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  1. Default Newark airport to Boston

    Hi - I would like some help in planning route from Newark airport to Boston. We are from NZ and will be driving this route in June (and then on to other places but will start with this leg first).
    Not sure which way to go - inland or coastal. We like a bit of scenery but at the same time don't wish to be on the road all day.
    I read somewhere that going via the Tappen Zee bridge is the best way.
    I imagine this is a busy route and regardless of route taken there will be tolls?
    Any suggestions would be great to get me started.

    thanks Julie

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default An alternative.

    Hi Julie, and Welcome to the Great American Roadtrip Forum.

    If this were me, I would be taking the train between Newark and Boston, and rent the vehicle after Boston. In Boston parking is hard to find and very expensive. The route to Boston is, as you said, mostly subject to tolls, and nearly always frantically busy.

    If this is the start of your trip, could you please keep all your questions in this thread, so that the trip can be logically followed by those reading the thread, and by those giving the advice and suggestions.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Getting on Your Way

    As Lifey points out, a car can be a hindrance when trying to visit some large cities such as New York and Washington, and to a lesser extent, Boston. However, as I read your post, you don't intend to visit New York immediately and would like to savour some of New England between New York and Boston at a relaxed pace. If that's the case and you will be flying out of Newark again at the end of your RoadTrip, then you should indeed hire your car in Newark.

    You could conceivably drive from Newark to Boston in as little as four hours, but that would hardly be a pleasant drive since you'd have to go through the heart of New York City and along the industrialized Connecticut coast. Using the Tappan Zee still takes you through the New York suburbs and along the Connecticut coast. And even four hours of driving is going to be too much for your jet-lagged bodies. So what are your alternatives?

    First, I wouldn't even try to drive to Boston on the day you arrive. Even if you've made the flight in first class on a lie-flat bed, the seven hour time change alone will be enough to ensure that you won't be able to remain alert for the drive. Instead, I'd head for the nearest quiet area to get some rest and even a little exercise before locking myself in another tin can for hours at a time. Unfortunately, the only direction in which that is possible is almost directly away from Boston, to the west and northwest of Newark. But if you were to leave Newark on I-78/NJ-24/I-287 out to around Parsippany at the junction of I-80 and I-287, that puts you in a residential area with several lakes and parks as well as a range of accommodations from low-end motels to five-star resorts. It also puts you in shape to begin your RoadTrip to Boston, rested, from a jumping off point that doesn't require driving through one of the most built-up areas in the world.

    If you head up I-287 to Suffern NY and get on NY-17 north to Sloatsburg. Watch carefully for the turn onto Seven Lakes Drive through Harriman State Park to US-6 and the Bear Mountain Bridge over the Hudson. Now you'll have a choice a slower scenic route to Boston or a faster route that sticks mostly to Interstates (motorways). For the scenic route, continue on US-6 to the Taconic State Parkway north. At the northern end of the parkway, you'd use the New York State Thruway and the Mass Pike east to Stockbridge and US-7 north to join MA-2, the Mohawk Trail, for the rest of your drive into Boston. Even this laid-back route can be driven easily in less than a day, depending on how often and for how long you stop along the way.

    But for a faster way to get to Boston without too many hassles, stay on US-6 after crossing the Bear Mountain Bridge all the way to Brewster NY and get on I-84 east. That will then take you up through Hartford, past Old Sturbridge Village, and on to the Mass Pike (I-90, toll) into Boston. That way would only take you a little over four hours to drive in light traffic.

    My least favorite, and not recommended, route would be to do what mapping software will tell you to do: cross the Tappan Zee Bridge and continue on I-287 to I-95 north along the Connecticut coast to I-91 north to Hartford and finally I-84/I-90 into Boston.

    Finally, since you're headed for Boston, and presumably New England in general, have a look at these discussions of things to see and do in that area.

    Last edited by AZBuck; 03-23-2015 at 07:19 PM. Reason: Route # correction

  4. Default

    Thanks very much for taking the time to read my thread - I will definitely be taking your suggestions in planning this route. I have parking arranged in Boston at our accommodation. We intend to do the trip in one day -(not in 4 hours though) hopefully at a more relaxed pace.We will have already spent 4 days in New York city before picking up the car. Picking up the car in Newark to avoid driving in New York city!
    From Boston we go to Quebec City.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Make sure the rental company will allow you to take the car into Canada. If you are not returning the car to the same place you rented it, check on how much the one way dropoff fee is.

  6. Default

    thanks for the tips - have checked on Canada and yes we can take car into Canada - we are dropping back at Newark.
    So after Quebec we head down to Niagara (not in one day of course) - but the journey from Niagara to Washington is the one I am having trouble deciding on-we don't want to do it in one day but where to stay is the dilemma- we were thinking Pittsburgh but we may be sick of cities by then - what other route can you suggest that offers a bit to see scenic wise. On the map I see we cross the Appalachian Mountains - is this winding steep roads? We don't plan to book accommodation ahead on this leg.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default The scenic routes.

    From Niagara, you could take the scenic route and make your way down to Warren PA and the Allegheni National Forest. Pick up US-6 and head east along that. It is one of the most scenic routes and described not so much as a route but a destination in itself.

    Among many other attractions, this will take you by the Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania and the Kinzua Bridge SP.

    I know from there several scenic routes could take you south to DC, but I am not familiar enough with the region to advice on the details. One of our members who is most familiar with the region will no doubt be along soon to advice.


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