Before arriving in D.C., we traveled a bit along the East Coast with my boyfriend. Our road trip started in Boston, where we spent three days. I’ll write separately and in more detail what we did during the road trip, but for now, these are the stops we made along the way:
Cape Cod (Provincetown, Hyannis, Chatham), Massachusetts
Providence, Rhode Island
New Haven, Connecticut
New York City, New York
Lancaster County (Lancaster, Marietta), Pennsylvania
Washington, District of Columbia
After arriving in D.C. we also visited Arlington, Virginia – which resulted in a total of eight visited states, and the District!
Between NYC and Philadelphia we opted for the Amtrak. Taking the train from Penn Station, NYC was a bit different compared to taking the train in a European city. The platform from which the train was supposed to leave was announced only 10 minutes before departure, so you had to wait in the hall to check the screen for the platform, and after that get in a long line to take an escalator down to the actual platform where the train arrived. It seems kind of weird that it’s not possible to tell which platform a specific train is arriving at before it’s almost there – there must be some logistical plan to control arrivals and departures more in advance. But maybe it’s a way of keeping the platforms empty and everything running smoothly.
Also, Amtrak has restrictions on how heavy your luggage can be, quite similarly to airlines You are allowed to have two suitcases, but the maximum weight can be only 50 lbs (around 22,6 kg) per suitcase. No one checked our luggage, but I thought that this was useful to know for the future.
Renting a car in the US is quite easy – as long as you are old enough – and using Google Maps for navigation worked well. Having already experienced what traffic can be like in California (especially Los Angeles), I was a bit worried we were going to spend a lot of time in the car. But it turned out I had nothing to worry about. Of course there always is traffic – the US is after all a nation built for cars – but, it was nothing like the traffic jams we have experienced in California. So, all in all we had very good experience road tripping along the East Coast!