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Traveling to/from Bedford, PA to Outer Banks - question about DC Beltway

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A friend and I just got back from a great week in the Outer Banks after our annual ladies get away (my two sisters, my sister-in-law, her sister, some other friends - 12 of us).

I've done at least one, sometimes two, trips to NC for the last 20 years, either for my fall ladies trip or with my immediate family. I travel I70, to I66 to VA 17, then to I95 in Fredericksburg. Every year my friend suggests that we pick up I95 outside DC. I'm hesitant because we make good time the way we usually go (even on 17, we usually are going 60 mph), and I have had several people telling me that we don't want to get near the Parkway.

Any thoughts?

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