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  1. Default Driving solo from Atlanta to Brooklyn--and scared of mountains! Help!

    Hi, I am a woman driving solo from Atlanta to Brooklyn in the coming days (holiday weekend anyone? yikes!) and I'd like to take the quickest, "safest" route (as in gas stations, rest stops/areas, etc.) Oh, and I plan to take two days to do this drive. I drove 95S from NYC to Savannah, and the DC-VA corridor was HELLISH. I'd like to avoid that altogether on the way back North, and the research I've been seeing online says the 85N to 77N to 81N to 78E is a great alternative route but will I be driving through mountains? I once drove through mountains from Nashville to Atlanta, and I was terrified. Is it the same kind of mountainous drive? Any help is appreciated. Thank you! (Oh, and for a bonus, I'd like to take the Verrazono Bridge into BK, but as a NYer, that's the least of my worries.)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    I can attest and reassure you that I-81 north is a gorgeous and non-terrifying drive! Interstates are built to specific regulations in grading and structure. In most cases, you'll never know that you are "in the mountains". You may get a clue that you're going to go downhill when truckers are advised to check their brakes, or "6% grade ahead" sign comes up. (That's the maximum grade allowed, I believe, on an interstate highway.)

    As far as "safest area" is concerned, use the same instincts and common sense that you'd use when you are in an unfamiliar area. If it seems wrong, don't stop there. I've driven solo many times. If I pull into a rest area and there are only one or two others there, I sail right on through -- safety in numbers. I try to use populated fuel stations for the same reasons. Most of the time I use that rule when I pull into a restaurant, but admit to breaking my own rule when it comes to that simply because there are employees there (and they are people too).


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Donna, if she was terrified driving from Nashville to Atlanta, she will be terrified on I-77. Perhaps I-75 to Chattanooga to I-40 through Knoxville to I-81 would be easier.

    If you want to avoid the worst of I-95 through VA, DC, and MD you have an alternative, but it's not Interstate and will add time to the trip. Get off I-95 north of Richmond on VA-207 to US-301. Stay on 301 through Annapolis and across the bay bridge to Middletown DE. Take DE-299 across to DE-1. Take that back to I-95 and across the Delaware Memorial Bridge and the NJ Turnpike. Exit 10 will take you across the Outerbridge, then follow 440 to 278 to the Verrazano.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default I Concur

    I-81 actually follows the Great Valley for much of its route north. So while you will have great mountain views off to both sides of your drive, I-81 itself is about as straight and flat a route as you'll find, traveling through a region of small farms and picturesque towns for the most part. There are stretches of I-81 that might be a bit more hilly when it turns northward after Harrisburg PA, but you will get off before then to follow straight and flat I-78 into the New York area.

    To make the connection between I-78 and the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, you have a couple of options. One is to take I-78 in to where it meets the New Jersey Turnpike, take the turnpike south to Exit 13 and follow I-278 to the bridge, the other is to use I-287 from Pluckemin south and east to the New Jersey Turnpike and then take the turnpike north to Ext 13, I-278, and the bridge. There really isn't much difference in miles or tolls, so I'll leave it to your discretion as a New Yorker which one to choose.

    You'll need to make an overnight stop on the drive north. Halfway would be around Lexington VA, about as cute a town as you're going to find.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Buck, the best way to the Verrazano from I-287 is over the Outerbridge, not the Goethals. I would recommend I-287 instead of staying on I-78, it can get pretty hairy around Newark Airport.

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by Renee77 View Post
    Hi, I am a woman driving solo from Atlanta to Brooklyn in the coming days (holiday weekend anyone? yikes!)...
    Hi Renee- If you'll be traveling from Atlanta to Brooklyn in the future, I may be able to share a trip with you. I have tentative plans for going the first week of November and staying about a week. Will probably plan the route to pass through Atlanta. If this trip doesn't work out, and you want to coordinate another time, we can ride together or drive along together in separate cars.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 09-17-2016 at 01:42 PM. Reason: fixed quote format

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum, suzannesc!

    Thanks for looking through the old threads, but Renee has not been back to this forum in more than 3 years, so it's pretty unlikely she will see what you posted.

    If you are looking for others to travel with, I'd recommend creating a new thread in the "share the gas" section of the forum.

  8. #8


    Thanks so much, Michael!

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