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Thread: DC to Salem, MA

  1. Default MI to Philly and DC

    Hi all, a family of Michiganders here. Although we LOVE our state in the summer (I've lived in MI my whole life and have only just seen M22 for the first time and haven't seen anything much more beautiful than that drive) we are planning a week long vacation beginning in Philadelphia then to Washington D.C. and then heading home to MI. We have a lengthy list of sites we want to see but are definitely open to suggestions. I would especially like to see a civil war re-enactment and definitely plan to see Mount Vernon (Washington is by far my favorite President). There appears to be a lot to do in Philly and D.C. but we are especially interested in the historical spots. We are in dire need of advice on scenic routes to take as well. For the most part though we'd like to stay away from congested interstates and are hoping to take a route more leisurely and scenic. We are leaving July 22nd so any tips, thoughts or suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!
    Last edited by jrobinette; 07-12-2016 at 06:52 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Some Possible Routes

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The first thing that struck me abut your plan was its overall structure. I'm not sure why you're going to mPhiladelphia first, then down to DC and then turning around and backtracking north to Salem before returning to Michigan. It would help you out a lot if you could go DC/Philly/Salem instead. With that said missing New York City (as well as a second trip down the Delaware and Maryland Turnpikes) would be easier if you started your run up to Salem from Philadelphia as well, if for no other reason than missing New York will per force add a few miles to this leg and Philly is just that much closer to begin with.

    In any event, missing New York... For a point of reference, you're probably going to want to stay at least as far out of NYC as Milford PA - Newburg NY - Danbury CT. Yes you can shave it in a good bit closer and use I-278 around the city, but that's just a congested urban beltway so if you really want to "stay away from congested interstates" it's not what you want. How to get to Milford will depend on where you start from. From Philly, the easiest scenic route is to take the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, I-476, up to Allentown, US-22 east to near Easton, and PA-33 north to pick up US-209 through the Delaware Water Gap to Milford and I-84. From DC, you could just run up I-95 to Philly and pick up the route above, or you could take I-83 north out of Baltimore to Harrisburg PA, I-81 to Scranton, and I-84 east from there, OR if you really wanted a scenic drive you could leave DC on I-270 west to Frederick, US-15 north to York Springs, PA-94/PA-34 through Mount Holly Springs to Carlisle and I-81 north. That last option is 560 miles to Salem and just about at the limit of what you should try in a single day.

    My other recommendation would depend on exactly where in Michigan is home. If you live north of a line from Grand Rapids to Flint, then you should look at possibly going to Niagara Falls, crossing into Canada there, and returning to the US at Sarnia/Port Huron. But that would also require that you have your passports already in hand.


  3. Default

    Thanks so much for your time and effort. After my initial post I went through and read some others from other members and our trip sounded very overwhelming. We decided it best to just stick with Philly and D.C. to spend less time traveling and more time sightseeing. That being said we still aren't sure the best way to take to travel from MI to Philly and from Philly to D.C. Any advice you have on that route? As for where home is in MI, we live in the Bay area, north of Flint. And unfortunately, my husband and I are kicking ourselves, we do not have our passports. Otherwise we would have really enjoyed passing through Canada. Thanks so much for your help!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default In Which Case

    If you really want to concentrate on sightseeing in Washington and Philly I certainly don't blame you. There are plenty of worthwhile sites to see in both places. But unless you're willing to spend a night on the road on the Flint to DC leg, you'll need to stick to the direct, 'all Interstate' route: US-23/I-80/I-76/I-70/I-270. Since you have to spend an overnight on the Philly-Flint leg, this is where you can take a little more time if there's something you want to see. Possibilities are as diverse as Gettysburg, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


  5. Default

    Thanks AZBuck, I think we will try to see Gettysburg on the way home. Your advice is definitely helpful!

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