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  • New York City
  • Buffalo
  • Niagara Falls
  • Amish Country
  • Washington DC
  • Philadephia
  • New York City

It may be hard to come up with a better place to start your east USA trip than New York, literally and figuratively the historic gateway to America. From buzzing urban you drive to dazzling nature as you head towards the world famous Niagara Falls. And what to think of a travel back in time: the Amish community will catapult you right back to the start of the previous century.  Washington DC needs no introduction as does Philadelphia, the cradle of the USA.

Individual

Day 1 & 2 - > New York City

From the time of your arrival you will be sucked into the whirlwind of experiences in the 'Big Apple': impressive skyscrapers, flashing huge billboards at Times Square, Broadway, the magnificent setting of the Statue of Liberty, the many elegant shops on Fifth Avenue, exquisite museums and a vibrant nightlife.

Standard Hotel:  Z NYC Brooklyn
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Day 3 - New York City > Buffalo (613km)

Today you drive across the state of New York via Finger Lakes. Take the opportunity to stop at Watkins Glen on the shores of Seneca Lake and taste the famous wines of this region. Next, continue to Buffalo.

Standard Hotel:  Adam's Mark
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Day 4 - Buffalo > Niagara Falls > Buffalo

Today you drive to the Falls! Once there, numerous opportunities exist to see, hear, feel and experience them. You can take the tunnel to the edge of the Falls and listen to their deafening roar while you feel the spray on your face. Or, you can board the cruise to the foot of the Falls and feel how the engines battle against the current . The most awesome way is possibly an eagle's view of the Falls by helicopter! But it does not really matter what way you pick to get close up and personal, as long as you experience this natural wonder to the fullest! The thundering sound of the Falls and the impressive tons of water gliding over the edge are two sensations that will be glued to your memory forever and 3 days.

Standard Hotel:  Adam's Mark
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Day 5 - Buffalo > Amish Country (241km)

You exchange the state of New York for Pennsylvania as you set foot on the land of the Amish and discover their way of life that fits in perfectly with the beauty of the local countryside.

Standard Hotel:  Genetti Hotel and Suites
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Day 6 & 7 - Amish Countrry > Washington DC

Today you cross the Appalachians along the Susquehanna River and visit the site of the Battle of Gettysburg. Your route takes you to the US capital Washington DC. Two days to make the most of the Federal Capital: Capitol Hill, the White House, the Mall, a remarkable range of exquisite museums by the Smithsonian Institute, Jefferson Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial, Arlington Cemetery where you will find the grave of late president JF Kennedy... You will not have one second to feel bored, that must is certain. And the evenings? Georgetown and its many ethnic restaurants are bound to capture your heart.

Standard Hotel:  Capitol Skyline (Room only)
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Day 8 - Washington DC > Philadelphia (223km)

Philadelphia is well-known as the cradle of the USA and is even today focused on history. As such, the Independence Hall, where the declaration of independence was signed is an absolute must, as is the Liberty Bell and the numerous historic buildings and museums. In the evening you do not have to look far to find an excellent restaurant. Why not try a Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich in Pats Steaks or Genos?  
Standard Hotel:  HI Express Midtown (Room only)
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Day 9 - Philadephia > New York City (154km)

Your itinerary today will take you back to your starting point: New York. Time has flown by no doubt and if you have the time and budget why not stay an additional few days in the Big Apple or hop on a train to another US destination? Check out our brochure for all details.

Bike and Discover the Hidden Spots of Central Park

 2 - 3 hours

Central Park, Manhattan's extensive green lungs, is home to a multitude of gems and unfamiliar sites. Have you heard of the Belvedere Castle? The reservoir Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis or the Bethesda Fountain? What if we told you we'll take you there!
Uphill, downhill, wind in your hair, you feel 'King of the World'. This is the car-free part of Manhattan, abundant with floral splendor and shaded by tall trees. The ideal spot to unwind while the guide brings the scenery to life with mind-boggling facts and juicy anecdotes.
Every Sunday at 15h (except in December, January & February)  in the company of your Dutch or French speaking BENY guide - bike rental included

