Once you’ve filed your ESTA application and your trans-USA itinerary considerations are starting to get a little more serious, you should consider taking a road-trip once landed. The United States is a colossal country with lots to see and do, but you should really only limit your air travel to the entry and final exit. It may be tempting to want to fly domestically because of the country’s sheer size, but you’d be missing out on a whole lot if you flew.
Rather take a road-trip so that you can not only see, but also enjoy some top destinations which can only really be accessed by road. Rent an RV, drive yourself or go as part of a tour group; whichever way you choose to do it, just make sure it’s a proper road-trip with plenty of time and opportunity to step out of the vehicle and enjoy the many potential stops along the way.
Destination Niagara Falls (and beyond)
A real road-trip gets most of its appeal from that element of spontaneity it’s often associated with. If you’re specifically travelling in a foreign country however, it’s good to have a destination in mind with a few planned stops en route. That element of spontaneity will then be duly taken care of by whatever adventures you have in between the starting point and the destination. If that destination is Niagara Falls, there’ll be plenty of road-trip gems to uncover on the way there, otherwise there are some great destinations to see as part of your planned stops.
A popular road-trip route kicks off in New York, passing through Philadelphia, Washington DC and then back to New York to head in the direction of Niagara Falls. Since you’ll probably definitely be arriving by international flight, you’ll probably land at JFK International Airport and so wouldn’t want to head straight for Niagara Falls. Some sights to see and destinations to visit on the stretch between New York and Philadelphia include the Liberty Bell and the National Independence Park, with a few hidden surprises to uncover before heading off to Washington DC.
For just a short while it becomes about the destination rather than the journey, as Washington DC hosts the White House, the National Air and Space Museum and other places of interest such as the Lincoln Memorial, the Korean Veterans Memorial, and loads more. There’ll be plenty to do once you reach Niagara Falls from the second departure from New York, but a stop at the Corning Glass Museum is perhaps in order, otherwise Niagara Falls awaits with plenty of time to be set aside for the various attractions. You’ll take a minimum of three days at the very least to complete this itinerary, but it can very easily be stretched longer if you have more time to spend in the country.
Since some group discount road-trips include some cross-border exiting and re-entry, it would make more financial sense to take advantage of something like the ESTA visa waiver programme. Keep that in mind when filing your ESTA application and just make sure the conditions of the programme allow for you to leave and re-enter the country if you’re aiming to visit cross-border sights like the Canadian side of the Niagara Falls.