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  1. Default Thoughts on the South East over Labor Day?

    I've got a week off coming up here over Labor Day - from the 3rd to the 9th. I've been up and down the west coast all my life (most recently up Highway 101 from LA to the north Oregon coast). This time, I thought it might be fun to try the east coast. I've never been there and a change of scenery would be cool

    - Is there an equivalent of Highway 101/1 up the east coast? My tentative plan is to fly into northern Florida (perhaps Jacksonville) and either drive north as far as I can along the coast or drive in a big loop (over to Mississippi, north a bit, then back). I'm not sure what I'm going with yet.

    Any veterans or natives of the area have ideas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
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    6,936

    Default The Atlantic Coast road

    On the East Coast, as on the West Coast, you will find a road hugging the coast most of the way. In 2007 I drove from Atlantic City to Key West along this route, and things which stand out and come to mind readily are:

    Lots of Ferry Crossings, best to book for them
    The Bay Bridge Tunnel, ($12 in 2007) and a great pier not just for fishing
    The various beaches
    The Outerbanks and Kitty Hawk
    The Kennedy Space Centre
    The Oversea Highway

    And there is lots more, which does not readily come to mind. But it is a great drive. You will find it all written up in Road Trip USA by Jamie Jensen.

    Lifey

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
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    9,358

    Default It was Called the Ocean Highway

    Due to the drastically different natures of the east and west coasts of the United States, there was never anything equivalent to the scenic open road, the Pacific Coast Highway, in the east. Rather there was a road, the Ocean Highway developed to promote tourism along the Atlantic shore. This was never thought of as a through route, but rather a collection of connected shorefront roads connecting a string of local beaches under an advertising slogan and logo (a blue and white sign featuring seagulls). You can certainly drive it, it basically uses US-17, US-13 and local roads, but it would be time consuming and not very rewarding. Instead, you should look to connect roads of your own choosing through some of the lesser traveled regions of the coast such as Lifey has pointed out. A few of my favorites: Some sections of FL-A1A through a few of the beach towns of Florida, particularly Daytona Beach and northward. US-17 from south of Charleston, SC to Jacksonville, NC, but bypassing Myrtle Beach. US-70/NC-12 to Cedar Island and then taking the ferry over to Ocracoke for the drive up the Outer Banks. US-13 over/under the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel to the Delmarva Peninsula, then US-113 up past Chincoteague Island to US-50/MD-528/DE-1 to follow the coast to Lewes, DE and another ferry over to Cape May, NJ. The Garden State Parkway north to New York, exiting where you will to experience the Jersey shore.

    The case can also be made for a loop through the South, but it would be an entirely different animal, with an emphasis on a laid back lifestyle, down home cooking, and gentle delights.

    AZBuck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
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    9,272

    Default

    I'll try to give you a little perspective to things you may be able to relate to what you are familiar with. The farther south you get on the east coast, the more the coast looks like the area from LA to San Diego. The only place on the east coast that has similar topography to the PCH heading north may be in Maine, but there is no coast highway per se, you have to take small roads to get to the ocean. In between, you have places like the Outer Banks, which you have nothing even resembling it on the west coast.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
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    Default Of course not... it's a 'change of scenery'.

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    ... which you have nothing even resembling it on the west coast.
    I thought that was the whole idea in the OPs message.... a change of scenery. Surely then you would not expect anything like the west coast.

    Although I must add that flying into northern FL means missing out on the Overseas highway down to the keys. IMHO that is a spectactular, though slow drive. But then, these roads are nearly always slow.

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    The Garden State Parkway north to New York, exiting where you will to experience the Jersey shore.
    I'd stay off the Parkway, and make your way through all the little places along the beach, and over all the little bridges. If you are observant you will find them all different. The little places all have different selections of shops and cafes. And in September you most likely won't have the crowds, as school will be back so it will be much easier to stop and park. For me, I just loved that part of the route.

    Lifey

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
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    9,272

    Default

    And in September you most likely won't have the crowds
    Except on Labor Day weekend, the whole east coast is going to be crowded - people enjoying the last holiday weekend of the summer.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Except on Labor Day weekend ....
    Yeah! I know. But I figured since the OP is a local, that would be common knowledge.

    Lifey

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Except on Labor Day weekend, the whole east coast is going to be crowded - people enjoying the last holiday weekend of the summer.
    Ah. I didnt figure on that - perhaps a rethink is in order. Or since the bulk of the time was after the weekend (from the 6th onward), perhaps things calm down a bunch?

    Perhaps I'll just fall back to my original plan of making a big loop in the south east - go from Florida to the east edge of Texas, north a couple hundred miles and then back to the east coast. Time to look at a map tonight!

  9. Default

    Okay, new plan - fly into Jacksonville, spend the next week driving up US 1, fly out of New York (probably New York, I've not yet decided) back home. The question for the peanut gallery:

    * Is Highway 1 worth the trip?
    * Is that far enough from the coast that I'll dodge the crowds? I don't mind crowded attractions and beaches and stuff, but finding somewhere to stop each night to rest my weary head is essential.
    * How long will it take to drive from Florida to the north end of 1? I know that 4 or 5 days should be sufficient for Highway 101. Is 1 more or less the same travel time?

    -addendum-
    Nope, change of plans again. Looking at the price of car rentals, the cost of dropping off a florida car in new york is about 3 times the cost of a plane ticket. So whatever I do, has to be a big loop, leaving where I started from (or pretty close).

    Phooey. Back to the drawing board.
    Last edited by Mr_35mm; 07-20-2011 at 03:08 PM.

  10. Default One Way Rental Car

    How many spots did you check for the rental car? On Southwest's website, I got a one way from SF to Seattle with no drop fee. And a great weekly rate. Be sure to book in 7 day increments - the savings vs the daily rate can be substantial.
    We've driven the FL-NY route several times, and not on 95. The back roads are great. If you stay in FL and fly to Jvlle, head north out to Amelia Island/ Fernandia Beach. Then head up to Jekyll Island, GA. Great historic spot, very laid back. The Days Inn there is actually quite nice. Call direct and ask for the week-night special. And Cumberland Is is fun, but accessible by National Park ferry. A good day trip. Wild horses, deserted beach.
    From Jvlle beach, head south down A1A and ck out St Augustine. The old fort is quite interesting. Unfortunately the historic district now suffers from an overload of cheap jewelry and tacky tshirt shops. But there are some interesting spots to stop, unwind and walk the beach. Marineland is a good stop. They focus more on research and education, so not the showy overpriced attractions you find in Orlando. If you can make it all the way to Canaveral Seashore, its a great beach. Good kayaking. Can be deserted, esp after the Monday holiday. Its not connected at all to the space center - you have to drive all the way back around to get to the Cape.
    There's great fish shacks along the way. Some look pretty run down, but they usually have the best food. Just remember, it's Florida - it will still be quite hot and humid. And you always need to be aware of the weather. Make sure you're reservations can be cancelled with minimal penalties. Have fun! We're headed your way for the first time and can't wait to drive the OR coast!

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