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  1. #1

    Default Wilkes Barre, PA to Ocean Isle Beach, NC

    Hi all,

    I am new here. Our family is planning on leaving from Mountain top, PA, which is 10 minutes from Wilkes Barre, PA on December 23rd to spend two weeks in Ocean Isle Beach in NC. OIB is about 45minutes north of Myrtle Beach, SC.
    We will be driving two cars.
    My husband and I are not sure which route to take, considering the holiday season and the cold weather.
    We would really appreciate your advice on what roads to take and any tips you may have.

    Thank you in advance,


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default After You Dig Out

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Considering how the northeast is getting pounded at the moment, you are right to be concerned about making this drive. And it points out the validity of my two rules of winter driving: 1) Always leave at least a day more for the drive than you think it will take, and 2) Always have an alternative route available. So, in your case, you should plan on taking two days for the drive. Not only is 630 miles about a hundred miles farther than would normally be considered a full day's drive, but you're going to be fighting holiday traffic through some major cities in possibly continued bad weather. Take your time and enjoy the drive. Now, your 'normal' route would be I-81 to Harrisburg, I-83 to Baltimore, I-695/I-95/I-495 between and around the west sides of Baltimore and Washington, I-95 to near Benson, SC, I-40 to Wilmington, NC and US-17 to Ocean Isle Beach. Alternatives might be to take a more coastal route using the Northeast Extension to Philadelphia, US-13 down the Delmarva Peninsula , and picking up US-17 at Norfolk. OR if there's a coastal nor'easter on the day(s) you drive, I-81 all the way down to Lexington, VA and then US-501 south to Raleigh-Durham where you pick up I-40/US-17 as in your 'normal' route.


  3. #3

    Default That's easy.....

    ...........just drive any route without an "I-95" in its name.

    Hello abiggers,

    My reply is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but there's an element of wisdom in it. Departing on the 23rd, the great likelihood is that the entire Philly-Balto-DC-Richmond corridor will be very congested and slow. Ditto Harrisburg-Balto-DC-Richmond.

    Absent the obvious exception of weather like today's snow dumping, I'd look at I-81 to Harrisburg, US 15 through Frederick into VA (yes, including the 30 miles or so of 2-lane), and on into northern Va on US 15/29 southwest of DC.

    Just south of Warrenton, VA, US 17 splits off to the south while US 29/15 turns southwest a bit. If you feel lucky, take 17 down to the north side of Fredericksburg and I-95. Keep 95 into NC where you pick up I-40 east (which actually runs due south) to Wilmington, NC, where US 17 then takes you to OIB.

    A more rural route, but a very nice drive, and entirely non-congested, would be to continue southwest on US 15/29 to Culpeper, thence down US 15 down through central VA to Oxford, NC. There pick up NC 96 through Zebulon to Selma, where you'll jump on I-95 just a short distance north of the 95-40 junction at Benson.

    I don't know the distances involved on the I-95 route (from Philly/Balto) nor either of the distances on the noted alternatives. I do know I'd look carefully at most any reasonable method of staying off of I-95 on the 23rd and 24th.

    I'd be interested to know what you decide upon and how it works out.

    Good luck planning and taking your RoadTrip!


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