Driving from NJ to NC

Jul 12th, 2010, 11:07 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 989
My in-laws live in Chapel Hill so we do this drive 2-3 times a year at least. We have a baby and have also try to time our drives with bedtime. Here is my two cents...

95 is definitely the most direct (especially to the beach), and CAN be the fastest. It can also be pure misery Typically we'll leave after a full day of work, and hit the road around 7 or 8pm. In most cases, this does help us avoid the traffic and make pretty good time.

If you're going to go 95, I'd strongly echo the previous suggestions to drive past DC, even as far as Richmond. If you only get as far as Baltimore, then you'll still have a heckuva drive in front of you the next day, with wide awake kids!

We have also been driving the 78 to 81 route, with a stopover in Winchester, VA (with a friend). It's actually a great little town with a walkable downtown area, and beautiful vineyards. It doesn't quite get us as far down the road as we'd like, but it's worth considering. Personally though, I wouldn't drive on 81 just for the purposes of stopping in Monticello.

Whichever route you go though, I'd really consider driving as much as possible at night, even if you drive well into the wee hours. Even if your stop seems to be a "halfway point," it will take you much longer on the second leg, as you mention, because of the need to stop more frequently for the kids.

Also, may I ask the obvious question? I assume you're going to need to do a roundtrip, yes? So perhaps it's worth driving I-95 in one direction, and I-81 the other. I'd suggest I-81 for the ride home, so that you're not contending with DC traffic during the daytime (on presumably your second day). DC to NJ traffic can be beastly.
TarheelsInNj is offline  
Jul 13th, 2010, 07:56 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 391
TarheelsInNj - thanks for the advice.

At this point we're set at stopping in Charlottsville, VA for two nights (Thursday, Friday) and continuing to Carolina Beach on Saturday morning.

We'll be stopping at Montiplier (Madison's home) which is a bit more then a five hour drive (probably six with the kids) and then continuing another 45 minutes to the hotel. We're going to spend the next day at Ash-View (Monroe) and Monticello (Jefferson). Spend the night and continue the next morning.

Is traffic still as bad on Saturday?

On the way back I'm planning on leaving late afternoon or evening as the kids will hopefully be dead tired. We're also planning to leave on Saturday so I'll be able to recover Sunday and show up to work on Monday.

Any advice on Saturday driving?
zlaor is offline  
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