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Travel to East Coast US cities in 2022

I'm in the very early stages of planning a possible trip to the East Coast next year, most likely in April or early May, but may put if off until Autumn depending on COVID situation. I'm going to visit museums that I have not visited before, mostly fine art but maybe some history thrown in. I'm planning to fly into Boston and back home from DC and taking the train between cities. Plan to stay at least 3 nights in each city so I have 2 full days for museum going. I want to stay as close as possible to the main tourists sights and museums but am not familiar enough with the cities to know what locations to look at for accommodations.

I'm a senior female traveling solo on a modest budget so most important to me are safety, cleanliness, and location - amenities are not a big need for me. Walking distance to venues would be nice but as long as I'm near safe public transportation that's good.

With that being said, I'd like to hear your recommendations for neighborhoods to look at for lodging in the following cities: Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and DC. I know these can be expensive cities for hotels and I don't have a set budget yet but definitely can't go as high as $200/night and would prefer under $150.

Thanks in advance for any and all recommendations.

Edited to add: Even though I'm on a budget, hostels dorms and shared baths are a definite NO. I have some issues that necessitate a private bath and I don't think other travelers would appreciate my quite loud snoring at night. What can I say? I'm OLD. :)

Add'l edit: If it helps for suggesting locations the museums that I intend to visit in each city are: Boston - Museum of Fine Art and Isabella Gardner museum. New York - the Metropolitan, the Guggenheim, the Whitney and possibly the American Museum of Natural History. Philadelphia - the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Rodin Museum, and the Barnes Foundation. Baltimore - the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Walters Art Museum and possibly the National Aquarium. Washington DC - the National Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, and maybe one of the Smithsonians.

Posted by
908 posts

Hi Nancy,
My office is near Union Station in DC. If you’re looking at regular hotels between the train station and the Mall, there’s a cluster of hotels near E Street NW and New Jersey Ave NW including the small boutique Phoenix Park Hotel, Hotel George, Hyatt, Washington Court Hotel. The Liaison on New Jersey Ave across from the Hyatt just changed names and may be a little less expensive than the others. Union Station is a transportation hub for Amtrak, Metro trains, and buses. Not too far away are other hotel options near Chinatown and Penn Quarter (plenty of restaurant choices in Penn Quarter).

The area between Union Station and the Mall and the Capitol building is fairly quiet and workaday, and it’s near the National Gallery of Art. Another nice area (well, it was, haven’t been that way in months) is closer to the White House where the Sofitel and Willard Hotels are. Also take a look at the immediate area near the Marriott Marquis and Henley Park Hotel. Again, these are suggestions if you’d like to be downtown near the Mall.

It’s a city, so DC has a number of individuals who are homeless. In general, if you’re near the museums, there will be travelers, locals, and office workers around throughout the day and into evening.

Posted by
1461 posts

For New York, I suggest the Pod Hotels - there are four of them now, on 39th St, 51st St, Times Square (wouldn’t want that, myself), and Brooklyn. Rooms are tiny, and for many, the bathrooms are in the hall, but hey, you’re there, and it’s fun.
For Boston, if you’re cool with staying in Cambridge, I suggest Irving House, on the edge of the Harvard campus. In fact, it’s quite close to the Harvard museums. It’s a quick walk to the subway, for travel into Boston proper. Irving House is lovely and comfortable, and provides a really good breakfast. Many but not all the rooms have private baths.

Posted by
1356 posts

DC has a nice Metro system , so you could stay along the Metro stops, and perhaps find more reasonable hotels, altho the area isn't cheap. I've always liked the Foggy Bottom area, where George Washington University is located.
Have a great trip- those are some of my favorite US cities.

