I am planning a big road trip from central CT (near Hartford) to Philly. Than from Philly to Asheville, NC. I havent really found the best drive to Philly cause I want to stay off real major highways. Not that I want to take dirt roads just those not so used or not to bad to drive. But I want to take the Skyway through VA and then the Blue Ridge Pwky. Any advise on good routes, nice scenery and not to much heavy traffic. Or anything you have to offer. Also I eventually want to take a trip to meander around and find some your shops and meet in person for once.
I am a few hours from asheville in Burlington NC
But I want to take the Skyway through VA
Thats called the " Sky Line Drive " and do it in
I suggest going west to eastern PA to avoid the
mess around NYC and the even worse NJ.
Sky Line Drive, Make sure you have new brake pads before leaving on your trip. Don't let the Wife roll down the window to talk to the bears NO MATTER how cute she thinks they are. Keep in mind, It is a long drive but worth it the first time.
I'm about 1 mile off of US Route 1 in Bel Air, MD. About an hour south of Philly.
To avoid what I consider the worst roads, traffic and drivers cross the Hudson north of NY like the Tappan Zee or Bear Mt Bridge(very scenic) and then take the NY thruway to 287 and head south down in NJ on 295(NOT 95!) and cross over the Betsy Ross Bridge to Philly. This avoids most toll roads and in my exp is way better traffic wise. Just avoid driving at rush hour periods, esp friday nights.
Bear in mind that the Skylind Drive through Shenandoah National Park is a destination in itself. It is entirely a scenic drive, 105 miles long itself, with many, many, views and viewspoints at pull-overs scattered along the entire length, not to mention the innumerable trailheads everywhere into the National Park forest.
Since the speed limit is about 35mph, enforced for good reason, you should never be in a hurry.
The Blue Ridge Parkway, which connects directly to the Skyline drive at its southern end, then continues in a like-wise fashion for the next 450 or so totally scenic miles until it terminates at the entrance to Great Smokey Mountains National Park.
We have, on several occasions, taken an entire week or so just to drive the entire combined length of these drives, one way. Those were some of the best vacation camping trips we ever made, and we have been all over North America. Totally idyllic.
With all due respect, do not send that poor man to the Bear Mountain Bridge across the Hudson!
Oh, it's certainly scenic, no question about that! But the section of US 6 / 202 up from Peekskill isn't nicknamed "The Goat Trail" for nuthin' ! Steep and winding, with no center guardrail. I personally knew somebody who "bit the dust" in a head-on there.
That's certainly a place I would recommend as "full daylight in nice weather only" to the uninitiated
Better to cross the mighty Hudson on the Tappan Zee Bridge. (I-287).
One way to approach Philly through NJ is US 130, which is a good alternate to the NJTPK.
Well that section of road is one of my favorites...but I do see your point. Tappan Zee is good.
But, I would avoid 130 unless you like lots of traffic lights and the most boring "scenery" you can imagine, then again just about anything is better than the NJTP!
I just came back from a trip to Boston, and there is no really good way to Philly on the not so major back roads. From Hartford I would go 84 West through NY to the Pa State line. From there you have several options in the Delaware Water Gap area to come south. If you pick up ^11 by East Stroudsburg, you can take that right on down through the Easton,Allentown area and int Philly at the Northeast corner where 611 merges with U.S.1. From there you can either go thru the city on 1/611 (Roosevelt Blvd. that turns into Broad Street The Rts. diverge here) or you can pick up 76 West to 202 and swing slightly West of the city and go through Valley Forge and points south. You could also pick up 95 if you wished and come East along the river through the city. No tolls but traffic no matter how you come.
You could also take 287 in NJ south to 78, then 78 west to Easton in PA, then 611 south as ARFF79 described. 287 and 78 are decent roads, plenty of traffic at peak times, but seldom are there delays.
Where in Phila. are you headed? That makes a difference when planning the route.
If you get near NE PA here's what I'd do... Take route 209 through the poconos down til it merges with 80, then take 80E one exit and get off at the Del Water Gap - from there take 611 all the way down to Philly. That would give you a very scenic drive, during a great time of year. Route 209 is a major 2 lane road with average speed maybe about 40 (don't speed through the park service because they WILL get you). On 611 it will be slower when you are driving through the small towns and over small bridges but figure maybe 30-35 for that portion.
If you cross into NJ from NY try to stick to Route 23S for the northern part. Much more congested when you get closer to 287, but north of there it's a good drive.
hooligan, please put some hint of your location. "earth" makes no one smile but you.
I made it to Philly. It was certanly a trip!! Hour s of wonderful on and off blinding rain and getting lost for an hour. I ended up avoiding going directly on 95 to the city. I jumped onto 52 then headed to NJ on NJ-31. Than back to 95 to the city. Its was a bit of work going by myself but I learned and survived. I hate driving in NY, and sorry to anyone that deals with it all the time. In about a week I am going to head to Asheville. I am going down to start an apprenticeship blacksmithing.
Are you going to Penland? A friend went there, had very good reports on the school. Driving on the back roads of NC has it's own excitements BTW.
Where Skyline Drive Ends and the Blue Ridge Parkway begins at Route 64 in Virginia, consider coming a few miles east to Charlottesville and visit Monticello. Most metalworkers seem to find something in common with Jefferson. Look me up in Charlottesville if you like.
Also note that if you find yourself on Skyline/Blue Ridge after dark, go slow and bring a large stick to beat the attack deer off the road in front of you. Was up there last night. Good grief. Absolutely could not drive faster than 35 because of deer herds.
There are some really good restaurants in downtown Nyack, NY which is on the west end of the Tappan Zee bridge. Go by that Museum of Precision in Vermont.
If you get down around Waynesboro, VA (not far from Charlottesville, I-64 and I-81), you might want to stop by Metalsmiths if you are interested in blacksmithing.
463 Dinwiddie Street
Waynesboro, Virginia 22980
How I do love the South!! You guys really know how to live. Asheville, NC is a really amazing place. I am going to stick around and enjoy this mountain paradise. Just wanted you guys to know I didn't drive off the Blue Ridges and never come back. Heres the website to my blacksmith friend.
If I were in Ashville and wanted to go to Hartford Conn, I would consider 81 to 84 to Hartford. If you get bored on 81, get off on Rt 11 and drive through the country till you get tired of the back roads. Then get back on 81 and go like the devil. I have made that trip many times. Beats going anywhere near Washington DC, Baltimore, Philly, NYC or any of them places....
When you get to Carlisle, Penna, get off on Route 11 north and look for the Middlesex Diner just a little ways from the Turnpike Interchange. I think it is Thursday nights (PORK and Sauerkraut).
Stinks up the whole place, it stinks real good.
Anytime is a good time to stop there, but pork and sauerkraut is really really good. If you look on a map, you will see Rt 11 North is going east right at that area. After you have eaten, continue east which is north and you will see signs for Rt 81 north or 83 North, makes no difference, they both come together and then 81 splits off again. Don't take 83 South to York or you will end up at Harley Davidson on Arsenal Road, Route 30 just east of 83 on Rt 30.