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  1. #1

    Default Advice New York City area to Nashville Interstate options

    I am helping my daughter map out a trip she will take with two friends when they graduate from college in May to bring her vehicle back from the NYC area to California. The western portion has been figured out from Oklahoma City to points west as she did a similiar trip last summer. To mix it up somewhat she'd like to see Nashville and Memphis. Google Maps offers the I-81 route including through Knoxville and the I-68/I-64 through Lexington. The latter is our current leaning but was wondering if this route is very mountainous/cold for May? Forgive my ignorance - I'm just basing this on the satellite imagery on google maps. I'm sure both routes have their pros and would love for anyone to weigh in on the matter. They would be driving this mid-week not on a weekend. Thanks - and they will not be driving straight through. will Make at least one stop before Nashville.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Either way is fine, there's only about a 30 mile difference in favor of I-81. There won't be any below freezing temperatures in May. I'd recommend an overnight around Roanoke or Charleston. Either way, I'd take I-78 out of NYC to I-81, then make your decision in Hagerstown. If you go through Lexington, you have to go through town to get to the Bluegrass Parkway to Elizabethtown to pick up I-65.

  3. #3


    Thanks glc! I actually like the idea of having to get off the Interstate - they have the luxury of not being in a big hurry so I'm trying to help find stopping places - just didn't want to send them too far out of the way but 30 miles not a problem. They will be getting a slow start on their first day - so Lexington may actually be their second stop. Thanks again.

  4. #4


    The Bluegrass Parkway, although not an interstate, is still a 4 lane road similar to an interstate. How slow of a start are we talking about? I took an exact route from 81 to Hagerstown then West through Maryland, south through West Virginia, and West to Kentucky. I'm from New Jersey but left from Allentown and to get to Lexington, Kentucky took about 10 hours. From your area, which is close to mine, it would take 11 hours. I did this exact route on my last road trip, including the passage to Memphis. Take a look at my field report, The Road Trip Guys; Trip 1 for extra information on what we saw along the way. I suggest to stop in Charleston, WV to split your trip to Memphis into two equal days. There is no doubt that you can get to Lexington in one day, but it depends on how late of a start you plan on getting.

    Note: I just realized you were considering Lexington for your SECOND stop. Oops! In that case Morgantown, WV will be an option to stop on day 1.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Slow start is no problem - as long as they can make it at least as far as Hagerstown, they are looking at a reasonable one day drive to Lexington the next day. Next opportunity is Cumberland, then Morgantown. Lexington to Nashville is about 4 hours.

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