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  1. #1

    Default April road trip Washington DC, MD,DE,NJ,PA,OH,KY,WV,VA

    We are a U.K. couple in our 50s who have retired and have undertaken a number of road trips within the USA (and had helpful advice from this forum previously)as we work our way through our bucket list of visiting each of the 50 states. Our next idea is to to fly into Dulles International airport and take about 4 weeks during April to travel from there and visit places in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Virginia before then flying down to Sarasota to visit friends for a month or so.
    I have started the bones of an intinerary and would welcome advice on the first draft to help with any glaring errors, misunderstandings and general advice on where I should spend more time/less time, scenic routes to follow etc.

    Day 1 Arrive Washington DC
    Day 2 Washington DC
    Day 3 Washington DC
    Day 4 Washington DC
    Day 5 drive dc to Annapolis
    Day 6 Annapolis?
    Day 7 Annapolis to Delaware via Chesapeake bridge rehoboth beach
    Day 8 travel to cape May on ferry and onto Atlantic city NJ
    Day 9 drive to Philadelphia
    Day 10 Philadelphia
    Day 11 leave Philadelphia to Lancaster
    Day 12 Gettysburg
    Day 13 Lancaster to Cleveland (where to stop?)
    Day 14 spare day
    Day 15 Cleveland
    Day 16 Holmes county
    Day 18 bards town
    Day 19 bards town
    Day 20 mammoth cave
    Day 21 mammoth cave
    Day 22 Cumberland falls
    Day 23 - 28 Cumberland falls to Shenandoah NP (consider Daniel Boone forest, new river gorge, class scenic rail road other suggestions?)
    Day 29 depart Richmond airport

  2. #2

    Default

    Hello,
    You won't need a vehicle while in Washington, D.C. Actually, you will want to avoid having a vehicle. Walking and use of the metro will be the best way to get around. There isn't a direct metro connection from Dulles to DC as of yet but you can hop a bus to the Silver Line metro and go from there. There are also buses that will drop you off in the middle of the city (near one of the major Metro exchanges).

    In Rehoboth Beach you will find a significant brewery pub, Dogfish Head (and a small but good one, Revelation Brewing). North of Rehoboth (and north of the ferry terminal) is the town of Lewes which is good for walking around, catching a meal.

    The final thing for now is potential drop-off fee and mileage rates one might incur from a drop-off in Richmond. You might do much better returning the vehicle to Washington, D.C. Additionally, if you rent "off airport" you can avoid a ton of fees for using an "airport rental."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    10,142

    Default A Few Thoughts

    I think you've got a nice trip laid out, not overly rushed and still with plenty to do. I will simply offer a couple of random observations...

    While you can certainly make it from Lancaster to Cleveland in a single day's drive, and there is plenty to do in Cleveland starting with Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, you seem to have time for those already built into your itinerary. What I'd suggest then, if you want to take two days to Cleveland, that you eschew the Pennsylvania Turnpike through Pittsburgh and instead head up the Susquehanna River Valley on US-15 to US-6 and take that west into Cleveland.

    The other thought has to do with ferries, of which I'm a big fan. The Cape May-Lewes Ferry is one of only two ferries that are part of the US highway system as it carries US-9 from New Jersey (where it's signed as a north/south road) to Delaware (where it's signed as an east/west road). Oddly enough the only other US highway that involves a ferry is the next in numerical order, US-10, which involves a ferry across Lake Michigan. There are also a couple of smaller ferries on or near your route that you might enjoy: the Woodland Ferry in Delaware and the Green River Ferry in Kentucky. Both of them are free!

    AZBuck

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    I think you've got a nice trip laid out, not overly rushed and still with plenty to do. I will simply offer a couple of random observations...

    What I'd suggest then, if you want to take two days to Cleveland, that you eschew the Pennsylvania Turnpike through Pittsburgh and instead head up the Susquehanna River Valley on US-15 to US-6 and take that west into Cleveland.

