Need stop suggestions for trip from DC to VT
My friend and I (both 22 males) are heading up to Coventry, VT for the Phish festival from Washington DC. Id like to find some good stops, landmarks, points of interests along the way. Additionally, any cheap/free places to stay overnight would be appreciated. Any Ideas??
I-95 N From DC to Connecticut (I-295 in Baltimore, NJ turnpike)
I-91 N from Connecticut to Coventry Vermont
I'd suggest going up I-87 through New York and then cutting over to Coventry. Along the way, you'll be able to visit the sites of Woodstock, the Opus 40 statue, the Lake George and Adirondack regions. Given traffic on other routes, it probably will be about the same time (or even less). A friend went to the Phish show in Maine last year and said he was stuck in traffic for 14 hours (!!!) the day before.
I-91 through CT doesn't offer much in the way of scenery, and in MA it only gets interesting North of Holyoke. I was on I-95 last weekend (my least favorite road)...it never seems to get any better. There isn't much to see, and the road surface is less than desirable.
I know there are a lot of roadside spots on route 105 between Richford (VT) and Newport (VT) where you could easily get some rest if you don't mind sleeping in your car. You'll also find plenty of cheap motels along the Canadian border near Derby.
In NY State, you can check out Pointe Au Roche State Park (5 min. north of Plattsburgh), there's free parking at the second entrance to the Park (Interpretive center) but I don't know if they close the gate at night. If so, I'm sure you could just leave your car on the main road and bring your camping stuff in the woods somewhere in the Park, I don't think that type camping is allowed, but I'm sure you won't be bothered anyway it's usually deserted on weekdays and not very crowded on weekends. You'll also find a lot of cheap motels between Chazy and Plattsburgh on Highway 9.
Don't be afraid to just park and sleep, Vermont and Upstate NY are very safe places, just make sure you pick a safe spot and be as low profile as possible. Maybe you should also consider going north of the border, motels and campgrounds are usually cheaper (ex. : near the border in Philippsburg (Qc)(they always accept US money) and there are great "park and sleep" spots everywhere (like the quiet little pier in Phillipsburg). Unless you act nuts and make a lot of noise, no one will bother you and policemen, who are usually friendly, are rarely seen in that area.
If I were you, I would begin my trip by going straight north : the northest = the cheapest, smallest towns = less tourists = best bet. Motels in the Baltimore, NYC, Connecticut and Massachussetts area are or tourists traps (60$ a night for a barely clean room and a bad mattress) or very expensive (B&B, countrystyle hotels), and I'm not even talking about the weekend traffic there... Not that these places are not nice, they are, but you got to spend a lot of money to stay there. And a last thing, be careful about B & B's in VT, they are very cute, very clean and you can have a wonderful weekend in a nice country setting, but they're sometimes over 100$ a night.
Have a wonderful trip!