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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Canton, Georgia, United States
    Posts
    3

    Default Road Trip from Atlanta, GA to Freehold, NJ to Lexington, KY to Atlanta again

    Alrighty, veteran roadtrippers....I need some navigational guidance for a trip I am taking in December. Starting from North of Atlanta (off of 575 North) with 2 days allotted for travel to NJ (we will have kids - ages 11 and 12). When we leave NJ, we will aim for Lexington, KY as a drop off point for my step-daughter (she lives in Michigan, so this is 1/2 way between GA and MI. We will likely spend 2-days going from NJ to KY and then drive straight from KY to ATL after a 1-night stay.

    My two main questions are:

    1. Does anyone have route suggestions for any of the trip legs? Preferably something that is both efficient but accessible to some cool sights to see along the way (if that hybrid exists)

    2. We plan to keep an eye on the weather; however, for general planning purposes, how much does weather tend to factor into travel in these areas in December?

    I have travelled from Atlanta to upstate NY (and into Canada) once before; however it was summer. I have NEVER traveled over and through West VA or Kentucky, so I'm wondering what the interstates are like and whether any mountain travel is involved. I'm not a huge fan of windy mountain roads, so I would rather avoid those, if possible.

    Thanks in Advance for ANY advice!!!!

    Mrs P

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    Atlanta to Lexington is a 7 hour drive on I-75 all the way. Assuming you leave ATL in the early AM and are planning on spending the night in Lex, you have some wiggle room to see a few things. However, if this is December, what I'd recommend is the Southern Lights display at the Kentucky Horse Park. Get into Lex and get situated in the late afternoon, then head over to the park after dinner when it's dark.

    Now - Lexington to Freehold is too far to go in 1 day safely, it's 700 miles. Breaking it into 2 days would allow you to wander off the beaten path, or arrive in Freehold around noon. I would recommend the following basic route to avoid a lot of traffic and tolls:

    I-64 to Charleston, I-79 to Morgantown, I-68 to Hancock, I-70 to Hagerstown, I-81 to Harrisburg, I-78 to I-287 in NJ, I-287 to Piscataway, NJ-622 to NJ-18 to US-9 to Freehold.

    Weather can always be a factor, just be prepared. However, if the weather is bad, they will do a heck of a lot better job keeping the Interstates clear than they ever will in Atlanta. Yes, these are mountain Interstates, but they are built for large trucks and to grade and curve standards. You shouldn't have any issues unless the weather is bad - if that's the case, just get off the road for a while and let it pass, it won't take long to clear it out.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Canton, Georgia, United States
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Welcome to RTA!

    Yes, these are mountain Interstates, but they are built for large trucks and to grade and curve standards. You shouldn't have any issues unless the weather is bad - if that's the case, just get off the road for a while and let it pass, it won't take long to clear it out.
    Phew! So the mountain roads are more similar to driving through the Rockies (wide, multi-Lane interstates...not too steep...not too windy) vs. Blueridge Parkway / Smokey Mountains? I've grown driving through the Smokies and gotta admit, I HATE those roads....they are sooooo narrow, windy and steep. Beautiful....but not fun to drive, especially in winter.

    THANK YOU for the route recs....I'm going to look into that one for sure!

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

    Default ...And Your First Leg

    The first leg of your journey, from Atlanta to Freehold, is also very straightforward: I-85 to south of Petersburg VA where you'd join up with I-95 north through Washington and Baltimore to just south of Wilmington DE where you'd cross the Delaware Memorial Bridge to get on the New Jersey Turnpike. Take Exit 8 at Hightstown and follow NJ-33 east to Freehold. Halfway would be around Henderson NC, but you could comfortably get to Richmond if the weather cooperates.

    AZBuck

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

    Default

    Sorry, I misread your initial post - I thought you were going to Lexington on the way to NJ!

    For your return trip, reverse my suggested routing!

    To go from Atlanta to Freehold in 2 days and also avoiding the congested I-95 corridor and TOLLS, consider this alternate to Buck's routing:

    Take I-85 to Charlotte, then I-77 to I-81 to I-78 and then as I suggested originally. This is 900 miles and a good overnight would be Staunton VA. This only adds 50 miles or so to avoid all that.

    None of the eastern mountain Interstates are anywhere near as difficult as I-70 across the Rockies in Colorado, and they are quite scenic.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Canton, Georgia, United States
    Posts
    3

    Default

    GREAT suggestions!!! Thank you so much!

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