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Old 01-08-2013, 02:00 PM   #1
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Best route around Washington DC ! In winter trying to avoid snowy areas.

We will be spending the next Christmas and new years in Mrytle Beach, SC !

We will be coming down on I81 and we want to avoid the Washington DC traffic ! Last time we did this (3 years ago) I had an excellent route given to me but I lost it ! it was all small roads but worked like a charm !

Does anyone have a best route to go around DC and to get to I95 when coming south on I81 ?

Thanks a ton !

P.S. And yes I am already super excited for this trip ! two weeks of heaven in middle of winter
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:24 PM   #2
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I went this way from upstate NY many years ago and kept away from DC not sure its the best but............continue on 81S into Winchester, VA routes 17/50 through Warrenton over to 95S in Frdericksburg, VA ??? not sure best route others will chime in to give their opinions
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:35 PM   #3
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Was that route hilly and high elevation ? We will be hitting it on December 21'st and I normally try to stay on low ground at that time of the year.


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I went this way from upstate NY many years ago and kept away from DC not sure its the best but............continue on 81S into Winchester, VA routes 17/50 through Warrenton over to 95S in Frdericksburg, VA ??? not sure best route others will chime in to give their opinions
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:44 PM   #4
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Stay on I81 S to Roanoke, VA then take 220 S to Myrtle Beach.
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:59 PM   #5
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Umm, I am trying to stay on low ground and avoid mountains and snow thanks regardless !

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Stay on I81 S to Roanoke, VA then take 220 S to Myrtle Beach.
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:01 PM   #6
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I think the belt around DC (I-495) to the west from I-81 is still the way to go.
Streets & trips shows that route to be 7 hours and 44 minutes from the PA/Maryland border at I-81 to Myrtle Beach. (518 miles)

If you stay on I-81 to Staunton and get on I-64; then belt around Richmond on Rt -288 to I-95 the program shows it will take 8 hours and 46 minutes. (576 miles)

IMO if you travel on a weekend you can save the hour even with construction on the west I-495 belt. If you travel during the week (or GFB during rush hour) take the long way. You will be over an hour in traffic in DC.

For comparison, the program shows Biscuit's route to be 8 hours 31 minutes(539 miles) with rt 220 being mostly country roads. I think lights and through town traffic will make that route a bit longer than the flight plan shows.
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:02 PM   #7
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DC By Pass

Goomph: I travel from Chenango County NY and take 81s to 66 east to 17s and go around the east side of Warrenton Va. Continue on 17 to 95 south. This eliminates both the VA and DC beltway. From Winchester to 95 is 76.7 miles.
Also there is a great campground called Candy Hill that is open for overnight stay.
I tow a 34' Rockwood with a Chevy 1/2 ton with a small v8.
I have been going this way for years and stayed at Candy Hill many times.

If you stay near Pirate Land and go to a buffet just south of the camp ground be careful. The parking lot is well lit but there are a lot of auto break ins in that area. They did a smash and grab on our car. The police said it is a bad area for thefts. Regards; Frank
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:59 PM   #8
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:34 PM   #9
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Now that's funny right there!
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:51 PM   #10
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skip the whole thing, use 81,,,to ,,,,,77...to 26,,,to 95,,,,way less traffic, better roads and only about 30 miles added to journey. One problem on 95 = 1/2 day of travel lost.... JMHO
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:21 PM   #11
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Old 01-16-2013, 08:31 PM   #12
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If you can go from the Wilson Bridge and all the way down past Frederickburg Va in the wee early moring hours or late at night you will be better off the traffic is bad and this is for coming and going there will be a very good chance you will be setting in traffic.
I do work in DC and every body in the area are always in a hurry to go no wear fast, major roads in the area are nothing but slow moving parking lots at curtain times of the day, and you are going to be traveling around the holidays which makes it worst, I suggest to try and plan your travel timing around these areas and you will be a happy camper.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:03 PM   #13
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I went this way from upstate NY many years ago and kept away from DC not sure its the best but............continue on 81S into Winchester, VA routes 17/50 through Warrenton over to 95S in Frdericksburg, VA ??? not sure best route others will chime in to give their opinions

X2. Very scenic if you travel by day also. If you want a little less elevation change then, the DC route is best traveled between midnight and 6am (well south of DC by 6) or during the weekend.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:46 PM   #14
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I too agree with mikdanmck's I81 to routes 17/50. I've learned that route from seasoned travelers and will be using it myself again come March. I once did the I81 to Roanoke and I77 route, it's longer and too chancey for winter travel if a storm brews up as it goes through the mountains and high elevations.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:02 PM   #15
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I will check the 17/50 tomorrow, too pooped right now !

Thanks for all the advice ! We can not go through DC in middle of the night, our schedule does not allow it. We will be leaving Syracuse around 7 am (our first stop for the night the previous night) and that puts us in DC at day time ...
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:49 AM   #16
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I will check the 17/50 tomorrow, too pooped right now !

Thanks for all the advice ! We can not go through DC in middle of the night, our schedule does not allow it. We will be leaving Syracuse around 7 am (our first stop for the night the previous night) and that puts us in DC at day time ...
We spent Christmas/New Years there last year (2011/2012). Since our daughter lives there we do it at least once a year. We've done July, Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Years over the past 6 years. I've done both routes going down and coming back. We like the I81 to 17 to I95 the best. There is one short steep hill to climb on 17 just outside Winchester, Va. Other that that, the rest of 17 is rolling hills. If you take I81 further south to I66 east, there is one looonnnnggg hill to climb until you get to where it intersects 17 at the top. After that, just scenic rolling hills all the way to I95 at Fredricksburg, Va.

As Coast to Coast members, we stay at Briarcliffe Resort on 17 between Myrtle & North Myrtle Beach.
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