Posted by
23 posts

Studied at GWU so partial to Foggy Bottom neighborhood, and stayed at Residence Inn there for reunion (pricey but you have kitchen, Whole Foods 3 blocks away and Trader Joes also in walking distance.) Not as centrally located as suggestions above, but around corner from metro stop, walking distance to Georgetown and National Mall. If DC hotel prices too high, consider Northern Virginia along metro line (Rosslyn and Courthouse are just 1-2 metro stops outside DC), or if you're flying out of Reagan National airport (which has it's own metro stop), then closer to there is another option. You definitely want to be in walking distance to a metro stop. https://wmata.com/schedules/maps/upload/2019-System-Map.pdf

I visited NYC few years back and liked the Fairfield Inn Midtown Flower District, which was between 2 subway stations serving 7 total lines. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be listed on the Marriott site anymore, but the Fairfield Inn Penn Station is close by and obviously convenient to many transport lines.

Ha Ha Pat beat me to it with same tips :-D

Posted by
760 posts

For NY I'd first look at the upper west side. I've stayed there for under $150 but it depends on the time of year and by May it's getting really expensive. Second choice would be Queens. I know it's not Manhattan but there are many hotels close to the subway (only a few minutes to midtown) and they are much cheaper than Manhattan and even cheaper than Brooklyn (which would be even further from most of the museums).

Posted by
3216 posts

Not certain what you plan to see in Baltimore, but the Inner Harbor area is right downtown. Personally, we seldom go into Baltimore any longer since there has been an uptick in crime as has been happening in so many cities, much of it perpetrated by small groups of teens.

The Baltimore Marriott Waterfront, Four Seasons Baltimore, and Hilton Garden Inn Baltimore Inner Harbor are close to the National Aquarium and Little Italy, restaurants, and a short distance from Fells Point. They are in an area perfectly safe to walk around during the day, but use caution at night. They may be above your budget limit however.

In the Mount Vernon neighborhood, closer to the Walters art gallery and Penn train station is the Belvedere Hotel. It’s a landmark in the city having been built in 1903. Haven’t been in it in years so not sure how it is now. It used to be nice.

Posted by
6717 posts

The Pod hotels in NYC are a very good choice (I always use Booking.com to reserve), although they are not as inexpensive as they used to be (plus, odd "resort fees" are creeping into hotels as a money grab - since they are not traditional resorts). I was going to suggest another one that I really like in Chelsea (The Jane Hotel) in an amazing location, but it does have shared bathrooms. In the DC area, I would check out Old Town Alexandria, VA if you're not wedded to staying in DC (it's right off the metro). I would try to go as late in May as you possibly can (maybe mid-May?). April can be really cold, especially as far north as Boston.

Posted by
18892 posts

Maybe start in the south and work your way north at that time of year.

I think your budget may be a challenge. Priceline (a significant time commitment, I imagine) might be an option, or booking something that's overpriced by your standards and aggressively looking for deals one to two weeks out on both booking.com and likely hotel websites. I think you may find better deals for weekend nights at that time of year, since a lot of downtown demand is business-driven. But who knows what travel will be like next spring.

Posted by
1461 posts

I don’t know what you’re planning to see in Baltimore, but I wanted to recommend the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) very highly. I once had a wonderful day with AVAM and the National Aquarium.

Posted by
6334 posts

A couple of follow up questions/comments.

Is there a particular time of year when hotel prices are likely to be lower? Maybe late Autumn to early Spring because of weather, or maybe Summer because of fewer business travelers. I know weekends are likely to be better priced but with only two weekends on the trip I can't be in every city on the weekend. I'm retired so free to travel in any season and having lived in MN, CO, and now OR I'm okay with cold (within reason) and well used to rain/sleet/snow.

I appreciate specific hotel recommendations but not if they are well over my stated budget, that doesn't help me a lot. I really prefer good suggestions for safe neighborhoods to look at when searching for something within my budget. While I would certainly prefer to be 'where the action is' in the downtown areas, I have no problem with staying outside of the city as long as I'm within a short walking distance to metro/bus and in an area with some decent budget eating places and/or grocery stores/delis.

Thanks again for all the responses so far.

