I'm planning a road trip in May from Woodbridge, VA (Northern Virginia/metro DC area) down to Galveston, TX for a friend's graduation from med school. There is a planned stop in Raleigh, NC on the way down. While in Texas, we're planning on going to Dallas/Fort Worth to visit another friend. The last planned stop is in Broken Arrow, OK to visit family before heading home.
I've gotten two different route suggestions from online trip planners. Both Rand McNally and RV.com's Trip Wizard would have us going OK->MO->IL->IN->KY->WV->MD->VA using I-44, I-55, I-64, I-81, I-66 and then local roads for the last leg. Mapquest has us going even further north OK->MO->IL->IN->OH->PA->MD->VA using I-44, I-55, I-70, I-270, I-495 and then I-95. To my mind, both of those routes seem to be roundabout and take me out of my way.
From looking at the maps, wouldn't it be simpler to drop down and travel OK->AR->TN->VA using I-40, I-81, I-64 and then I-95? Depending on the time factor, this route would give me the option of driving the Blue Ridge Parkway and using two-lane highways to cut over to I-95. Is there a reason (mountains?) for taking the more northern routes and if so, which one should I take?
Also, any suggestions for things to stop and see or places to eat would be greatly appreciated. Planning this road trip has gotten me really excited about travelling and even kicking around the idea of getting an RV in the future. Thanks in advance for any and all help.--Betsy