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  1. #1

    Default New York to Orlando - best route?

    Hi,

    I've made this trip twice before, the last time in 2005. I took 95 for the most part which was a disastrous move as I spent half the time in bumper-to-bumper traffic doing about 10 mph. Not fun. As a possible alternative, I was planning on taking Route 78 west to 81 south, then 85 south and then finally Route 75 south into Orlando. A bit roundabout I admit, but if I can bypass the pain I endured while travelling Route 95 south, it'd be worth it to me. Does anyone have any advice on these competing plans? Has 95 gotten any better since March 2005 (when I last travelled it)? There was a lot of construction which caused a lot of the problems at the time - has a lot of that cleared up? Or is this alternative plan the way to go? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Mike

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
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    Las Vegas, Nevada
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    9,392

    Default I would still do I-95

    Quote Originally Posted by mocon View Post
    I've made this trip twice before, the last time in 2005.
    Traffic congestion is just a fact of life on the eastern seaboard. What time of year did you make the previous trips? Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum!
    As a possible alternative, I was planning on taking Route 78 west to 81 south, then 85 south and then finally Route 75 south into Orlando.
    Are you referring to US-78? You would travel the most congested parts of I-95 and then go west on US-78??? Oh wait a minute, you are referring to I-78 and I-81 to I-75? It would be a lot slower over all. It is farther and there is still a good chance for ice in the mountains of Virginia and Tennessee.

    I would still recommend I-95 -- get the I-95 guide and follow all of the short cuts the authors recommend. Plus there is a lot to see and do that you probably missed the last time you drove this route.

    Mark

  3. #3

    Default

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for the reply. I'm actually starting out from my home in upstate NY, so the exact alternate route I was thinking of was routes (south and/or west) 87>287>78>81>85>75. I realize this adds at least 200 miles to the trip, but I figured if the trip itself became more pleasant, then that'd be fine with me. I'd be travelling at the end of March and returning early April, which I know is prime spring-break time so that'll add to the traffic. I did order the guide you suggested and will check that out as well. Thanks for the feedback and I'd love to hear from anyone else with suggestions.

    Mike

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    7,786

    Default Alternatives

    While it's true that many of the regulars here have never met a road they didn't like, lets just say that I-95 between NYC and DC is not terribly high on my list of favorites. I have written a couple of times previously on ways around New York and options along the I-95 corridor. Here are a couple of more that might be better suited to your particular trip. The first could be useful if you decide to use I-95 but still want to avoid Baltimore and Washington. After crossing the Delaware Memorial Bridge, take DE-1 south to US-301. Follow 301 over the Bay Bridge and then south after Annapolis to stay east of DC and cross the Potomac. At Bowling Green, take VA-207 to reconnect with I-95 and continue southbound. While this is not as good a bypass as it was say 15 or 20 years ago due to the relentless expansion of the DC exurbs, it still has its charms and particularly at this time of year should be fine.

    The second alternative is to your proposed I-81 route. I-81 is a pretty scenic route in it's own right as it generally follows the Shenandoah Valley, but taking it as far as I-85/I-75 kind of defeats the purpose of using it as a parallel to I-95, and puts you through Atlanta where traffic can be every bit as bad as Washington. Instead, leave I-81 at Fort Chiswell, VA and take I-77 to Columbia, SC and I-26 will then return you to I-95 for the final run to Orlando. This alternative adds less than 100 extra miles to your trip.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 01-01-2007 at 09:17 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
    Posts
    753

    Default It's the traffic, not the road

    I-95 between DC and NYC is probably my least favourite road in the entire U.S. Don't get me wrong, I think D.C., Baltimore, Philly and NYC are all great cities with great historical districts, museums, restaurants, urban parks, etc., but when I'm on a schedule and I don't have time to stop to visit for a few days, I'll generally try to avoid that stretch of road at all costs since it often resembles a huge parking lot.

    My favourite detour to avoid the DC-NYC corridor traffic is I-81 south and then I-64 east towards Richmond to get on I-95. There is usually not much traffic south of Richmond on I-95 except during rush hours in some places. I-64 is high in altitude so you get great views and you can stop by Shenandoah NP on the way.

    Good luck!
    Gen:-)

  6. #6

    Default

    Thanks for the replies. The last time I travelled down to Orlando, I found most of the problems occurred in the southern states, particularly in the Carolinas and just north of the Georgia/Florida border, where there was a considerable amount of construction going on (looked like they were widening the highway). Ironically, I ran the return trip home up I-95, with a few detours to keep moving, and found myself going pretty nicely between DC and Edison, NJ, where I pick up I-287 north.

    AZBuck, I liked the thread link you posted prior about your trip from Arizona to NH. I live in the Hudson Valley in NY and might I suggest taking route 9D north from the Bear Mountain Bridge if you ever find yourself travelling that way again. It's a beautiful drive in its own right, hugging along the Hudson River. When you reach Beacon, NY, you'll find an entrance to I-84 right there. If you wanted to make it even more of a nice diversion, get off of 9D north at Peekskill Road in Cold Spring, which joins up with route 301. That will take you through Fahnestock State Park, which has some really beautiful features. Just after Fahnestock is the entrance to the Taconic Parkway, which you can take north to I-84 or stay on until the end (another very scenic drive) to I-90. Hope that was worth something.

    Thanks again for the help!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
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    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    9,392

    Default That IS a great route!

    Quote Originally Posted by mocon View Post
    ... I suggest taking route 9D north from the Bear Mountain Bridge if you ever find yourself travelling that way again. It's a beautiful drive in its own right, hugging along the Hudson River. When you reach Beacon, NY, you'll find an entrance to I-84 right there. If you wanted to make it even more of a nice diversion, get off of 9D north at Peekskill Road in Cold Spring, which joins up with route 301. That will take you through Fahnestock State Park, which has some really beautiful features. Just after Fahnestock is the entrance to the Taconic Parkway, which you can take north to I-84 or stay on until the end (another very scenic drive) to I-90.
    Wow, it has been about 12 years since I took that drive. It is a gorgeous route -- thanks for reminding us about it.

    Mark

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    7,786

    Default Road Construction Information

    If construction has turned you off certain highways and made travel unpleasant, then by all means gather every bit of information you can before setting off on a trip. One of the best places to start is the National Traffic and Road Closure Information site. And thanks for the new option for around NYC. I still get back there from time to time and will try it out on my next opportunity.

    AZBuck

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