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Old 12-16-2013, 05:46 PM
 
3,605 posts, read 5,295,726 times
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Wow. You plan ahead, don't you.

Not familiar with I-86, but the turnpike and I-80 are both boring and they have a lot of trucks. Face it, there aren't a lot of people living in the areas these highways travel through central PA, so there aren't a lot of attractions. I do think the scenery around Lewisburg is nice on I-80.
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Old 12-16-2013, 05:51 PM
 
3,605 posts, read 5,295,726 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adi from the Brunswicks View Post
476 to 81 to 86 is your best bet. There also several towns and cities for you to see along I 86.
This sounds good. The PA part anyways. I'm not familiar with the roads of NY at all.
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Old 12-18-2013, 06:58 PM
 
Location: earf
195 posts, read 528,978 times
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If you're looking for scenery make your way up to route 6 and take it across the state. One point of interest would be the grand canyon of Pennsylvania. Route 6 is known as the most scenic drive in PA. Check out paroute6.com.
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Old 12-27-2013, 06:31 AM
 
Location: I live wherever I am.
1,935 posts, read 4,055,164 times
Reputation: 3264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny K View Post
Ok So in the summer I will be driving from Philadelphia, PA to Erie, PA and I am wondering which would be the best route to go across? I-76, I-80 or I-86?

I have driven I-80 about 4 times across each direction and I find it to be BOORRING. First of all its very sparse by trees, and also its very lacking in restaurants and ice cream and coffee shops. Which I always need to stop at every hour usually, because I cannot function otherwise. Seriously I-80 is very lacking, does anyone else find I-80 across PA booring?

So I either have the turnpike or I-86, I am aware the turnpike has a lot of tolls, but is it as boring as I-80, is it sparse like I-80, and is it as lacking of restaurants as I-80?

What about I-86? Is it better then I-80, better scenery? I was thinking I-86 would be a best option for me, but I am just checking if its as sparse as 80, and if its as lacking of food places as I-80?

This is all I find off of I-80 the entire way across state, only perkins, dennys, mc donalds, and burger king. Looking for more then just that. Not even any dairy queens or star-buck's.

So opinions please? Also what about I-90 across NY, its out of my way so I won't be taking that but I am just curious about how sparse it is, and if it has many food places, for the future.
I'd take I-80 for sure because it's CHEAP. The best route is often the most direct route, especially in today's America where gas just HAS to cost $3.50 per gallon. If you take any route that is less direct, you're probably going to pay more for gas. Plus, if you take the turnpike (I-76) and then go north from Pittsburgh to Erie on I-79, you have to pay almost the entire turnpike toll (which by now is probably around $20.00) in addition to the extra cost of gas.

I-86 is not a good idea because that is the most terribly-maintained long stretch of interstate in the entire Northeast. (I-70 in eastern Indiana near Richmond is the worst short stretch.) I-86 is a cratered mess of potholes, concrete slabs with corners missing, state troopers all over the place, etc. Plus, New York State has the highest gas prices in the Northeast... meaning that it's substantially more expensive to fuel up when you stop. They also have the highest sales taxes in the Northeast, and they tax almost everything (including whatever food you'd get at a truck stop, at rates averaging 8.25%)... I-86 is just a bad idea across the boards, especially given the ~100 extra miles you would have to travel just to use it (compared to I-80)... though I would call it the most scenic of the three choices simply because it's largely mountainous. I-86 is not a straight shot like I-80 and the turnpike... it curves, bends, changes direction, etc.

Yes, I-80 can be boring. I've driven that road more times than I can count. But if you want to stop every hour, I-80 has PLENTY of good truck stops. You'll never go more than 13 miles between exits and I can't recall any stretch on I-80 where you go more than 30 miles between big-name truck stops. Every big-name truck stop, and most of the little guys too, will have restaurants attached to them... and you can bet your life that they'll have "comfort food" at those restaurants. For as boring as YOU think I-80 is, imagine how a trucker who runs that route regularly for years feels. Truck stops cater to THOSE guys. I'm sure you will find something acceptable even if you don't want to eat at Iron Skillet, Country Pride, or Denny's. You can stop in Emlenton for the "world's worst apple pie", or perhaps Clearfield where everything available is plainly visible from the road, or Brookville where you have your choice of a whole bunch of different eating establishments less than one mile from the I-80 exit... if you happen to go through the Bloomsburg exit you can get off I-80 and hit a variety of smaller restaurants like you'd find in your average Wal-Mart plaza. Should you go I-80 to I-79, you can get off at Grove City where the two highways intersect and hit a restaurant in / near the outlet mall. (They have Primanti Bros. there now!) I see nothing wrong with I-80. It's boring, but no worse than any other interstate. To me, all interstates are boring.

The turnpike / I-76 has "service plazas" which provide gas and food, but the food areas look like your common shopping mall food court. There are no options beyond fast food and coffee unless you get off the turnpike at an exit. Plus, the gas tends to be expensive because the service plazas are the only shows in town unless you want to get off the turnpike, pay a toll, then find something off an exit... then get back on the turnpike and pay another toll when you get off. ("Oh, but the tolls would just add up to what it'd have been if you stayed on the entire time", you might say... not quite. Generally speaking, the whole is a bit less than the sum of its parts.)

