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copernicanrevolution
05-08-2010, 07:12 AM
Hi there,

My GF will be graduating from school in a couple of weeks and asked me to plan a road trip for her return to Atlanta. Unfortunately, I'm totally clueless. :)

I'd love any suggestions on things to do between Boston and Atlanta. I don't mind driving a good bit out of our way for something cool.

Some things we are in to:

History. Museums. Cool places to walk. Beaches (somewhat).

Things we are less into:

Mountain climbing. :)

Thanks for any advice you can give me!

btw, if there is some really cool stuff we might consider extending the length of the trip a bit.

AZBuck
05-08-2010, 08:25 AM
Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

There are at least three different options for driving down the east coast, the 'standard' I-95/I-85 route which is highlighted by manor cities such as New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, and Richmond; and the shore and mountain routes which offer more of nature than man-made sights. So have a look at those three routes and see which appeals most, or whether you want to use sections of each in a mix-and-match mode. Once you have a basic outline of a trip, we might be able to offer more help than just generalizations.

AZBuck

copernicanrevolution
05-09-2010, 11:43 AM
Thanks for the info. I think we have decided to go the coastal route and avoid the large cities in the NE. Any ideas you can give me would be awesome!

I will try to come up with a basic outline tonight and po.st again

Dominic Longo
05-09-2010, 01:30 PM
One thing that you can do to avoid the large cities is to head out west through Massachusetts then south onto 81. Unfortunately this won't be a coastal route and you will be going through the mountainous region of Pennsylvania. From Boston it's going to be hard to avoid New York and Philly unless you go out west to I-81. After Philly you can make your way through the Delmarva area across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and on the coastal highway of North Carolina and further south. We can give you more details when you come up with the outline later. What I gave you is a very rough route.

glc
05-09-2010, 08:48 PM
You can pick up I-81 by taking I-84 through CT all the way to Scranton. This cuts about an hour off taking I-90 to I-88 to Binghamton.

Another option is take I-84 to I-684 to the Tappan Zee Bridge, then pick up I-287 in Suffern. Take that around NYC to Perth Amboy to pick up the Garden State Parkway to Cape May and the ferry to DE. This would allow you to spend some time at the Jersey Shore.

AZBuck
05-09-2010, 10:24 PM
It's actually not all that hard to avoid both cities as you make your way down the coast from Boston. As glc pointed out, The 'simple' way around New York is to stay on I-84 out of Hartford and take I-684 south just after you cross into New York State. At White Plains, get on I-287 west and follow that all the way around the Jersey Suburbs and get on the Garden State Parkway the second time you come to it (in Keasbey just before Perth Amboy) and follow that all the way down to the southern tip of New Jersey at Cape May, where the Cape May - Lewes Ferry will take you over to the Delmarva Peninsula for your continued journey south (avoiding Baltimore, Washington, and Richmond as well!) Just so you're not surprised, the Garden State toll is about $6 and the Ferry is $30-50 depending on season and number of passengers. There are ways to avoid the major cities, drive down the Delmarva, and avoid most if not all tolls, but they get a bit convoluted requiring both serious navigating skills and the willingness to travel long stretches and 50 mph or less.

AZBuck

glc
05-09-2010, 10:34 PM
You can even bypass Hartford by getting off I-84 in East Hartford onto CT-15 and taking the Charter Oak Bridge to I-91. Take that south to I-691 to go back to I-84. This can be a bit of a time and hassle saver.

copernicanrevolution
05-12-2010, 06:03 PM
Thank you to everyone for your replies. I'm starting to get a plan together. I like the idea of the coastal routes and I'd like to steal some of the ideas from this thread and the thread that AZBuck linked to. If I take

"The 'simple' way around New York is to stay on I-84 out of Hartford and take I-684 south just after you cross into New York State. At White Plains, get on I-287 west and follow that all the way around the Jersey Suburbs and get on the Garden State Parkway the second time you come to it (in Keasbey just before Perth Amboy) and follow that all the way down to the southern tip of New Jersey at Cape May,"

and combine it with:

"Cape May, DE-1/US-13 to Virginia Beach, VA-168/US-158 to Manteo, US-64 to Rocky Mount, I-95 to Florence, I-20 to Atlanta (1270 miles). Highlights would include NJ and DE beaches, Cape May-Lewes Ferry, Assateague and Chincoteague Islands, Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, Kitty Hawk and the Lost Colony, Outer Banks, South of the Border, and the opportunity to get off the Interstates and explore some back roads through the Deep South."

Does that sound like a good plan? How long do you think we would need for this trip? It's pretty fair to say that I know nothing about any of the places listed. What are some of the can't miss things? What are some of the best places to get lost and just explore? Any particularly cool areas to stay? The GF is a foodie so any advice there would be helpful too.

You are all REALLY awesome. I can't tell you how much this forum is helping me.

AZBuck
05-12-2010, 07:17 PM
Stitching together those two route suggestions leaves you with a drive of just over 1300 miles. But because much of it is on non-Interstate highway, you will need three days of pure driving time to do it. To that you will need to add whatever time you want to spend at sites along the way (be generous in this regard) as well as any drive times involved in detours to get to places. The one thing I will note is that if you go through Kitty Hawk to Manteo and then depart to the west on US-64, you won't really have seen the Outer Banks which run south from Manteo. This would be one place where you'll want to add a detour. So with just 4 days max, this is going to be a somewhat hurried trip. But by choosing your stops judiciously and by being on 'the road' from early morning until around sunset, it can be a great vacation.

AZBuck

scosm
05-13-2010, 08:25 AM
What are some of the can't miss things? What are some of the best places to get lost and just explore? Any particularly cool areas to stay? The GF is a foodie so any advice there would be helpful too.

Cape May is a beautiful Victorian town and I would definitely recommend stopping there for food or lodging (bed and breakfasts).