College Visits -PSU to VT

Jun 7th, 2010, 08:55 AM
  #1  
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College Visits -PSU to VT

Doing the college visit thing this summer. Need to get from Penn State to Virginia Tech. Have one full day and two partial days to travel.

Google Maps gives two routes - one using 79S and one using 81S. Is one route preferable over the other? Would like a route that has fewer truckers and more scenery. Any alternative route suggestions would be appreciated as well a recommendation on a place to stop for the night.
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Jun 7th, 2010, 09:57 AM
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Well, I-81 is the straighter shot. Both routes ought to be scenic -- 81 goes through the Shenandoah Valley and the 79 route goes through West Virginia, always pretty. I know the 81 route is pretty and I know the 77/19 part of the other route is pretty. I'm not very familiar with I-79, but I do know that I-81 has a lot of trucks. (and if you choose that route and get stuck behind an accident or something, Route 11 parallels 81 and can be accessed from numerous exits). I-77 (at the bottom of your 79 route) has a lot of trucks too.
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Jun 7th, 2010, 11:33 AM
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Thanks for the advice - any suggestion on a place to overnight?
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Jun 7th, 2010, 12:56 PM
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bennie, if you are a member of AAA, they have a great college visit mapping service that might suggest good places for overnight.
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Jun 8th, 2010, 07:31 AM
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Thank you Birdie - I am a member and was planning on stopping there on my way home. I didn't realize that they had a special service for college trips.

P.S. - If I recall correctly you live in the Williamsburg area. I can't tell you how disappointed my daughter is that W&M doesn't have the major she wants. She fell in love with the school when we took several family trips to CW. But she just loves Virginia in general so I'm hoping she'll be admitted to both schools she's thinking about.
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Jun 8th, 2010, 10:24 AM
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Bennie, has she looked at University of Delaware? My DD loves W&M but they didn't have her major (athletic training) either. She fell in love with the brick buildings and campus at UDel. It doesn't have the same academic rep as W&M but its probably in line with Tech and Penn St. Do you mind saying which other VA school she's looking at?
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Jun 8th, 2010, 11:44 AM
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Unfortunately, U Delaware doesn't have the degree she wants either , though we hear great things about the school. She's likely to apply to UVA and VTech. VTech and Penn State actually have two of the best programs for her degree (BArch - bachelor of architecture - a five year professional degree). UVA doesn't offer a BArch but does have a MArch which adds an extra year to her education, but its a fabulous school. She loves the idea of studying architecture at the school started by Thomas Jefferson and to be so close to her ideal of American architecture - Monticello. All three programs are very very competitive, so we will be crossing our fingers, saying our prayers and lighting candles during her senior year.

I can still hope my younger daughter applies to W&M!
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Jun 8th, 2010, 12:07 PM
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The Tech program is very well regarded. A friend of ours just graduated from it. Good luck to her.
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Jun 14th, 2010, 05:33 AM
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We're a Hokie family. My husband and daughter both graduated from VT. Realizing I am biased, but it's a great school and great community. I can help with lodging, restaurants, what to expect in the Blacksburg area. I'd be more than happy to help.
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Jun 15th, 2010, 09:59 AM
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JanetKMR - I'd love to be able to say a year from now that we are a Hokie family too! Fingers crossed!

We were just going to stay at the Hilton Garden Inn that seems to be in the vicinity. But we would love a recommendation for dinner. Someplace that is a local place that might give my daughter a feel for the atmosphere of Blacksburg. We haven't decided if we will spend a second night yet or drive over to UVA. If we decided to stay a second night is there something you could suggest for us to do as a family that night?
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Jun 16th, 2010, 03:44 AM
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That's a good hotel and it's only about a year old. For dinner I definitely recommend something downtown....Downtown Blacksburg is adjacent to campus and the heart of the town. Poor Billy's has good seafood and sushi as well as some pasta dishes. I am partial to their veal marsala when I'm not in a seafood or sushi mood.

Another place would be The Cellar. It's been around 40+ years and is a Blacksburg institution. Red sauce Italian and pizza, nothing fancy but solid food and very "Blacksburg".

For breakfast there is a great vegetarian place (don't let that scare you off....we are big carnivores) that has the best breakfast in town, Gillie's. It's also downtown just off Main St.

There is a movie theater on the same block as Gillie's that usually features an independent or interesting film. Also the Town of Blacksburg, especially in the summer, often has something going on. Also Gillie's often has local music at night that is family friendly.

If I can be of further assistance, let me know.
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Jun 16th, 2010, 06:44 AM
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Wow - this is great information. The music at night sounds great.
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Jul 20th, 2010, 10:44 AM
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Janet - we've decided to include a stop at Fallingwater in between Penn State and Virginia TEch. Google maps wants to take us through West Virginia on Rt 79. Does this seem like a reasonable route. The other option to backtrack to Rt 81.
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Jul 21st, 2010, 04:06 AM
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I have never been on Rt 79, so hard for me to say. We go there from Richmond either 64 to 81 or 460 to 81. Maybe post about Rt 79 and tag it West Virginia and someone more familiar can help.
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Jul 21st, 2010, 07:55 AM
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Good idea - thank you
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Aug 2nd, 2010, 10:05 AM
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Back from our trip!

We did end up going through WV - pretty route but lots of trucks and construction.

JanetKMR - While at VT we had dinner at The Cellar - very good food - thank you for the recommendation, not sure we would have tried it otherwise as there was road construction going on out front. There was a free concert at night in a park near downtown but we were a bit too tired to attend. Also ate at Macadoo's(sp?) - not very good. Never did see Poor Billy's - not sure how we could have missed it as the downtown area is so small.
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