etc) as it was originally done...there is even a pubic tv doc on the refurbishing of "the Morgan" that is incredible....the whole area is relatively small, so much packed within half hour drives of each other, i highly recommend it...Mystic, New London, Groton Ct. Look into that area, and im.sure youd easily find a whole day or two of things to do that you d both love (check out one of oldest european settlements in cave dwellings in groton)


Had to look.up name: ^ google "gungywamp" for cave dwellings...

HEY Johnny D ! how you doing ??

The Intrepid in NYC if you want to do ships,

Niagra Falls is pretty spectacular,far more grand in person than ANY video you'll ever see -  Gettysburg is inspiring and interesting, also well preserved...of course in DC nearly all the museums are free.....

For the love of God, just don't ask about pizza.

If in NYC there is a new Holocaust Exhibit at the Jewish Museum in downtown if that is of interest but there is no parking that is cheap

If you can work it into your travels, the 2 must see Civil War Battlefields i would recommend are Antietam and Gettysburg. Either will take the majority of a day to see properly. But Gettysburg is on a whole other level... the museum/visitors center on site will take several hours or more to see and is really well presented, the Cyclorama is really neat. The scope and magnitude of the battlefield is just really really amazing, the monuments and statues are everywhere and all tell a story. Some monuments like the Pennsylvania State Memorial and the New York monument on Little Round Top you can go into and climb the steps to the top for amazing views. Don't miss it! 

Rochester is 90 min from Niagara Falls, if you pass by this way let me know...forget about pizza, I’ll hook you up with our famous garbage plate!

Don't forget the USS Constitution in Boston.

Are you going to finish your other 2 trip recaps?????

For the love of God, just don't ask about pizza.

the best slice in NYC and possibly in america is at DiFara's in brooklyn...check it out JD, and prepare to be massively disappointed  with every CA pizzaria for the rest of your life.

also russ and daughters is another cant miss historical restaurant in NYC...just dont order your bagels toasted like some kind of monster

Are you going to work in any shows at The Cap? 

We had a delicisous pizza meal at this place in New Haven, CT ... been there since 1925, still using coal to fire their ovens...

Agree w/ Ken - Monticello was amazing.

I don't have any experience with military history on the east coast, so will stop here!


he best slice in NYC and possibly in america is at DiFara's in brooklyn...check it out JD, and prepare to be massively disappointed  with every CA pizzaria for the rest of your life.

gonna be hard to eat there as they went put of business about a year ago

Hey!  Thanks for all of your contributions.


Kai definitely has us going to USS Olympia, Intrepid, Constitution, Gettysburg.  Monticello sounds cool (we've spent a week in DC a few years ago, but didn't get out there).  I haven't been to NYC since 1977 (went to the top of the World Trade Center, as well as Empire St Bldg, Statue of Liberty, etc) and I think my Niagara Falls visit was around 1973.  Never been to Maine, Mass, Vermont, etc.


Kai wants to do Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, but there may be better options (like Petersburg or Antietam?)


And I do hope to take breaks from museums and get out into the wilds as well.  How crowded are the National Parks out there?  Any more mellow than others?


Thanks again,



PS: Many apologies for not finishing the other travel stories.  I'm always hoping to have more time at my desk when I'm not working or goofing around with the family.

>>>>Appomattox Court House National Historical Park

That's a good one too and about an hour and a half from Monticello.  The funny thing about Appomattox is that the McLean House (where Lee surrendered to Grant) is a complete reconstruction.   The original house was taken board by board, brick by brick by vandals and souvenir ​hunters in the decades following the war.    

<<<>>>gonna be hard to eat there as they went put of business about a year ago

this is false. 

without having this turn into a pissing match, have you been there recently? an article in the NY Times last year said closing due to family not wanting to take over the business and the old man wanting to retire. if still open i need to tell my BIL as he grew up 2 blocks from there and we spent many a day there when he was dating my sister

It's still open. Except when it's closed by the health department.  Article is from a couple weeks ago. There are actually two now. They opened a second shop in Williamsburg.


^^^ thanks for the info, looks like a road trip is in order

i love johnny d threads & posts. one of the truly nicest guys on this board, always a pleasure to read. 

>> East Coast road trip advice

>> Mystic Seaport in ct


Hello again. 


We're trying to figure out the best way to visit the Intrepid in NYC.  Been told that it's insane to try to drive in the city. 


We're thinking about parking in Hoboken and taking a ferry there.  Is that doable, or should we think about parking farther away and taking a train in?


Any input would be most welcome, as I haven't been there since 1977...

I also wouldn't be leaving shit in your car in NYC.

Johnny depends on what day of the week it is. Ferry service is limited on the weekends.  I don't think they start running until 11am. PATH train from Hoboken or NJ transit from Secaucus Junction would be your best bet on the weekend.  Or driving in. City isn't too bad on the weekend.  Especially if you get in before 10am. During the week Hoboken ferry is a good choice.  

Fall Creek Falls State Park in Eastern Tennessee has the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi.  In Memphis you can visit Graceland, Sun Studios and Beale Stree, then take a short trip down Highway 61 to Clarksdale and visit the Delta Blues Museum.

Cape Hatteras has the Outer Banks and Kitty Hawk if you make it into North Carolina.

Hope you have a great trip!

There is a ferry from Weehawken, NJ (which is not far from Hoboken) that will bring you to the ferry terminal that's walking distance to the Intrepid. There is also a parking lot on the Weehawken side. The ferry runs all day so this is your best bet as parking in Hoboken is just as bad as parking in Manhattan.


Alias and Keith: I appreciate your advice. 


Looks like we'll be visiting NYC on a Friday.  Hoping that our car will be safe in a NJ parking garage. 


Dave, Kai has us visiting Oak Ridge National Laboratory, so Fall Creek Falls sounds like a cool possibility.  Not sure if we'll make it to NC.  Thanks for sharing.