 In Group
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From Shopster to Mobster

 2 - 3 hours

SOHO, Little Italy, China Town 

New York has many guises even to returning travellers or NY addicts. Visiting Empire State, lady Liberty and Ground Zero are must for all but have you shopped on Broadway? Explored Chinatown? Do you know where the first US pizza was made, why are fire escape ladders on the facades are so typical of SoHo and where the Chinese prefer to place their bets? We take you along to the most beautiful cast iron buildings and to bustling Canal Street. You will discover how and where people shop and what are the latest food trends, unveil hidden restaurants and a store entirely dedicated to rice pudding...even a courtroom where you will feel like a true gangsters. Interested?
Get ready for completely different cultures, cuisines, architectural styles and shops in SoHo, NoLita, Little Italy and Chinatown. In short, Diversity is regarded as the driving force and binding factor. It beautifies and enriches New York. Curious? Make sure you book a visit.

Thursdays at 4 pm - in the company of your Dutch or French speaking BENY guide

 In Group
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From Yuppie to Hipster tour

 2 - 3 hours

Brooklyn & Downtown 

During this tour you will realize New York has many guises.
You start your exploration in the financial beehive better known as Wall Street and work your way to Brooklyn by means of a ferry ride ( sailing underneath Brooklyn Bridge is an adventurous added value). Williamsburg offers magnificent views of the skyline of Manhattan. It is clear that Brooklyn's trendiest neighbourhood is the place to be for hipsters, shopaholics, hedonist, and by extension, anyone who roams here for the pleasure of the eye. This is the perfect place to connect with Brooklyn and emerge from underneath the shade of dazzling skyscrapers. Mast Brothers excels in chocolates and is definitely a must among chocoholics! Brooklyn Sketchbook, a traveling exhibition of books full of authentic illustrations of ordinary people, is home to this area.

Fridays at 2 pm -  in the company of your Dutch or French speaking BENY guide
 In Group
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From Hipster to Yuppie

 2 - 3 hours

Brooklyn & Downtown 

We meet in Williamsburg, Brooklyn's hippest neighborhood, the place to be for hipster spot from all four corners of the world, for shopaholics, hedonists and by extension anyone who loves to feel bewildered by views. This is time to leave the dizzying skyscrapers behind for now and get to know Brooklyn better. This colourful neighborhood is home to stunningly renovated warehouses, trendy as you will see, and we will take you to the nicest eco-bio shops and vintage stores. Next you can marvel at breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline from the brand new Domino Park - a great place to take selfies that will make your Facebook and Instagram friends green with envy. Then we swap our vintage cowboy boots for a 3-piece suit as the ferry takes us across the East River to the yuppies of Wall Street. New York indeed has many facets and this tour shows you the best. From hipster to Yuppie in no time, you can do it all here. 
This tour is possible in both directions on different days of the week: Friday tours depart from downtown Manhattan, to see the yuppies first before spend or drown their financial profits or losses at the local hipster bars of Brooklyn ;-).

Tuesdays at 2 pm - in the company of your Dutch or French speaking BENY guide

 In Group
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Holy Harlem

 
We leave Times Square and in no time we find ourselves in the heart of Harlem. Formerly one of the most dangerous neighborhoods of the city, the place knows a real boom today. On our way, we meet the glittering jazz and culinary specialties that permeate the soul culture as well as a cultural and architectural richness that will leave you speechless.
Be it music, human rights, religion or gastronomy, Harlem has left its mark on all aspects of society. Not only in New York but throughout the world. This is sacred ground for the black community and the cultural heritage is invaluable.It is rightly sacred ground for the black community and an invaluable cultural heritage. Did you hear the alleluia sound? You will experience the Afro-American soul during the gospel in one of the hundreds of churches that Harlem is rich. Dance along, sing along, jump on divine rhythms. It is easy to take Holy Harlem to heart!

Sundays at 9 am -  in the company of your Dutch or French speaking BENY guide
 In Group
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Sunday Funday

 9 to 5!

