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  1. Default 4 days Boston to DC via Gettysburg

    My wife and I have 3 or 4 days to drive from Boston to DC in early May. We will go via Gettysburg and avoid the big obvious cities.
    Any suggestions on routes, must sees, must stays etc welcomed.
    We are happy to head north and/or bactrack - certainly doesn't have to be direct.
    Are coming from Australia and never been those cities before.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default More Scenery, Fewer Cities

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    It's easy enough to drive the entire way from Boston to Washington and never leave an urban setting for more than a few minutes. It's also possible to make the drive and avoid cities nearly the entire way. I'm with you on choosing the latter. To do so, you'd head out of the Boston area on MA-2 which in western Massachusetts is known as the Mohawk Trail. From Albany NY, head south on the New York State Thruway (I-87) to Kingston where you'd switch over to US-209 south and follow that through the Delaware Water Gap to around the Pottsville area. At this point you can either continue on larger highways such as US-209/I-81/US-15 to Harrisburg and Gettysburg, or take smaller back roads such as PA-61/PA-183/PA-501 to Pennsylvania Dutch country and unique towns such as Lititz before taking US-30 over the Susquehanna River to Gettysburg. Then US-15 south from Gettysburg will take you past Catoctin Mountain National Park, over the Potomac at Point of Rocks, to Leesburg and VA-7 along the Potomac and into Washington from the west.

    You can, of course do more wandering/backtracking with the time you have available, but you really don't need to. Better to spend your time enjoying the great scenery, history, and small towns along the more 'direct' route.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 03-29-2014 at 09:18 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default And more....

    You don't say which State you are from, but if you are a member of RACV, NRMA, or similar, make sure you take your membership with you. It will give you access to free maps and tourist information from the AAA.

    I take it that this short trip is only part of your visit to the US. If so, you can pick up maps in any city where there is a AAA office. That may give you some time to study them before you start this trip. I would get the maps of MA, CT, NY, PA, MD, VA and DC.

    Besides the varied routes Buck mentioned, there are many interesting and scenic routes out of Boston and through PA in particular. The beauty with the AAA maps is that they have the scenic routes hilighted and many of the historic sites, parks and forests and touristy attractions marked on the map (in tiny red print!).

    Two of my favourites are US209 (which Buck mentioned) and US6 - which is more a destination in itself, rather than a route. But PA is such a lovely State to get off the highways and wander the local roads. Only today I spent half the day on yet another wonderful drive, through quaint little towns with wonderful architecture.

    Other routes out of Boston, which pass through the local towns with wonderful European influenced architecture, town parks and local shops are route 9 and 20. (I'll be on route 20 heading to my son's place in Boston, in two days' time.)

    If you are into the old American cars, and you happen to be there on a weekend, I would suggest heading south out of Boston onto Putnam CT, where each Sat around 3 or 4 pm they congregate in the Supermarket carpark. I do not recall the name of the supermarket, but I think there was only one in that town. Putnam also has a waterfall in the middle of town.


  4. Default

    Many thanks for that. I will make sure I bring my best reading glasses for the tiny print!
    Lititz looks particularly good.
    Its a short trip, with a few days in Boston and Washington each end. Looking forward to it

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