Posted by
2466 posts

In Philly I would stay downtown. Public transportation will take you to the burbs but you’ll have little to do when there and commutes are long. Two downtown hotels to consider: Loews is centrally located. On busy commercial Market St. You can walk to the Barnes, Rodin, a little further to the art museum. You are a few walking minutes from the Reading Terminal Market for foodstuffs galore. It will probably be in the $180-200 range. A little further but a nicer strolling neighborhood is Marriott Old City. Maybe a tad less expensive. I stayed there when it was a Sheraton. It’s a few blocks from the historical area (Independence Hall, Liberty Bell, etc) but further from the museums. You could walk but probably want to cab back. Of your three museums the do not miss is the Barnes. They have quirky hours and are closed some days so look and book ahead.

Posted by
6334 posts

For those who know NY, is the Wellington Hotel still an okay place to stay? I stayed there many years ago and it was bare bones but it was clean and very convenient with the subway entrance right off the lobby. I see on their website that they are currently closed until further notice (I assume because of COVID) but if they do open up again next year what do you think about it?

Posted by
760 posts

Don't know that hotel but I've stayed at the Belclaire on the upper west side in January several years when I got really good deals. Sometimes great weather sometimes not but was going for the museums anyway (and since I can drive to NY I can cancel at the last minute if the forecast is totally awful). But that's about the lowest price time of year for NY and Boston.

Posted by
2727 posts

Boston. The Charlesmark Hotel in the Back Bay is under your budget from mid November through March. And close to your budget to mid April at least. The Back Bay is an excellent location. Easy subway. Walking to MFA or ISG Museum, I have done. This is where I stay when I am doing research. I walk to any location in downtown Boston from here…but I like to walk. I stay here solo. It has a continental breakfast included. It is near the Prudential center in case you want an easy and busy walk to supper in the dark. If you are a member of NEHGS, I think you get 10% off.

Posted by
3091 posts

The Wellington's location ( right next to Carnegie Hall ) is , of course , very good . Unfortunately , many hotels in the city have permanently closed due to the virus , and those that are open are raising the rates, in some part , to account for lost revenue and increased demand . I've looked at a bunch of Manhattan hotels , and $200/ night is a pretty common figure ( and increasing from there ) . Take a look at the area around Queensboro Plaza in Long Island City . The rates seem better , and it is fairly convenient from a transit perspective -https://www.google.com/maps/place/Red+Lion+Inn+%26+Suites+Long+Island+City/@40.7498003,-73.9407463,17.5z/data=!4m13!1m2!2m1!1squeens+hotels!3m9!1s0x89c258d5e4148e73:0x167650e2b35a24fc!5m2!4m1!1i2!8m2!3d40.7499864!4d-73.9413156!15sCg1xdWVlbnMgaG90ZWxzkgEFaG90ZWw!16s%2Fg%2F1tf1prg3

Posted by
908 posts

DC - Regarding time of year, late April and May or October are good times for DC. I would try to visit DC after school spring breaks yet before summer crowds. In addition, the humidity levels kick in during the summer, and it's just uncomfortable. You can have really nice days, and then days like this week when we've had what I call "wet wool blanket" weather. It's muggy. I'll echo Agnes' comment that Old Town Alexandria is a good spot on the Virginia side. You may also want to look at the Ballston neighborhood in Arlington --I think there are some hotels in that area that trend lower in price..

Baltimore - Has the Walters and also the Baltimore Museum of Art. As mentioned, the Mount Vernon area of Baltimore is nice. In addition to the museums, the basilica is nearby if churches are of interest.

Boston - I've stayed at the Wyndham Beacon Hill. It's walkable to the T, is in a good location, and trends lower in price than nearby hotels.

Posted by
6334 posts

Just looking at other options here. Does anyone have a suggestion for a good place to stay mid-way between Baltimore and DC on the train line? Thinking it might make sense to base in one place rather than moving from city to city for these two. I have no problem with commuting into both cities (I know it's about 1/2 hr to each on the train) since I'm really just going for the museums. I will most likely be tired at the end of the day and just want to hole up in the hotel room so I don't really need to be out and about in the evenings. Just looking at ways to lower the hotel budget a bit.

Thanks again for all responses so far.

Posted by
11262 posts

While it's nice for your hotels to be near your sightseeing, I think that it's more important that they hotels be in an area that you'll feel safe and comfortable at night. With that in mind, here are some ideas.

