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Old 03-02-2009, 04:43 PM   #1
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Sugar Grove , Ohio
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WDC to Charleston, SC...

I'm seeking info from those that have "been there and done that." I've been studying the maps and the route planners seeking the best route from Cherry Hill Park in the Washington D.C. area where we hope to spend five or six days and then head south to the Charleston area. The planning guides have routed me off I-95 at Dillon and some state routes, such as Hwy 41 winding into Charleston. Another has suggested US 52 off I-95 a little further south and eventually into Charleston. If we want to stay with MAJOR highways, not a necessity, we could go I-95 to I-26 and into the Charleston area. We haven't yet made any reservations so I have no idea which way may be the better route - I'm asking about the different ways of travel based on the road conditions. How "minor" a roadway is Hwy 41?? How much time and distance would I be saving by going that way as compared with the I-95 & I-26 routes??? Recently I saved several miles by taking a secondary route through West Virginia but gave up significant time by taking that secondary route. Between the sharp curves, horse-shoe turns, and lumber trucks I lost time taking the short cut.

Any assistance by those in the know would be appreciated. We expect to be making the trip in early October if time of year has any significance. We are interested in getting there in the least amount of time but will probably make an overnight stop on the way.

Thank you one and all.

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Old 03-02-2009, 04:52 PM   #2
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I have gone from NJ to Charleston several time each year for the last 10 years.

The only change I would make to 95 to 26 would be to use 295 around Richmond. It is 6 miles longer but far less strenuous.

I used 52 once but it is through more small towns than I needed and did not save any time.

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Old 03-02-2009, 05:28 PM   #3
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Well if it were me I'd take US50 East from DC, cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge at Annapolis and then to Salisbury on the Maryland Eastern Shore. Then I would head South on US13 thru the Virginia Eastern Shore and across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. From there you could continue on 13 or pick Up I64 for a bit to US17. I would then take US17 all the way to Charleston. Quick - no - but a lot nicer than all the way on Interstate's. I avoid Interstate's like the plague wherever possible. And once you get to Charleston a great place to stay is James Island County Park.
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Old 03-02-2009, 08:10 PM   #4
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I have lived in Charleston all my life and if I were making the trip home from WDC I would take 95 to 1-26 into Charleston. Hwys 41 and 52 are two laners for most of the way. Both take you through more rural areas which have some decent scenery but lots of slow downs, podunk towns, and stop lights. 95 to 26 is the cleanest, safest shot into Charleston and would probably save you time.
Anything else around Charleston I could help you with in preparation for your trip just let me know.
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Old 03-02-2009, 09:01 PM   #5
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I Live in Virginia Beach. I-95 between Washington and Richmond is pure hell. When I must take it, my preferred time is after 9:30PM on weekdays... preferably 3:00 AM under a full moon. On Weekends - Sunrise. Should you find yourself between DC and Fredericksburg VA between 4:00PM and 6:00PM on a weekday, pull off! (Or visit Safford RV just east of I-95 and just south of Fredericksburg. They usually have 5 to 9 Airstreams on the lot.)

Check out 301 in Virginia - 2 lane much of the way and quite pretty especially by Fort A.P. Hill. If you use 301 to I-64, then go west to catch 295 South you are going to get past the worst congestion on I-95 - it's a short distance from S. Richmond/ Petersburg to the N.C. line which is where the road turns semi-civilized.

Of course if you want scenery and a leisurely drive I-17 has it's merits, but it's a stop and smell the roses route.

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Old 03-06-2009, 08:15 PM   #6
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I definitely understand the comments about I-95 between Richmond and DC, but I've driven it many times without major problems. Stay to the right and relax and it'll be fine (but don't do it during rush hour).

On my trip from DC to Charleston a couple years ago, I stayed at South Of The Border. It's fairly cheap but reasonably nice. You're just a couple hours out of Charleston from there.

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