We are beginning to plan a 2013 trip down the entire east coast and then winter in Florida next year. We are 43 foot tag axle. Have never traveled the east coast. Have access to rvparkreviews website, etc., but prefer "real" experiences. Any recommendations on great places to stay, good things to see, etc.?
There are tons of things to see. Let us know the kinds of things you like, and I am sure there will be many suggestions. No matter where you are, you should probably have some reservation for the peak tourist season from Memorial Day to Labor Day, but the rest the time you can play it a little looser.
Make sure to spend some time here in Cape May County - best beaches on the East Coast, and lots of stuff to do.
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My one suggestion would be to get off the interstates. US Route 1 thru New England, US 13 thru the Mid Atlantic and US 17 thru the southern states will give you a real taste of the Atlantic Coast. I traveled a good part of US 13 and US 17 and as alternate trucking routes both will easily support a large rig. I would expect US 1 is the same but reaserch the route first.
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The Maine coast and New England in general are great. Others to see are Cape Cod, Boston, Washington, Virginia Beach, Kitty Hawk area, Hilton Head, Charleston and Savanna. Bar Harbor Campground is great. We are a regular contributor to RVparkreviews. If you read the reviews carefully you'll get a good idea of how good the CG is. We use it very successfully.
US1 will take you through every big city with lots of traffic and stop and go driving. Especially in the Mid-Atlantic I would avoid it. US2 through NY and MA is quite nice.
Most of the big cities (Boston NY Philadelphia Baltimore DC) have little in the way of RV parks nearby so you will have to rely on a tow car or public transportation and be prepared to drive a bit if you wish to visit them. You should search these forums for suggested RV parks near each city you are interested to visit.
In Maine, bar harbor, Camden and Portland are standouts. In NH Portsmouth is very charming.
Marthas Vineyard, Nantucket, and Block Island are great but not RV accessible. they would make an interesting side trip in your tow car. Don't miss Charleston SC, it is a gem. Key West is unique but is expensive and has little in the way of RV facilities.
There are so many things to see in the East I dont know where to stop. Let us know what type of things you like and we can be more helpful.
Marc, Wellington FL
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Ontheroad2012, we toured the east coast last fall (2011) going from TN to Bar Harbor, ME. I wanted to see the glass blowing factory in Corning, NY, and Niagara Falls. Our tour also consisted of seeing architecturally significant homes. One of the houses I've always wanted to see was the Frank Lloyd Wright designed house in Pennsylvania called "Falling Water". Amazing house. Just down from Falling Water was another Frank Lloyd Wright design, Kentuck Knob.
We also saw the Eastman Kodak house in Rochester, NY, four of the DuPont mansions in Deleware (Nemours, Winterthur, Longwood Gardens and Hagley Museum).
We toured Monticello and the James and Dolly Madison presidential home "Montpelier" (also once owned by a Dupont).
One thing to be careful of, is low bridges. Know your height!! We came up on a couple of bridges less than our 12' 11" height and had to make a detour.
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We spent ten weeks total in a tour to the East Coast last year. It was as much fun as our tour of AK but very different. Timing is everything regarding crowds and nature. When do you plan on going and what really interests you. We just went to see and returned with a new found desire of things Civil War, early settlement era and the East coast topography. We were on the road from mid September to mid November. As it seems you too are retired, I would suggest Mid Sept. for your start and taking all the time you can. Our don't misses, include Acadia NP, Gettysburg, as much of the coastline as you can, Shannedoah NP, Blue Ridge Parkway, all the early sellements and revolutionary war sites. There is just so much to see and we had to skip so much due to time constraints. In my opinion, unless you plan on spending a lot of time in Washington, DC, make that a separate trip. It is so big and there is so much there, it is impossible to do in a few days. You need two or three weeks just for that area. Just our feelings.
"I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to go". R. L. Stevenson
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Careful of your timing for New England. Most campgrounds don't open until Memorial Day, and most are closed for the season by mid-October. Many campgrounds will allow temporary camping out of season (possibly with electric, but no water), but call in advance, and don't plan on it.
Acadia in Maine is beautiful. Also Gettysburg in Pennsylvania is very much worth stopping at.
Don't forget to do the "Pilgrim thing"! Check out Plymouth, Mass.
Plenty to do and see!
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