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A Northeastern Road Trip: Part 2

Days 3-5

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Stop 1: New Haven, CT (Day 3)

We spent the morning of day 3 exploring the campus of Yale University in New Haven, CT. The architecture that is on the campus is stunning. We stopped at the Yale University Art Gallery and saw some stunning artwork. Even the four year old enjoyed it! Another plus-the art gallery is free of charge.

After walking the campus for about an hour we headed to the nearby Grove St. Cemetery, where we located the grave of Eli Whitney, the inventor of the cotton gin. We then headed to the Providence, RI.

Stop 2: Providence, RI (Day 3)

After checking out Yale University we headed to Providence, RI to spend the afternoon and evening. Our first stop was the Roger Williams park. The park is home to a zoo, Museum of Natural History and Planetarium, Carousel Village, and gardens. Our first stop was the Museum of Natural History and Planetarium, which is full of animal themed exhibits and a large planetarium that offers shows throughout the day. There is also a little scavenger hunt that the children can do and in exchange they win a small prize. This was a great hit with my daughter!

After the museum we spent some time walking around the gardens and visiting the Carousel Village. The village offered a carousel ride, train ride, and a nice play area for the kids, another great hit with my daughter. If visiting Providence with small children this park is a must!

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After spending the afternoon at the Roger Williams park we headed over to Little Italy. It was a little smaller than expected, but it still offered some great views and great food! We browsed the streets for a little while and had a bite to eat at Angelo’s Italian Restaurant.

We concluded our evening in Providence with a boat ride on the Providence River. It was a great, relaxing way to end the evening with great sunset views and views of the city. All in all Providence, RI was a beautiful place to visit and was very family friendly!

Stop 3: Atlantic City, NJ (Day 4)

Day 4 was more of a relaxed day with some beach time and boardwalk exploring in Atlantic City. We spent the day at Steel Pier and the nearby beach along the Jersey shore line. Steel Pier offers a number of different classic amusement park rides as well as helicopter tours that take off from the end of the pier (but with a high price of course). And don’t forget boardwalk fries of course!

Stop 4: Philadelphia, PA (Day 5)

 The last day of our road trip was spent in Philadelphia, PA, the City of Brotherly Love. We opted for the hop on/hop off package as we had limited time in the city and wanted to see as much as we could.

We started the morning at the Liberty Bell Visitor Center and Independence Hall. The Liberty Bell Center is free to visit. It takes you through a hall of exhibits about the history of the Liberty Bell and then brings you to the end lobby where the Liberty Bell now sits. Arriving as early as possible is recommended, the center can become quite crowded, making it difficult to get unobstructed views.

 We chose not to take a tour of Independence Hall due to time constraints, but if you have the time it would be a great option! The tour is free, but a timed ticket is required. The tickets are handed out beginning at 830am at the Independence Visitor Center.

We enjoyed a nice, breezy ride on the top deck of a hop on/hop off bus which allowed us to take in views of many major points and sights in the city. Generally I like the freedom of being able to choose where I want to go and go on my own time, but for a quick and easy way to a destination bus tours are great options.

The first stop that we got off at was Eastern State Penitentiary. Eastern State Penitentiary is a former prison located in Philadelphia that was open from 1829 to 1971. At one point it housed Al Capone and his cell block is still viewable today. The prison is open for tours most days from 10am to 5pm and admission tickets are $14 a person, but well worth it, especially if you interested in exploring abandoned buildings. Check out more on Eastern State Penitentiary here.

After Eastern State Penitentiary we hoped on the bus to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to check out the famous Rocky Steps and Rocky Statue. We didn’t spend much time here, but did climb some of the steps (it was a very hot day) and posed for a photo with the Rocky Statue. Warning: You may have to wait in quite the line to snap a pic with Rocky.

From here we went on to the Philadelphia Zoo, a great attraction for families with small children. We spent some time exploring the zoo and viewing the animal exhibits. Our personal favorite was the Reptile and Amphibians exhibit-it was air conditioned! (Again, it was a very hot day!).

After a couple hours exploring the zoo we headed back to the car to begin our journey home, but not before taking in some stunning views of Philadelphia’s skyline.

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1-Big cities=limited parking. And the parking that is available may be high in pricing. Be prepared to pay the prices for city parking or find an alternate way into the city, such as a bus, subway, or train. Another option-car pool!

2- When taking a road trip-be sure to plan a relaxing down day. While road trips are made for seeing and doing new things, you don’t want to over plan and overwhelm yourself. We had a great time enjoying all the new locations-but it was a lot for a 5 day period! I don’t think I would have changed it though-that beach day in Atlantic City was certainly needed.

You can find the itinerary for the first half of the road trip here.

All images are original and copyrighted. © Navigation Junkie, 2019.



  1. That’s the great thing about the Eastern states, they’re all a little closer together. Great that you got to see so much in 5 days although I agree that a downtime day is good to have on a trip. I confess I also love hop on/off buses. Such a good way to see more of a city

  2. Oh this sounds like such a fun road trip! I haven’t been to any of these places yet, just the west coast!

    • There are so many great things to see! The penitentiary was so interesting to see, especially with all the history they gave so we knew what we were looking at! (Although the mystery can be just as fun!)

  3. Seems like you have an awesome adventure, the eastern states looks like they are really easy to visit and you managed to see a lot in 5 days.

  4. Yale University Art Gallery with stunning artwork looks a perfect trip for me as I love art. Eastern State Penitentiary which was a former prison located in Philadelphia though looks interesting but it will also fill us with mixed emotions.

    • The Art Gallery was great! It was a nice break from the heat-and it’s free admission. The Penitentiary was interesting-especially if you are interested in Abandoned Buildings. So much history.

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