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  1. Default Route suggestions Upstate NY to Charleston, SC

    We are traveling early September from Upstate NY - Corning to Charleston SC and are looking for suggested best routes. We know that we can travel I-95 and go around/near the beltway. But we were hoping to avoid that. Are looking to drive the first day - stay over someplace for one night - and continue on into Charleston the next day. We would like to avoid the beltway if possible and don't mind going a little (1/2 - 1 hour) out of our way to do so. If there was a place where we could stay over and also see some sights it would be great! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Skip It All

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    "Upstate New York" encompasses a fair amount of territory, so I'll use Syracuse as my example for mileage purposes, but the general idea holds, pretty much no matter where you're starting from. Don't use I-95 at all, but rather take I-81 all the way down to Wytheville, VA and then use I-77 to Columbia, SC and I-26 to Charleston. Halfway would put you around Staunton, VA near Shenandoah National Park. At 940 miles, that route is only about 20 miles longer than the route through DC on I-95 and will be a whole lot more relaxing and may even take less time, even if only by minutes.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    To get to I-81 from Corning, take US-15 out of Corning to Williamsport PA. Then take I-180/PA-147 to Northumberland, pick up US-11 to US-22 into Harrisburg. Your halfway point for an overnight will be in the Roanoke VA area.

    The other option is take I-86/NY-17 to Binghamton to pick up 1-81, but my software says it takes about an hour longer. The only reason to do that would be if you prefer to stay on Interstate quality highways.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Oops!

    Sorry, i totally missed the Corning starting point. I used to live in Ithaca and I heartily agree with glc on the suggested US-15/US-11 route down the Susquehanna River valley to Harrisburg to pick up I-81. I've driven that road many times and it's a nice way to make that leg of the trip.


  5. Default Route suggestions Upstate NY to Chareston, SC

    Thank you so much! What an awesome site! So glad I have found this!

  6. #6

    Default Absolutely

    Hello Upstate,

    Good Lord Yes, take the I-81/I-77/I-26 route. You'll have some truck traffic on I-81, some rush hour challenges in Charlotte, NC and perhaps Columbia, SC if you pass through there at those times, otherwise it's wide open clear sailing.

    I'd travel one hundred miles further to avoid the Ho Chi Minh Trail (aka I-95 from Ricmond, VA through Connecticut into Massachusetts).


  7. Default Route suggestions Upstate NY to Charleston, SC

    So in doing a mapquest to Roanoke it looks like it might be close to 8 hours. Which would be good since we will stop to eat, etc. Would you happen to know a place after Roanoke to stop if we were to drive 9-10 hours? Thanks!

  8. #8

    Default South of Roanoke


    The pickins get a bit slimmer after Roanoke, to wit:

    Just south of Roanoke is Blacksburg/Christiansburg, VA, home of VA Tech. In fact, look closely at the home football schedule for the Va Tech Hokies, as a home game will occupy all motel rooms for 50 miles, including Roanoke, on Fri + Sat night. Absent home football games in Sept, probably a full run-down of motels + food is available around Blacksburg, some 30 miles beyond Roanoke, in addition to Roanoke itself. At Roanoke, by the way, a spur route (I-181?) takes you south off of I-81 for perhaps 2-3 miles to a large interchange where there are 2-3 motels on the R (west side) and a large shopping center on the L (east), and the shopping center area has the usual casual dining spots and fast food spots. We stayed at a Holiday Inn Express (I think) at that exit in 2008 when there for a nephew's Va Tech graduation and US Army commissioning. Nice indoor/outdoor pool and patio area which our large extended family's young'uns enjoyed immensely.

    Next is Wytheville, an Interstate junction town with not much else to get excited about. I imagine a small handful of chain motels and eateries there.

    Once you head south on I-77, you come off the crest of the Blue Ridge fairly quickly and enter the Piedmont of western NC. Statesville, where I-77 crosses I-40, is the next place with a plethora of chain motels and eateries. Off the cuff, I'd guess Statesville, NC is around 2-2.5 hours beyond Roanoke. If Statesville is too far, I'd guess your next best bet beyond Roanoke would be Elkin, NC, between Wytheville, VA and Statesville, NC, or Hillsville, VA, just north of Elkin on the VA side, each of which offer a small handful of chain motels and eateries right on I-77.


  9. Default Route suggestions Upstate NY to Charleston, SC

    Thank you! I will talk with my friend and see what she what her preference is. Appreciate all the help!

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