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cctraveler Apr 16th, 2005 09:20 AM

Best route to Colonial Williamsburg
What is the best route from Mass to Colonial Williamsburg. Thru Baltimore/Washington or just hug the coast to Newport? I'm planning on traveling in off-peak hours so hopefully traffic will not be an issue.

vbella Apr 16th, 2005 12:12 PM

Would probably be a lot more relaxing to head south along the coast, traffic
less congested once south of Wilmington, Delaware, all the way down to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.
With going the Baltimore/Washington route you have to deal with two city's beltways which heavy traffic and frequently backups even when it's not rush hour. I live in Delaware and I'm
very familiar with the DC/Baltimore area as well as the coastal route.

justme22 Apr 16th, 2005 03:35 PM

route 13 (1 is the actual coast road here but 1 and 13 are sometimes the same) 13 more down the middle of delaware takes you all the way to the chesapeake bay bridge tunnel ($$$) is okay but it will put hours on your trip this takes you a little south of williamsburg but it is a pretty drive.for the most part this is filled with traffic lights. BUT far more interesting than 95. you could compromise and do 95 and 301 to 17 and take the colonial parkway into williams burg (really pretty road) but 301 and 17 do have local traffic and it can be a real bear thru waldorf md. good luck

vbella Apr 17th, 2005 09:42 AM

Justme22, that's a good suggestion also, using 30l south, I'd do anything to avoid having to go through both Baltimore and Washington. I have found though that 30l, as you pointed out, can be even a lot slower than the Eastern Shore Route, during weekdays. Our best trip using 301 was on a Sunday morning, it wasn't bad at all then. Do you also live in Delaware? Sounds like you're pretty familiar with the Delaware route.

bluestructure Apr 17th, 2005 09:57 AM

Driving thru Baltimore is NOT bad at all. It's the DC area that you have problems driving. It seems like we have to answer the Q of getting around DC all the time on here and it's really a toss up. There could be lots of different routes to be taken. There is more lights and towns to drive thru on the Eastern Shore of MD/VA than there is on 301. Traffic can never be THAT bad on 301 in Waldorf, just don't drive south between 3-6ish during the week and your okay. Whatever route, definitely stay away from DC beltway if you can. If you drive during the day, you risk traffic or a major accident (like the tanker crash that shut everything down last Tues) or if you drive at night, they are closing the beltway in VA for construction in springfield and the new WW bridge crossing the potomac. I took US 13 from Baltimore for the first time last month instead of 301/17. It added 2 hours on to the trip and traffic moved so slow thru those towns on 13. It was nice and I loved seeing the Bay Bridge/Tunnel. I guess the Q is, when is this trip taking place? Spring or Summer? I would think there would be more traffic on 13 or closer to the beach as it gets warmer. I would honestly take 95 down to Baltimore, take 895 south towards Annapolis - go thru Harbor Tunnel. Exit off at I-97/Annapolis-Bowie. Take I-97 south to route 3 Crofton/Richmond exit. Route 3 turns into US 301 when it reaches US 50 in Bowie. Take 301 south thru Bowie, Waldorf, La Plata into VA. Once in Port Royal, you can either take US 17 towards Yorktown/Williamsburg or contine on US 301 towards 95 and go thru Richmond. That's the route I would choose but definitely look on a map at both routes (301 & 13 on the shore)so you get the idea.

rb_travelerxATyahoo Apr 17th, 2005 10:48 AM

I've taken all of the above routes, all have their positives & negatives. If you find something of interest in VaBeach, Norfolk, or Hampton/NNews area, I'd go for Rt 13 all the way from Delaware Memorial Bridge. If you want to get to Wbg and skip the other areas, then do 301 and choose whether Rt17/Colonial Parkway, or to 95/64

The big question for the next few months is the Woodrow Wilson Bridge project, where the Beltway crosses the Potomac near Alexandria VA. There's another thread discussing this right now at Fodors.

vbella Apr 18th, 2005 11:30 PM

If you're not in a big hurry the coastal route is far more relaxing, getting off 95 at Wilmington, DE, going south on Route 1 in Delaware, taking 113 at Milford, Delaware and heading south to Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. If you truly want to see the coast, stay on 1 in Delaware all the way to the southernmost part and then cross over Route 54 at Fenwick Island to Route 113. Lots of farm and beach scenery, taking 1 throughout the entire state of DE. If you're like me, spending an extra hour for a 10 hour trip that is more relaxing is worth it.

cctraveler Apr 19th, 2005 06:35 PM

Thanks for all the info. I actually went the 95 route thru Baltimore and DC. It actually was not bad at all. I guess leaving at 2 a.m. has it's upside.

justme22 Apr 19th, 2005 06:48 PM

vbella, have friends that live on the northern neck of va. sometimes i go from home (NJ) sometimes from meetings in washington, so i have tried most routes to vary that drive. can't help it she's my best friend!

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