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NY to DC drive that isn't horrible

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I'm leaving midtown Manhattan Friday at noon and heading down to D.C. in a convertible. I want to stay off the horrible east coast expressways as much as possible. I'll be taking 301 through the Eastern Shore across the Bay Bridge to get to D.C., but I'm wondering if there is a reasonable alternative to the Jersey Turnpike (something equivalent to a rural state road or U.S. route perhaps). I need to get to D.C. by seven for a concert at eight.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

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