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Old 11-02-2011, 02:42 PM
m22 m22 started this thread
 
139 posts, read 522,406 times
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We are planning a Christmas trip to D.C. and are planning on driving. Have you ever made this drive? Did you go out through Dallas, Memphis, etc. or out through Houston, New Orleans, Atlanta & up? Since we are making the drive in the winter, we are a little worried about weather in the Tennessee mountains and are inclined to avoid that route, but Google maps tends to route that as the most efficient. What do you think? What are good stopping points (we would make this a three-day drive, probably. Two long days & one half day).
Any input, tips, routes, appreciated!
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Old 11-02-2011, 03:07 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
161 posts, read 314,322 times
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I've done this trip, well, to Frederick MD, which is 45 mins outside of DC.

I go up to dallas on I35, hit I30 to Little Rock, hit I40 to Nashville, and then I65 almost to Louisville. I have family there so I usually make a pitstop

After that, I take the Bluegrass Parkway (real scenic) to Lexington, take I64 > I79 -> I68 -> I70, and that'll get you to DC.

It's a 3 day drive and my route is not the straightest shot. It does keep me out of the mountains as much as possible though, so if it's a concern it might be a good alternative.

For a more straight shot, in Nashville stay on I40, hit I81, and then I66 into DC. This has you traveling with the mountain range.
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Old 11-02-2011, 06:34 PM
 
Location: Arlington, VA
62 posts, read 93,025 times
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We drove from DC to San Antonio when we moved here, and we made the drive in early Dec so were concerned about weather. We hit a little snow in TN, but other than that it was smooth sailing. If I remember correctly, coming from DC we did I-66, I-81, I-40, I-30, and then to I-35.

Unfortunately I can't really recommend stops. We were traveling with baby and cat, so just wanted to get to our destination. The TN mountains are quite pretty, so you'll enjoy the drive if you go that way. I totally would have stopped in both Nashville and Knoxville if we'd had the time.

When you're in DC, definitely take a trip down to the White House to see the National Christmas Tree - it's so pretty. Have so much fun!
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Old 11-02-2011, 06:56 PM
 
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bud, what did u think of Frederick? I have a job opportunity there.
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:14 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
583 posts, read 1,009,007 times
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WOW I was born and rasied in Frederick. It definitely took me moving away from the area to appreciate where I grew up with all the history and all the FREE things to do in DC (zoo and musuems). Frederick is a great town that in my opinion still has a small town feel and all the small towns within Frederick Country all have that feeling of being out of the city. Restaurants and pubs on Market Street are awesome and they have the Carroll Creek area that is actually modeled after the Riverwalk and they have lots of activities that go on there. I did not get to back home this summer to visit but next year heading back for my 25 year HS reunion.
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Old 11-02-2011, 07:16 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
323 posts, read 743,530 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m22 View Post
We are planning a Christmas trip to D.C. and are planning on driving. Have you ever made this drive? Did you go out through Dallas, Memphis, etc. or out through Houston, New Orleans, Atlanta & up? Since we are making the drive in the winter, we are a little worried about weather in the Tennessee mountains and are inclined to avoid that route, but Google maps tends to route that as the most efficient. What do you think? What are good stopping points (we would make this a three-day drive, probably. Two long days & one half day).
Any input, tips, routes, appreciated!
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCNative24 View Post
We drove from DC to San Antonio when we moved here, and we made the drive in early Dec so were concerned about weather. We hit a little snow in TN, but other than that it was smooth sailing. If I remember correctly, coming from DC we did I-66, I-81, I-40, I-30, and then to I-35.
!
We've done this trip probably 5 or 6 times. We did the same route as you, DCNative, for all but one. That time, we went I-10, I-55, I-20, I-59, I-75, I-81 on in. Stopped off in Mississippi to see family. One of the trips was in Jan/Feb. Rain from San Antonio to Dallas, snow the rest of the way. We were in a 1991 Mustang, me, wife and 3 year old son. Had to drive 40 mph for a large part of the trip, bad wipers, terrible heat vents. Not fun at all at the time, but makes for good memories. Worst was when Katrina hit. It took us driving from Memphis to Jackson to find a hotel.

Anyway, can't give any good recs on stops, we were usually on a time schedule, drove straight through or stayed in a hotel just for rest. Good luck on your trip.
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:01 PM
 
Location: Schertz, TX
418 posts, read 689,508 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m22 View Post
Any input, tips, routes, appreciated!
If you do not already have it... get an outside temperature
gauge for your vehicle and watch it closely on the drive.

If the temperature is above freezing and starts to drop
down to freezing or below... adjust your driving because
the roads will be getting slippery and you will see others
skid off the roads.
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:23 PM
 
Location: Upland, CA
3,661 posts, read 6,483,307 times
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It might add a bit more time, but I would go the Houston-Atlanta route.

I drove from Virginia Beach to here, and that drive was easy. I think it would be less stressful, especially in the winter.
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:23 PM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
161 posts, read 314,322 times
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I spent several years in Frederick, both in high school and separately as a young adult. The area is real nice, very scenic, and there's a lot to do both in DC and out in the wild. The mountains are right there so it's great camping. Ocean City is nearby. And they have seasons

The people are another story though. I'm not trying to be mean or start any arguments, but it's different from here. People are just more courteous here all around. Up there I always got the vibe that people didn't really care for anyone but themselves. That's a generalization, so take it with a grain of salt. And that's not to say that San Antonio hasn't lost some of its southern hospitality with the passing of time or the influx of people moving in.

If the job is appealing to you and you're ready for a change of scenery I don't think you'll be disappointed. Keep in mind that everything's much more expensive up there though when you're negotiating salary

Edit: ditto on what penguin927 said. Frederick is the size of a city but it definitely has a small town feel to it. I remember downtown having a lot of character. It isn't small enough that you won't find a variety of the big name shops and such though. Everything I ever needed I could find there. A suggestion if you visit: try Ledo's Pizza. I wish they had those here.

Last edited by budjb; 11-02-2011 at 09:32 PM..
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Old 11-03-2011, 06:40 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
993 posts, read 2,193,665 times
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Loving this DC chatter! Born and raised in Fairfax, VA. Drove down here from Springfield, VA in September 2008, and then brought my new bride down in here in August 2009.

First trip by myself: 2002 Ford Focus SVT
Second trip w/ wife: 2007 Honda Civic Sedan

First trip with stops in Decatur, GA, Millbrook, AL, and Houston, TX.

Second trip with stops in Millbrook, AL, and Houston, TX

Its about 24 or 25 hours of driving. That is not the most direct route. I went that way cause I was able to stay the night with family members and friends.

Last edited by Newk; 11-03-2011 at 06:51 AM..
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