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  1. #1

    Default Driving from Long Island, NY to Kentucky

    Hey everyone,

    This trip is a little different than my previous road trips. I'm buying a car at a dealership in Long Island, NY and driving it back home to Kentucky with a friend of mine. We are flying in, and then driving back.

    My big question is what is the best route out of / bypassing NYC?

    I have two options laid out right now, the first is crossing GW Bridge (hopefully around 1-2pm) and over to the NJ Turnpike.

    The second route, which I am leaning towards, is to head north from Long Island and take 287 across the Tappan Zee bridge and into New Jersey that way. On paper this seems to add about 45 mins, but I wonder if it wouldn't be quite a bit faster traffic-wise.

    I took a vacation in NYC in 2004, staying on 6th avenue, and drove around in Manhattan. Driving in Manhattan was an experience, but not one I am looking to repeat anytime soon.

    Any advice is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Options, Options, Options

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    There are at least two entirely different ways off Long Island besides the two you mention. The first would be to get to the south side of the Island and get on the Belt Parkway, which runs along the south shore by JFK airport and Coney Island. This will take you to I-278, over the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, and across Staten Island. Once in New Jersey, a short jog up the New Jersey Turnpike (I-95) will bring you to I-78 west to Harrisburg, PA and beyond. The second is, as they say, something completely different. If you're picking up your car far enough out on Long Island to make it feasible, head for Port Jefferson on the north side of the Island and take the ferry over to Bridgeport, CT. Once across Long Island Sound, CT-25 will take you north to I-84 west to Scranton, PA and from there I-81 will take you down to Harrisburg.

    Of the two options you listed, I think I'd opt for the George Washington Bridge route. You'd still have to cover a lot of ground in New York City to get to the Tappan Zee Bridge, It would just be the Bronx rather than Manhattan, and you'd add more driving in Yonkers, which isn't that much better. But look at the Verrazano Narrows Bridge route, I think it might suit you.


  3. #3


    Hi again AZBuck,

    Thanks for the quick reply.

    You know, I saw that ferry mentioned a few times but didn't check where it was on the map. It turns out that I'm picking up the car in St. James, which is just southwest of Port Jefferson.

    Do you think taking the ferry over to Bridgeport and then leaving Connecticut via the route you suggested would be reasonable? It sure would be a unique and fun way to travel out of the city, and get a break from the traffic at the same time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default And the Winning Option Is...

    As it happens, I just returned a couple of days ago from a conference in Montauk at the far eastern end of Long Island, and everyone was faced with just your dilemma. Most (myself included) chose to fly into MacArthur Airport in Islip, near the center of the Island. Only one chose to fly into JFK, and he took the LIRR to Montauk rather than drive. A couple of people chose to fly into Hartford, CT and take the ferry over to Port Jefferson. So it's certainly not an outlandish idea. You should, though, be aware that I like ferries just for the ambience and will ride them whenever I get the chance. In fact, I took the opportunity on this trip to take the ferry over to Shelter Island, but that was just an over-and-back trip as a pedestrian ($2).

    The Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Ferry, by contrast, will cost you $46.50 for a one-way crossing with your car, but to (finally) answer your question - Yes, I think it would be reasonable and certainly it would be a unique and fun way to avoid NYC. As long as you are aware that there will be about 70 extra miles of driving involved since you'll be heading well north of NYC. But on the plus side, those extra miles and the cost of the ferry get you a wonderful ride across Long Island Sound, a drive up through rural Connecticut (in the fall?) and a tour down the Appalachians on I-81 from Scranton to Harrisburg on one of the prettier Interstate routes around, all instead of fighting your way through the city.


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