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Are we crazy? Drive from DC to NYC--advice needed

Are we crazy? Drive from DC to NYC--advice needed

Old Jul 4th, 2009, 08:18 PM
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Are we crazy? Drive from DC to NYC--advice needed

My sister and I are taking my niece to visit colleges in NYC and Philadelphia. We, like most folks in DC, usually take Amtrak to NYC, but because of the stopover in Phila. and the fact that there are three of us, we are considering driving. Valet parking at our hotel in NYC is about $45 per night (we'll be there two nights), but train tix for all three will be at least $600 with the split ticket. I know NYC traffic is a nightmare, but DC's not for sissies either and I'm a good city driver. Are we insane or can we drive to NYC?
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Old Jul 4th, 2009, 08:23 PM
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Philly is 1/2 to 2 hours from NYC. Other posters know the URl for garages in Manhattan.

Basically you are going to enter the city, find the hotel and park. You are not going to make deliveries or drive a cab.

In the alternative what about the Megabus?
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Old Jul 5th, 2009, 12:00 AM
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I've spent a summer living in DC and I've driven from DC to NYC. The drive from DC to NYC is no problem. I had no problems navigating the NYC streets to get to my hotel and then to get back out of the city. I relied on the subway and taxis while in NYC. I actually have a more difficult time driving in DC than NYC because the diagonal state named streets and all the roundabouts can throw me off...even when I'm somewhat familiar with a route. In my experience, the traffic was heavier in DC than in NYC (I was staying at American University in DC and commuting to Georgetown. In NYC, we stayed in Manhattan just off of a busy section of Broadway - don't remember the cross street or the name of th hotel. Really, you should only be driving to NYC and not driving around NYC. So if you don't have a problem with the distance, have decent enough navigating skills (yours are likely better than mine), and the cost for parking is cheaper than taking public transportation from DC to NYC, then I would personally opt for driving to NYC...unless there is some alternate option - like the Megabus as mentioned above (I'm not familiar with what that is).
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Old Jul 5th, 2009, 01:40 AM
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Have a look at www.bestparking.com, where both NYC and Philly are listed.
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Old Jul 5th, 2009, 05:40 AM
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Driving in NYC is much, much easier than DC. Most of Manhattan is a grid and easy to figure out. DC is crazy for drivers with it's circles, same street names in each quadrant, etc.
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Old Jul 5th, 2009, 06:32 AM
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I've driven from Baltimore to NYC dozens of times, sometimes coming back in the same day. Driving in Manhattan is not a problem - no different from driving in DC or any other large city, just bigger.

You can find cheaper parking than the hotel, but you're not going to save a bundle, and if you park off site you'll make it more complicated in terms of dropping off your luggage, then parking the car, walking back to the hotel, etc. You might be just as happy using the hotel valet.

Megabus is a very good alternative as Aduchamp suggested, but I'm not sure you can take it from DC to Philly.

Also as SusieQQ suggested, at least in Manhattan you don't have to deal with quadrants - circles, yes, but not as many of them. Just don't get lost in the lower east side.
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Old Jul 5th, 2009, 08:39 AM
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Couple of points about current conditions: Amtrak is running some great specials right now in the NE region which includes all of the cities you are going to--you might want to check out their current deals. Second, there is a NJ regional train from Philly to NYC--much longer train ride, but much cheaper (than the usual) Amtrak as well.

I've done the Balt to NYC drive twice in the past 2 weeks. There are huge backups at the DE bridges on 95 and also at the 95/695 intersection north of Baltimore. Last weekend took me 2 1/2 hours to get through DE on 95 at 5-7pm, took 2 hours at 11pm Sun night 2 weeks ago. Friends breezed through at 6-7am, so if you get through really early, you might miss this mess. With the construction on 95, the delays are longer than the usual summertime delays.
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Old Jul 5th, 2009, 08:41 AM
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Well, we're from England and we did it! We drove from Boston to NYC and although we didn't use the car whilst we were in NYC, we had no trouble finding our hotel (I admit we took our SatNav) and the driving wasn't scary at all!
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Old Jul 5th, 2009, 09:10 AM
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"Last weekend took me 2 1/2 hours to get through DE on 95 at 5-7pm, took 2 hours at 11pm Sun night 2 weeks ago." Good point. I've cursed Delaware many, many times. Usually the problem is just their 1950's toll booths, but now they've got a lot of construction underway before the bridge going northward.
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Old Jul 5th, 2009, 09:11 AM
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Oh, I forgot though - if the OP is going to Philadelphia first, they won't be taking the Delaware Memorial Bridge except perhaps on the way back.
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Old Jul 5th, 2009, 11:01 AM
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I don;t see any problem with driving and just leaving the car at the hotel garage.

Separately, don;t know what colleges you're looking at - but if they're not city center in either place the care might be useful getting to them.
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Old Jul 6th, 2009, 09:18 AM
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Just to clarify--those extra slow driving times were between Wilmington and Newark, DE on one trip, and from Newark DE to 695 on the other trip--they didn't include the usual (expected) summer DE Memorial Bridge traffic. So they would also apply to the DC to Philly portion.

Go very early in the morning if driving!
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Old Jul 6th, 2009, 10:30 AM
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If you can handle DC, you can handle NYC. Unlike the capital, the City has traffic lights in yellow lamps overhead in the intersections, not off to the side partially hidden by trees in dark green lamps that are nearly invisible at night.
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Old Jul 6th, 2009, 10:36 AM
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The worst traffic signs I ever seen were in DC. I do not rememner how many exit signs were past the exit.
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Old Jul 6th, 2009, 10:41 AM
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You can go by bus and avoid the driving hassle. Apex bus from DC to Philly $15 per person. Recommend Bolt Bus Philly to NYC $10 each. NYC to DC take either Bolt or Megabus, $20 each. Total for all 3, $135. Of the 2 many prefer Bolt, but both are comfortable and many steps above the Greyhound experience. Apex leaves DC from Chinatown and arrives in Philly's Chinatown which really is pretty close to the center of things. Bolt arrives in NYC midtown. In DC, Bolt arrives at the Metro Center station.
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Old Jul 6th, 2009, 10:43 AM
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That is, $135 R/T. If you buy tickets early enough, it can be less than that. Reservations are necessary and not refundable.
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Old Jul 6th, 2009, 06:12 PM
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Thanks so much for all this great advice and votes of confidence! We're going to drive. I don't know why we were so freaked out by it.
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Old Jul 6th, 2009, 06:12 PM
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Thanks so much for all this great advice and votes of confidence! We're going to drive. I don't know why we were so freaked out by it.
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Old Jul 6th, 2009, 07:17 PM
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"The worst traffic signs I ever seen were in DC."

And don't try to park, either - your car will probably be ticketed immediately, whether parked illegally or legally.
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Old Jul 12th, 2009, 04:28 PM
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Thanks for the votes of confidence--we drove and it worked out beautifully. Good to know that this is an option.
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