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Best Driving Route from Philadelphia, PA to Hartford, CT?

Best Driving Route from Philadelphia, PA to Hartford, CT?

Old Sep 25th, 2005, 04:48 PM
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Best Driving Route from Philadelphia, PA to Hartford, CT?

Good evening!

My husband and I are driving from Philadelphia, PA up to Hartford, CT for a 4:00 pm Cirque du Soleil show this Friday. We are allowed to check into our hotel at 1pm so Im trying to coincide our arrival to Hartford with that 1pm check-in time.

I was wondering if anyone was familiar enough with this drive to help us decide which route to take. Ideally, and if its even possible, less traffic and more scenic beauty would be awesome. Keeping that in mind, I would greatly appreciate any feedback on the routes below:

Internet and map research has shown we could take:

1) 476 N to Scranton then 84 E (passing through Port Jervis and Danbury)


2) NJ Turnpike/95 N.

Also, Yahoo maps said it takes about 4.5 hours to make this trip-is this accurate? Because Im not familiar with the areas, Im not sure how much time to factor in for potential (inevitable?) traffic delays...

Finally, if youve had better luck with another route, please feel free to make suggestions!

Thanks so much for your help and have a wonderful evening-its beautiful here in PA tonight!

Sincerely, Carrie

NatureGirl19317 is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2005, 02:52 AM
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Can't comment on the turnpike/95 route, but I stay off of 95 if I can -- general principles.

Have traveled the I84 route many many times, and most often, you won't see much traffic at all until you get to Hartford. It's a very pretty drive -- just watch for deer depending on the time of morning you leave. 4-1/2 hours sounds about right. Since it's Friday, you may want to allow extra time in Hartford, which always seems to snag up a bit and always seems to have construction.
birgator is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2005, 03:44 AM
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i live in nj about 1/2 from philly. you do NOT drive to scranton to get to conn. that is SOOOOOOOOOOOO out of the way. cross over into nj on the ben franklin or walt whitman bridge. get on 295 north to 195 east (this is going to take about 45 minutes to an hour tops. from 195 east, get on the NJ turnpike this will take you all the way up and then take 95 it should be a 3 to 4 hour drive (to ny city is about 2 hours to 2 and 1/4 hours then your treck to hartford. going thru scranton will take between 4 and 6 hours. you are not heading east soon enough.
justme22 is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2005, 06:34 AM
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There's always an age-old debate about the best route for this trip. My opinion:

Don't take the I-95 route. That's going to take you over the GW Bridge and through NY City on a Friday -- a trip that in general is a giant pain.

The 476 route thru Scranton etc. is a matter of opinion, but I wouldn't do it. It's going to take you a heck of a lot longer and it isn't all that scenic. Hey, you're still traveling via interstate highways, so it's not as if you're winging along on some picturesque country road.

My suggestion. Take the NJ Turnpike north to the exit for the Garden State Pkwy north (exit 10 or 11, I think). Stay on the GS to the end, take 287 east over the Tappan Zee Bridge, follow 287 and then -- for the picturesque part -- take the Merrit Parkway (can't remember the route #) into Hartford.

OK, next suggestion: If you're traveling on a Friday, LEAVE EARLY. I'd plan on getting to Hartford for lunch and then hotel check-in. A drive time of 4 1/2 hours is about right, even if you take the route I recommend.
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Old Sep 26th, 2005, 07:42 AM
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j999 is exactly right in my opinion. You might still hit some traffic around the Tappan Zee, but it will be better than the I-95 route, and a prettier drive.
Suki is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2005, 08:22 AM
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I used to do this drive many times -- I always took I95 to the GW bridge, then got on the Merrit pkwy for a nicer drive. If you were driving in the summer (shore traffic), or on a holiday weekend, you would have a tough time, but on a Friday morning the last weekend of Sept? -- I95/GW bridge is no biggie. I'm not saying you won't hit any traffic, but unless you hit some major accident (which could happen on any route) you'll be fine.

My only tip for I95 -- people FLY on that highway, so be safe! Also, I always opted for the car route when the highway splits -- the trucks sometimes go too slow and you get caught up in them, and the truck route is only a 2 lane road, while the car route is 3 lanes.

Whatever you do, do not go up to Scranton, that is way out of the way, and no great scenery to speak of.

SenecaGirl is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2005, 08:42 AM
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I grew up in CT and I have family in NJ/PA, so hopefully I can help a bit!

DO NOT take 95 the whole way, you'll want to throw yourself out of the car.

I'm with 999's suggestion. Follow 287 over the Tappan Zee bridge, then hop on 684 through White Plains to 84. The Meritt is an ok option (I think it's route 15), but I personally prefer 84. One thing to note: Waterbury is notorious for traffic (midway between Danbury and Hartford on 84), but should be fine at that time of day.

Good luck!
BostonGal is offline  
Old Oct 10th, 2005, 09:07 AM
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Good afternoon! Thanks so much for the great suggestions for this drive-they were extremely helpful! We left around 9 am on a Friday morning and arrived in Hartford around 1:30 pm. We hit ZERO traffic through the route below (suggested in the responses to my post):

Commodore Barry Bridge
NJ Turnpike N
Garden State Pkwy
287E take Tappan Zee Bridge

Thanks again!!
NatureGirl19317 is offline  
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