A day’s outing through Uptown Manhattan.
Bet you, never before, your Sundays have climbed to this level of fun! The BE NY team will take you all day long to the most delightful highlights of Uptown Manhattan. In the morning, you shake, shake, shake to the rhythm of gospel sounds at the evangelical church and explore the centre of Harlem, the undisputed capital of Black USA, heart-warmed by the enthusiasm and passion that reigns here. A choice of several branch restaurants are your pick for an optional lunch. At the rhythm of Uptown Funk, we head to the green lung of Manhattan for our bike ride. Uphill, downhill,  we explore places unfamiliar to even New Yorkers. The magic of Belvedere Castle, the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir and the Bethesda Fountain with magnificent views of the city's most beautiful and oldest skyscrapers. An unforgettable day with the best BE NY city guides.

Sundays – 9am to 5pm - in the company of Dutch or Frenchspeaking BENY guide

 In Group
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From Old Warehouses to New Penthouses

 2 - 3 hours

Welcome to the industrial chic of the West Side. On this retail safari you will discover - in addition to a few gems of experience stores - how a once gray and smoke-free district has turned into the absolute favourite spot of millionaires and top models. In the meantime, the old slaughterhouses mainly contain top works by renowned painters and priceless creations by exclusive designers. You take the stairs to the High Line, the second most famous park in Manhattan. This elevated railway line - which was rescued from total demolition - is now a trail walk where showpieces of the best-known architects follow each other in rapid succession. We leave the park at the height of Chelsea art mecca and end up in the most expensive real estate project in the history of the United States: Hudson Yards. This district is brand new and serves a tasteful mix of dizzying skyscrapers, popular eateries and an amazing art project in the form of a giant kebab. Enter the shopping center at your own risk and know your credit card may suffer from swipe-fatigue. Ready, set? Go!

Monday at 2 pm. - Dutch-speaking guide

 In Group
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Hotels & Meals

Mainstream American cuisine is similar to that in other Western countries. Wheat is the primary cereal grain. Traditional American cuisine uses indigenous ingredients, such as turkey, venison, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, squash, and maple syrup, which were consumed by Native Americans and early European settlers.

Slow-cooked pork and beef barbecue, crab cakes, potato chips, and chocolate chip cookies are distinctively American foods. Soul food, developed by African slaves, is popular around the South and among many African Americans elsewhere. Syncretic cuisines such as Louisiana Creole, Cajun, and Tex-Mex are regionally important. The confectionery industry in the United States includes The Hershey Company, the largest chocolate manufacturer in North America. In addition, Frito-Lay, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, is the largest globally distributed snack food company in the world. The United States has a vast breakfast cereal industry that includes brands such as Kellogg's and General Mills.

Characteristic dishes such as apple pie, fried chicken, pizza, hamburgers, and hot dogs derive from the recipes of various immigrants. French fries, Mexican dishes such as burritos and tacos, and pasta dishes freely adapted from Italian sources are widely consumed. Americans generally prefer coffee to tea. Marketing by U.S. industries is largely responsible for making orange juice and milk ubiquitous breakfast beverages.

The American fast food industry, the world's largest, pioneered the drive-through format in the 1930s. Fast food consumption has sparked health concerns. During the 1980s and 1990s, Americans' caloric intake rose 24%; frequent dining at fast food outlets is associated with what public health officials call the American "obesity epidemic". Highly sweetened soft drinks are widely popular, and sugared beverages account for nine percent of American caloric intake.

(Wikipedia)

Travel Documents

  • Travel documents: All Belgian nationals*  (children and babies included) must be in possession of an international e-passport (biometric) containing min. 2 blank pages,  valid at day of entry and during the entire stay. Connections recommends to let common sense prevail and to build in some slack in terms of validity. Often unforeseen circumstances (weather factors, volcanoes, and threats all kinds) are the cause of a mandatory postponed return date. A credit card is required upon check-in at the hotels and also when renting a car.Please keep this in mind. We strongly recommend you to print out the Esta- or Eta permit and to have it on you while you travel to avoid problems. 

  • All passengers who travel to and /or via the U.S. must apply for an electronic travel authorization at least 72 hours prior to departure. The ESTA procedure must be requested via the official website link https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov and paid by a personal credit card only.

