Slow Travels-Delaware and Maryland

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King's Dominion, near Ashland, Va.

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It wasn't until I read the AAA book that I discovered the amusement park was also home — in the '70s — to a wildlife preserve with giraffes, elephants and a white rhino. We visited Amish country in Lancaster, Pa. We presumably ate too much chocolate at nearby Hersheypark. In the early s, we went to Baltimore's pioneering, newly developed inner-harbor market, Harborplace. We saw sea life at the National Aquarium and ate seafood at Phillip's. Reading the TourBook was a reminder of how fundamentally the food scene has changed in 40 years.

Francisco joked that back then, variety meant listings of multiple Stouffer's Restaurant locations. But the book's authors were thoughtful enough to understand mindful eating: It's a chance to rest, to relax and to enjoy your favorite food — or to sample some of the area's special or unique cuisine.

Can you plan a vacation with a year-old travel guide? - The Washington Post

The common thread for nearly all our travel is that it happened on four wheels. From Washington, you can cover a lot of ground in just a couple of days; the region beckons weekend road trippers. But perhaps the most spectacular drives in the Mid-Atlantic — exquisite year-round and downright breathtaking in the fall — are Virginia's mile Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway, which begins just to its south.

In this part of the country, I never tire of driving windy roads and pulling over for scenic overlooks. From time to time, I even tap the brakes and match my father's speed. Earlier this year, after traveling to a dry, brown part of the country, I returned to the East Coast. But rather than sitting in my preferred seat — the driver's — I was in the window seat of an airplane.

For a moment, as the plane descended, I took in the view — strikingly large expanses of dark green interrupted by abundant, sparkling water — as a newcomer might.

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This was the same land I've now seen for decades through car windows, yet it looked wholly unfamiliar, a place longing to be explored. Then I got my bearings. We began following the contours of the Potomac River, and an enormous surge of happiness overcame me. This, I remembered, is home. You can take a Sunday drive on Skyline any day of the week, but doing so when the fall colors are peaking should be on your bucket list.

The speed limit is 35 mph, which allows you to pause and enjoy the hills and views while keeping an eye out for black bear. And if you've been training all summer: Swap your motor vehicle for a road bike. Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is one of the best walking and hiking parks in the country, from easy riverside strolls to hikes across Civil War battlefields to mountaintop climbs.

Harpers Ferry encompasses nearly 4, acres in West Virginia, Maryland and Virginia, and the Appalachian Trail passes right through town. Visit Jefferson Rock for exquisite views of the surrounding mountains and the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers.

Get your Colonial on at this living history museum, where you can tour, eat, sing and ride with folks in 18th-century costumes. In addition to seeing historic buildings such as the George Wythe House, you can watch blacksmiths hammer iron into tools and weapons, learn about Colonial-era medicine, tour the horse stables and fire reproduction 18th-century firearms. Petticoats and knee-length britches aside, Williamsburg is the most popular destination in the region for teaching kids of all ages about America's beginnings.

Originally called the State House bell, the bell that symbolizes liberty in Philadelphia and around the world is located across from Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were both debated and signed. Entrance to all is free. Forty years old this year, the New River Gorge Bridge in West Virginia maybe you've seen it on the back of a quarter is the longest steel span in the Western Hemisphere and the third highest in the United States.

The third Saturday of October is Bridge Day, a festival that attracts thousands to the bridge, and an extreme sports event for hundreds of daredevils who leap off it. That's the only time the bridge is open to pedestrians, but BridgeWalk has daily tours on the catwalk below it. A cool underground retreat in the summer — but supercool geology any time of year — Luray Caverns is a cave system filled with colorful, otherworldly stalactites, stalagmites, stone columns and mirrored pools. Visitors stroll along walkways, through "rooms" with foot ceilings and towering formations.

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Among the most popular spots: There's nothing that says summer quite like Thrasher's french fries and Candy Kitchen saltwater taffy. Both are staples at Rehoboth Beach, a family favorite beach destination for generations. The boardwalk was built in , and beachgoers of that era wouldn't recognize it today, with outlet shopping, brewpubs and arcades. But at Funland, largely untouched since it opened in the s, tickets still start at 35 cents. For what it's worth, the fries and taffy are worth every nickel.

An undeveloped barrier island off the coast of Maryland and Virginia, Assateague is a fairy tale of sand beaches, salt marshes and celebrated wild horses.

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Visitors can camp on the Maryland side of Assateague Island National Seashore as well as in the state park, and horses on the Maryland side roam freely. Cycling is a great way to see the island; a paved path stretches from Assateague to Chincoteague. Other activities include canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, hiking, swimming and birding. Relax, your're on vacation! I can actually speak from a lot of experience about US I take 13 back and forth when I travel. Like everyone else said, Delaware is a speed trap, but it's a small state.

You will have to deal with some slower speeds, a few lights and some traffic in parts of Maryland and Delaware, but ultimately, you usually deal with less traffic I've found on 13 than on the Interstate. Beach area On a Friday, especially, you're going to have to be really lucky with your timing through the cities or else you'll land in MAJOR Friday traffic On 13, your biggest hang-up might be a few lights in Delmarva and sudden speed decreases in Delaware.

It's really up to you and what you're willing to deal with. I don't really think it saves much time going one way or the other. It usually takes me about 8. Heading into Nags Head you will be at the mercy of the summertime traffic. Friday, Saturday and Sunday are the transition days for people renting cottages, so keep it in mind. But the traffic volume always seems to get worse around July 4, so you should be OK at the beginning of June.

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I cannot speak to hotel stays since I drive the whole way in one trip. Again, it depends on how you like to travel and when you want to arrive in the Outer Banks. I will leave it to the other experts on here to tell you where you might want to stay. I'm sure there are some nice places along the way that will put you in a good position to pull into Nags Head early Saturday to get the most out of your first day.

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