Road trip from Atlanta to DC

Old Oct 23rd, 2019, 09:19 AM
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Road trip from Atlanta to DC

Hey, all:

I have a conference in Washington D.C. next week, and I'm going to be driving from basically Atlanta to DC. I'll be doing the drive in two days (day and a half, really), and I'd love some suggestions on more scenic routes to take than straight up the interstate. I probably don't have the time to do the Blue Ridge Parkway all the way up, but maybe parts of it? Will also be driving back (obviously) so will look at two different routes. Thanks for any suggestions!
auburn84 is offline  
Old Oct 23rd, 2019, 12:33 PM
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Depending on how much you spend for a motel room in Virginia and how much you spend for parking in DC, you could take the Amtrak Crescent (#20) from Peachtree station to Washington Union station for about the same money. The train leaves Atlanta shortly after 8PM every day and arrives in Washington about 10AM the next day (approx 14 hours).
There has been some recent severe weather in the southeast extending up to Washington so the colorful autumn leaves are probably mostly down.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2019, 01:07 PM
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The leaves are actually lovely right now in Virginia and will probably peak in the next couple of days/over the weekend and remain nice through next week.

I'd include part of the Blue Ridge Parkway for sure. The Skyline drive will be nice as well. Both will be crowded with people out to view the colors and so they will be very slow going. I'd pick about 60 miles that you want to do on one of those in Virginia.

I can't speak to what colors look like in SC or NC right now.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2019, 02:11 PM
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Personally, I would fly or take the train and use the extra time to enjoy D.C. I-81 and I-95 are crowded with commercial trucks. The technical phrase for traffic in the D.C. area is, "it sucks." Parking in D.C. proper is wicked expensive. And the "scenic" routes will likely be crowded with leaf peepers, slowing down your drive.

Just my $0.02.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2019, 03:04 PM
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Parking in DC isn't unusually expensive for a major city in the US, ever been to NY or San Francisco? Their rates are higher. Even without getting lower rates via some parking app (which is fairly easy), you can easily get all day parking in major garages for about $25 a day (such as the one at the Reagan International Trade Cntr near the Mall).
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Old Oct 24th, 2019, 04:14 AM
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Poster has asked for DRIVING and even wants to see colors and the BRP.
I googled the map and it suggested 3 main routes all in the neighborhood of 10.5 hours.
I have driven I81 OFTEN and the truck traffic (ALWAYS mentioned) is no worse than anywhere else.
I might suggest taking 85 to Charlotte (about 4 hours and go on to Winston Salem for the night and a little sightseeing if you wanted. Nice restaurants. Or Charlotte for some good restaurants.
Then maybe take the Route 29 on to Washington.
Coming back you could maybe do some of the more back roads that run down the Shenandoah between 81 and 29. Then go on to Asheville and take the back roads through the GSMNP.
The colors should be good--our fall is later this year.
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Old Oct 24th, 2019, 09:38 AM
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Gretchen suggests something similar to what I was going to follow up withó-get on the BRP around Peaks of Otter or Roanoke, get off where is ends/begins in waynesboro, Va. Take 64E and the take 29 North from Charlottesville to DC. This will be slower than getting on 81 N but prettier.

The only place where my opinion differs from her is that I do think the truck traffic on 81 is worse than many other places and may be something people are not used to. I drive it often and am inured to it but itís noticeably more pleasant to drive on less-trucky highways when I travel elsewhere.
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