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Old 06-26-2009, 12:37 AM
 
172 posts, read 480,023 times
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So - in a few weeks we'll be driving up to drop off one of our cars. We've mapped it out from Dallas to Little Rock, Nashville, then take Hwy 81 thru Roanoke all the way up to Winchester before heading E. to Fairfax. For those who have driven this route or a similar one, is this the best way to go? How long & what kind of drive is it? I know the Dallas/Little Rock stretch will be just that - a stretch - ugh! But we do hope to see some sights once we hit the VA border & travel along 81. Any suggestions are appreciated! Thanks!
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Old 06-26-2009, 05:17 AM
 
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if you get onto 66 E it will be a mess during the week between 6am-10am between exits 40 and I-495. Try to avoid rush hour travel at all costs.
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Old 06-26-2009, 05:40 AM
 
Location: Brambleton, VA
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I-81 is scenic but LONG. It's also known for speed traps and carries a lot of truck traffic.
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Old 06-26-2009, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Fairfax, VA
59 posts, read 144,292 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleur~de~lis View Post
So - in a few weeks we'll be driving up to drop off one of our cars. We've mapped it out from Dallas to Little Rock, Nashville, then take Hwy 81 thru Roanoke all the way up to Winchester before heading E. to Fairfax. For those who have driven this route or a similar one, is this the best way to go? How long & what kind of drive is it? I know the Dallas/Little Rock stretch will be just that - a stretch - ugh! But we do hope to see some sights once we hit the VA border & travel along 81. Any suggestions are appreciated! Thanks!
I took this route with a U-haul when I moved from Houston, Texas to Fairfax. It was pretty but exhausting. It took 1.5 full days of driving (stopped at a hotel for the night in Nashville) with very little time for sightseeing (but I was traveling a longer distance then you will be). My sister and Mom went with me and helped drive my car along with the U-haul. I would suggest a 3+ day road trip if you want to stop and see Memphis/Nashville or the mountains in Tennesee/Virginia (which are very beautiful).

I ran into some racism in the Tennesee mountains though (I'm Mexican-American). While filling up my tank with gas, I walked towared the gas station and some hillbillies in a pick up truck floored the gas and nearly skirted me with the truck. They looked back and were laughing from the window. I also got a bad vibe when I stopped and ate inside a McDonalds in the area. After that, we were in no mood to hang around eastern Tennesee.
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Northern VA
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Might want to take the time to visit the Natural Bridge. It is very close to 81 if I remember correctly. We did the NOVA to DFW trip last fall. We stopped in Gatlinburg and Memphis. We took 3 days to get to DFW and then 2 to come back.
DFW to Little Rock is the best part for me because I know that part better and know what to expect.
We found the roads to be fine. A traffic jam on 81 took a while. We have had some crazy drivers in TN on previous trips but the last few times there hasn't been any.

Good Luck!
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Old 06-26-2009, 11:47 AM
 
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Oh wow - thanks for your replies. We were planning on doing this in 2 days w/an overnight in Nashville. Maybe we should allow for another day. I'm wondering if it would be worthwhile to cut across to Richmond & catch 95 to Fairfax. Is 81 really slow? Thanks!
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Old 06-26-2009, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Fairfax, VA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleur~de~lis View Post
Oh wow - thanks for your replies. We were planning on doing this in 2 days w/an overnight in Nashville. Maybe we should allow for another day. I'm wondering if it would be worthwhile to cut across to Richmond & catch 95 to Fairfax. Is 81 really slow? Thanks!
I didn't have any problems with the speed on the interstates other than the approaches to the urban cities. In the cities, it is largely a matter with driving during rush hour or not. 2 days will be enough time to reach the DC area from Dallas, but you might not have much time to visit tourist areas.
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Old 06-26-2009, 12:33 PM
 
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I had to drive from Long Beach CA to Reston VA last October, and I passes through Dallas on the way. From Dallas, I took Freeway 30 through Little Rock, Freeway 40 through all of Tennessee, Freeway 81 through Western Virginia and then I took 66, which will take you right to Fairfax.
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Old 06-26-2009, 01:33 PM
 
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Consider the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive for part of the trip. And/or check out Staunton and Charlottesville, and then take US 29 through the Northern Virginia countryside towards DC. You could also take I-40 to Asheville and Greensboro, and then take US 29 through the Virginia countryside (do this only if you have a lot of time, and maybe spend the night in Lynchburg or Charlottesville). In Asheville don't miss the Biltmore .
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Old 06-26-2009, 02:52 PM
 
Location: Virginia
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I'd stop overnight in Staunton. I did this drive when I moved from L.A. and the stretch along 81 is longer than you think it will be and tiring. It's pretty, but it wears you out. There's a really cool old hotel in Staunton in the center of town. It's got a presidential-sounding name. The Thomas Jefferson or the John Adams or something like that. I'd stay there, treat yourself to a dinner or a concert in the town (it's a fun little college town with lots of places along main street). Then in the morning when you're refreshed you ca make the last leg of the trip.

Skyline Drive is beautiful but can get very slow during the summer. All it takes is one slow moving RV ahead of you. Last thing you want to endure when you've been driving cross country. I'd save that for another trip.
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