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please help me with my road trip from NH to SC

please help me with my road trip from NH to SC

Old Aug 16th, 2011, 06:10 PM
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please help me with my road trip from NH to SC

traveling with my dog from Manchester NH to North Myrtle Beach on Aug 26. I'm 50 + years old and would like suggestions on the best, easiest drive. I was in 2 major accidents recently, neither were my fault, and so, I'm a bit shy when it comes to driving. I would like to see some historical places and realize that with a dog ( black lab ) this will not be an easy task. Can anyone help me out here. I have a week to do this. Motel suggestions as well as restaurants / diners would be an added bonus. My biggest concern is the routes,,,,,don't want to do Rt 95. was thinking 81 would be less stressful. I also don't mind driving off the beating path to see something of interest,, eg, civil war stuff, historical homes / cemeteries and the like. Need dog friendly hotel/motels.
Thanks folks,
Millie
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Old Aug 16th, 2011, 06:29 PM
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When you say you have a week, do you mean a week to drive from NH to SC and back, or a week just to drive down? We would normally drive that distance in two days (I don't like going much over 8 hours if I can help it) but it would be a very easy three-day trip.

Rte. 81 is a beautiful drive, much prettier than 95, but not always less stressful; there can be a lot of truck traffic. If you're not driving at night it's not bad. This is a bit out of the way, but you could completely avoid 95 by taking 84 out to PA, getting on 81 and staying on it almost all the way through VA, getting on 77 South towards Charlotte, and then cutting over towards the coast.

I don't know what kind of motels you usually look for, but we sometimes stay at Best Westerns when we just need a place to stay along the road, and some of them are pet-friendly.
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Old Aug 16th, 2011, 06:47 PM
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If you are wandering down, how about stops in -
Scranton - a 6 hour drive
Lancaster, PA - a 2.5 hour drive - spend the day driving around Amish country
Stop at Gettysburg and take a tour led by a ranger or drive around using the audio tour
Front Royal, VA - a 3 hour drive
to Mt Airy, NC - a 4.5 hour drive on interstate, but take the Shenandoah Parkway and Blue Ridge Parkway some of the time
If you liked the Waltons, stop by Schuyler Va and see the little museum
In Mt Airy, see the Andy Griffith show sights, take a tour in a squad car
to NMB - a 4.5 hour drive
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Old Aug 16th, 2011, 07:06 PM
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thank you Barbara and Starrs. Yes, I have a week to get down there, it's my final destination, as I have just sold my home here in NH. I would like to see as much as I can without going to far out of my way. The biggest issue will be what I can see with my dog. Thanks so much for your suggestions and I like Starrs ideas as well as your's Barb.
Thanks,
Millie
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Old Aug 16th, 2011, 07:16 PM
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Well, if you aren't going to make that drive again and if you have any interest, I'd detour over to western PA to see Frank Lloyd Wright's famous house Fallingwater. It's at the top of my bucket list.

I usually stay at LaQuintas, but there aren't any on that route. Your best bet is to check on Holiday Inns or Best Westerns to see if they allow pets. It varies by individual hotel. I think all Motel 6s allow pets, but I haven't stayed at one. One good thing about the mountain route - it would be cool enough for you to go in for a quick look at a small museum, etc. If you want to sightsee for a longer period of time you could "day board" the dog at a local vet's office for part of a day. I've done that when traveling for work.
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Old Aug 16th, 2011, 07:30 PM
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Check out this website -

http://www.petswelcome.com/

It lists hotels for each city as well as the pet fee. Very handy.
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Old Aug 16th, 2011, 09:15 PM
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Starrs' suggestions are good. We did an audio tour around Gettysburg a number of years ago and enjoyed it. Also, you can have your dog in most of the park (although you can't take him/her into buildings):
http://www.nps.gov/gett/planyourvisit/pets.htm

Good luck with your move!
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Old Aug 17th, 2011, 03:24 AM
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Routing is going to be difficult if stress-free is your goal. I have driven both the primarily I95 route and the I81 route MA-NC. I found I81 at least, if not more, stressful than I95 thru NJ/MD/DC - the times I have driven it there were lots of big scary trucks that wanted to go 85mph - many people find trucks appearing to want to enter the trunk of your vehicle disturbing. (And I drive a lot for business and am not an anxious driver). As a woman driving alone I would prefer I95 since there are far more highway services along the way.

