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  1. Default Trip from Washington to Boston

    Hello,

    I'm planning a trip with my family from Washington to Boston in late February (20th - March 3rd).
    I would like some tips about which road should I take to avoid snow. I'm from Brazil and I'm not used to driving with this kind of weather.
    I'm also looking for a very beautiful roadtrip (despite the cities theirselves). I went to California last winter (yeah, that was odd, but great), so I'm kinda spoiled about roadtrips, lol.

    Thanks in advance for the attention,

    Victor

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
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    9,358

    Default An Essential Question

    Will you be traveling from Washington State or Washington, DC?

    AZBuck

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    Will you be traveling from Washington State or Washington, DC?

    AZBuck

    Washignton, DC. Thanks!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default The BosWash Corridor in Winter

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    If weather is a concern, then you really only have one choice for this drive: I-95 to just south of Wilmington DE, then over the Delaware Memorial Bridge to the New Jersey Turnpike. Cross the George Washington Bridge into New York City and resume following I-95 as far as New Haven CT. From there, follow I-91 up to Hartford, I-84 to the Mass Pike (I-90), and take that the rest of the way into Boston. That is the shortest all-Interstate route, the most heavily traveled (helps keep the road clear and there are lots of services en route), and the route that will receive the most attention from the road crews to keep it open. If the weather exceeds your capabilities, then just stay put for a day, let the road crews do their work, and resume your travel the next day - again using the main roads.

    If, on the other hand, (and only if) there hasn't been any snow for a few days before your drive and the weather forecast calls for at least a couple of days of sunny weather as you start your drive, then you can consider a somewhat longer and more scenic drive. Leave Washington on I-270 west to I-70 and Hagerstown MD. There get on I-81 up to Scranton PA. At Scranton, switch over to I-84 and follow that through New York and Connecticut to the Mass Pike and follow that into Boston. That's a bit longer but is still an all-Interstate route. It does go through some rural and mountainous areas, so it will be a fair but more scenic than I-95, but it will also be more subject to snowfall than the coastal route.

    If you have two or three days to make the drive, then there are other alternatives which get you off the Interstates, but they will be considerably slower.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 12-29-2014 at 10:27 AM. Reason: Formatting

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
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    9,270

    Default

    I'd like to suggest an alternate to Buck's first route to avoid some major traffic - near Perth Amboy NJ get off the NJ Turnpike at Exit 10 and take I-287 around the western suburbs to the NY Thruway, take it south across the Tappan Zee Bridge (this is still 287), then take the Cross Westchester Expressway (still 287) to the Hutchinson River Parkway to the Merritt Parkway and Wilbur Cross Parkway. This will get you to I-91 near Meriden. This is also heavily traveled and well maintained, but avoids the terrible traffic across the GW Bridge and I-95 from there through Connecticut.

    I like Buck's more scenic suggestion, but an alternate to that would be to stay on I-81 to Binghamton NY to I-88, take that to the Albany area, and take I-90 from there to Boston. This is longer but it's a very pleasant drive.

    No matter which way you go, there are going to be tolls. If you can rent a car with an "EZ-Pass" you won't need cash, the rental company will add the tolls (along with a service charge) to your credit card bill.

  6. Default

    Hello guys, thanks for the answers.

    Sorry for the delay, but I have read all of your suggestions. I'm seriously considering taking Buck's scenic option, as I prefer to discover new views in a roadtrip. I'm planning the following stops:

    Washington - 3 nights, then leave it early in the morning, heading to Annapolis for lunch and Finnaly stopping in Philadelphia for 1 night. Next day I'll take a tour in Philadelphia and leave it to New York after lunch. I'll spend 3 more days in NYC and then head to Boston, where I'll end my trip, spending 3 nights there.

    Is there some suggestions of interesting points along those roads (not at the cities theirselves, but between them)? I'm looking for some POIs to guide my route through them.

    Thanks a lot!
    Victor

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    This may sound counter-intuitive coming from a roadtrip site, but I'd strongly consider not driving at all for this trip. DC, Philly, NY, and Boston are all places where a car is actually more of a headache than a help, especially with the cost of parking. I think you'd find it will be much easier to get between these cities by train, and using public transit within them.

    Considering you don't have much extra time set aside between the cities as it is, I just don't think you'd get enough out of a car this trip to make the serious hassles and costs worthwhile this time.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default The cost of parking in cities.

    Since your focus for this trip is on cities, Michael's suggestion makes perfect sense. Do not equate this trip with your experience in CA. The difference is like cheese and chalk.

    Especially in NYC you will not want a car. You would need to stay well outside the city somewhere in NJ. and take the train in each day. Parking in NYC is horrendously expensive and almost impossible to find.

    Even though I regularly stay in suburban Boston with family, we always take the train into the city. It is very difficult to find parking and when one does find a spot, again, it is horrendously expensive. This is all the more difficult for those not familiar with the city.

    The train between the cities and public transport within those cities is efficient. Even taxis are affordable.

    Lifey

  9. Default

    Hello guys,

    I have seriously considered this trip by train. But I have two doubts about this:

    1) I will be traveling with my mother and together we will be carrying 2 small bags e 4 large suitcases (since we are traveling from Brazil and that's the airline franchise). Is it posible to travel with this amount of luggage in a train? Because I have been reading in some forums that It's very complicated to travel with a huge amount of luggage by train.

    2) Is it necessary to buy all the train tickets previously or there are always availability right on time?

    Those two answers will help me to take my decision. But I'll coment the car issues that you guys told me before it. First of all, the parking: I would pick up the car at the day that I would leave DC. So, parking there wouldn't be necessary. Then I would drive to Annapolis and make a night at Atlantic City (parking 5 dollars at the hotel I have booked, double checked). Then, heading NY to a hotel that I have booked there located 2 blocks from a parking lot which I have a discount coupon (29 dollars/24h parking). I would take a train to Philly and go back at the same day. Then I would head Boston and take the car back at my very first day over there, so I wouldn't need parking there also. So, in short, parking would only be an issue in NYC.

    About the snow and the roads (weather): About this specific road trip, if I decide to go by car, I have almost decided my route. Let's see: Route Day 1: Washington - Annapolis - Hwy 301 - Newark - NJ Turnpike then 42 (North South Fwy) - Atlantic City; Route Day 2: Atlantic City - Garden State Pkwy - NY; Route Day 3: NY - 91 - 84 - 90 - Boston. Is it really that dangerous?

    Thanks for the help, guys! Your tips have been really helpful and I would enjoy this little more help.

    Victor

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

    Default They don't take checked luggage.

    You are correct. the commuter train between DC and NY does not take checked luggage. You would have to carry it into the carriage with you. I believe it is the same, but do not have personal experience on the train between NY and Boston.

    It is not much fun having large suitcases on a commuter train. Unless you happen to meet some obliging passengers, there is no one to help you with the suitcases.

    If Amtrak service that line, they take checked luggage, same allowance as the plane, no extra charge.

    For Amtrak you would need to book beforehand (I think) but the commuter train you can buy on the day. I am pretty sure that you buy your ticket from DC to Boston, with a stopover in NY.

    Lifey

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