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Old 06-09-2011, 08:33 PM
 
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Hi again,


We're also planning on driving to Cape May on a Friday morning (departing Herndon, Va. as early as possible!!!) in July. How many hours does this trip typically take? Google Maps says about 4 1/2 hours. Would you say that is accurate? Does anyone have any tips or tricks to avoid traffic or delays for this trip?


Thanks so much, again!


cm143

Last edited by cm143; 06-09-2011 at 09:00 PM.. Reason: add
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Old 06-09-2011, 09:45 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
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We have done Cape May in early May the past two years. Last year, we left Thursday afternoon around 3:00, and sat in traffic in Tysons, and then again in Baltimore, and then again on the NJ Turnpike. It took easily 7 hours. I think we got in around 10:30.

This year, we opted to take the ferry from Lewes, DE. We left Thursday at noon, and were at our hotel by 5:00. It's a much prettier drive that way too! Just be careful driving through those small towns. Lots of speed traps (as my husband learned the hard way...)
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Old 06-09-2011, 11:08 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly NoVA and Phila
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I've been going to Cape May every summer since I was 12, and I'm 43 now, so 30+ years - the last 20 or so from the DC area. Yes, the typical driving time is about 4 1/2 hours. But...and this is a big but, everyone and their brother is trying to get there on Friday afternoon/evening. And people from Philly only have a 2-hour ride which means that you might be driving in the thick of the traffic when you hit the Delaware Memorial Bridge. And, as you know the traffic between here and Delaware isn't always pretty either, especially in the summer on a Friday when everyone leaves early.

Having said that, I've done what CaliTerp does and taken the ferry. And while I find the ride to be pretty, it does not save me any time, especially on a Friday since all the DC folks are headed over the Bay Bridge to go to the DE/MD beaches. And you have to arrive at the ferry 30 minutes early, and if you make reservations then you have to allow extra time to make sure you make it in time for that reservation. But it is pretty and a different way to get there, and half of the trip is relaxing. Personally, I prefer to go home that way because there isn't that lead time not knowing what time you will get to the ferry.

Lately we've just been driving both ways because in addition to my remarks above, the ferry has gotten quite pricey and with six in the car, it just makes more sense to drive. Plus there's a sub shop in Hopewell, NJ that sells the best subs around that we like to stop at for lunch or dinner.

My advice? Leave super, super early in the morning - 5 AM maybe. Beat the rush hour out of here and hopefully before Baltimore. Then you should be good to go. Make it in time for a Hopewell Sub for an early lunch and be in Cape May before noon. And if you want to do the ferry, do it on the way home, as long as the trip home does not occur on a Sunday. It is definitely fun, and Lewes (pronounced Lewis) is a nice little town to walk around in, too.

If you need any tips for dining, things to do, places to go, etc. feel free to shoot me a DM, since this isn't a NJ forum. Oh one more tip...when you are drivng there you must sing out at the top of your lungs, "On the Way to Cape May, I fell in love with you..." If you don't know the melody or lyrics, learn them - I'm sure it's on YouTube. :-)

ETA: I'll be going in late June, so if you want me to bring back and brochures or anything, let me know.
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Old 06-10-2011, 05:39 AM
 
Location: McLean, VA
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Default South Jersey Beaches

We've been going to another beach town in South Jersey for years now and I agree with michgc that taking the ferry doesn't save overall time, however it will save you driving time. We've done it a few times and it's fun, but make sure you go on a nice day. Also agree that you're going to have to deal with all the DC -> Delaware/MD beach traffic if you take the Bay Bridge (which you'd need to for the ferry).

I recommend taking I-95 and make sure you bailout onto US-40 as soon as you cross the Delaware. Take back roads across Southern NJ, many of them are 50-55 mph speed limits, as opposed to going all the way up to the AC parkway near Philly. It will save you from going a 15ish miles north, which are out of the way since Cape May is south of the bridge crossing.

Good luck!
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Old 06-10-2011, 01:30 PM
 
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Thanks everyone!!!
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Old 07-12-2011, 08:48 AM
 
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Off to Cape May from Herndon, Va this Friday AM! How late can we leave and not hit major traffic? We were planning on trying to leave by 6:00am, but is that over-kill? Will we just end up hitting DC rush-hour traffic?

Thanks again!
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:04 AM
 
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You'll hit some, and the Inner Loop always seems to be a crapshoot. The earlier on the road, the better, but 6:00 on a Friday shouldn't be too bad.
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly NoVA and Phila
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cm143 View Post
Off to Cape May from Herndon, Va this Friday AM! How late can we leave and not hit major traffic? We were planning on trying to leave by 6:00am, but is that over-kill? Will we just end up hitting DC rush-hour traffic?

Thanks again!
Sooo jealous!!! We came back on July 1 from a glorious week there. I miss it! You should not hit much traffic on Friday morning. It's the afternoons that get hairy. We left Saturday afternoon and were fine. We headed back to VA on Friday (July 4th weekend) and the traffic toward the beach was atrocious but it was a holiday and it was much later - right around rush hour. I think you will be fine early in the day. If you want a great brunch - try the Mad Batter - delicious pancakes and other dishes plus a nice atmosphere. Have fun!

I'm heading up to New Jersey again this weekend - but not to Cape May.
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:53 AM
 
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Thank you so much!

michgc - We're actually staying at the Carroll Villa hotel and we get free breakfast at the Mad Batter !

If we leave AFTER morning rush hour (say, 9am or 10am); will we hit horrible traffic?

Thanks, again!
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Old 07-14-2011, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly NoVA and Phila
9,542 posts, read 14,677,760 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cm143 View Post
Thank you so much!

michgc - We're actually staying at the Carroll Villa hotel and we get free breakfast at the Mad Batter !

If we leave AFTER morning rush hour (say, 9am or 10am); will we hit horrible traffic?

Thanks, again!
I think you'll be perfectly fine on Friday morning 9 or 10ish. I think after lunch is when it would start to get bad - probably about 1 PM. Because then you hit the Jersey bridge and the Philly traffic around 4 PM, whichi isn't fun. Let me know how the Carroll Villa is - it looks like such a nice place! We've stayed at about 6 different hotels/B&Bs throughout the years but never stayed there. Jackson Street is one of the prettiest streets in Cape May! The blueberry pancakes and the orange almond French toast are both great.

I just found out that we have to be up in New Jersey on Friday night - I thought we didn't have to go until Saturday, so now it looks like we will be leaving in the afternoon, and I am really dreading it! And we have to drop the kids at my parents' house in Pennsylvania first. Ugh!

Have fun!

Last edited by michgc; 07-14-2011 at 09:50 AM..
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