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  1. Default Exploring North Carolina from Wilmington, then headed home to Ny

    My husband and I are leaving Myrtle Beach later today after spending a week with our kids and small grandchildren and want to take our time going home, arriving late Tuesday or sometime Wednesday. I just discovered this great forum, so I thought I would ask suggestions. We plan on exploring Wilmington NC as our first stop in the afternoon. We stayed over in Wrightsville Beach on our way down and fell in love with the area so we never made it to Wilmington like we planned. We met someone from Raleigh and she said that Raleigh would be a great place to shop, eat and explore galleries, so that's on our list, as I am an artist. We also love the beach. Where should we stay overnight the first night, assuming we don't spend the whole day in Wilmington? If we stay in Raleigh, how should we travel north to see more of North Carolina before heading into VA?

    Coming down, we had dinner in Arlington, VA which was a wonderful town, then drove to Richmond and stayed over. The next morning we discovered Cary or Carytown, VA, which was another great town with lots of shops and eateries. So we don't mind hitting one of those areas again as our last stop before driving via I-95 to get home. Unless there's some great recommendations, we will probably drive straight thru from our last stop, which I assume will be northern VA.

    Thanks in advance!

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

    Default Other Nice Small Towns

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    From your description of your drive down, it seems as though your interests are mainly in picturesque small towns: walking them, shopping them, just soaking up the ambience. It also seems as though you have roughly three full days, maybe a little bit more, to make the return trip to New York (City?). With just that to go on, here's a few suggestions...

    First, I'd do everything in my power to avoid I-95 between Richmond and NYC. There's absolutely nothing charming about that road. And there's no need for you to take it. After a day (tomorrow) exploring Wilmington and the local beaches, look at using I-40 west to Greensboro and then use US-220 up to Roanoke VA and I-81. This route will take you through Raleigh, but you won't have a lot of time to really explore it, maybe a meal and a short window-shopping walk. Heading northeast out of Roanoke, you can drive a few miles on the Blue Ridge Parkway as time permits, but I-81 is going to be your main route north. A couple of small, charming towns you will want to at least check out for future trips include Lexington VA, Williamsport MD (and nearby Fort Frederick State Park and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park), and Hershey PA. East of Harrisburg switch over to I-78 to finish the drive back into the NYC area.

    You'll need to be behind the wheel for two full days to get home, so that really only leaves you about a day or so to spread out amongst all the places you want to stop, so you'll have to be judicious in your use of that time. Still, you can make this a quite pleasant drive with lots of short stops to see what you'd like to return to at some later date when you have a bit more time.

    AZBuck

  3. Default

    Thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to give me such detailed information, and you're right about our preferences. We spent time in Wilmington, which was wonderful. Had a delicious lunch at the Riverboat Landing, sitting outside on a tiny terrace for two. Wilmington is Definitely a place to return to. We then headed for Raleigh, but as we arrived, we drove into a terrible thunderstorm. My husband decided at that point that we should enjoy the weather rather than anything else. So we headed to Hampton VA for the night with the original thought of going to Virginia Beach the next day. But we instead headed up to Ocean City MD because we had never been there before. What a treat! We LOVED it. Stayed in a Holiday Inn suite on the ocean. Today we strolled through Berlin, MD, a quaint town about ten minutes away, and are heading home from there now. I tried to avoid the NJ Turnpike by taking I-40 but we were rerouted into it, which is where we are right now. So thanks again, and I will definitely note your suggestions for next time.
    debbie

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