Look at the Citizen M hotels. They seem like the Hub hotels in the UK or business hotels in Japan - very small rooms but efficiently designed, and all with private bathroom, so perfect for one person. Of the places you're visiting, they're in New York https://www.citizenm.com/hotels/united-states/new-york#!hotels
and Boston https://www.citizenm.com/hotels/united-states/boston#!hotels

I agree that if you're trying to save money on hotels in New York, look at the part of Queens called Long Island City (LIC for short). It's a short subway ride into Manhattan, provided your hotel is near a subway stop (some in LIC are not near the subway; don't stay in a hotel that has to provide a shuttle to the subway because it's too far to walk conveniently).

In Philadelphia, look at the Alexander Inn: https://alexanderinn.com/. Again, small rooms, but a very good location (walkable to tons of restaurants and stores, but you'll want a bus or taxi to the museums unless you don't mind a 20-40 minute walk). Philadelphia hotels close to the museums you want to see are likely to be out of your price range.

Posted by
11262 posts

Now for some train advice.

One very important money-saving tip: on the Northeast Corridor where you will be taking trains, Amtrak rates are now much cheaper than in the past if booked in advance (at least 2-4 weeks) and now much more expensive than in the past if booked last minute. Similar to many European countries, there are now three price tiers - Saver, Value, and Flexible. The cheapest Saver tickets are limited in supply, are non-refundable, and you can only apply part of their value to a new ticket, but they are so cheap you can afford to throw them away.

Example: From New York to Philadelphia, it's $18 for a Saver ticket, $43 for a Value ticket and up to $110 for a Flexible ticket. Note that Saver tickets don't seem to be available for Fridays, and when available on Sundays they're $24.

Between Baltimore Penn Station and Washington Union Station, you can take local MARC trains for less, which take about twice as long because they make many stops (Amtrak only makes two - BWI airport and New Carrollton). These run daily. On weekdays, there are also MARC trains from Washington Union Station to Baltimore Camden Yards Station, closer to the Inner Harbor area (although it's easy to take a bus or taxi from Penn Station).

Between Philadelphia and New York, as an alternative to Amtrak, you can take a local SEPTA train from Philadelphia to Trenton and then a local New Jersey Transit train from Trenton to New York. You will be eligible for senior rates on these trains, and these won't need advance booking. However, once again it takes about twice as much time as Amtrak, not to mention the need to change trains at Trenton and the tighter seating space (Amtrak seats are quite spacious even in regular coach; the local trains aren't). If you can plan ahead, the Amtrak Saver fare will actually be cheaper than even the senior fare on the local trains. But if you need flexibility (or are traveling on a Friday when Saver fares aren't available), and if you want to save money and don't mind the extra time, the local trains will be much cheaper than the Flexible fare.

Potential point of confusion: the Pennsylvania Railroad called all the stations they built "Pennsylvania Station." Thus there is a New York Penn Station, a Newark Penn Station, and a Baltimore Penn Station - be sure you get off at the one you want! And to make things even more complicated, they have now finished the new and very beautiful Moynihan Station in New York, across 8th Avenue from Penn Station. It's become Amtrak's official home in NYC, but Amtrak trains can be accessed from Penn Station or Moynihan Station, so you can use either. (Penn Station is pretty gross, but it's easier for me to get to from the subway, so I still catch trains from there). New Jersey Transit trains, however, can only be accessed from Penn Station, not Moynihan Station (I told you it was confusing).

Posted by
908 posts

For the question about a train stop and hotel between DC and Baltimore:
I live in VA not MD, so I'm not an expert on MD. With that said, I view the suburban MD train stops as more park and ride locations. Two possible exceptions that could help you are the Laurel station (not the racetrack station) on the MARC Camden commuter line and BWI airport stop on the MARC Penn line. With that said, at BWI, I think you'd have to take a shuttle to the hotels. In Laurel, there's a Quality Inn near the station, but I can't speak to how nice or safe feeling it is.

