I always recommend a visit in person--not only can you get a good feel for the school and culture, but you also have your first chance to make a good impression. As for the EC, there would be marginal if any benefit from an extra 3 months of involvement. Best if you can connect what you are doing in the activity to something you have done before so it can be argued you have a longer term involvement in that area. ED route would likely be the better play, since you would get preferential consideration over R1 or R2 applicants. This should outweigh an extra couple of months of engagement in your chosen EC activity.
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