If you only have a week to explore and want to travel from Washington D.C. to New York, here is the perfect itinerary to maximise your time on the United States East Coast. This road trip is one of the classic American drives ensuring that you add some of the most iconic American tourist locations in all of the major cities on this road trip. If you were to drive the route non-stop, it would take approximately 4 hours; however, to take in all the sites, you will need to follow this Washington DC to New York Road trip seven-day itinerary.
Table of Contents
Things you should know before you go on your East Coast Road Trip
Getting to Washington D.C.
No direct flights to Washington, DC, from Singapore, so your best bet is to stop in New York and then fly down. The flight time is approximately 1 hour 20, and American Airlines, Delta and United fly directly from New York daily.
When hiring a car, booking online with Discover Cars is easy to use and available in all major cities worldwide.
Check ivisa regarding visa requirements. Ivisa’s quick and easy system is an efficient way to organise your required visas online. It is the best way to ensure you aren’t caught looking silly when you arrive at immigration.
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Weather in Washington D.C.
In Washington, D.C., the summers are warm and muggy, the winters are freezing, and it can be partly cloudy all year round. Over the year, the temperature typically varies from -1°c to 31°c and is rarely below -8°c or above 35°c.
First-time visitors to New York can find this place intimidating, especially when it comes to tipping (or maybe that was just me!). Have small notes on hand because tipping is expected in this part of the world. The rule of thumb is some restaurants will already have a fee in the bill, so check first; however, for exceptional service, you should consider around 20-25% (some places help you work it out), although it is not mandatory, you should consider almost everyone in a service environment. Hence, this is why lots of small notes come in handy.
Washington D.C to New York road trip 7-day itinerary
Day 1 Arrive in Washington, D.C.
Today is a great day to get to know the city; it will depend on when your flight arrives. However, if you have a full day to spare, this is the day to wander around one of the many museums in Washington, D.C.
Here are just a few to choose from African American Museum, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of American Indian and The International Spy museum.
Evening: Spend the evening touring the most well-known monuments by night. See how some of the State’s most beautiful iconic locations, like the Lincoln Memorial and the Whitehouse, are lit up at night; you can book your tour here.
Day 2 Exploring Washington D.C.
Today you will explore the best of Washington, D.C.; book your guided tour through Get your guide. This full-day tour will cover all the important sites, including some you’d seen lit up the night before, including lunch and a boat ride through Georgetown and the D.C. Waterfront. The tour runs for 6 hours, so it is a jam-packed day.
Evening: Although you had a huge day exploring, tonight you will head to the History Tour Pub Crawl to enjoy drinks at iconic D.C. bars. Alternative: spend an evening in, or head out to dinner close to your hotel as you have another big day of touring tomorrow.
Day 3 Exploring Washington DC
Today you can choose what to see as you spend your day on the Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off. Here, you can decide on the places you have missed, such as Arlington Cememetry, International Spy Museum or Chinatown. Make one loop before deciding where you would like to jump off. The buses also have commentary, which is excellent if you choose not to jump off the bus and want to see some things from afar.
Evening: Head out on a Washington DC ghost tour to visit the capital city’s haunted locations.
Day 4 Drive to Philadelphia
Today is a 2.5-hour drive to Philadelphia, so you can head out early, drop your bags at the hotel, and explore this fantastic city. First, take yourself to Historic Old city, where you will find Independence Hall, The liberty bell, Elfreth’as Alley and Betsy Ross’s house.
Then At 3 pm for a Segway Adventure Tour, this 2.5-hour guided tour will have you gliding past Rocky’s statue, pass Elfreth’s Alley and pass over the Avenue of the Arts.
Day 5 Exploring Philadelphia
Today you will join the Double Decker on the off-bus, where you can visit places like the Eastern State Penitentiary, the reading terminal market, Philadelphia Zoo, and Benjamin Franklin’s grave, to name a few of the iconic places to stop. So get there early and make a loop of the 28 stops before mapping out your day’s adventure.
Evening: Tonight, head out on a Guided Craft Brewery Tour, where you will sample up to 12 beers and get an introduction to the rich beer history in Philadelphia. Alternatively, have a night in after grabbing a famous Philly cheese steak for dinner.
Day 6 Philadelphia and Lancaster Amish County Day Trip
Today you will be up early and heading to Lancaster County Amish Community Tour. You will learn about the Amish culture by visiting the Amish Village museum and local shops with Amish-made products. This educational tour will have you discovering the lesser-known farmland areas of Pennsylvania, home to the Amish community.
Evening: Take the 1.5-hour Philadelphia By Night Tour, where you will see this beautiful city light up. If you haven’t already, you will also have the chance to climb the Rocky Steps. Alternatively, have a night in as you are heading to New York tomorrow.
Day 7 drive to New York
This morning make the most of your last day in Philadelphia; this is the last chance to spend time visiting all the places you haven’t had an opportunity to explore, whether visiting the Eastern State Penitentiary, spending the morning visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art or taking advantage of all the free activities in the central city centre. However, your afternoon will be spent tasting the flavours that Philadelphia has to offer. This Flavors of Philly Food Tour is where you will taste some of Philadelphia’s favourites and be treated to insider tips on the best places to eat, like a Philadelphian.
Afternoon: You will drive to New York this afternoon, which will take under 2 hours.
JW Marriott Hotel
The view from the JW Marriott Hotel room was so beautiful at night, with the location (walking distance to the Whitehouse) being ideal and the bed being one of the most comfortable I have slept in, giving me the best night’s sleep I have ever had (the jet-lagged helped as well). There is also a fitness centre and 24-hour concierge service. The American grill restaurant Avenue Grill is also located here, for nights when you decide to stay in.
Philadelphia Marriott Old City
With walking distance to Liberty Bell and other significant historical attractions, Philadelphia Marriott Old City is the perfect location for your trip. With comfortable beds and spacious rooms, this hotel ticks many boxes. The staff were friendly, and the value for money can’t be beaten.
New York City
Courtyard New York Manhattan 5th Avenue
Although this hotel is a little tired, the location is fantastic for the price. The staff are friendly, the rooms are comfortable, and they are precisely what you need after a hard day walking around Manhattan’s streets.
Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. I hope this post has given you the information you need. If you have any recommendations, tips or advice, I would love for you to share them in the comment section below!
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