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Old 04-15-2016, 02:24 PM   #1
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Garden State Parkway - NJ - Need Advice

Hi All,

I know you can pull a trailer on the GSP, but was wondering if there was a better route. We're heading from New England to Cape May, and really want to avoid NYC. We're planning to come across I-84 to I-684, and then across the Tappan Zee Bridge to the GSP. If you have experience on these roads, especially the GSP, we would be very interested to hear your advice. Thanks!
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Old 04-15-2016, 03:29 PM   #2
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You can take the Turnpike to Exit 7 and then go down to 206 South. 206 in that area shouldn't be too bad.

Ultimately, I think the GSP is your best bet. The road itself is fine but the lanes are a bit narrow (particularly in the Oranges). If you are really concerned pick your time of day wisely. Rush hour anywhere north of Woodbridge could be problematic. As will anything south of Woodbridge on a Friday/Saturday when people go down the shore. Particularly as the weather starts to get nicer.
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Old 04-15-2016, 03:32 PM   #3
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As a local I might use some shortcuts but in your case I suggest you just bite the bullet and use the GSP.

Just try not to use it during commuter hours. South bound in the am on the upper half or north bound on a Sunday evening.
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Old 04-15-2016, 04:54 PM   #4
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Hi Scott. We travel your route quite a lot. I have used the GSP but personally I avoid doing so and recommend you also avoid it. When I head to New England from Central NJ I use RT. 287 to the New York Thruway then cross the Tappan Zee Bridge. You can easily just do the reverse. Lately the bridge is under a great deal of construction so if your research tells you of heavy delays think about using 84 to cross Ct. into NY then hit the NY Thruway. Tolls have gotten pretty steep especially when towing but I probably would bite the bullet and take HowiE's advice and use the NJ Turnpike south from 287 ( Exit 10) to Rt. 206 ( Exit 7). There are other routes that we locals would probably use but that's the easiest way to tell a "foreigner".

It's not a bad ride but beware, you never know.
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Old 04-15-2016, 05:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott-Andrea View Post
Hi All,

I know you can pull a trailer on the GSP, but was wondering if there was a better route. We're heading from New England to Cape May, and really want to avoid NYC. We're planning to come across I-84 to I-684, and then across the Tappan Zee Bridge to the GSP. If you have experience on these roads, especially the GSP, we would be very interested to hear your advice. Thanks!
That is route I would take if Cape May is your final destination. If you are heading further south via the ferry to Lewes MD, I would recommend something else depending on how far south you are going.

Definitely avoid rush hour, and be prepared for really fast drivers in NJ on the GSP where the speed limit goes up to 75 MPH as I recall, and that is considered a minimum by many . . . [IMO]
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Old 04-16-2016, 11:54 AM   #6
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Always

We drive an as interstate and now tow a Mini Cooper behind it from Boston area. We always use the tappen zee and garden state when headed south
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Old 04-16-2016, 12:22 PM   #7
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If it was me' i would take I-84 straight across to pa.&pickup I-8 south! May be out of your way but lot better road. Why put up with all that Hassel?
Suggest you get a trucker road atlas andcheck out the routes available to you.
I live in Dallas and original from n.England. been there and done your rt.and wouldn't do it again that way!
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Old 04-16-2016, 01:39 PM   #8
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If it was me' i would take I-84 straight across to pa.&pickup I-8 south!
. . .
To get to Cape May, New Jersey?

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Old 04-16-2016, 01:55 PM   #9
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If it was me' i would take I-84 straight across to pa.&pickup I-8 south! May be out of your way but lot better road.
A slight misunderstanding as to where you want to go.

I think he meant I 81 south to go to Texas not Cape May NJ

It all hinges on when you are going to be crossing NJ. The GSP can be a 2 1/2 drive top to bottom or it can be a 5 hour drive during summer weekends. Plan the timing.
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Old 04-16-2016, 02:19 PM   #10
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Alternate route

You really want to avoid the GSP through Essex and Union counties at rush hour.

That, nearly as badly as you want to stay off I95 south and westbound across the Bronx and Manhattan, at almost any time of day, and most nights, too!


It's a 40 mph, but mostly scenic route, by taking Route 9W south from the TZB to Fort Lee, NJ (home to the western side of the GWB.). The last two or three miles into Fort Lee is suburban office / business / commercial, but doable.

In Fort Lee, you can jump onto I80 west / I95 south, down to Exit 11 from the NJ Turnpike where you cross over to the GSP at Exit 129. Cape May is Exit 1.


We have lived here for a very long time, and we've towed throughout this entire metropolitan NY NJ area. PM or email me and I'll write up the details for you.

Ymmv!
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Old 04-16-2016, 09:29 PM   #11
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Thank you all for the responses! Local experience is always best!

To clear up any confusion, we are trying to plan a trip to Cape May, NJ. We have decided to run down I-95 to Rt. 206. It's a longer trip, but we think it will be easier on the nerves. I'll update this thread when we return.
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Old 04-17-2016, 01:39 PM   #12
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206. That is a odd way to Cape May. If you get the GSP early in the morning, heading south will be as easy as any route. 206 can be difficult any time of the day. So much of it is 2 lane with much truck traffic. But Atsion is nice to visit, and Pick-a-Lilly is good for lunch. But if I made the choice it would be GSP. It is not easy to get south of Hammonton on the 206 route.
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Old 04-17-2016, 01:53 PM   #13
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Sorry. I should have offered my help if you come down 206. I am located a bit east on 30. I can help with local roads. 206 south across 30 to 54 south, AC Expressway east to GSP south. Unless you like places to stop and enjoy the garden part of the Garden State.
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Old 04-17-2016, 01:54 PM   #14
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We are from Cape Cod and do this route all the time. I-84 to the Fish Kill bridge, to Newbergh, NY. We avoid I-684 like the plague as it was so rough! It's not that much further on this route and your camper will thank you. From Newbergh get on I-87 South and then follow signs to the GSP. On your return the toll is much less than the Tappan Zee also! Good luck.
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