Baltimore MD to Cape Cod

Sep 9th, 2009, 02:54 PM
  #1  
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Baltimore MD to Cape Cod

Hi-
I am thinking about taking a trip to Cape Cod next June and I am trying to figure out the best route. I am driving up on a saturday. Mapquest basically says I-95 all the way to Providence, RI to I-195 to Route 25 in MA to Route 6. I have been up this way twice going up to Maine. One time I took I-95 through Connecticut, which was a nightmere and the second took I-84 through Hartford, CT, which was a lot better. But, this is Cape Cod, which is farther south, so it looks like I-95 through a good part of Connecticut. Around NYC, I have always taken the Tapppen Zee Bridge, but it looks so far out of the way. How bad is the George Washington Bridge? I have also heard the Merritt Parkway is better than I-95 for a good part of Connecticut. I guess I could take I-84 through Connecticut to I-90 to I-495 East or South to Route 6, but that looks way out of the way. Another thing it looks like I could do is take I-395 north in Connecticut and go east on Route 6 to I-295 around providence to I-95 north to I-495 south to Route 6. Another thing I could do is detour through Newport, RI and hook up with I-195 in Fall River,MA. Are any of these worth it? I might spend the night on the way up in Newport, RI. But, I don't know what to do for the way home.
Thanks-
asdaven is offline  
Sep 9th, 2009, 03:37 PM
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You've got most of the options there and I agree that none of them is wonderful. All it takes is a fender bender to make it really miserable. That said, if you can time it so that you get through NY city at a reasonable hour, don"t hit too much traffic in CT, then the 95 to Providence then 195 will be the best option. All the other options can have the same kinds of problems with traffic. The GW bridge is no bargain but is a shorter route, if you listen to one of the NY radio stations that give traffic reports every 10 minutes you can make a last minute decision about taking it or Tappen Zee.
emalloy is offline  
Sep 9th, 2009, 04:23 PM
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Thanks- This is going to be a Saturday or Sunday, so rush hour is not an issue. Unless there is still rush hour in NY on the weekend? So, George Washington might be the better bridge to take. But, i ve been told by many people to take the Merritt Parkway through Connecticut then hook back up with I-95. I think I might detour through Newport, Rhode Island and spend the night there on the way up though. Not only to just break up the drive, but also so I arrive at the cape on a sunday and early rather than late in the day on a saturday.
asdaven is offline  
Sep 9th, 2009, 09:18 PM
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We drive between Baltimore and southern New Hampshire frequently and I-95 is just not as bad in recent years as you would presume or everyone tells you (perhaps most use an alternate route?).

Once in a while, we've encountered minor slowdowns, but nothing worth going too far out of the way to avoid. And, there have been slowdowns along the various other routes at times as well.

The worst backup we've encountered to the GW Bridge actually took only 20 minutes to clear sailing.

Our Garmin nuvi has been worth every penny for routing around traffic congestion though. And, EZPass is very handy to have - a fantastic time saver.

I don't think it will matter whether you head for Cape Cod on a Saturday or a Sunday.
djkbooks is offline  
Sep 10th, 2009, 04:17 AM
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When, I ve used the Tappen Zee Bridge in the past ive experienced backups on the Garden State Parkway in Newerk and again on I-287 near the bridge. It seems like GW Bridge is faster. But, I do think ill take the Merritt Parkway, its a highway and parallels I-95 so its not out of the way.
Thanks-
asdaven is offline  
Sep 10th, 2009, 08:06 AM
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The Merritt goes quite a bit north from Milford CT on so be sure to take the connector over to 95 there, or you will be going out of the way by many miles unless you opt for a very slow (but in places pretty) ride on Merritt to 684 E to 66 E to 6 E to 95 to 195. Do listen to the radio for traffic since Merrit is only 2 lanes and accidents get traffic backed up fairly often..