I know these are all expensive cities. I just feel like this is similar to the London discussions on the forum. Sure, you could save money by staying further out, but if you get too far out, the areas aren't conducive to evening walkability and amenities, and you spend your time going back and forth each day. In addition, you don't know if there's going to be a track issue or weather that affects the Northeast Corridor, and that could affect your nightly commute back to a town in between. Just my 2 cents. I hope the information is helpful as you plan.

Posted by
3216 posts

As Rachel mentioned, there is a BWI airport rail station. It is on the MARC Penn line and Amtrak trains headed to Washington DC also stop there. Nearby is the airport and BWI business district with a bunch of hotels to choose from. I know they have shuttle service to the airport and most likely the train station too. They all appear on Google maps if you type in BWI business district. The other MARC stops between Baltimore and Washington have no nearby hotels or the areas are questionable. The BWI station is 20 or so minutes south of Baltimore’s Penn station and 35 minutes north of Washington’s Union station via the MARC train. About 10 minutes from the BWI train station is Arundel Mills Mall. There are also a few hotels by it (Hampton Inn, Residence Inn, Aloft, Element, Springhill Suites) From the mall you could also pick up the MARC train to DC from the Odenton station.

Personally, I’d avoid the hotel near the Laurel MARC station. While fine during the day, I wouldn’t want to walk around that area at night since most of that part of Laurel (the historic downtown) closes early.

Posted by
20 posts

For Philadelphia, try the Club Quarters or Sofitel, both downtown near Rittenhouse Square. If you go in May, the Philly Phlash will be running and that will take you directly to all 3 of those museums. Both hotels are within walking distance of the Phlash stop at 18th and Market.

Posted by
3184 posts

For DC, this Holiday Inn goes for about $200 with breakfast, near Scott Circle a half mile or so north of the White House. You could walk to your 2 museums from here.

https://www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/us/en/washington/wasct/hoteldetail?cm_mmc=GoogleMaps-_-HI-_-US-_-WASCT

If that is too much try Crystal City in VA. If you commute from BWI area to DC, purchase Amtrak tickets at the cheapest rate for day round trips months in advance. You may have to hotel shuttle to the airport then free shuttle to the train, although it’s all pretty close. There’s light rail from BWI terminal to Baltimore, as well as the MARC train from the Amtrak BWI station.

In a pinch the BWI area might work, it’s a Southwest Airlines hub, too. The advance Amtrak tickets between BWI and DC Union Station are only $5.50 EW and travel time is less than 30 minutes. You will be hard pressed to match this price and time from say Alexandria (note that the "Old Town" is not reasonable for users of the metro, but there are some massive hotels by the Alexandria metro station). I have stayed at the Country Inn Suites BWI (about $90 with breakfast) and it is only a (convoluted) 1-1/2 mile walk to the train station, but I am sure the shuttle will take you there.

Comment: I’ve stayed at the Willard (going for $600 on your dates) and the Embassy Suites on M St north of Foggy Bottom— frankly there’s no “action” in downtown DC to be near, the evening action is farther out in places like Georgetown which has no metro access.

Posted by
221 posts

Hotel Harrington in DC -- https://www.hotel-harrington.com/

I stayed there about 10 years ago. Older but clean and priced great and great location between the White House and Capitol. Small rooms start at $100 (plus taxes). School groups stay here, but it wasn't a problem when I was there (no noise at night). We walked to most locations, and metro two blocks away.

Posted by
35 posts

I live in the DC area and am an avid museum-goer as well, and have visited each of these cities. It sounds like your interest is primarily (but not exclusively) fine art museums. For what it's worth, here are my comments:
Boston: Two good choices. If you have time consider a day trip to the Essex Peabody museum in Salem (easily reached by commuter rail, we were there very recently and it's good), and/or the Harvard art museums (haven't been to them as they were still closed due to COVID this month, but have heard good things).
New York: Good choices -- I'm personally not a big fan of modern art but it looks like you are, consider Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). On the opposite end of the chronological spectrum, the Cloisters branch of the Met at the north tip of Manhattan features the medieval collection.

Philadelphia: Good choices. If you have additional time the archaeology museum at U Penn is good.