    AZBuck
    To add to that suggestion on Route 6, along with all the natural sites (and much of that route is through park areas and similar sites), you also pas through an area (around Titusville) that is the birthplace of oil (even though most think of other parts of the US for that).

    To get to that, you have to go a bit off of 6, but when you look at a map you can make a fairly easy route that gets you back to 6 further west (as 6 itself does a sudden southern dip in the area).

    One other thing as you enter Ohio - if you have any interest in covered bridges, there are quite a bunch of them in that northeastern corner of the state and that route will take you fairly near some (of course, most are on small back roads, that being how they have survived all these years, but there is one longer one that was built to the look on a more main road).

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    I think you've got a nice trip laid out, not overly rushed and still with plenty to do. I will simply offer a couple of random observations...

    While you can certainly make it from Lancaster to Cleveland in a single day's drive, and there is plenty to do in Cleveland starting with Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, you seem to have time for those already built into your itinerary. What I'd suggest then, if you want to take two days to Cleveland, that you eschew the Pennsylvania Turnpike through Pittsburgh and instead head up the Susquehanna River Valley on US-15 to US-6 and take that west into Cleveland.

    The other thought has to do with ferries, of which I'm a big fan. The Cape May-Lewes Ferry is one of only two ferries that are part of the US highway system as it carries US-9 from New Jersey (where it's signed as a north/south road) to Delaware (where it's signed as an east/west road). Oddly enough the only other US highway that involves a ferry is the next in numerical order, US-10, which involves a ferry across Lake Michigan. There are also a couple of smaller ferries on or near your route that you might enjoy: the Woodland Ferry in Delaware and the Green River Ferry in Kentucky. Both of them are free!

    AZBuck
    Thanks Buck, so can I get your advice on the trip to Gettysburg. Thank you for your suggestion on how to get to Cleveland heading up Susquehanna river valley, from Lancaster. how do you suggest we best fit in a trip to Gettysburg- im thinking of basing ourselves in Lancaster for 3 nights (arriving from Philadelphia and taking in Lancaster and going to Gettysburg and back as a day trip) before heading your leisurely route to Cleveland. Does that seem sensible? Or any better ideas?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    10,142

    Default It's Not That Far

    Gettysburg is roughly an hour-and-a-half drive from Lancaster via US-30, a fairly scenic drive with a few small towns along the way. Gettysburg itself and the Military Park comprising the battlefield are both contained within an area about two miles in radius. So it's all quite compact and I would not hesitate to plan a day trip to Gettysburg from Lancaster. Indeed, when I was (much) younger, I visited Gettysburg by train from Wilmington DE as a day trip.

    AZBuck

  7. #7

    Default

    And, if you need a break from driving they may still even offer a one day bus tour from the Lancaster area to Gettysburg. Then again, it was a long time ago, so they may not do it any more - at the time we were there they had bus options to go to both Gettysburg and Philadelphia. I think we did the Philly one (figuring it was easier not to drive in the city) and then drove to Gettysburg.

    Speaking of which, while the DC part is easy enough to get around on public transport, Philly may not be quite so easy. They do have bus service, but only a fairly limited number of routes on subway/street level cars compared to most of the larger cities in the eastern US.

    One option (which may or may not be helpful) is a program called City Pass - they offer bulk tickets that cover anywhere from 4-7 things within a city (Philly is one that offer - not sure if they do DC, but most of the popular things there are no charge anyway).

    The Philly one has an extra in that it includes (or always did) one of the tour buses that allows you to get on/off at about 20 spots throughout the city. I know when we were there (a different trip, for a longer time of 3-4 days and more recently) we used that one day, as it made an easy way to get to a couple attractions that were close to each other but not as much to the main downtown historic areas. Might be helpful depending on where you stay (since many of the city hotels will already add fees for parking, then if you drive elsewhere you are paying another parking fee) - you may also find cheaper hotels in areas of NJ that are 10-15 minutes from Philly, but then you add driving over a bridge with traffic each day and still having to park in the city, so it may or may not make much difference.

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