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  1. #1

    Default Washington DC to Boston - 4 day drive - September 2012

    Hi guys,

    I'm really hoping for an inspired road trip over 4 days to get me up to Boston from Washington DC? We're coming over from the UK and are getting mixed messages as to where to drive to and around.

    I'm interested to go to Cape Cod, Salem and Rhode Island, and am also being told that Amish county is good too? Would anyone be able to suggest an inspired route with some nice accommodation along the route?

    This is my first post, so apologies if I have put in the wrong place!

    Many thanks in advance to all of you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Something the Fits

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Noting that not a single city made your list of places you'd like to see while making the transit from Washington to Boston, and conceding that wandering the back roads takes a bit longer than just slogging up I-95 with everybody else, I'm going to suggest the following as one possible route or a starting point for your own choices

    I'd start by heading east out of Washington on US-50 and stopping for a stroll through the historic and beautiful capital of Maryland, Annapolis, also home to the United States Naval Academy. Then cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge onto the Delmarva Peninsula and head north on MD-213 through Chestertown, another town worth a stroll. Next up is a transit of Amish country. There is no single place to go to for this, the Amish are a dispersed farming people who shun publicity, and anywhere that advertises itself as an "authentic Amish experience" is none of those things. so just take some back roads, slow down, and keep your eyes open for one-horsepower carriages as you crest hills and come around curves. Also watch for the well kept farms with no power lines connected to them. The routes I'd suggest are (starting where MD-213 terminates at the Pennsylvania state line) PA-841 and PA-896 to Strasburg which is as close to an 'authentic Amish town' as there is. I'd then bypass Lancaster on US-30 and head up to Lititz on PA-501 for another quaint town. After this it's time to put some miles behind you and just enjoy the scenery as you head northeast (following the trend of the Appalachian Mountains) on US-222 to the Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton (ABE) area and then take PA-33 and US-209 north to Stroudsburg . Plan to put up for the night there. That can all be done in a relatively full day of about half your time driving and half your time strolling/dining/etc.

    On Day 2, continue north on US-209 through the Delaware Water Gap to Milford PA and I-84 eastbound. You might want to consider a short detour south along the Hudson River from Newburgh to West Point and a tour of the United States Military Academy. Continuing east, there is a problem in that there aren't a lot of good east-west back roads through the north-south trending Taconic Mountains, so I'd instead suggest that you just take I-84 to the Hartford area and take your pick of my three favorite attractions in that area: Mark Twain's home (and Harriet Beecher Stowe's next door), Dinosaur State Park (you can make casts of actual dinosaur footprints if you bring your own plaster of paris), and the Rocky Hill-Glastonbury Ferry (the oldest continuously operating ferry in the US) which takes CT-160 over the Connecticut River. From there CT-2 will take you down to the coast and put you in shape for two more possible attractions, the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Mystic Seaport. You could do those last two either at the end of Day 2 or the start of Day 3.

    In any event, starting from the Mystic area, I-95 and CT-138 will take you to the spectacular bridges leading into Newport RI. Newport is known for the 'cottages' built by the socially elite around the turn of the century and most of them are now open to tours. For lunch, I'd suggest a small restaurant downtown that shares a building with the International Lawn Tennis Hall of Fame and has outdoor court side tables. Then use either US-6 or I-195/I-495 to get out to Cape Cod. By all means take in the National Seashore and Provincetown, but don't plan on spending the night on the Cape as costs during the summer 'season' can be quite high and motels and inns are often booked to capacity.

    That leaves your final day for the drive up to Boston and a tour of any of the many sights of that city. If you intend to see any of those, I strongly suggest just parking your car and proceeding on foot. the Freedom Trail connects most of the sites you'd probably want to see, and several, including Old North Church, Paul Revere's House, Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, are all within a compact area of the North End. And while you can (and I have) spend a day or more in Salem, much of what's there is ersatz since the actual Whitch Trials took place in Danvers (which changed its name) rather than in Salem Towne (which dropped the 'Towne').


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