Avoid I95 around NYC if you choose that route by taking I495/MassPike thru Massachusetts to Rte 84 and then over Tappan Zee Bridge to Garden State Parkway. You do then have to deal with I95 thru southern New Jersey, Baltimore, Washington (although there are other routes around DC area). Once south of Richmond, VA I95 is much calmer.

starrs presents an interesting routing - just be aware that I81 is still a major highway roughly comparable to I95 is potentially distressing features.
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Old Aug 17th, 2011, 04:28 AM
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If you like the coast, follow Gail's directions to the Tappan Zee and Garden State Parkway.

Take the Garden State Parkway to its end in Cape May, a town full of Victorian houses. Spend the night.

Next morning, take the ferry to Lews, DE. The amble south through the Delmarva Peninsula/Eastern Shore to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, stopping wherever suits your fancy. This is a beautiful route, running throug farmlandd just behind the coast, with many charming towns where you can stop for a meal or the night.

Across the Chesapeake, you have three choices:

Norfolk-Newport News-Yorktown for a visit, followed by US 17 to Myrtle Beach through NC. Washington, New Bern, Beaufort, and Wilmington are all nice.

I 64 to Williamburg and Jamestown for a couple of days, then 295 to Rocky Mount and on down horrible I-95 to SC.

Virginia Beach and the Outer Banks, taking the NC State Ferries across the gaps in the islands.

There are no trucks on the Garden State Parkway, and none of the non I-95 routes is a major truck route.
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Old Aug 17th, 2011, 04:30 AM
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Sorry for the typing errors. I cut the end off my left index finger with a hedge trimmer recently, and I am hitting a lot of false keys!
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Old Aug 17th, 2011, 04:43 AM
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Ackislander's suggestion would be my recommendation if a more relaxed drive is the primary goal, for sure! Your mentioning Civil War and other historical sites is what made me stick to I-81. Once you get below Virginia, I-95 is really not bad. Not pretty, either, but usually not as congested as the more northern segments.
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Old Aug 17th, 2011, 06:32 AM
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". I also don't mind driving off the beating path to see something of interest,, eg, civil war stuff, historical homes / cemeteries and the like. "

My route is basically one that I've driven with a dog. I'm not familiar with the Manchester to Scranton leg but I made that the "long" day with 6 hours of driving. There probably are great ideas of places to stop in between those 2 locations.

But otherwise the rest of the route is very low-key with 2.5 to 4.5 hours of driving a day. That can be driving on the expressway or interstate, but given the OP's request she may enjoy getting off the fast route and amble a bit. It certainly would give her the chance to see Civil War sites, historical homes, etc.

I do this a lot. I drive a lot and get bored on the expressways. I use my map to find alternate "blue highways" and just drive those. If I have plenty of time I look for the road with the dotted green lines because those are the scenic routes. The OP can easily make this drive, accomplish her sightseeing goals and avoid the interstate most of the time.

No matter the route she chooses, blue highways and green scenic routes are good alternatives to interstates - if you have the time and enjoy it.
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Old Aug 17th, 2011, 06:14 PM
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thanks a bunch for all your suggestions, I just picked up my trip-tik from aaa, and will map out all of your suggestions. Thank you so much. I will look into a doggie day care center so maybe, i will find a few historical sites where I can enjoy the day, and so can my dog. She might also like not being stressed out. Thanks for all the suggestions.. I think we will take 3 to 4 days to do this trip if I can find enough to see, and the weather is conducive. Thank you,

Millie
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Old Aug 17th, 2011, 06:50 PM
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millie, doggie day cares are very nice but if there aren't any I do call a local vet and make arrangements for pup to stay for part of the day while I work on the road. Another idea for one day is if she needs a bath or grooming is to drop her off at PetSmart and let her have a spa day while you sightsee
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