Looking for nice places to stop in the way of Hotel/motel, restaurants, attractions
Chesapeake Bay Bridge-tunnel, it's not a big detour and you avoid all the metropolitans areas (and traffic jams). At the far end of the peninsula just before taking the bridge, there's a hotel, I don't remember the name, but it's the last hotel before the bridge, it has a neat little beach, lots of entertainment for kids (I don't know if you will be travelling with kids), a nice restaurant, and it was pretty cheap when I went there a few years ago. It's not the luxurious kind but it's ok for a one night stop. Take a walk by the beach at night or at sunrise and watch the lights of the bridge fade in the fog.
You can also take the ferry at Cape May (NJ), it gives you a break of driving and it's a fun way to travel and while you're there, go play at a casino, I believe there are lots of them in that area (Atlantic City and surroundings).
If you're a beach bum, you've got plenty of beach opportunities : VA Beach, Cape Hatteras, Myrtle Beach, all the eastern FLA coast (Daytona, Raton, West Palm, Miami). Many of these beaches have a boardwalk where you can rent bikes or rollerblades. The western coast of Florida is much more rural and wild but you find some neat beaches there too. Be careful if you take I-75 or I-10 in FLA, cops are everywhere!
You can go to South of the Border (SC) which is kind of a melting pot of a flea market, a waterpark and a theme park. Go to Smith's General Store (on I-95) and grab some steak sauce, key lime dressing, some peach cider and have a chat with the cashier for some local colors. Everyone's called "hon" or "baby" there:-)) You can also visit the Everglades, if you happen to drive through it by car, tune on the Everglades Radio Network, you'll learn about the vegetation and wildlife, pretty interesting. Don't forget to visit Key West for a piece of Key Lime Pie, it's definitly worth the drive!
Psssst-If you pass by Hollywood Beach, FL, pick-up a slice of cheese pizza at Rocco's on Johnson St. it's the best pizza in the whole world..well ok, in America, I didn't visit the whole world...yet!:-)