Baltimore, honestly, I think you're giving it too much time. Nothing wrong with its art museums, but IMO they are second-rate compared not only to what is on your list in other cities, but to others in NYC or DC that you won't have time for in 3 days (e.g., Brooklyn Museum). A look around the Inner Harbor and a visit to the aquarium, at most, is what I would recommend. Devote time saved there to NYC and DC.
Don't stay halfway between Baltimore and DC. I would stay in DC (or immediate suburbs) and not visit Baltimore at all, except perhaps a day trip or brief stopover.
DC: You could spend a week there and not exhaust the Smithsonians, depending on your particular interests, in addition to what you list. Any Smithsonian is better than any museum in Baltimore. If you want to see the African American History Museum (which is very good) reserve on line a month in advance, getting on their website at 8 am on the dot 30 days before the day you want to visit (at least that was the process earlier this summer).
Have a good trip!

Posted by
221 posts

In 2019 I was in NYC and was fortunately able to stay with friends in Queens, a very short ride on the subway from Manhattan to their stop. I would see this LaQuinta Inn from the subway line 7. No experience since I didn't stay there, but it looks good on website with good $ for a close to Manhattan location. I chose a random April date and a room was $76+.

I stayed in the neighborhood at the subway stop (40th St on Queens Blvd) and felt comfortable walking in the neighborhood to 42nd St. This hotel is near 37th.

https://www.wyndhamhotels.com/laquinta/long-island-city-new-york/la-quinta-inn-queens-new-york-city/overview?CID=LC:LQ::GGL:RIO:National:64757&iata=00093796

Posted by
6334 posts

Thanks for that info Lynn. I'm okay with a subway ride to the museum areas but only if the subway is a short walk from my hotel/motel. I'll check into the La Quinta.

Posted by
2789 posts

I second the idea to eliminate Baltimore. However, if you go, I took an 1812 harbor tour instead of going to Fort McHenry. I think it was great as an overview and in my opinion, when you've seen one fort, you've pretty much seen them all. I would spend the time at additional Smithsonian museums instead, and skipping Baltimore eliminates one time-consuming change of hotels.

Posted by
3184 posts

I added info to my post above, and adding about Baltimore:

As already noted the Mt Vernon area and its Washington Monument are nice. The Poe grave is interesting. Ft. McHenry is good but it is not easy to get to except by driving. Nearby Ft. McHenry, there is the Baltimore Immigration Memorial (between Ft. McHenry and the Under Armour World Headquarters). Of interest to those descended from immigrants from Germany and the various ethnic groups of the Austrian Empire, since most of the 19th century immigrant ships from Bremen and Hamburg landed here, not NY, to be nearer German communities in MD, SE PA, and Cincinnati.

I have not visited the art museums, and the Inner Harbor can be missed IMO.

Posted by
2627 posts

I suggest adding The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) to your New York museum list. It's located in Midtown Manhattan, on 53rd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. 11 W 53rd St to be exact. It's one of the largest museums of modern art in the world.

I recommend The Warwick Hotel, a half block from MOMA, which is showing $125. per night using Hotels.com and TripAdvisor.com. The Warwick is a classic old 1940's hotel that has been redone with modern bedrooms and baths.
Two blocks from MOMA is the Radisson Hotel New York Midtown (on W. 51st St.) is showing $127. per night for Sept. 1 and 2. At this location, you are also two blocks from Rockefeller Center.

I lived in an apartment to the north of Midtown for several years, and can tell you, this is a good area in which to stay.
With all due respect to what others have written I myself would not stay outside of Manhattan.
Part of the experience of being in New York is walking around the city and enjoying being right there in the middle of the action.

Way to save money on hotels: Join a rewards program. Big chain hotels such as Hilton/Hampton Inn (other names are in their group) have a "stay several nights, get several nights free" type program.
Best Western has a special right now "Pay to stay 2 nights get the third night free".
Check and see what the various hotel loyalty programs will get you.
There are several Hiltons/Doubletrees in Midtown Manhattan.
Likewise, check out the Radisson Hotel I mentioned to see what their loyalty program gets you.
Likewise, there are chain hotels all over Washington, D.C. and northern Virginia.
If you can pick a chain you like for all your stays on this trip, you may rack up some savings.
When booking online on the hotel's own website, use your AAA membership, AARP membership, or military code to get a discount.
You will also get a discount for being a loyalty/rewards member.

