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samantha101
09-22-2009, 12:36 AM
Hi everyone!
I am a french student and I have been in the US (atlanta) for nearly one month now. It's the first time for me in the US so I really enjoy discovering the american landscapes and visiting new places. I am planning a trip to new york around the end of december. Also, i will have my little sister visiting, so I really would like this to be memorable for her. I thought about taking the train to go there as we would see much more than in a plane, but I don't really know if there are beautiful places along this road. Had any of you already taken the crescent train from atlanta to new york? What are the things we can see during the trip? What I want to know is wether it will be really worthy to take the train instead of the plane.
Thank you all very much!

AZBuck
09-22-2009, 07:36 PM
Bienvenue sur les forums de RoadTrip Amérique. Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

Unfortunately, train service in the U.S. is not up to the level you are probably used to in France. There is a single daily train between Atlanta and New York, the Crescent, that takes nearly 18 hours for the journey, including a complete overnight portion. Fares start at around $125-150 per person, but if you would like a sleeper car, the rate would go up several hundred dollars. So flying would be both cheaper and faster. You might see more from the train, but since much of your travel would be at night, and through more industrialized areas making use of the proximity to the tracks, I think I would very much recommend flying.

AZBuck

glc
09-23-2009, 08:35 AM
If you are at least 21 years old and budget is not a major concern, look at renting a car and doing a road trip. That is the best way to see scenery.

samantha101
09-23-2009, 09:29 PM
Thanks both of you for your replies and advice( and impeccable french;)
As i said in my first post, i am really new in the US, so I'm still kind of afraid of getting "lost" if I go by car ( I'm still getting lost in atlanta, so you can imagine!). Of course, with a map, a gps, a compass and a lot of luck, I may eventually reach my destination (miracles happen) but I wouldn't risk it since i'll be having my little sister with me. I have been told that by train we can see the appalachian mountains, but if it's by night then it's not really worth it.
I welcome all your advice and suggestions. To give you more details about me, I am 23 years old student with a lousy sense of direction but a complete readiness to follow and apply any advice to remedy to it. Thanks again!

BlueCuzco
10-03-2009, 06:22 PM
I think a road trip would be really, really worth it if you are up to it. And believe me, if you can manage to make it around Atlanta, you can make it around most anywhere. You'll be hard pressed to find worse traffic anywhere else in the US. And on the way up, if you go the route by the Appalachian Mountains, they're are any other cities nearly as big as Atlanta besides Washington D.C. and Philadelphia once you get pretty far up north.


I have been told that by train we can see the appalachian mountains...

What if you could not only see the Appalachian Mountains but actually drive through and over them, riding the crest of them all the way up to D.C.? You can do that. You can take the Interstate north to Chattanooga (a wonderful place in itself) and from there cross straight over into the mountains. There's actually a road called the "Blue Ridge Parkway (http://www.nps.gov/blri)" that you can drive all the way up to D.C. There are fantastic views the whole way. Here are some pictures I took for a place not too far from the Blue Ridge Parkway: Click here (http://picasaweb.google.com/bluecuzco/CataloocheeOnFallBreak#slideshow/5256671887526434866).

Hope this is helpful!

glc
10-04-2009, 12:57 AM
There may be weather issues at the end of December trying to drive through the mountains on winding 2 lane roads. The BRP is not maintained in the winter - when there is snow or ice on the road, they close it.

samantha101
10-12-2009, 09:13 PM
Thanks! I'm convinced! However, I decided to make this trip by car at least once before my planned trip in december. Which route would you suggest ( ir read the comment on possible closed road) and how much time should the trip last in average?

glc
10-13-2009, 12:56 AM
Atlanta to NYC is a fairly easy 2 day drive. Rather than take the shortest route through all the big cities, I'd recommend something like this:

I-75 to Chattanooga and Knoxville TN
I-40 to I-81
I-81 to Harrisburg, PA then to I-78
I-78 to NYC area

This is somewhere around 900 to 950 miles.

Of course, if you find some things on the way that you want to explore further, it could start adding days!

BlueCuzco
10-13-2009, 11:21 AM
Ah, forgot about winter closures on the Blue Ridge Parkway! Still, you can plot out a route through the mountains that would avoid closed bits of the parkway. (Usually only the higher elevations). Even that would be a lot better than the Interstate, which is on the whole very, very boring. But, you'd have to work on your map skills! :o

Midwest Michael
10-13-2009, 11:39 AM
The interstate (or really any road) is only boring if you decide that it is on your own - and that's certainly not the roads fault.

Any freeway isn't going to be quite as intimate as a 2 lane highway, but I-81 is a pretty scenic drive in its own right. I'd guess that you'd have more fun if you are enjoying the views even from an interstate rather than trying to guess which sections of mountain roads would be open or closed.

Lifemagician
10-13-2009, 12:21 PM
The interstate (or really any road) is only boring if you decide that it is on your own - and that's certainly not the roads fault.

Any freeway isn't going to be quite as intimate as a 2 lane highway, but I-81 is a pretty scenic drive in its own right. I'd guess that you'd have more fun if you are enjoying the views even from an interstate rather than trying to guess which sections of mountain roads would be open or closed.

As Michael said, boring is an attitude, not a road. All roads have something of interest. The trick is to be interested in where you are rather than comparing it with what you want it to be.

Having driven most of I-81 in recent months, I can confirm that most of it is very scenic.... especially through PA and VA. I-80 from there to NY is another lovely road through PA and most of NJ. But then most of PA is scenic.

Lifey

Foy
10-13-2009, 12:53 PM
Ah, forgot about winter closures on the Blue Ridge Parkway! Still, you can plot out a route through the mountains that would avoid closed bits of the parkway. (Usually only the higher elevations). Even that would be a lot better than the Interstate, which is on the whole very, very boring. But, you'd have to work on your map skills! :o

Hello Blue,

In my experience it's not just pieces and short segments of the Blue Ridge Parkway which close in winter, but instead, entire long segments are prone to closures lasting days or weeks. Relatively little of the BRP is at low elevation--that's pretty much the whole point of it's routing--to run along the higher elevations between Shenandoah National Park and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

From roughly Roanoke, VA the rest of the way into PA, the Blue Ridge Mountains are a fairly narrow single ridge, in places perhaps 10-12 miles across and in other places just 3-4 miles across. There are generally no other roads along the Blue Ridge Mountains north of Roanoke, only those which cross it.

Foy