If you want the non-boring route, and you have all the time in the world, don't use the interstates at all. Take the minor highways. One thing I've always liked about Pennsylvania is that it has a wealth of small towns that still feel and look like small towns. Every small town of at least 500 population will have some restaurant that you can go to for coffee and food... usually they're reasonably priced, and they don't subject you to the experience of eating at an impersonal big-box restaurant. I have NEVER been displeased with my dining experiences "off the beaten path" in a small town. Plus, the minor highways may save you on gas to an extent... or at least it'll be a zero-sum game between the increased fuel efficiency you'll see at 45 - 55 mph combined with your occasional stop at a stop sign or red light.
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Old 01-02-2015, 08:39 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in America
12,745 posts, read 11,787,587 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny K View Post
So opinions please? Also what about I-90 across NY, its out of my way so I won't be taking that but I am just curious about how sparse it is, and if it has many food places, for the future.
From Erie to Philadelphia, I90 in NY couldn't be more out of your way if you tried! I90 has a tons of tolls. It also only has crappy service areas. If you looooooooove McDonald's and THe Original Pizza of Boston, then you'll be in heaven. Seriously. Those are your options at the majority of the service areas east of Rochester....I think a few west as well...Apparently, western NY knows how to change it up a bit. They still suck though. Definitely overpriced and crappy fast food. If you want a real restaurant, you have to get off the Thruway. You pay every time you get off. And get a ticket every time you get on.
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Old 01-02-2015, 08:47 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in America
12,745 posts, read 11,787,587 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RomaniGypsy View Post
I
I-86 is not a good idea because that is the most terribly-maintained long stretch of interstate in the entire Northeast. (I-70 in eastern Indiana near Richmond is the worst short stretch.) I-86 is a cratered mess of potholes, concrete slabs with corners missing, state troopers all over the place, etc. Plus, New York State has the highest gas prices in the Northeast... meaning that it's substantially more expensive to fuel up when you stop. They also have the highest sales taxes in the Northeast, and they tax almost everything (including whatever food you'd get at a truck stop, at rates averaging 8.25%)... I-86 is just a bad idea across the boards, especially given the ~100 extra miles you would have to travel just to use it (compared to I-80)... though I would call it the most scenic of the three choices simply because it's largely mountainous. I-86 is not a straight shot like I-80 and the turnpike... it curves, bends, changes direction, etc.
Sure now I notice this thread is a year old! Dear City Data why do you put things like this on the side so I think they're current?

Your experience of I86 in NY has not been my experience at all. I've been on I86 from just outside Erie to I390 in NY and the pavement is fairly new. No broken concrete. No craters. Haven't seen a single trooper on it either.


Interstates weren't designed to be scenic. They were designed to move to military quickly from point a to point b. It's rare to find an interstate that provides entertainment.....well except on I95 and the 700 million South of the Border signs.
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Old 02-18-2015, 06:33 PM
 
Location: Wyckoff, NJ
22 posts, read 28,103 times
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I agree partly with "Adi from the Brunswicks" and "ki0eh" on this one. I would personally go 476 to 80, then decide in williamsport whether to stay on 80 & head to 79 or 15 & head to 86
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Old 02-18-2015, 09:58 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
1,392 posts, read 1,358,527 times
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The most direct way to go from Philly to Erie PA is to take the PA turnpike to Harrisburg PA get off in Harrisburg and get on I-283 North to I-83 North to the I-81 split taking I-81 south till exit 67 and get on US 322 west. Follow that all the way up to state college hop on I-99 north and then get off at I-80 west and take that to I-79 North. That is the most direct way to go from Philly to Erie. US everything I listed is express way except for a small portion of US 322 West around state college. Even still your going to make much better time going this route then getting on I-86 or god forbid getting on I-90 why the hell would anyone do that is beyond me if they want to go from Philly to Erie directly.
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Old 02-19-2015, 04:01 AM
 
Location: The canyon (with my pistols and knife)
13,454 posts, read 19,111,123 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa1984 View Post
The most direct way to go from Philly to Erie PA is to take the PA turnpike to Harrisburg PA get off in Harrisburg and get on I-283 North to I-83 North to the I-81 split taking I-81 south till exit 67 and get on US 322 west. Follow that all the way up to state college hop on I-99 north and then get off at I-80 west and take that to I-79 North. That is the most direct way to go from Philly to Erie. US everything I listed is express way except for a small portion of US 322 West around state college. Even still your going to make much better time going this route then getting on I-86 or god forbid getting on I-90 why the hell would anyone do that is beyond me if they want to go from Philly to Erie directly.
Just take the Turnpike to I-79. It's a whopping seven miles longer than the route you described, and it probably takes less time because it's nothing but limited-access highway for the entire route, versus a 19-mile gap between State College and Lewistown. Besides, the Turnpike has only two steep grades for its entire length: east of Breezewood for three miles and east of the Allegheny Mountain Tunnel for three miles. Aside from that, it's very flat for a highway that traverses a mountain range. Furthermore, it turns northwest toward Pittsburgh anyway, so it's not exactly a right-angle path either.
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Old 02-20-2015, 04:04 AM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
35,857 posts, read 46,014,591 times
Reputation: 46585
I wonder what route Danny K took last summer.
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