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  1. Default Best route from Alexandria, VA to Boston, MA?

    A friend of mine and I are driving to Boston this summer to pick up her daughter from a summer ballet program. We are driving to Alexandria and spending a couple of days in DC before we head the rest of the way up, but don't know the best way to go. We've heard you can sit in traffic for hours if you take the NJ Turnpike and the tolls are very high, but how high? Is there a better more scenic route to take since my 7 yr old and 12 yr old are going with us? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default You Could Hardly Do Worse

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    If you plug Alexandria VA (Washington DC) and Boston MA into just about any computer-based mapping routine, it will tell you to take I-95 to and through New York all the way to New Haven CT, then I-91 to Hartford, I-84 to the Mass Pike, and that (I-90) the rest of the way to Boston. Not only does that routing take you along some of the country's most expensive toll roads (on a per mile basis) but those same roads are stressful (at their best) to teeth-grindingly terrible at worst. There are better ways - albeit a mite slower IF everything were to go right on the I-95 route. I'd bet (and always did when I was driving between roughly those locations on a regular basis) on the alternative.

    From Alexandria, take the Inner Loop of the Washington Beltway (that's just I-495 westbound then northbound) into Maryland and pick up I-270 west to Hagerstown. There, get on I-81 north and take that up to Scranton-Wiles Barre where you'll get on I-84 east through New York and Connecticut to the Mss Pike into Boston. Now, make no mistake, that's a long haul, especially with children. But you can take a few breaks and still do it with an early enough start and late enough arrival. The more 'direct' I-95 routing will look better on paper, but in the real world, they both take just about the same amount of time, and the alternative I've described will be a lot easier on everybody's nerves. You could even take a could of days for it and visit Gettysburg, Heshey Park, the Delaware Water Gap NRA. West Point, Mark Twain's house, Sturbridge Village, or some other sites and make a true RoadTrip of it.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default A little tweak.

    With family in Boston I drive from various destination into Boston regularly. The route Buck described is one of my more regular ways of getting there.... with one small exception.

    I-81 between I-80 and Scranton is quite congested at the best of times. Construction does not help it either. I take I-380 from I-80 to I-84. Unless of course, you particularly want to visit Wilkes Barre.


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