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  1. Default Western MA to Somewhere Mid Southeast

    Hi all!
    I am currently in the process of planning a road trip to visit a friend in Kitty Hawk in a couple months, and have a general idea of what I would like to do. I suppose I am posting for any reccomendations for alternative stops, routes, or things to see along the way. I love scenic routes but looking for a comfortable mix of scenery and safety.

    I have six days for this trip...
    On Day 1 will travel to Martinsburg, VA for sleep, going down I84 through Scranton to I81.
    Day 2 heading to Raleigh for the night. Going down I81 to I64 which lead me to two Google Map suggested routes. One is going south on 151 passing Lynchburg, and another is taking 15 south. Is one a better drive or any other suggested routes?
    Day 3 from Raleigh will travel 64 to 158 to Kitty Hawk. Will stay until I have to leave and staying in DC on the way back with another friend.
    Any input is appreciated! Any good southern food reccomendations on any routes? Will probably visit the NC Museum of Science. Any other suggestions for interesting things in Raleigh?
    Thank you all!
    -Polly P

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Five of Six Days on the Road

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    That seems like an awful lot of driving for a day at best on the Outer Banks and an overnight visit with a friend in Washington. Even as much as I love to drive, I look for at least a 50/50 mix of time spent behind the wheel and time spent enjoying the places I'm spending all that time driving to. But that's a choice of how to split up you're time that's best left up to you.

    As for your routing as it now stands, western Massachusetts (I used Springfield for mapping purposes) to Martinsburg WV (not VA) is about 440 miles, a relatively easy day that would leave you some time for a moderately late start, a stop or two along the way, or a visit to nearby Antietem or Harpers Ferry once you arrive. On your second day, I'm not sure what you mean by highway '151'. US-151 is in the Midwest and VA-151 is just a connector road west of Charlottesville. It looks like you might be thinking of US-501 instead. In any case, if your goal is just to get to Raleigh from Martinsburg, then I'd be looking at taking the Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park from Front Royal to Afton VA, cut over on I-64 to Charlottesville, take VA-20 down to near Dillwyn, use US-15 from there, and finally NC-50 into Raleigh.

    For your return from DC to home, much as I prefer loop trips where you use different roads throughout a drive, I would avoid using I-95 at all costs. So I would recommend that you leave DC on VA-7 to Leesburg VA or I-270 to Frederick MD, get on US-15 north to York Springs PA, take PA-94/PA-34 up through Mount Holly Springs to I-81 at Carlisle and retrace your outbound route back home.


  3. Default

    Hey AZ Buck! Thanks for the response, sorry mine is so late in a reply.

    Yes, I agree it is a lot of time spent on the road. I certainly can trim some fat from this trip. Upon reading your response, I've come up with an alternative to provide me with more down-time:

    Day 1: Mt. Washington, MA - Harrisonburg, VA; 468 miles (by way of Scranton, PA)
    Day 2: Harrisonburg, VA - Kitty Hawk, NC; 323 miles (by way of Swift Run Gap, Skyline Drive, VA)
    Day 5: Leave from Kitty Hawk and arrive back in MA on day 6.

    I suppose now I would need a suggested route for Kitty Hawk to Western MA bypassing the DC-NYC metro area. Would VA-17 be recommended picked up in Fredericksburg, VA till I66? From there, I would take the same route I came down on by way of Scranton, PA. I would stay for the 5th night into the 6th at a relatively halfway point. Maybe Front Royal, VA or other suggestions in the area?

    I am more interested in nature/scenery/landscapes than cities, so I think that taking advantage of Skyline Drive and bypassing Raleigh would be a better alternative. Any comments or criticisms? Thank you again for your response.

    -Polly P.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default An Alternative Return Route

    There's one possibility for a return route that apparently hasn't caught your eye yet, and that would be up the Delmarva Peninsula, through Pennsylvania Dutch Country and the Delaware Water Gap, and home. That's actually shorter and more rural than any of the routes we've talked about so far and could be done in two easy days or even a day and a half. What you would do (northbound) is head for Norfolk and take the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel over to the Delmarva and take US-13 north through Dover. You can also use DE-1 (toll) north of Dover. But once you cross the canal, you want to bear west a bit to miss Wilmington, Philadelphia, and I-95. Your best option is to take DE-1, but when you get to I-95, take DE-7 north to PA-41 north/west to Cochranville and PA-10 north. At Morgantown PA switch over to I-176 north to Reading where US-422/US-222 make a bit of a beltway around the city to the west. Continue on US-222/US-22 to Easton PA and PA-33 north. Near Stroudsburg, get on US-209 north through the Delaware Water Gap to Milford and I-84 east. After crossing the Hudson at Newburg, use the Taconic State Parkway to Washington Hollow and NY-82 which will get you close enough to home that you should be able to find your way on local roads.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Scenic routes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Polly Properpole View Post
    I am more interested in nature/scenery/landscapes [rather] than cities, so I think that taking advantage of Skyline Drive and bypassing Raleigh ...
    Polly, if you have a good look at your maps, you will see that PA alone is covered with scenic routes of great interest, which criss-cross the State in every direction. Buck has mentioned some of them, but if you look at your maps, you have many more to choose from.

    US-209 - mentioned above - can be a wonderful drive. It is definitely worth stopping at the lovely hamlet of Jim Thorpe and the nearby Hickory State Park with its Boulder Fields.

    BTW, I would not go all the way to Scranton, but take I-380 to I-80. It is only a few miles longer and gives a much better run.


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