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Backstory: My wife and I are from Maine and have a 7 year old son. We can't really do Disney like we hoped this year, so instead we're going to drive and do NY and DC. Neither of us have been to NY and we've only done a very brief 5 hour stint to DC so both areas are essentially new to all three of us. My wife is also considering boucing up one night to PA to see Gettysburg (she used to be a Civil War buff).
We're looking to start the trip in July, on a Sunday and come back to Maine on Saturday or Sunday - so right around 7 solid days. Obviously we want to see the Statue of Liberty, Times Square (and by extension my son wants to see the Nintendo store). In DC we want to do a museum and the typical sight seeing stuff. My wife wants to see a beach in Jersey out of our guilty pleasure of the Jersey Shore (I know, I know) and I'd like to hit Jay & Bob's Secret Stash just to pick up Kevin Smith signed posters and stuff without shipping/etc.
A.) How would folks break up the time? If we don't do PA, I was thinking 4 nights NY, 2/3 nights DC.
B.) What activities are absolute must do's in both areas?
C.) Where would people stay? We'd like $150/night with some form of breakfast/pool included. I was looking at lLa Quinta Clifton
Which has free parking/pool/breakfast/shuttle to public transportation..followed by... Comfort Inn Arlington
Outside pool, decent price...
Any feedback on those options/areas?
D.) Any last things we should know travelling to either area?