15 Jul City Hopping in the USA by Bus
There are some countries that haunt you long after you leave, some travel memories that almost make your heart ache because they’re so perfect. For me, the USA is one of those countries. It’s been almost a year since we touched down in New York for an incredible three-month adventure filled with autumn foliage and festivals, hikes and boat trips, city sightseeing and blueberry-pancake breakfasts. I regularly dream of reliving our trip and returning to explore more of the USA’s treasures.
City Hopping in the USA by Bus
Our journey through the US started and ended in New York, where we stayed with Andrew’s relatives in their renovated carriage house in Brooklyn. We caught a boat out to Liberty and Ellis islands, got lost in the crowds at Times Square, rode to the top of the Rockefeller tower to get a view over Manhattan, ate pasta in Little Italy and wandered around Central Park and Chelsea Market. We even got to spend our first ever Thanksgiving with Andrew’s relatives and their friends, enjoying a huge feast; later they took us to the Dumbo area of Brooklyn where we got the most incredible views of the Manhattan skyline by night.
We spent another important US holiday, Labour Day, in Boston at the beginning of our fall foliage tour around New England. After grabbing some clam chowder from Quincy Market we crowded into Christopher Columbus Park to watch fireworks explode over the harbour as boats bobbed on the water beneath. We fell deeply in love with Boston and spent hours wandering its parks, museums and markets, walking the Freedom Trail and taking historical tours led by park rangers in Khaki uniforms. We joined the Red Sox fans in Fenway Park to watch a baseball game, toured the Harvard University campus and talked longingly of how we wished we could live in this vibrant city.
Our historical journey through the East Coast continued in Philadelphia, the former Capital of the USA. The city is home to ‘America’s most historic square mile,’ Independence Park, where we caught a glimpse of the Liberty Bell, visited the hall where the Declaration of Independence was signed and explored the National Constitution Museum. Andrew ate a famous Philly Cheese Steak from Reading Terminal Market and posed by the Rocky statue; we even took a visit to the Eastern State Penitentiary where Al Capone was once imprisoned.
We couldn’t visit the East Coast without taking a trip to the Capital, Washington DC. We spent most of our time on the Mall, a grassy stretch of museums, memorials, parks, monuments and state buildings. We toured the Capitol Building, caught a glimpse of the famous Charters of Freedom at the National Archives and peered through the fence at the White House. We only had time for two museums, the National Museum of American History and the heart-breaking Museum of the American Indian. Our favourite thing to do was wander the memorials dotted around the Mall, including the reflecting pool and Lincoln Memorial where Martin Luther King Jr. made his famous ‘I have a Dream’ speech.
Travelling by Bus and Train in the USA
Although we enjoyed road-tripping around New England in our own rental car, we found that the easiest and cheapest way to hop between cities in the USA was by bus; we didn’t have to worry about parking spaces in the cities and the drop off and pick up points for our buses were all located in convenient areas. We looked for our tickets on sites like GoTicket, which allows you to book incredibly cheap journeys by both bus and train around the USA. We made the following bus journeys for these prices during our three-month trip:
- New York to Boston – £10 per person
- Boston to Philadelphia – £4.50 per person
- Philadelphia to Washington DC – £4.33 per person
- Washington DC to New York – £14 per person
We hope to return to the USA in the near future, this time to explore the West Coast and we’ll use buses again to travel between cities. The places we most hope to visit are San Francisco, Seattle and Portland in Oregon; we’d also love to take a trip through the Deep South one day. We can’t wait to return to the USA!
What’s your favourite city in the USA and which one would you most love to visit?