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  1. Default Portland Maine to Washington

    Visiting from UK. We will have been in NYC and travelled to Maine. Any ideas ??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default ideas for?

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    If you want anyone to be able to give you any ideas, you're going to have to give us a lot more information.

    First and foremost, which Washington are you talking about, Washington DC or Washington State?

    Beyond that, without knowing anything about how long you have, what you are interested in, who is going on this trip, and what kinds of "ideas" (places to stop, routes, something else?) you are looking for, really no one is going to be able to provide any useful information. The more you can tell us about your plans, the more helpful others can be,.

  3. Default Oops !

    Leaving NYC on Thursday 24th July. We are thinking of arriving in Portland Maine on 26 July after staying in Salem for 2 nights and visiting Boston. We need to be back in JFK on Saturday 2 August. We are 2 adults and 2 teenage children. We want to visit a civil war site and see Washington D C for a day. We want to experience small town America and the wide open spaces after being in NYC.
    Hope this gives more detail ??

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Probably one of the bigger and more well known civil war sites is Gettysburg, PA . Another one, closer to DC, is Manassas Battlefield.



    Donna

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Wander the old highways.

    Quote Originally Posted by Boltonator View Post
    We want to experience small town America ...
    Do you actually have some good detailed maps of the New England area? If you do not, I would highly recommend that you get some, if possible. Alternatively, bring your automobile club membership with you. It will give you access to maps from AAA. You would be able to get some when you are in NYC. They have an excellent regional map of the area. Can't recall if it was called North-East or New England. It shows all the small towns, the scenic routes as well as all the superfast highways.

    There are several of the old US highways which, once well away from the coast and metropolis of Boston and NY, take the traveller through small town USA. Many of these have a rich history which the folk at the visitor centres are only too eager to share with you.

    Lifey

  6. Default

    That sounds good. Thank you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default A Scenic Loop Around the Cities

    We often recommend a routing that avoids most of the large cities of the Northeast. Assuming you have (as it appears) a couple of days for the drive from Portland down to Washington DC, it appears that such a routing, with a few variations, would work well for you. The basic idea is to use I-84 to Scranton, I-81 to Harrisburg, and US-15 to just west of Washington where either I-270 or VA-7 will let you get into the DC area. The minor variations on that theme would be as follows.

    Because you will have already seen the Boston area and want to experience small town America, I'd suggest that you take ME-22 out of Portland to US-202 at Buxton ME and follow that to Rochester NH where you'd use NH-16 to connect with NH-125. Next up would be NH-101 to Milford and then NH-13/MA-13 to Leominster MA and I-190/I-290/I-90 and I-84. That routing is fairly picturesque (I used many of those roads on my former daily commute), goes through a number of small towns, and puts you on I-84.

    A second possible scenic detour would have you leaving I-84 at Milford PA and taking US-209 down through the Delaware Water Gap to Stroudsburg and then use I-80 to get to I-81. The final off-Interstate route would be to continue through Harrisburg on I-81 to Carlisle PA and there take PA-34/PA-94 to York Springs and US-15 past Gettysburg (one of the largest, most significant, and best-preserved Civil War battlefields) and Catoctin Mountain National Park (site of Camp David) all the way down to Leesburg VA and then enter the DC area using VA-7, and perhaps VA-193 past the Great Falls of the Potomac.

    As Lifey pointed out, good paper maps of the area will be essential in visualizing and following such scenic back roads, but the cost and effort will pay handsome rewards.

    AZBuck

  8. Default

    Wow. Thank you for so much detail. I will buy a detailed map in NYC and use these interstates you mention to meander down to DC :) am really looking forward to our big adventure.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Roads and routes to fall in love with.

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    ... you take ME-22 out of Portland to US-202 at Buxton ME and follow that to Rochester NH ...
    Oh yes, that is a lovely route (as are most in that area). I drove it only a couple of days ago. Allow yourself time to stop off in some of the small towns, and enjoy the flavour. I was lucky that I was in this area on Memorial Day. It meant I chanced upon two small towns where the service was going on, and another two where the march was just about to start. Seemed they were not all being held at the same time. Have to say, I jumped when I came to one just as the cannons went off.

    A second possible scenic detour would have you leaving I-84 at Milford PA and taking US-209 down through the Delaware Water Gap to Stroudsburg and then use I-80 to get to I-81.
    That is a beautiful drive. Again, you may be able to plan it to have a picnic lunch along the way. There are places with tables where you can stop. Some years now since I did it, though quite unforgettable.

    Lifey

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default A further thought - a further route.

    Time permitting......

    When you get to Stroudsburg PA, continue along US209 all the way to I-81 just past Tremont PA. This will take you through a host of lovely small towns tucked away in the hills of PA. The route is fantastic - as is almost every route in PA. The lovely hamlet of Jim Thorpe and the nearby Hickory Run SP with the Boulder Fields are definitely worth a visit. Jim Thorpe is actually a great place to overnight with its quaint old-world inns, a lovely old hotel and the many boutique shops. As well as its opera house.

    Two years ago when I drove this route, I chanced upon a parade of fire engines in one of the small towns. It was a Saturday and the population was out waving flags, applauding and cheering-on the long line of vehicles dating back to, who knows when, right up to the latest, largest ladder truck. I never did find out the reason for the event, but it enriched that day, and many more afterwards.

    Whatever you end up doing, be sure to leave some flexibility in your trip to be able to enjoy any little gem upon which you may stumble. It could change your trip from 'ordinary' to 'extra-ordinary' - from 'memorable' to 'unforgettable'.

    Lifey

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