Posted by
6334 posts

Just a few added comments:

  1. I'm not a big fan of modern art so probably wouldn't add any modern art museums to my list.

  2. My budget is pretty strict and I cannot go over about $175/night and that's stretching it. Not sure where the poster got the rates for the Warwick Hotel - cheapest rate I saw (on hotels.com) for my dates was $295/night. Also, I don't normally stay in hotels with rewards programs - I'm kind of a Motel 6 gal myself. I realize that this trip may not happen because of budget but I will keep trying, including cutting out a city or shortening my stay to 1 or 2 nights instead of 3.

  3. I definitely plan on Baltimore due to some favorite works of art/artists in their collections (especially the Walters). I've been to Baltimore before and have been to Fort McHenry (although it was many years ago I don't suppose it's changed much).

  4. I've also been to Washington DC before - been to the monuments and several of the Smithsonian museums. I do plan to add the National Museum of African American History and Culture in addition to art museums and would like to go to the National Cathedral as I missed that when I was there before.

I appreciate all of the responses so far and am getting some good information. Thank you all for your comments.

Posted by
3184 posts

National Cathedral: I think this is stunning and a must, although like so many tourist sites in DC (Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument) there’s no metro service, and walking from a metro stop is long and disorienting. There must be a bus running on Wisconsin Ave that works. If you fly into (Reagan) National be sure to look across the river and even though rather far away the cathedral dominates the horizon.

Being a bit contrarian but I didn’t care for the African American museum. The layout is peculiar and makes it hard to handle crowds. I don't recall learning anything from the exhibits. Also, if they are going to not cover African immigration, maybe a name more in keeping with the content, African slaves and the descendants of African slaves, would be more appropriate.

Posted by
23 posts

some more free tours in DC:

Library of Congress (currently need timed entry reservation) https://loc.gov/visit/

Pentagon (no tours currently. When running, must make online reservation ahead of time so they can do background checks on visitors) https://pentagontours.osd.mil/Tours/

Bureau of Engraving and Printing (no tours currently. When running, must obtain same-day ticket on site) https://www.moneyfactory.gov/washingtondctours.html

LOC was beautiful. I found Pentagon and BEP tours most interesting visits of my DC trip few years ago, so hopefully they will reopen for tours by next year...

Posted by
3091 posts

Nancy , not knowing what your dates are , I was curious and looked at the Warwick's website . The rates I saw were far more reasonable ( from $ 125 - $150 / night ) I always sign in for a membership , no cost and somewhat better pricing in general . Rebecca's suggestion bears another look . This pricing is on the hotel's site , not on a third party operation .

Posted by
6334 posts

Steven, I was looking on the hotel's website and my dates were April 12-15, 2022. What dates did you use? Is there more than one Warwick Hotel in NY? Cheapest membership rates were $266/night, unless I'm reading it wrong.

Posted by
3091 posts

Nancy , No , you read it correctly . I don't recall exactly which dates I used , probably late Autumn 2021 . Spring would be a tight fit , but I noticed that you were considering shifting to Autumn 2022 . In that light , the rates would be better , Perhaps , something to consider ?

Posted by
2627 posts

Thanks, Steven, for your info concerning the Warwick Hotel.

I will say one more thing about the Museum of Modern Art......don't let its name drive you away. The name is kind of deceiving. People who don't know what's in it assume it will be all paintings of squares, dots, shapes; and count it out because they don't want to see that. In fact, there are some classic, classic paintings there.

These are all paintings that DO NOT fit the mold of super-modern.
What's more classic than Van Gogh and Monet?