  • Travellers with a non-Belgian nationality and / or travellers travelling on a foreign passport are invited to spontaneously report this matter to the Connections travel consultant and shall contact their respective embassy (s) or Consulate (ate) to obtain the latest updates concerning all current travel requirements and documents. They must apply for an electronic travel authorization at least 72 hours prior to departure via the official website link https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov and pay by a personal credit card only.

Insurances

Have a safe and carefree trip: travel fully insured with our Protections travel insurance! Our Protections insurance policies offer various formulas in order to offer you the widest possible cover (with even a fly-on-time, natural catastrophes and epidemics) for both single journeys or for the entire year.  We guarantee you the best protection at the best price. 

Tailored travel

The tours in our brochures are just a few examples of travel itineraries possible. Our trips can be tailored to suit your specific needs. If you want to book a specific destination or combine it with a mini-tour then we will gladly make you a tailor-made offer. For a personalised day-by-day program please contact our destination experts

Would you like to travel in a group; with your entire family, friends or colleagues? (min. 10 people required). Put our know-how to the test and send us your details and wishes. We will gladly turn the blueprints of your trip into a detailed quote and a lasting memory for you to cherish. Contact our Connections' Group Service by e-mail at groups@connections.be or by telephone on +32 (0)2 550 01 65. We would love to hear from you.

Health

No mandatory vaccinations. To verify the latest updates on health requirements, please surf to www.itg.be.
Medical interventions and costs can soon become outrageous in the U.S.A. Reflect before leaving and subscribe a decent travel insurance. Our protections All-in Premier insurance was especially designed specifically for travel to the U.S.A. and provides ample cover for all major calamities (fly-on-time and natural disasters included)!

Time Zones

The United States span 4 time zones:

  • Eastern (- 6 h)
  • Central (- 7 h)
  • Mountain (- 8 h)
  • Pacific (- 9 h)

Daylight saving time 2018: In The USA the clock is set forward in the night of Sunday 12 MAR 2017 at 2am.  In Belgium, the clock is set forward on Sunday 26 MAR 2017 at 02am. This entails that between 12 and 26 March, the time difference is one hour less than indicated above.

Winter time 2018: Belgium turns the clock back one hour on Sunday 29 OCT 2017 at 02am.  The USA turns back the arms of the clock on the night of Saturday, 5 nov at 2am. That entails that during the latter week the time difference is one hour less than indicated above.

Currency

Currency

US Dollar (USD), 1 USD = 0,92 EUR & 10 EUR = 10.83 USD (01/05/2020)

Payment Methods
  • A personal credit card is required upon check-in at the hotels and also when renting a car. The most convenient method of payment is by credit card but cash euros and dollars in small amount come in handy. Inform yourself timely, as from January 15, 2015 your Visa and/or MasterCard credit card (and possibly other types of credit cards) has automatically been set to "not for use in the US, for US car rental agencies and during cruises under the American flag".
  • You must then apply for a release of your credit card. This may be done prior to your arrival in the U.S. (in your bank branch or via the telephone number listed on the back of your credit card or by means of a special form available for PC banking) as well as after arrival in the US (through a withdrawal at an ATM. Please note, in this case there will be a transaction fee charged to your account). The same applies to the Maestro function in your bank card.

Climate

Average Temperatures (°C):
Destination J F M A M J J A S O N D
San Francisco 13 16 16 17 18 19 19 19 21 21 18 14
Las Vegas 14 17 21 26 31 37 40 39 34 27 19 14
New York  3  5 10 16 22 26 29 28 24 18 12  6
Miami 24 25 26 28 30 31 32 32 31 29 27 25
Chicago -1  2  8 15 22 27 29 28 24 17 9  2
Washington DC  6  8 13 19 24 29 31 30 26 20 14  8

What's included?

  • 8 nights accommodation in listed hotels or equivalent
  • E-roadbook

What's not included?

Your international return flight and car rental, unlisted meals and beverages aw well as personal expenses such as fuel, tips, etc

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