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  1. Default NYC TO COLUMBIA, SC w 2 Kids

    Hello all,
    I am a single mom with a 6 and 10 yr old, planning on driving from nyc to SC in July. This will be my First road Trip ever and I wanted some advice, any advice!!

    I worry about getting tired-- the Best Time to leave NY---hitting rush hr traffic--the kids getting bored---staying at a safe hotel should i need to stop, etc.

    Any suggestions on interesting places i can stop at on the way?? I would like for them to see some historic/memorable things, maybe a pool/beach as well (i believe we will be doing I-95 straight into 20, hitting Pa, DE, VA, DC, Md, and NC).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default 21 Miles vs Your Sanity

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The difference between taking I-95 to I-20 (718 mi) and I-78/I-81/I-77 (739 miles) is hardly worth mentioning. The difference between not having to drive the Jersey Turnpike; through Baltimore, Washington, and Richmond; paying tolls; and enduring one of the most heavily traveled highways in the country is huge. You will probably even save time and money by taking the ever so slightly longer route. It would certainly be more scenic following the Great Valley in the shadow of the Appalachian Mountains. It also brings you within easy side trip distance of places like Hershey Park, Gettysburg, Shenandoah National Park, the picturesque town of Lexington VA, Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, and a number of easy places to take breaks for the kids to just blow off steam. I would strongly recommend that you take this alternative to I-95, and leave NYC whenever local traffic conditions allow. You will know those better than I do.

    I would not try to make this drive in a single day no matter which way you go. Professional long-haul truckers are forbidden by law from covering more than 600 miles a day. It simply gets too dangerous after that as fatigue inevitably sets in. In your case, halfway would be around Staunton VA, and that's as good a place as any to put in for the night. It lets you break the drive up into two roughly equal days, and more important, those days would be relatively easy on you (the driver) and leave plenty of time for you to show the kids something besides the inside of the car.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 06-22-2012 at 09:43 PM.

  3. Default

    Hi AZ Bucks,

    Thanks so much for this info!! I have an Aunt in Stafford, Va. and I've decided to visit her during my stop. Someone suggested the Chesapeake bridge also, but i cannot find that on the map.
    Question thou-- Is there any way to input 78-81-77 as a preference on the map wizards? i've tried searching on google, but their maps dont give you the option to change.

    Thanks again for your reply!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Stafford Changes Things

    Stafford will make a suitable mid-way stopping point on your way down to Columbia, and it's always better to spend time with family and friends than in a sterile motel room. But, Stafford is just off I-95 south of Washington DC, so it makes the I-78/I-81/I-77 route less than ideal. Also, there are two "Chesapeake bridges", the Chesapeake Bay Bridge which crosses the mid Bay between the Eastern Shore and Annapolis, and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel which crosses the southern end of the Bay between the tip of the Delmarva Peninsula and the Norfolk area,

    Working backwards, with Stafford as your starting point for Day 2 of your drive, I-95 to I-20 to Columbia makes by far the most sense. The real question is: What's the best way to get from NYC to Stafford? There are three options: The straightforward way is to just take I-95 (the New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland Turnpikes) all the way down to Stafford. It's certainly doable in a day although it wouldn't be a particularly pleasant drive and doesn't lend itself to stops for the kids. The second option would be to set out on I-78/I-81 as previously suggested, thus bypassing Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington to the west. You'd then hook around DC and into Stafford by leaving I-81 at Middleton VA and using I-66/US-17 to Stafford. That would add about an hour and a half to your drive time, but would still be a very easy day's drive from NYC and would be both cheaper (no tolls) and more relaxing than the I-95 route. Possible stops along that route include Hershey PA, Gettysburg, Catoctin Mountain National Park, Antietam National Battlefield, or Manassas National Battlefield Park. The third option is kind of a mixed bag. You'd take the Jersey Pike to Delaware and then head south on US-13/DE-1 to US-301 to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, crossing to Annapolis, and then staying on US-301 as it goes around Washington to the east and south, then using VA-218 after you cross the Potomac to get to Stafford.Again, the Jersey Turnpike portion of that route wouldn't be 'fun' but the Eastern Shore of Maryland presents possibilities including the historic town of New Castle DE, Lums Pond State Park, Terrapin Nature Area on Kent Island, and historic Annapolis (and the Navel Academy),

    Different computer based mapping routines offer different capabilities and tools, but nearly all allow some sort of route manipulation. Sometimes this is a simple drag-and-drop utility where you click on a route and drag it to another point to be included in your itinerary, and the program finds the best route to/from that additional waypoint. sometimes you have to explicitly specify the waypoint to be included. Google Maps has the first option. Once you have a map drawn. just point to the route it has drawn, press the left mouse button, and drag the route to where you want it to be.


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