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We are taking our sons (15, 16) to Philadelphia, with one day trips planned to NYC and Washington, D.C.
What do you recommend as far as getting to those other cities? Should we rent a car? Train? (We will also be visiting various destinations whilst in Philly. Car best?)
Any advice appreciated!
Train would be easiest. Train from Phil to DC as short as 1-1/2 hours--driving would be just over 2 hours if you don't run into any tie-ups. Train to Manhattan take a little over 1 hour; driving about 1-3/4 hours, again if no traffic tie-ups. Trains put you right downtown in both cities. But cost could be an issue. Public transport in Philly is pretty good, and a lot of the tourist sites are easily walkable if you pick a good hotel location.
I agree with Yowstl about taking the train, though from Philly to DC its closer to 2 hours, making it a bit of a loooong day trip. Could you build in an overnight in DC instead? Depending on the season, it shouldn't be significantly more expensive than Philadelphia and it has so many sites, I think you'll want to spend more than just a half day there (which is what it will be after the 4-plus hours are taken out for transportation). As for having a car in Philadelphia itself: I don't think you need one, unless you're going into the greater Philadelphia area (ie the 'burbs). Getting around on public transportation will be easier than finding parking places.