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Road Trip: Philadelphia to Savannah, through Eastern MD/VA/NC

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Road Trip: Philadelphia to Savannah, through Eastern MD/VA/NC

Old May 14th, 2006, 08:51 AM
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Road Trip: Philadelphia to Savannah, through Eastern MD/VA/NC

Hi Fodorites,

Well, summertime is almost here, and for me that means...road trip! My significant other and I have decided to hop in the car and do the fairly easy 12-hour drive from Philly to Savannah at the end of June.

The first day we want to do about 7 hours down to Edenton, NC via the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia (I much prefer this over 95, ugh). We'll stay there for the night/some of the morning.

The second day...it seems like we have no choice other than 95 straight shot down to Savannah.

My questions are these: As I would prefer the vacation to be less "road" and more "trip," if anyone knows of a decent alternate route through eastern NC/SC to Savannah, I would be very interested! Also - thoughts on Edenton as the overnight stop? People on the board have said it's cute, small, historic, though we're very open to any other suggestions at the 6/7 hour mark.
Finally, any thoughts on neat places to check out along Route 13 (MD/VA), Route 17 (NC), or (sigh) I-95 to Savannah would be greatly appreciated.

We are very excited to see Savannah. The posts on this board have been so helpful, and we have a delightful itinerary semi-planned out for the 4 or so days we'll be there. (And after living in 'Bama for 5 years, I'm excited to get back to my southern favorites of grits and hush puppies!)

Anways, that's it for me. Thanks, and take care
butibeentoOklahoma is offline  
Old May 14th, 2006, 09:58 AM
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Why not stay on 17 all the way to Savannah?
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Old May 14th, 2006, 10:13 AM
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It'll take a long time to get to Savannah on US17. It's about 450 miles, and I doubt you can average 50 MPH, having to pass through Wilmington, Myrtle Beach and Charleston. If you want to do this, you need to drive longer the first day, and make it around a 9-hr trip each day.
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Old May 14th, 2006, 10:33 AM
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As a frequent driver Boston-Savannah, I can understand your issues with I95. However, I just checked on Mapquest comparing a coastal/secondary road trip versus I95.

I checked Edenton to Piney Green, NC to Myrtle Beach to Savannah - which would be a reasonable non-95 route to I95.

The former takes about 10 hours, the later 7 (I think it would be faster than that - the traffic flies on I95 anywhere south of Richmond, VA). If it were me, I would go with I95 - you still get about 100 of the 450 miles on smaller, more scenic roads and 10 hours in the car would be without even stopping to enjoy anything along the way. Unless you were going to stop again before Savannah, that is a long day.
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Old May 14th, 2006, 11:52 AM
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I actually don't think 17 would be a bad drive. It has bypasses all along from Wilmington to Charleston. From Wilmington to MB is about an hour and a half. From MB to charleston is about 2 1/2 hours. Charleston to Savannah is about 2 hours. It is a 4 lane highway all the way--a bit congested right at MB. Except there you can make good time. I have warned about the stretch below Georgetown to Charleston. It is wide open and uncrowded. I've seen a good many patrol cars but others don't. You can definitely push it a bit.
I don't know how far Edenton is from Wilmington.
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Old May 14th, 2006, 01:11 PM
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Wilmington, NC to Savannah, GA on US17 is 275 miles. Based on Gretchen's description, it's 6 hours, or just under 50MPH.

Edenton, NC to Wilmington is another 180 miles. And much of it is two-lane undivided highway, so it's close to 4 hours.

That's why it is a 9+ hour trip to do this 450 miles.
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Old May 15th, 2006, 05:56 AM
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The VA portion of Assateague Nat. Park is not far from 13. It will probably take you almost 4 hours to travel down the entire eastern shore so I don't know whether you have time. If its lunch time as you reach the end of the Delmarva peninsula, stop at Stingrays in the Exxon just before the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel.
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Old May 15th, 2006, 06:04 AM
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17 from below Myrtle to Charleston is actually a nice drive. You might not get past Charleston though, fantastic historic area, awesome restaurants, great old inns, and the barrier islands like Kiawah are fantastic as well.
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Old May 15th, 2006, 07:20 AM
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I second and third Charleston!! Lots more to do.
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Old May 15th, 2006, 07:42 AM
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Take SC 31 or the Carolina Bays Parkway (same road) around Myrtle Beach and hop back on 17 South around Surfside Beach.

I highly recommend Highway 17 to Savannah through Charleston. You'll pass through the ACE Basin south of Charleston which is truly one of the most spectacular drives in the US.
 
Old May 15th, 2006, 07:48 AM
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Jump on I-95 to I-40 and take that to Wilmington and then hop on US 17 South.
 
Old May 15th, 2006, 08:02 AM
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GoT's last post is what I recommended to my friend from NYC to come to our place in Litchfield. Route 17 is a very easy drive from Wilmington. Also, now that that bypass (31, etc.) is finished, it is even better.
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Old May 15th, 2006, 09:00 PM
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Ooooh this sounds great! Thanks so much for the help. It sounds like 17 is a workable solution, and Charleston might be a fun stop as well. Take care all, I'll let you know how it goes
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