Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13
  1. Default 4-5 day trip around the Labor Day Weekend

    Hey guys, I am in the DC area. My gf and I are planning to take a short roadtrip for around 4 days (combined with the labor day weekend). Now, we are looking for a decent combination of scenic drives, museums, good eats (veg only!) and quirky stops. We are willing to drive around 250-300 miles away at most with the center being at DC. Oh we would also like to avoid the crowds as much as possible, given that it's the holiday weekend.

    So what do the gurus suggest? I have thought of a trip to the lancaster country, a cruise to the Eastern shore. Suggestions please!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Easy(?)

    Let's see - a trip within a few of hundred miles of several major metropolitan areas on one of the busiest holiday weekends of the year to some scenic areas, and no crowds! Yikes!

    Let's start by eliminating some of the obvious crowd magnets. Any beach within range is flat out because that's where everyone will be heading. Same for the Eastern Shore and its single choke-point access, the Chesapeake bay Bridge. So anywhere to the east is out, same with the northeast and southwest since all you'd be doing is driving along the BosWash corridor. That leaves destinations to the west and northwest. Within that area you have, of course, Shenandoah National Park and the Skyline Drive/Blue Ridge Parkway but those will be drawing crowds as well on this last holiday of the summer. My choice for an 'off-the-radar' destination would be to explore the Potomac River and the National Road. Along those former (but not current) transportation corridors, you'll find scenery, history and quirky sites such as the Great Falls of the Potomac, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park. Harpers Ferry, Antietam National Battlefield, Fort Frederick, Fort Necessity National Battlefield, and more state parks and forests than you can shake a stick at.


  3. Default

    Thanks AZBuck. That does make a lot of sense. I will completely avoid going to the eastern shore. I think we will go towards WV or PA. I am sure I will be able to find plenty of non crowded area (even western MD). Thanks for the ideas in MD!

  4. Default oh also!

    Does anyone know of a non interstate highway that I can take to avoid driving on I 70 / I 68? I have sometimes encountered jams on those during holidays. I was wondering if a route exists that is reasonably fast but not on these two? Thanks.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Old US-40 (the National Road) roughly parallels I-70 and I-68 from Baltimore to west of Cumberland, then cuts off back towards I-70, but I doubt it would save you any time. US-50 heads west out of DC across the whole country, but again it won't save time. Those 2 historic roads are for leisurely sightseeing and seeing old towns these days, not for efficiently getting from place to place.

    You may want to look into something like that so you can enjoy your trip instead of just going somewhere and going back.

  6. Default

    Thanks glc. Given that the route will be passing through Cumberland, MD, I am also toying with the idea of taking the scenic railway trip. We can load our bikes in the train and cycle back from Frostburg to Cumberland. Has anyone done that?

  7. Default

    ok, so I pretty much finalized the trip.

    We will be leaving on Saturday (09/01) and spend the night in the Cumberland, MD area. Do the scenic railway and the bike down back to Cumberland on Sunday (09/02). Then drive to the Fort Necessity National Battlefield area and spend 2 nights in that area (visit Fallingwater, the battlefield and do some kayaking in the river lake) and then begin the drive back to Silver Spring, MD.

    so now, is there a nice scenic backways\ that we can take to go to Cumberland, MD from Silver Spring, MD? We have the entire day (Saturday) to make that drive (<150 miles), so we can take it easy and enjoy the drive. Thanks!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default A Couple of Scenic Options

    Maryland, like many states, has a scenic byways program, and the scenic historic national road is one of those that makes their list. That is certainly one option Another would be to follow, as closely as possible, the southern bank of the Potomac River using I-70 to escape the Baltimore metro area and US-340 from Frederick to Harpers Ferry and then following roads such as WV-230, WV-45, WV-9 and MD-51. A third option would be to take MD-77 from Westminster across the Catocton Mountains before hopping onto one of the routes previously mentioned. One word of warning on the final option, however, I did that once and took a random hike in the woods in the process only to find myself face to face with a couple of US Navy shore patrol types who 'suggested' that I turn around and go back the way I had come. Seems I was a bit close to Camp David.


  9. Default

    Thanks AZbuck. I will take the 230, 45, 9 and 51 route to cumberland. Are there any attractions that we can stop by on this route that we would encounter after Harper's ferry? We have seen HF already and don't want to stop at that place again. I am sure we can spare a couple of hrs doing some touristy stuff :). Preferably half way as that would also give us a nice break where we can walk around.


  10. Default


    Hey guys, so we went on the trip and had a great time.

    On Saturday (09/01), we left Silver Spring MD at around 1:30. Took I 495->I 270, then took exit 10 and went over to Darnestown road. Crossed over to WV at point of rocks, MD. Drove on the local roads passing through different towns such as Charles Town. Somehow ended up driving on part of the National road for about 30-40 miles, until we hit Cumberland. Drove through the city. Spent the night at La Vale, MD. Ate dinner at Puccini's, which is right off I 68. We got to eat outside and the weather was quite pleasant.

    On Sunday, we drove back to Cumberland, MD and then rented bikes from the store next to the Western MD scenic railway station. Got on the train and enjoyed the pleasant ride upto Frostburg, MD. Got down, retrieved the bikes. Walked around Frostburg for a bit (also ordered a lunch to go), and then got on the bike trail back down to Cumberland. It was around 16 miles and very pleasant. It was lighly drizzling and very pleasant. We took around 2.5 hrs to bike down and we were a bit tired.

    Out next stop was in Morgantown, WV and we were planning to drive through the backroads, but given that we were a bit tired, we got on I 68 and reached Morgantown in just about an hr. Took a shower and then had dinner at Indian restuarant.

    The next morning we got up and headed off to Fort Necessity. We took our time going through the backroads and the hills were just fantastic! Stopped for a bite in Subway :(, and then went to the visitor center. It was just very nice, the exhibits were phenomenal and I learnt a lot about the French and Indian war. We hiked around the area for a bit and again ended up plesantly tired. We then stopped at a local winery and sampled a few wines. We ended up buying a few bottles! Given that we were so close to Kentuck Knob, we thought we would tour it, but unfortunately it closed at 4 pm.

    We decided to call it a day and spent the evening lounging about and reading books. Got up next day and decided to start driving back home. We started to drive on the local roads again, meandering through Ohiopyle SP (spent some time next to the scenic overlook of the falls and walking) and then through the amish countryside. Was just beautiful. Stopped at a small farm stand and bought Honey and fresh veggies. Then we got on I 68 the next chance we got! Drove non stop until we reached a rest area that seemed interesting. we stopped and walked around (walked to the other side) and it was again very drizzly, which made it even more beautiful. Then back in the car and we reached home by 4 pm on Tuesday, the 4th.

    So all in all, a very relaxed trip and we got to the two main events we planned for. Thanks for the ideas!

Similar Threads

  1. Possible labor day week trip
    By dinesh75 in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 03-24-2014, 11:11 AM
  2. Thoughts on the South East over Labor Day?
    By Mr_35mm in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 07-26-2011, 04:51 PM
  3. Indianapolis to Charleston SC during Labor Day
    By Jennjsmith in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-23-2007, 07:08 PM
  4. Weekend trip from Was DC
    By MIM in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-06-2005, 09:30 AM


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name