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  1. Default Philadelphia to charleston over 4th July weekend

    Hi all!
    This is a first road trip attempt and we were hoping to drive from Philly to charleston over 4th July weekend. We plan to leave Philly on the 3rd early morning and be back in Philly on the 7th pm. At the moment we have no plans other than try and be in charleston for the night of the 4th.
    Should we aim to stay in Asheville the first night then Blacksburg on the last night with 2 middle nights in charleston?
    With limited time are there any sites we must see? Any suggestions on best routes, b&bs?
    Thanks so much in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Looking at Your Options

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Other than the fact that you are going to be driving on one of the busiest travel weekends of the year, this shouldn't be such a bad trip. you've got two full days to get down to Charleston and three days to get back. I would do my darndest to do a few things: Stay clear of Baltimore and Washington, make time for a few stops on the way down and even more on the way back, and try to see the Hunley while in Charleston. So...

    On the way down, I'd suggest the PA turnpike to Harrisburg, I-81 to southwestern Virginia, I-77 to Columbia SC and I-26 into Charleston. That is a scenic drive in and of itself, certainly better than trying to bull your way through Baltimore and Washington on a holiday weekend, and affords you the opportunity to make a stop or two at venues near those highways. I would suggest a short segment on the Blue Ridge Parkway and/or a possible side trip to see Jefferson's home, Monticello, outside Charlottesville VA, and/or a visit to Congaree National Park in South Carolina. About halfway (for planning purposes) would be Roanoke VA. You can adjust your overnight stop based on what you'd like to see and do on the way down.

    In Charleston, I would suggest a couple of sites that I really enjoyed, depending on how much time you have, what your interests are, and how crowded they are over the 4th of July. The first is Patriot's Point/Fort Sumter. Patriot's Point is a collection of mostly WWII vintage naval vessels including an aircraft carrier and submarine. It is also the landside port for one of the ferries shuttling passengers out to Fort Sumter of Civil War fame. If you are interested in southern plantations, there are several along River Road southwest of town. As mentioned earlier, there is also the CSS Hunley, the Confederate submarine which was recently salvaged and is currently being restored.

    On the way back, you might want to take your extra time (if you have any, depending on how long you actually spend in Charleston) and follow the shore northbound. The main aspects of this would be to head for Norfolk (I wouldn't recommend trying to drive the Outer Banks over the holiday weekend) to the Norfolk area and take the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel over to the Delmarva Peninsula. You can come up the Atlantic coast and see Chincoteague (wild ponies), Wallops (NASA launch facility) or Assateague (pristine shore) Islands, or the Chesapeake Bay shore with stops at Tangier Island (reachable by ferry from Onancock VA), Crisfield (crabbing village), St. Michaels (Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum), and Chestertown MD (just a delightful walking city, especially if the Sultana is in town.)

    Last edited by AZBuck; 06-18-2014 at 10:38 AM.

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