Andrew Wyeth, Christina's World
Vincent van Gogh, The Starry Night, 1889
Vincent van Gogh, The Olive Trees with the Alpilles in the Background, 1889
Claude Monet, Water Lilies triptych
Claude Monet, Reflections of Clouds on the Water-Lily Pond, c.1920
Pablo Picasso, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon
Also Magritte, Chagall, Matisse, Cezanne are represented.
And take a look at the beautiful painting by Henri Rousseau, The Dream, 1910:
It's my favorite in the whole collection.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Museum_of_Modern_Art#/media/File:Henri_Rousseau_005.jpg

For visitors who DO like the more modern stuff, they have Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, and more.

I say this for the benefit of anyone else who might come along and read this thread.
I am not trying to talk Nancy into going to an art museum she's not interested in.

Posted by
6334 posts

Rebecca, thanks for the examples of the collection at the MOMA. I am fond of some modern art from the late 19th and early 20th c, especially impressionism, and I am very fond of Wyeth. The main reason I did not include the MOMA was mostly because of time restraints - I have a limited amount of time and had to set priorities and I know the MOMA would take up quite a bit of my time. I know I can't see it all so some places had to be dropped from my list.

Steven, thanks for the suggestion and I agree that it might behoove me to change my trip to Autumn of 2022 for lower rates at hotels. I am definitely looking into that. But, like those who have experienced that 'I don't want to put it off' feeling about COVID restrictions on travel to Europe, I'm hesitant to delay this trip if I can avoid it.

Posted by
2627 posts

Hello Nancy! You have a wonderful trip plan there. Some great museums on your itinerary!
I certainly understand running out of time in a vacation itinerary and having to cut a few things I'd otherwise want to see.
This happens to me every time I go to London.

I hope you can find hotels in each location that meet your needs.
I think what Steven and I are worried about in the New York City area is that you do not end up in "Skid Row" accidentally.
New York City has some gritty areas that may look appealing when you are looking only at hotel prices.

It helps to move your dates around and see when hotels like The Warwick have their lowest prices.
I am not stuck on this hotel necessarily.
But here's how I choose dates for myself and my husband to go to England.
I research the hotels we'd like to stay in, if we can.
Then I plug in dates on the hotel's website. Random dates in September, November, January, etc.
Eventually I come up with the dates the rates are the lowest, for every hotel I'm wanting.
Then I use those dates to book my trip.
But first I check airfare to make sure I can get a reasonable price then.

It pays to book far in advance.
One hotel in London I checked showed rooms for $300. per night in late May 2022.
I changed my dates and it showed $125. per night for the last week in April 2022.
And $89. per night for November 2022.
Sometimes a hotel may be already filling up because of a convention or a holiday, thus driving the prices up.
In the case of my London hotel (above) I found that the May date was so expensive because that would be a Bank Holiday in May,
and they were almost fully booked.

I don't know if that helps at all or if I am just rattling on. :) My intention is to be of some help.

Posted by
3091 posts

Rebecca and Nancy , Since we are all on the same page with our collective passion for fine art - This is a fabulous documentary on The Wyeth Family . Written and presented by the inimitable Michael Palin ( of Monty Python notoriety ) I am sure you will both find this captivating . Enjoy ! https://youtu.be/jNuGbKIoUds Of course , " Christina's World " is a highlight a MOMA .

Posted by
3091 posts

By the way , Rebecca , reading your reply , your methodology for planning is quite the same as mine . It brought a smile to my face .

Posted by
2627 posts

Wow, thanks Steven. I love the Wyeths and Michael Palin!

Yes Steven, I spend endless hours finding the cheapest time of year to stay at all my hotels!!
Great minds and all that--LOL!

Posted by
6334 posts

Steven, thanks for the link to the video, I'll have to check it out.

Also, I recently read the novel "A Piece of the World" by Christina Baker Kline - an imagined 'back story' to the Andrew Wyeth painting of Anna Christina Olson (the girl in the painting). It was very good.

Posted by
908 posts

Nancy, if you skip or cut back on Baltimore and have never been to the Brandywine Museum outside Wilmington, DE, that’s an option, especially if you like the Wyeth family. You would need to taxi to the museum from the Wilmington Amtrak station. Could combine with one of the DuPont sites or gardens depending on how much time you have.
https://www.brandywine.org