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Old 09-03-2012, 12:20 PM   #1
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Things to do in Philly and after DC

OK, so I'm doing the Spirit of America ABD in May of 2013. I'm going to be arriving a few days early in Philly (visiting family, then a day or two on my own) and staying a day or two after the ABD. I'm looking for things to do in Philly that aren't the typical tourist things (since I'll probably do those either with the family or ABD). And I'm looking for opinions on staying the extra time after in DC, or going to Colonial Williamsburg.

Also, anyone who has done Spirit of America, is there enough free time during the trip to do the Holocaust museum?

Thanks in advance for any opinions/advice!!!

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Old 09-03-2012, 02:51 PM   #2
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We did the Spirit of America trip a few years ago (before it went to Gettysburg & Monticello). We only flew in one day early. We played mini golf at Franklin Square. I wish we had went to Reading Market.

We didn't have very much museum time in D.C. We just went to a couple of the Smithsonian buildings. I think that you could definitely spend more time there.
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Old 09-03-2012, 04:43 PM   #3
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If you have a car, Longwood Gardens isn't far from Philly. You could also take the train to NYC or go to Rehoboth Beach in DE or to any of the NJ beaches(need a car for that).

As for spending extra time in DC, if you haven't done all the museums, that would be something to do. Mount Vernon is close to DC, but you need a car to get there.

I grew up near Colonial Williamsburg and there really isn't much to do there. You can walk down DOG(Duke of Gloucester) street for free and look in the buildings. If you want to go into the interpretive buildings(Capitol, Governor's Palace, museums, etc.) you need to buy the pass. You can also visit Jamestown, Yorktown Battlefield, and Busch Gardens/Water Country USA(check to see when they are open). If you're in to shopping, the Prime Outlets are there and you can always tour the College of William and Mary. VA often runs a combination ticket for some of these attractions. Check the VA website to see what they may be offering.
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Old 09-03-2012, 06:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tchrrx View Post
We did the Spirit of America trip a few years ago (before it went to Gettysburg & Monticello). We only flew in one day early. We played mini golf at Franklin Square. I wish we had went to Reading Market.

We didn't have very much museum time in D.C. We just went to a couple of the Smithsonian buildings. I think that you could definitely spend more time there.
I think I've heard of Reading Market. Not sure if my brother would take me that sort of place. I'll look into it.

It would certainly be easier to spend an extra day or 2 in DC afterwards. It's tempting.

Thanks!

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Originally Posted by abdgeek View Post
If you have a car, Longwood Gardens isn't far from Philly. You could also take the train to NYC or go to Rehoboth Beach in DE or to any of the NJ beaches(need a car for that).
Don't know that I want to go all the way to New York. I'm thinking I'm looking to stay closer to Philly. And I'm going in May. I don't know if it would be beach weather at that point. What all is there to do at these beaches? Ooo, Longwood Gardens sounds interesting. I'll have to keep that in mind if I end up getting a rental car.

Quote:
As for spending extra time in DC, if you haven't done all the museums, that would be something to do. Mount Vernon is close to DC, but you need a car to get there.
It sounds like we won't have nearly enough time in the DC museums. That may win. And Mount Vernon is included in the ABD!

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I grew up near Colonial Williamsburg and there really isn't much to do there. You can walk down DOG(Duke of Gloucester) street for free and look in the buildings. If you want to go into the interpretive buildings(Capitol, Governor's Palace, museums, etc.) you need to buy the pass. You can also visit Jamestown, Yorktown Battlefield, and Busch Gardens/Water Country USA(check to see when they are open). If you're in to shopping, the Prime Outlets are there and you can always tour the College of William and Mary. VA often runs a combination ticket for some of these attractions. Check the VA website to see what they may be offering.
So are you saying Colonial Williamsburg wouldn't be a multi-day thing? I would definitely want to go into the interpretive buildings. And Jamestown sounds cool, as does the College of William & Mary. And while I do love to shop, we have a Prime Outlet here, so I'm not sure I'd want to do that on vacation.

Thanks, all, some good stuff to look into.

Anything else folks?

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Old 09-03-2012, 08:58 PM   #5
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A couple suggestions, depending on what you want to do

If you want to keep in line with a US history theme, there is Valley Forge Park.

Longwood Gardens is a great suggestion, there is also the Franklin Insitute, the Art Museum and the Barnes Collection if you are interested in Philly arts/education.

For an outoors option, there is Fairmount Park to explore.

For shopping there is the King of Prussia Mall.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:40 PM   #6
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I already put my major picks in this thread: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2933953

I still stand by those options. The Philadelphia Zoo recently added something unique to their Primate exhibit that's made the national news. It's still one of my favorite Zoos and feel it's worth visiting.

The King of Prussia Mall is great but it's nowhere near Philly. It's about an hour drive from here on the world's worst road on the planet. If you do decide to do it keep in mind it's seriously HUGE! You will get lost and it can easily eat your entire day!

I'm better if I know specifics of what you want to experience in Philly so feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer.

Edit: Remembered something I haven't posted yet. The Mutter Museum I hear is great I still haven't personally been but I know a lot who have, a unique Museum I don't know of anything like it anywhere else. I still need to go but haven't gotten around to it. I think that paired with Eastern State Penitentiary would make for an interesting day.
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LionKingRules84 View Post
I already put my major picks in this thread: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2933953

I still stand by those options. The Philadelphia Zoo recently added something unique to their Primate exhibit that's made the national news. It's still one of my favorite Zoos and feel it's worth visiting.

The King of Prussia Mall is great but it's nowhere near Philly. It's about an hour drive from here on the world's worst road on the planet. If you do decide to do it keep in mind it's seriously HUGE! You will get lost and it can easily eat your entire day!

I'm better if I know specifics of what you want to experience in Philly so feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer.

Edit: Remembered something I haven't posted yet. The Mutter Museum I hear is great I still haven't personally been but I know a lot who have, a unique Museum I don't know of anything like it anywhere else. I still need to go but haven't gotten around to it. I think that paired with Eastern State Penitentiary would make for an interesting day.
Duh! That's right! You put all sorts of suggestions in the Meets thread! I think I'll claim brain death!

I will check out the Philadelphia Zoo. Columbus has a really great Zoo, but I love checking out others. This Mutter Museum sounds intriguing. I'll have to do some Googling.

Thanks!
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Old 09-03-2012, 11:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ses1230 View Post
A couple suggestions, depending on what you want to do

If you want to keep in line with a US history theme, there is Valley Forge Park.

Longwood Gardens is a great suggestion, there is also the Franklin Insitute, the Art Museum and the Barnes Collection if you are interested in Philly arts/education.

For an outoors option, there is Fairmount Park to explore.

For shopping there is the King of Prussia Mall.
Oh, a few things I wasn't aware of. What is the Franklin Institute? While I do like my shopping, an hour's drive on the world's worst road doesn't sound too vacationy to me.

Thanks!
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