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Old 05-06-2013, 12:14 PM   #1
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Norfolk to Dillon, SC....any intel?

Hi folks:

We are picking up the tube at Colonial and heading straight south this week via the DelMarva/Chesapeake Bridge route. Somewhere we are going to hook a right and head towards Birmingham. I'd love to stay off 95 as much as possible and the back roads north/south in Va/NC are a mystery to me. Am I ok going off the grid down there or should I just book it to 95? All opinions welcomed? Thanks.
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Old 05-07-2013, 11:05 AM   #2
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If you want to avoid i-95 then you can use us route 17. However, this does go through a bunch of cities and towns - but there are bypasses that will help you.

If you are basing your feelings on i-95 on how it is up north, I can tell you that it is better down here. Plenty of traffic, sure, but I have never felt white-knuckled.

I also find that if I hold to 65 or so, most everyone will just go on by and I am just fine. When I need to pass someone, however, I will speed up and get back to the right lane as soon as possible.

Enjoy the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. Just be sure to turn off your tanks. I usually tell the attendant that I will pull over just past the booth (a good safe place).

Happy travels. Pat.
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Old 05-07-2013, 11:23 AM   #3
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I like I 85, though Atlanta can be more than a little, umm, exciting.
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:22 PM   #4
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Thanks Pat. Is 17 at all interesting? We are not in any big hurry but still prefer an uncrowded secondary or state road to the Interstate. I've done NY to Florida on 95 more times than I care to remember and know the difference between the northern and southern portions. But there are inevitably a half dozen or so construction projects going on that gum things up pretty good.

As for Atlanta, well, I'm not sure how much worse that can be than the Cross Bronx or the BQE up here in the Apple. We'll just pick an in auspicious hour to pass through or take a long detour around. Six days to get from NY to Birmingham is plenty of time to explore.

Thanks guys.
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:50 PM   #5
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We love 17, and the small towns will acquaint you some with the charms of SC and the LowCountry.

If you have time, drive down to Edisto Beach State Park and stay a night at the beach campground if you can find a site.


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Old 05-07-2013, 02:39 PM   #6
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Both 301 and US 1 more or less parallel I-95 from around DC south. If you are coming across on the CBB you should be able to pick up 301 an hour or so to the west at Emporia. US 17 is not a bad ride either. US 13 out of Suffolk, VA is another option.

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Old 05-07-2013, 03:32 PM   #7
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Old 05-07-2013, 03:43 PM   #8
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hwy 301 is a good road, however hwy 17 tend to run closer to coastal area and a bit more oceanic scenes in areas. you get to experience towns like new bern, jacksonville (home of marine corp base) wilmington, little river, mrytle beach and more..

lots to see and eat.

Hwy 301 is more rural in nature,, farm land, cows etc..

either is good ..
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Old 05-07-2013, 05:13 PM   #9
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Agree that Route 17 works as a good alternative to I 95. We just returned from Atlanta and found I 85 to be fine as well albeit much quicker.
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Old 05-07-2013, 08:38 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone. We will most likely be doing that part of the trip on Friday. We'll let you know how weekend up going. Most likely we'll go 17 for at least part of it.
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Old 05-08-2013, 10:16 AM   #11
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Have a great trip. It sounds like you are going to enjoy the journey as well as the destination.

BTW, SOB has an entirely different connotation in Dillon than it does on this forum. Greetings to Pedro!

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Old 05-08-2013, 11:03 AM   #12
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Check Gas Buddy for best prices along the way. NC is HIGH due to taxes, SC LOW for the same reason. Try to buy in Southern VA (the stations there at Emporia where US 58 comes into I-95 are pretty cheap). Avoid refuelling in NC. Dillon, SC is actually a pretty good place to stop for gas. Lots of Love's Flying J's and Pilots in the northern SC area with easy pull throughs.

You might want to jump off on I-20 toward Columbia in Florence, but you'll miss the best of the low country as others have pointed out.

I hate I-85. Charlotte is a speed trap, and once past that, the hills in SC and NE GA are clogged with semis that think they own that road. They slow on the hills and speed on the downslopes. Unless you can match them, its hard to keep them off your tail.

As for the backroads, after you complete the DELMARVA, you may have had your fill of traffic lights. Watch for the heavy congestion as you near Ocean City and keep a safe braking distance. I usually take that route up to SJ myself, as I enjoy the scenery. Once did it on Mothers day several years back in the middle of a Noreaster. 301 was a mess with tree limbs and flooding all along the way. Not a fun trip.

Good Luck and keep us updated!
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Old 05-08-2013, 11:20 AM   #13
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Also, if you do take US 17, get yourself a Kroger affinity card as their gas stations are among the cheapest and they take another 3-4 cents of when you use it. Well worth it. I personally like US 17 for the interest factor. It was the N-S mother road for the coastal areas and has lots of old Motels which I like to photograph (but not necessarily stay in.) And then there are the many many BBQ joints for a bit of local flavor... But that deserves a thread of its own! Be warned, that the RR often parallels 17 as well, and there may be a few delays as it is still quite active.
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Old 05-08-2013, 03:13 PM   #14
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Keep that great advice coming folks! We are currently waiting for the 6pm ferry from Cape May to Lewes. We are going to pull up at the Delaware Seashore St Park for the night then probably a short roll down to Kiptopeke SP for tomorrow night.
How nice not to have to drag the Airstream through NYC as she spent last week at The Colonial Airstream Spa. Four new boots, brakes and she's rolling south!
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