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Old 06-22-2014, 06:55 AM
 
Location: Rochester, NY
1,129 posts, read 1,073,803 times
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I take 95 when I drive south...one way to avoid DC traffic, when you approach th Capital Beltway, GPS, Google maps, etc will tell you to keep left onto the 495/95 overlap. Instead, keep right on 495 toward Silver Springs. A smooth ride...then at the Springfield Interchange, take to ramp for 95/Richmond. In Richmond, you can take 295, but it won't be much worse as 95 moves through Richmond.

On the Island, you can probably avoid the Cross Bronx/George Washingon as that is jammed 24/7, so you can take 278 across the Verrazano and Gothels Bridge to the Turnpike.
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Old 06-22-2014, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Prince Georges County, MD (formerly Long Island, NY)
1,555 posts, read 2,248,385 times
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Definitely I-81.

I-95 has tolls galore, not to mention it passes through (not around) all the major metro areas along the east coast, so there's lots of traffic. I-81 is pretty much open road with less tolls. I drive between DC and NYC/LI at least a dozen times a year, and it's ridiculous how much I pay in tolls just between those cities.
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Old 06-22-2014, 09:05 AM
 
2,777 posts, read 3,029,173 times
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The stretch of 1-81 between Roanoke and Christiansburg (where you'll link up with I-77) is particularly dangerous due to steep grades and loads of tractor trailers, just be careful there.

Ditto for passing through Fancy Gap on I-77; trucks, steep grades, and fog don't mix...try and hit that after the sun would burn off the fog.

Other than that 1-81 is the way to go.
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Old 06-22-2014, 09:21 AM
 
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And Fancy Gap is BEAUTIFUL to drive through. Try to keep your eyes on the road though!
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Old 06-22-2014, 11:57 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,571,346 times
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DH and I make the trip from Orlando to northern central NJ on a regular basis. The time of day that you leave will dictate your travel time.

Get to bed early the night before, and leave at 1:300 am. This will get you through DC before traffic gets terrible. Once you are past Fredricksburg there isn't another pinch point (unless there's a bad accident) until you hit Jacksonville. Time your bathroom breaks with driver switch and fuel, three stops on the trip is all you need, and no one will ever have to drive more and 4.5 hours without a break. Take 295 around J'Ville, and you'll be in Orlando in time for a late dinner. DO NOT TRY TO DRIVE THROUGH THE NIGHT AT THE END OF THE DAY--SLEEP FIRST.

I-81 has a lot of mountains, is out of the way, and has a ton of truck traffic and RV's--getting stuck behind that slow moving traffic can cost you several hours in time. There are no more accidents on 95 north or I-4 than there are on 81.

These routes suggested above add over hundred miles and 2-3 hours to what should be about an 1100 mile/18 hour trip--that's driving right about the speed limit.

We have done this drive r/t over 40 times in the past 10 years, so I speak from experience, not as someone who has done it once or twice or figured out how to use Googlemaps.
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Old 06-22-2014, 12:22 PM
 
5,574 posts, read 5,831,065 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
We have done this drive r/t over 40 times in the past 10 years, so I speak from experience, not as someone who has done it once or twice or figured out how to use Googlemaps.
An expert in this thread too? Wow.

Last edited by apexgds; 06-22-2014 at 12:33 PM..
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Old 06-22-2014, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Savannah GA/Lk Hopatcong NJ
13,104 posts, read 24,877,263 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slowpoke_TX View Post
Yes, it definitely will save you time and headache. Also, the scenery onI-81 is beautful, particularly though Virginia.



Suggested route, mileages, directions, and exit numbers:

1. From the intersection of I-78 and I-287 in New Jersey, take I-78 west 104 miles toward Harrisburg, PA. I-78 will merge into I-81 southbound before you get to Harrisburg.

2. Follow I-81 south for 378 miles to its junction with I-77 southbound (exit 72), near Wytheville, VA.

3. Take I-77 south for 262 miles to its terminus at I-26 in Columbia, SC. Take the left exit onto I-26 eastbound, toward Charleston.

Note: As you approach the North Carolina state line on I-77 (about the time you cross the Blue Ridge Pkwy in Fancy Gap, VA) you will go down a steep grade for about 7 miles. Please leave lots of space around trucks, especially in front of them and to the sides.

4. Follow I-26 east for 169 miles to its junction with I-95 southbound (exit 169A).

5. Follow I-95 south for 320 miles to its junction with I-4 westbound (exit 260B) in Daytona Beach, FL.

6. Follow I-4 approximately 80 miles west to Orlando.

Drive safe, and enjoy your trip.
Yes.....I95 truly sucks until you hit NC.....I81does have truck traffic but not to the extent its an issue
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Old 06-22-2014, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Chesapeake Bay
6,048 posts, read 3,869,242 times
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The best time to get thru DC is at midnight. I gave up making a trip thru that horrible traffic during the day many years ago. And if you are a night person as I am its a great time to travel.
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Old 06-22-2014, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Smithtown, NY
1,608 posts, read 3,199,901 times
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Thanks to everyone for their input, I really appreciate it.
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Old 06-22-2014, 09:28 PM
 
Location: Anne Arundel County, MD
1,006 posts, read 878,182 times
Reputation: 242
Quote:
Originally Posted by Computergeek View Post
I take 95 when I drive south...one way to avoid DC traffic, when you approach th Capital Beltway, GPS, Google maps, etc will tell you to keep left onto the 495/95 overlap. Instead, keep right on 495 toward Silver Springs. A smooth ride...then at the Springfield Interchange, take to ramp for 95/Richmond. In Richmond, you can take 295, but it won't be much worse as 95 moves through Richmond.

On the Island, you can probably avoid the Cross Bronx/George Washingon as that is jammed 24/7, so you can take 278 across the Verrazano and Gothels Bridge to the Turnpike.
Except that takes you into Montgomery County which is much denser than Prince George's County. Plus the frequent turns on the Capital Beltway, parts of which don't have a left shoulder (bad news if there's an accident in the left two lanes and unlike almost all of the I-95 overlap) are prone to congestion even during weekends. The I-270/I-495 interchange near Rockville is one of the worst areas for congestion nationwide. Just be sure not to get caught in an opening of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, even though they're much less commonplace than before the project was completed.
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