Any Tips for Vacation to Washington DC and Philadelphia?

Hi All … our summer vacation this year will be a road trip from Washington DC, through Philadelphia and New York. We are even thinking of making a short detour through the Amish community of Lancaster County. This time it’ll just be Suanne and I because the boys will be in their summer camp.

We’re looking forward so much to this trip because it had been over a decade since Suanne and I had a vacation just the two of us.


We get very good tips from you readers. Before the Seattle and New York trip earlier, there were tons of great tips and recommendations. So, we’re seeking your recommendations again.

Here is our general plan … two weeks, fly to Washington DC spend 4-5 days, drive to Lancaster County spend 1 day, drive to Philadelphia stay for 3-4 days and finally to New York, New York and spend a couple of days.


We got quite a number of books and even a Pilot Guides documentary from the Richmond Public Library. We had been spending time doing research. So for now here are our shortlisted things to see, do and of course, EAT!


We had planned to visit the Reading Terminal Market and the Italian Market. Oh of course we will go to BOTH Geno’s and Pat’s for Philly Cheesesteaks for sure. We would like to check out one of the taverns but not sure which would be good. We are still debating whether to go to Marimoto’s (kind of expensive). We had a list of Philadelphia area food we want to try … soft pretzels, philly cheesesteak, haogia, water ice, scrapple, yeungling beer, German butter cake, tomato pie and pork roll. That about all we have short listed so far.

Washington DC

This will be an educational tour for us. We’ll be hitting as many museums and monuments as possible. Foodwise, the only thing we had shortlisted is Ben’s Chilly Bowl. I am sure there are more unique eateries so am looking at you to suggest.

Lancaster County

This will be a short trip to experience close up the Amish way of life. I heard that we’re not supposed to take pictures of the Amish people … is that right? Our focus here will be their unique food … Amish Friendship Bread, Pickled Beet Eggs, Schnitz un knepp, Apple Butter, Hog Maw, Birch Beer, Root Beer, Chicken and Waffle, Shoofly pie, Whoopie Pie, Funnel Cake, Fasnachts (donuts), Apple Dumplings! Any tips on this short trip to Lancaster County appreciated.

New York City

I am quite familiar now with New York. Suanne wanted to see New York and since we’re just in the neighborhood, we’ll pop by for 2 days. Highlight of the trip will be New York Cheesecake and the Statue of Liberty.

So … fire away. Let us know any restaurants we absolutely must check out.

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  1. Linda

    I wanted to visit Amish Country during my trip to Pennsylvania but hubby didn’t like the idea of peeking at other’s lifestyle.

    Here is Dos and Don’t in Amish Country

    It must be hard not to take photos of Amish unique lifestyle, some people took from a distance but it is not recommended. They are just living they normal everyday life, they are not put there for show.

    I love Junior’s cheesecake in NY but it is not on the list of NY best cheesecake. Check this out

    There are a lot of good reviews on Eileen, I think it’s worth visiting. I have yet to visit.

  2. Jessica

    You’re not supposed to take photos of the Amish out of respect. They’re awesome at baking though so try anything they make! Fresh from the farm ice cream is the best.

  3. Jennifer

    I’m not too familiar with the East Coast but I had Amish Friendship bread yesterday and it was so good! I’m hoping to get the starter for it from my friend!

  4. Ang

    What a coincidence, I’m going to those exact places this summer! My friend use to work at the Plain and Fancy Amish restaurant. It is communal style dining but it’s fun!

    I love Rachel’s Cafe and Creperie in Lancaster. That whole street is very unique, lots of antiques.

  5. j1000000 Philadelphia Eastern State Penitentiary, I went there two years ago and was really impressed. It’s the world’s first penitentiary facility, al capone was prisoned here, there were several outbreaks.

  6. Jason

    Hi gang,

    I am from Washington DC, so I have all kinds of recommendations for you. What style and price range are you looking for?

    One must try is Ray’s The Steaks. It will change the way you think about steaks and it is affordable for a steak house. Make sure you try the crab bisque, as well as a steak of course.

    Ben’s is historic, but the food isn’t anything special. A half smoke is just a large hot dog. No big deal.


  7. Ben and Suanne

    Hi Jason: Thanks for the recommendation. We will definitely check out Ray’s (burger or steak).

    Hi Ang: We had noted Plain and Fancy and Rachel’s Cafe on our plan. Thanks!

    Hi Susan Runner: Florida Ave Grill seems like a great place. We’ll be there!

    Hi Linda: We’ll try out Junior’s for sure.

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