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  1. Default Chicago to DC through mountains

    Hi--want to do a road trip from Chicago to Washington in the first week of April.

    We want to drive a little further south and maybe stop at VA beach for a day or two.

    Any counsel on a trip that would take us through some mountains of some sort? Any tips on VA beach (or somewhere else along that path)?

    Ultimately we will end up in Washington DC for a few days, so any tips on a reasonable hotel with an indoor pool are also appreciated.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Going and/or Coming

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    You can get two different tastes of the Appalachians on the way to Washington and Virginia Beach and on the way back. On the way to Washington, you'd follow I-80 and I-76 into western Pennsylvania and then at Monroeville near Pittsburgh you'd take US-22 east to Harrisburg and US-15 south from there past Gettysburg and into the DC area on I-270. Returning from Virginia Beach take I-64 to Staunton and then cross the mountains on US-250 to Wheeling and beyond. At Wooster, OH US-30 would offer an alternative to the turnpikes as a way back to Chicago.


  3. #3

    Default Three Virginia Beaches

    Hello gbtoe,

    Nice to hear you're looking at visiting Virginia Beach (VB). If you're not familiar with the area, be aware that many consider there to be "three Virginia Beachs: The Oceanfront, Sandbridge, and Bayside".

    The Oceanfront: This is the main drag of the tourist beach, including the Boardwalk, high-rise hotels, and everything which goes with it.

    Sandbridge: A few miles south of the Oceanfront, and on the ocean itself, is the largely (almost entirely) residential community of Sandbridge. Here small, medium, and large rental houses and cottages are located in strings of streets paralleling the beach with none more than 2-3 blocks from the ocean. At the southern end of Sandbridge lie Little Island Park, a City facility with a fishing pier, Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, and False Cape State Park. The latter two have many miles of walking trails and, between them, around 12 miles of undeveloped ocean beach.

    Bayside: The beaches at Bayside face the Chesapeake Bay rather than the Oceanfront. Lynnhaven Inlet is centrally located on the Bayside. A good friend of mine has adopted the Virginia Beach Resort and Conference Center as his standard accomodation when he visits his business locations there. He's fairly picky and says it's nice. Within walking distance of the VBRCC is a nice little breakfast and lunch stop, Citrus, and a highly regarded seafood restaurant, Lynnhaven Fish House, located on the Bay shore at the foot of a large fishing pier. A few blocks farther from VBRCC and on the landward side of Shore Drive, within Lynnhaven Inlet's sheltered waters, are the waterside dining spots Bubba's Crab House, Chic's Oyster Bar, and One Fish Two Fish (the former two being casual and featuring fresh local catches while the latter is somewhat upscale.) The VBRCC itself is 6-7 stories and the Bayside views overlooks commercial and recreational fishing boat traffic in and out of Lynnhaven Inlet and also the commercial and US Navy shipping traffic into and out of Norfolk/Hampton Roads. It also overlooks the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (CBBT), where the curious can venture out the First Island by paying the $12 toll, park, and walk the fishing pier, grab a snack at the modest cafe, and watch the commercial and Navy shipping passing by for as long as desired. For that matter, there's also the notion of using US 50 east to or from DC, through Annapolis, across the Bay Bridge, and down the Eastern Shore to the CBBT as your route from DC to VB. If you avoid traveling east & south on a Friday and north & west on a Sunday, the traffic situation at Annapolis/Bay Bridge will probably be tolerable, and you will have avoided the southernmost 100 miles of the Ho Chi Minh Trail, aka I-95 from DC to Richmond, plus you will avoid the bottlenecks at the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel on I-64 and the US 17 bottleneck at the Coleman Bridge over the York River.

    Oh, and guess which Virginia Beach is my favorite!


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    The Great Midwest, Illinois to be precise

    Default Lincoln Highway/I-77

    Taking I-70 east through Ohio, get off and onto the Lincoln Highway at Zanesville and go to Cambridge where you can pick up I-77 south. The Ohio Welcome Center has a great guide to the Lincoln in the state. Then, there is the Y bridge in Zanesville and the two S bridges along the Lincoln.

    I-77 becomes the West Virginia Turnpike south of Charleston and this is one of the prettiest drives anywhere. Plus, Tamarack has all sorts of West Virginia products for sale.

    Fill up before West Virginia as the gas is considerably more expensive.

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