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  1. Default Spring Break NYC - SC

    A few friends and I are planning a spring break trip from New York City to Charleston, SC and back. We only have 5-6 days and want to spend one full day in DC. Is this doable and where should we stop along the way? We are interested in centering a lot of stops around food (like crab and BBQ and other things we can't really get up here). We're flexible about Charleston being the final destination (i.e. if our time constraints are too short, we can cut the length of the trip too). Other interests are cute towns and having some kind of "southern" experience. Also, we're going in mid March: doubt it will be beach weather, but is there a nice hike we can do somewhere along the way? Finally, our trip overlaps St. Patrick's day. Any tips on a good city to enjoy that?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default No Rest for the Weary

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    It's a day and a half drive between NYC and Charleston, so three days on the road to make the round trip. Add a day in Washington and you only have 2 days at your destination IF you make NO major stops along the way. So what is possible that would still meet your goals? After Spending a day in DC, try heading west (just a bit) to the Blue Ridge Parkway, along which you'll find some quaint 'Southern' towns like Lexington. Your goals are the towns of Mount Airy (the inspiration for Mayberry) and Winston-Salem (with a reconstructed colonial village) in North Carolina. From there, head for the coast and Manteo at the northern end of the Outer Banks. Manteo is where the first English colonists landed in the New World, and nearby is Kitty Hawk, site of the first airplane flight. If that's too much like school, just hang out on the beach and eat seafood. For your return home head up to Norfolk, take the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel over to the Delmarva Peninsula and head north with a stop at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, and then reconnect with I-95 near Wilmington. That entire drive is under 1400 miles, so not that much shorter than a drive to Charleston, but I think it offers a lot more of what you say you're after, and can be done at a fairly leisurely pace if you can scrape together your maximum 6 days.


  3. Default Thanks!

    Thank you so much for the tips, but how much time would you say we have to spend at each place? Does this seem like a feasible itinerary with the stops you suggested (none of us have ever been to any of these places except DC):

    March 14: NY to DC drive (spend the day & night in DC)
    March 15: DC to Blue Ridge Parkway, stopping in Lexington, Mt. Airy & Winston Salem, sleep in Winston Salem (I have no idea how far these towns are from each other or how much time should be spent in each of them)
    March 16: Drive to coast, Manteo and explore Outer Banks (sleep somewhere around there)
    March 17: Drive up, stopping at Norfolk. Then take Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and stop at Chincoteague Wildlife Refuge, stay over in Wilmington
    March 18: explore Wilmington, then start driving back up. If we are doing good on time, we can stop by Annapolis &/or Williamsburg and sleep in DC again (is this unreasonable?)
    March 19: finish drive up to NY (maybe stop in Philly?)

    We don't have any desire to rush through things and would like to spend more time outside the car than in the car, so with that in mind, do you have any suggestions for things to shift around in the schedule and what to cut?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Maybe a Bit Much

    Everyone is a little different in what they want out of a RoadTrip. While I think that the itinerary that you have laid out is doable in your time frame, it will be hectic and jam packed. If that's what you like, then go for it! I do like that you seem flexible on time and recognize that there may not be time for everything. If trying to get to each place is detracting from the overall enjoyment of your trip, then why bother? Much as I like Annapolis and Williamsburg, both are great walking cities with history oozing from every corner, but they are a bit off your line of march on this trip. As a possible substitute, and since you're going to be spending the night in the area anyway, look into New Castle, DE. One other day strikes me as a bit much as well, and that is the day from DC to Winston-Salem. I think on that day, I'd drop Mount Airy and just enjoy a day driving and hiking the Blue Ridge and the evening exploring W-S. In the end, given the miles you have to cover and the number of days you have, you will have to spend about half of each day in the car. That's not terrible and it will give you and your friends a chance to discuss what you're experiencing.


  5. Default Here's another suggestion

    If you can leave NY early (before the rush hour begins) you'll be in DC by late morning. That's enough time to get a motel in the Arlington/Alexandria, VA area. From there you can get public transportation into DC, then spend the rest of the day and evening.

    The next morning head out early and take I95 down to the South Carolina state line, then head east for about an hour to Myrtle Beach. It's a long ride, but it is doable since I95 is very easy driving once you get past northern VA. It may be too cool for swimming, but Myrtle Beach is a resort area with all of the attractions and most of them should be open. Besides, it's off-season and the rooms should be reasonable.

    Some day leave Myrtle Beach after breakfast and take US 17 south to Charleston. It's a few hour ride. You'll pass through Georgetown, SC which is kind of a unique small southern city. A full day in Charleston should be enough (you can take a tourist trolley and perhaps the harbor cruise to Ft. Sumpter). Whether or not your visit coincides with St. Patrick's Day, there's no finer Irish spot in SC than Tommy Condon's on Church St. in Charleston. Highly recommended!

    A final day in Myrtle Beach and you're ready for a very long ride home, or a two day ride if you stop somehere in Maryland. On the way back, be careful that you don't get caught up in the DC/Baltimore rush hour traffic.

    Good luck whatever you decide, and have fun.

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