Best wishes
emalloy is offline  
Sep 10th, 2009, 02:39 PM
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Thats what I meant, cut over to I-95 at Milford,CT. Is this worth it? 66 E and 6 E looks like a lot of slow 2 lane roads. I am looking for the fastest way.
Thanks-
asdaven is offline  
Sep 10th, 2009, 03:03 PM
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Stick with 95 but listen to traffic reports. 95 and Merritt parallel at times but anytime gained on the Merritt will be lost backtracking to 95 or getting to 84 to keep going east.
tchoiniere is offline  
Sep 10th, 2009, 04:55 PM
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its only a mile or so to cut over at milford though.
asdaven is offline  
Sep 15th, 2009, 11:04 AM
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I don't want to be the pessimist but I live in Ct & go to the Cape every summer. The traffic on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings is usually horrendous in the summer on I95 and I84. You would be better off leaving late and driving into the evening or Sunday morning. As another writer indicated, throw a car accident or rainy weather into the mix and it will add alot of time to your trip. Hope you have a wonderful time.
usermom is offline  
Sep 18th, 2009, 11:57 AM
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i would leave saturday morning and get up to connecticut in the afternoon and then spend the night in Connecticut or Rhode Island. Then, continue onto the cape the next day.
asdaven is offline  
Dec 8th, 2009, 07:28 PM
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As long as you cross over the bridge by 9:00 you'll be OK no matter what day you arrive. I hope you enjoy your visit.
Bowsprit is offline  
Dec 8th, 2009, 07:29 PM
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I meant 9 a.m. and not 9 p.m.
Bowsprit is offline  
Dec 9th, 2009, 04:16 AM
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I drive Richmond to Boston or Hyannis very frequently, and once drove Chapel Hill to Boston several times a year.

Distance is not as important as traffic, especially truck traffic. It's miserable from Baldimer to the Delaware Memorial Bridge. Then the New Jersey Turnpike takes you away from much traffic (many drivers take the free parallel interstate) all the way to the Garden State Parkway. Again, no trucks until just before the Tappan Zee. For the Cape, take the Merritt Parkway to Milford, then I-95 to Providence and follow signs to the Cape from there.

Traffic can be deadly on I-95 from around exit 43 through the I-91 cutoff to Hartford. It is generally reasonably pleasant these days from East Haven all the way to Providence. Weekend traffic onto the Cape in June will not be horrible.

If you were going to Boston rather than the Cape, some of my directions would be very different.
Ackislander is offline  
Dec 9th, 2009, 08:48 AM
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Hi -- I drive pretty much the length of Connecticut almost every weekend from spring to late fall.

Taking the GW as opposed to the TZB -- the problem here is not the bridge, usually, but the roads just after the bridge, where yo are guaranteed a jam on Saturday or Sunday afternoon. Late at night it can save you about fifteen minutes.

You do go slightly out of your way taking the Merritt, but it is a prettier drive. I don't usually drive it on this route because I live closer to 95 in south western CT, but it may suit you. No trucks, but very short exit and entrance ramps which can cause delays.

The major delays heading east on 95 on Saturday morning or afternoon will be at Norwalk (exits 15 & 16) and then again at New Haven, as Ackislander says. After that you should be clear. One big "but" -- towards the later part of June traffic heading for rentals in RI and Cape Cod on Saturday morning can cause delays all along the route.

Someone mentioned above the Friday evening was bad on 95 and that is true. What we do though is wait until about 8PM to start, and we usually breeze through.

There is no good time to return on this route (heading west) on a summer Sunday, by-the-way. Traffic backs up at Mystic, Old Saybrook, Madison and New Haven, then at exit 38, and again at either Westport or Norwalk. You'll just have to grin and bear it or leave on another day. It can easily add between one and two hours to the CT portion of the trip.

On last thing -- if you do overnight in Newport, you'll find that Mapquest, etc will route you out of town on some secondary roads. These work, although there are some frustrating stretches with lights, and you'll make good time to Fall River to pick up 195.
Fra_Diavolo is online now  
Dec 9th, 2009, 09:34 AM
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The time factor difference between taking the Merritt part of the way is slight and should not be a factor. As others have said, the advantage of taking the Merritt to Milford is simply that it's a much pretty ride. Period.
As for the choice of taking the GW versus the TZ, the GW route is a few miles shorter. The determining factor there should be the traffic. 1010 WINS gives a traffic report every 10 minutes. Listen to it and act accordingly.
HowardR is offline  

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