driving from JFK to Hawthorne?

Old Sep 11th, 2007, 03:49 PM
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driving from JFK to Hawthorne?

We have downloaded some maps but they make the route look confusing. What is the Best route to get us from JFK airport to the Comfort Inn & Suites in HAWTHORNE new york.

We are British so the roads will be a bit daunting at 1st, we anticipate leaving ny about 4.pm. ish on a monday night.
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Old Sep 11th, 2007, 04:37 PM
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If you go to Yahoo maps it will give you the most direct route - though it is kind of complicated. But - since you're going to be caught in commuting traffic leaving the city you should plan on the trip taking at least 1.5 hours if not longer.

Also, be aware that in the New York area there are a number of roads - called parkways - that are for passenger cars only - no buses or trucks. The reason is that these were picturesque roads, often alongside pretty streams, built in the 1920's for the typical Sunday afternoon family drive.

And though they have been upgraded somewhat they generally have very narrow lanes, small or no shoulders and are very twisty/winding with low stone bridges over them. But - since there is so much traffic around NYC they are very heavily used - and people used to driving on them typically have no problem doing 70 or more (they were built for 35 and limit is usually 50 now). They're typically 4 lanes - 2 in each direction - and sometimes have a very narrow divider between directions.

A couple of these are really the best roads for your route - but stay in the right lane and don;t let yourself be rushed - since driving on them can be tricky if you're not used to them.


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Old Sep 11th, 2007, 05:32 PM
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I can't give the specific route on Long Island near the airport, but you want to go over the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge and then follow the Hutchison River Parkway to Route 287 West (Cross Westchester Parkway). Follow 287 to Exit 2 (Route 9A). Take a right off the exit and follow 9A for about 3 or 4 miles to the Comfort Inn. For a landmark, there's a Home Depot on the left less than a mile before the Comfort Inn on the right.
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Old Sep 11th, 2007, 06:14 PM
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HowardR has given you the easiest to follow directions.

There is a route that I take that is slightly shorter, but exits are not as obvious.

A couple of hints.

From JFK you will take I678/Van Wyck Expressway North. Make sure you get good directions from rental car onto the freeway.

The 1st 5miles of I678/Van Wyck can be backed up horribly. This will be the worst part of the drive and there really aren't any alternatives. Just be patient and it'll pass.

You will follow I678 across the Whitestone Bridge in ~10miles, but you will need to take 2 RIGHT exits along the way. Keep your eyes open for the signs. The 1st one is less obvious. The 2nd one will be on a new stretch of freeway with about 2 miles notice. No need to get in the right lane right away - it's a 2 lane exit and harder to miss.

After The Whitestone Bridge is a $4.50 toll. Cash. Make sure you have $US in hand. After the toll there are several different ways to go. Stay to the far left and watch for signs for the Hutchinson River Parkway. Just follow the 'Hutch' until it merges into I684, then follow the signs for I287 as in Howard's directions.

After that go about 7miles to Exit 2 for RT-9A toward Elmsford. Turn right and you'll be on Saw Mill River Rd. which leads directly to the hotel in 2miles.
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Old Sep 11th, 2007, 10:25 PM
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While nytraveler has given you very good information about the parkways, at 4pm on a Monday you will be in the beginning of rush hour traffic and less likely to see cars going 70mph. And while no one likes stop and go traffic, the benefit to you is that everyone will be going slower, which should help you adjust. And with congestion, there is significantly less lane-switching going on, which of course can be harrowing when the traffic is going faster.

The Van Wyck is an interstate and not a parkway: cars and trucks are allowed on it. The Hutch is a parkway, so no trucks and a bit curvier roadway.

Interstate roadways are identified by blue and red signs, both standalone on the right side of the road, and as part of the green directional signage, often overhead. http://images.google.com/images?hl=e...ate+sign&gbv=2

A tip about interstates: on the east coast, all major interstates are two digits, i.e., I-95. Odd numbers indicate a north/south thruway, and even ones indicate east/west. Secondary "interstates" supplement the main roadways, all of which have 3 digits, such as I-684. All exit numbering restarts when you cross a state line, with low numbered exits to the west or north and increasing from there.

Here's a thorough "manual of traffic signs"! www.trafficsign.us/index.html
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Old Sep 12th, 2007, 04:57 AM
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Ann
I'm assuming you are still planning on Mon Oct 22, on your way to CT.

If you wish, I will give you my cell phone # which you can call en-route from JFK to your hotel (if you have need real time directions or get lost I can try to help you out over the phone)

Please send me an email at j62ny at yahoo dot com.

j62
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Old Sep 12th, 2007, 05:20 AM
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J62 is probably closer to the mark in saying that the Comfort Inn in Hawthorne is about two miles along Route 9A from the 287 exit.
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Old Sep 12th, 2007, 07:19 AM
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J62, Howard & everyone,
Your comments are all really appreciated, I must admit we are not looking forward to this part of our holiday at all.
We have changed our 1st nights accom a few times based on info on fodor's etc.

Am wondering if there is a more 'British' visitor friendly route, thats more direct (than the one i've picked). Want something off the motorways and not down little roads as it might be dark and we might get lost. Whats Armonk like? Hubby does not want to be more than 1 hour from JFK. So are there better places to stay on our 1st night that are easier to get to.

