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  1. #1
    joker9989 Guest

    Default Short trip from NYC to Atlanta, GA

    My wife and I want to make the trip from NYC (northern NJ, really) to Atlanta with the objective of seeing the new aquarium. We want to keep this trip short but we also want to see stuff along the way (probably one way drive straight and the other way stop along the way). Does anyone have any suggestions for what we can see on the way? We are willing to take somewhat longer routes, but not significantly longer. We enjoy seeing sights, hiking, caving, etc... The plan is to take this trip about a week or so before Christmas, so it'll be colder, etc... We're really open about this and would love any ideas. Even if it's advice as to which route to take, how long it'll take and the works.

    Thank you all in advance!

  2. #2
    joker9989 Guest

    Default

    Let me clarify what I mean by somewhat short. We would like the trip to span from Sunday to Thursday at the very most, possibly Sunday to Wednesday (figuring one full (non-traffic, hopefully) day to drive down, spend the night and Monday to see what we want in Atlanta, and spend that night. Tuesday begin to come back up stopping along the way, arriving Wednesday night.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
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    9,358

    Default Reality Check

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America forum.

    I think you might be a bit optimistic. It's over 800 miles from New York to Atlanta. Even sticking to the Interstates, it's going to take you around 14 hours of actual behind-the-wheel time, which is not going to leave any time for sightseeing, let alone making the trip in comfort. in a single day. In two days you can see a few things along the way, but for no more than a few hours each day. Three days would allow you the time to really explore and enjoy. So, your first order of business is to figure out how you want to realistically budget your time. If you can give an idea of what you'd like to see or do, maybe folks can help you narrow down the choices to a manageable few.

    AZBuck

  4. #4
    joker9989 Guest

    Default

    Its about 890 miles from where I live. I figure its about 12-13 hours with an average speed of 70 mph. In my mind, even with stops, leaving early the first morning would allow me to arrive late night and spend the next day in Atlanta. Coming home, same deal, wake up early in the morning and start driving. I would only have to drive 6-7 hours a day which basically means that I could drive for 4 hours, see things at mid day, and then at night drive a couple more. I'm looking for things along the lines of caving, hiking, simply beautful sights, well known places, etc... Does that make it any more reasonable?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Average Speed?

    Quote Originally Posted by joker9989
    Its about 890 miles from where I live. I figure its about 12-13 hours with an average speed of 70 mph.
    I have driven that route a number of times. In order for you to achieve "an average speed of 70 mph" for that entire distance, you will need to do one of two things -- either achieve three digit speeds for much of the driving time or never stop or slow down once due to traffic flow or the need for fuel/food stops. If you can cover that distance in less than fifteen hours of on-the-road driving, I would be very surprised.

    I concur with AZBuck, the drive is possible, but you will probably need the second day to rest up in order to make the drive home in one piece. Driving more than 500 miles in one day, never makes much sense to me.

    You will not have time to sightsee, except from the vantage point of the freeway.

    Mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Please take the time...

    to do this trip at a pace that will allow you to enjoy it. But given that you seem to really want to make it in a very limited amount of time, here are some things on the way, that are not far off the highway and can be seen in less than a few hours. If all you've got to devote to the drive is a couple of days, then I'd stick to I-95 and I-85, and concentrate on hiking in parks that memorialize the American Revolution, such as Mount Vernon, Guilford Court House, Kings Mountain National Military Park, and Cowpens National Battlefield. If I had more time and wanted to pursue caving and scenic drives, I'd follow I-78, I-81, I-181 and I-85 and see Luray Caverns or Skyline Caverns, drive a bit on the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive, and make a detour through Great Smoky Mountains National Park. But there is simply no way follow this second route, see these things, and still get from New York to Atlanta in two days. And if you're serious about trying to do the drive in 1 day, then, seriously, do not plan on stopping to see anything on the way.

    AZBuck

  7. #7
    joker9989 Guest

    Default

    Editor, I meant an average speed of 70 mph while driving, plus an extra couple of hours of rest stops, walking around, etc... Perhaps I should stop being stubborn and possibly open up to the idea of doing it in two days going both ways, this way allowing for better all around driving. Perhaps I'll just drop the whole idea and go somewhere else... Virginia? :) AZBuck, I loved some of your ideas, particularly Skyline Caverns.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Keithville, LA
    Posts
    638

    Default I also concur with taking time

    There is no way to average 70 mph along that corridor. There are just too many people and I think I spent most of the time this summer stopped or going 40 mph along interstates in the Eastern half of the United States. AZ and Mark have driven those routes many times and know what they are talking about.

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

    Default Corridor Speeds

    In fact, I drove the corridor from DC to Boston this summer and averaged 36.1 mph over 14 hours of driving!

    AZBuck

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Speed while driving!

    Quote Originally Posted by joker9989
    Editor, I meant an average speed of 70 mph while driving, plus an extra couple of hours of rest stops, walking around, etc...
    Actually, so was I. The only way for you to average 70 mph (during the actual time you are driving that route) would require attaining triple digit speeds in the few open stretches of road. I would suggest that you figure 56 mph as a reasonable average speed (to reach an average speed of 56 mph, you will still need to push the upper envelope on the posted speed limit most of the time, but by doing so, you should get close to an average speed of 56 mph for this very, very busy traffic corridor).
    Perhaps I should stop being stubborn and possibly open up to the idea of doing it in two days going both ways, this way allowing for better all around driving.
    Two days travel in both directions is much more doable -- but you still won't have as many "free hours" as you are envisioning. In any case, enjoy the journey!

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 11-18-2005 at 07:03 PM. Reason: Added a clarification

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