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  1. Default Road trip from Raleigh to Boston

    Hi

    I am relocating to Boston, MA from Raleigh, NC. I was thinking of driving there instead of shipping my car. This will be my first ever long distance road trip that I would drive myself. I am 29yo Indian Male, and not really bad at driving!

    I am planning for March 8th and arrive there by March 9th afternoon. I am more than OK with taking rest break for the night of 8th, but not sure where.

    I am still contemplating whether I should drive or ship the car and fly. Any advice will be appreciated - both for the route/safety and for the decision to drive/fly.

    Thanks
    -Divyakumar
    Last edited by divyakesharwani; 02-18-2014 at 10:41 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default Driving is a viable option.

    Hello and welocme to the RTA forums !

    It's a comfortable 2 day drive, so if you feel comfortable driving you should be fine. Stopping north of Philadelphia should split it into 2 comfortable days with the second not being quite so long. You should have no need to book lodgings so you can see how you feel as to where you end up the night. By staying North of any major City you should avoid the worst of the rush hour traffic heading into the City the following morning as you head away.

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

    Default A Bit Farther for a Better Trip

    Raleigh to Boston is just over 700 miles if you stick (roughly) to I-95 most of the way up, But that direct route, which is the way most mapping software will send you, is one of the worst drives in America with lots of traffic, lots of tolls, and not much in redeeming scenery. If you're willing to go a bit out of your way, you can have a much more relaxing and enjoyable trip and still make it in under two days by staying inland of I-95 and the major cities that it goes through. US-264 east out of Raleigh will get you to I-95 north. At Petersburg VA you'd switch over to I-295 thus bypassing downtown Richmond and returning to I-95 north of town. Just north of Fredericksburg, however, take US-17 north to US-15 north to Harrisburg. There get on I-81 all the way up to Scranton PA and I-84 east through Hartford to the Mass Pike (I-90) into Boston. All of that is about 100 miles longer, but lets you miss Washington, Boston, the MD DE and NJ Turnpikes, and (shudder!) New York City. Instead you get a scenic drive up some great surface roads through Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania; scenic Interstates through the Appalachians and Poconos; and far fewer tolls. With a relatively early start out of Raleigh, your overnight stop would be around Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, leaving you about 300 miles (or about 6hours) of driving on day 2.

    AZBuck

  4. Default

    AZBuck:

    Do you think even if I am driving on Saturday, I would still hit traffic at major cities?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    The cities you are looking at traveling through are places where there is always traffic, even on weekends. You don't have quite the rush hour, but you still just have a large amount of volume which can easily turn into delays.

  6. #6

    Default Two little suggestions--

    Hello (soon to be former) neighbor,

    This is a completely do-able 2 day drive.

    I'm all for missing the (always heavy) traffic from 50 miles south of DC all the way to Boston, I've done the route from the I-95/US 17 junction up US 17 and US 15 to I-81 before, and it's very scenic. It's been about 2 years, but I last drove to DC on a Saturday morning in 2012, and we hit "normal" congestion just north of Fredricksburg, VA, and it was then several maddening intervals of slow, fast, stop, slow, fast, stop for the remaining 40 miles to DC. I feel sure the approaches to Baltimore will be congested on a Saturday, too.

    Depending on where in Raleigh you're departing from, it may be better to just head east on US 64 to meet I-95 at Rocky Mount, NC, thence to the I-295 Bypass around the east side of Richmond. The connection from I-85 at Petersburg to I-295 north is "clunky" and involves backtracking south on I-95 a short bit, and in order to even reach I-85 from Raleigh you may have to run a gauntlet of stoplights out Capital Blvd. There are many stoplights even from I-540/Capital all the way beyond Wake Forest to Henderson. I can reach the I-440 Beltline just one stoplight from my north Raleigh residence, and excepting on summertime tourist Fridays, I have come to favor just heading east on US 64 to reach I-95 northbound. It's between 15 and 18 miles farther than US 1/I-85, but the ability to run the 70 mph speed limit with zero stoplights will likely make it faster for you. It does for me.

    The second suggestion is to watch the weather closely a day or two before your departure. The I-81 and I-84 routes in PA traverse the Pocono Mountains. While they're not the Rockies, or even the Blue Ridge, they'll reach elevations of 1,000' to 1,500' higher than the lower routes, and as snowy as the last month has been, that could still make for a difficult passage if yet another front comes through during that weekend. Weather.com will give you an hour-by-hour forecast for Harrisburg or Scranton, and looking at that around 48 hours before departure, then updating 24 hours out will give you a very good idea of what to expect.

    Safe travels,

    Foy

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,269

    Default

    Being a weekend, you could look at this to stay on Interstates and still avoid the worst traffic and tolls:

    Instead of taking US-17 and US-15 to Harrisburg, stay on I-95, take the I-495 beltway around the NW side of DC, then take I-95 to Baltimore and take the I-695 beltway around the NW side to I-83, take that to Harrisburg to I-81. There will be somewhat of a rush hour on Saturday afternoon, so get an early start.

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    Raleigh to Boston is just over 700 miles if you stick (roughly) to I-95 most of the way up, But that direct route, which is the way most mapping software will send you, is one of the worst drives in America with lots of traffic, lots of tolls, and not much in redeeming scenery. If you're willing to go a bit out of your way, you can have a much more relaxing and enjoyable trip and still make it in under two days by staying inland of I-95 and the major cities that it goes through. US-264 east out of Raleigh will get you to I-95 north. At Petersburg VA you'd switch over to I-295 thus bypassing downtown Richmond and returning to I-95 north of town. Just north of Fredericksburg, however, take US-17 north to US-15 north to Harrisburg. There get on I-81 all the way up to Scranton PA and I-84 east through Hartford to the Mass Pike (I-90) into Boston. All of that is about 100 miles longer, but lets you miss Washington, Boston, the MD DE and NJ Turnpikes, and (shudder!) New York City. Instead you get a scenic drive up some great surface roads through Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania; scenic Interstates through the Appalachians and Poconos; and far fewer tolls. With a relatively early start out of Raleigh, your overnight stop would be around Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, leaving you about 300 miles (or about 6hours) of driving on day 2.

    AZBuck
    I have made the trip both ways, I95 and the more scenic route. The scenic route is SO worth taking a little longer. I cannot imagine doing that trip any other way from now on. Scenic, you feel safer, good planning and a nice motel stay makes it such a pleasant trip,
    not overexhausted, which is dangerous. Put your favorite music on and the scenic way is the way to go!!! ;)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum bjw409!

    Thanks for sharing your experience. This thread is about a year old, so I suspect the original poster's trip has long since past, but hopefully others can benefit from your advice.

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