J62 thats a really nice offer, may take you up on it if we can't find accom thats easy to get to.
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Old Sep 12th, 2007, 07:28 AM
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If you take the Saw Mill River Parkway be careful in getting off the exit, I hate that exit (I would take 9A). At the light at the end of the exit go straight up the hill and you will be there.

There is a diner and an Applebee right there (a Wendys down the street).

Good luck.
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Old Sep 12th, 2007, 08:29 AM
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The location of the hotel you've picked is just fine.

Really the only part of the drive that can be difficult is actually getting out of NYC, and you have to do that regardless of where you decide to stay.

A good map with turn-by-turn directions and you will be just fine. If you take a wrong turn you'll have to recover of course.
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Old Sep 12th, 2007, 08:58 AM
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Assuming you are coming within the next month or so, you don't have to be concerned with driving at night. No matter how much traffic there is, you will arrive at the Comfort Inn in daylight.
As far as alternate direction, do NOT consider using the side roads. Trust us, we have given you the best route!
Now, as for your question of an alternate place to stay, what is your ultimate destination? I was wondering why you had picked that Comfort Inn. Don't get me wrong, it's a most decent place, but it's an odd choice unless you had a specific reason for staying there. There are plenty of alternative options. To avoid going out of your way, let us know what your ultimate destination is.
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Old Sep 12th, 2007, 09:38 AM
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Good advice HOward
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Old Sep 12th, 2007, 03:58 PM
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Agree not to even consider side roads. You need to stay on the major highways to get across the various bridges - and not get lost in some neighborhoods you definitely don;t want to be in.

Also - when you get to Westchester roads are often very twisty and winding - and don't end up where you expect them to. And there are several parkways with only a few roads that go over them. You could be lost for an extended period if you try to head cross country.

Agree - that this seems a slightly odd place to stop.

If you tell us your final objective perhaps we can make things easier.
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Old Sep 12th, 2007, 04:29 PM
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I checked the sunrise/sunset times for October 22nd and sunset is 17:05 (5:05 pm), so don't dilly-dally on your departure time or you will be driving in the dark!

What is your ultimate destination? What's in Armonk? (I can't think of where you might stay there) Armonk will be more dark and desolate than Hawthorne (deer will be out at dusk -- be careful).

As for landmarks, The Home Depot is tucked away down the hill, so it might be difficult to see if you don't know where it is. Applebee's and Wendy's are more easily recognizable.
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Old Sep 12th, 2007, 04:31 PM
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Again, thanks for imput.

This is our 1st nights stay, based on being within 1 hour (ish) of JFK and near motorway, booked hotel based on good price $136 pn and fact restaurant on site as we do not want to drive or walk (in strange area) to our evening meal.

2nd day is driving up through Litchfield county stopping at nice place and leaf peeping, arriving at Lenox MA for our 2nd night 3 rd night is in Wilmington Vermont for 2 nights and onto RI for 2 nights and then back to JFK stopping in Norwalk for our last night.

We know it will take us about 3/5 hours to get to lenox, but this will be scenic drive so its ok.
Maybe White Plains might be better, if it was you coming from Uk where would you stop bearing in mind our itinery.
Thanks
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Old Sep 12th, 2007, 05:24 PM
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I personally think staying in Armonk is easier and nicer than Hawthorne. Armonk is IBM country so there are quite a few places to stay just off of I 684 exit 3.

Rather than take the narrow parkways, take I95 north and then get on I287 west and onto I684 north. That will have traffic, but it won't have curvy roads where cars go faster than they should.

White Plains will work too, but be aware it is a pretty good sized city with varying neighborhoods. Ask us about specific hotel before booking.
Debi
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Old Sep 12th, 2007, 05:40 PM
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I just looked at tripadvisor and the only place they show in Armonk is LaQuinta that gets horrible reviews.
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Old Sep 12th, 2007, 05:42 PM
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White Plains is a good bet, as is Armonk. (Incidentally, there is an IBM research facility in Hawthorne, and my friend works there and she says they put up execs there often for convenience at that hotel is fine/nice and new). Oh, when you drive up to Lenox, Mass, I hope you take the Taconic Parkway all the way up, the scenery should still be nice, and it's a lovely drive!
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Old Sep 12th, 2007, 05:44 PM
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oh, an incidentally, I game my friend from Scotland directions the reverse way...287 to hutch etc., because he was heading out to Long Island to go to South Hampton, and he made it just fine, said it was no problem at all (and he's a UK driver!). There is a bit of road construction on 287, so it can get a little congested through some bits as you pass White Plains, but just be carefull and you'll do fine,
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Old Sep 12th, 2007, 05:48 PM
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Oh, to add one more location for a convenient place to stay...Tarrytown. It's right directly off of 287 (feeds into the local route 119), and there is a Marriott (called the Westchester Marriott, but it's in Tarrytown, on Route 119 aka White Plains Road), and a brand new Sheraton Hotel there which is quite nice. I also think there is a Courtyard by Marriott there (and right up the road on 119 towards Elmsford, there is a Hampton Inn as well). They're all really conveniently located to main highways and parkways, etc. The more I think of it, I do feel Tarrytown is very convenient, but Hawthorne is fine. (Oh, the Westchester Marriott has two onsite restaurants, one is Ruth's Chris the good steak house chain)
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