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Driving trip from Mass to Colonial Williamsburg

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We are planning an August trip - driving from the Springfield MA area to Williamsburg, and then on the way back planning to hit DC for a couple of nights with the goal of seeing the Mall museums and monuments (Video Game exhibit at the Smithsonian for the 10yo boy!). Total trip time to be less than a full week, with the drive down starting in the middle of the night.

I hear about the ferry from New Jersey as a shortcut to VA, along with the Chesapeake Tunnel (?)- Can I get some input on that? I guess it's not so much a time shortcut we care about as much as a break for my husband from driving. Is it worth the cost of the ferry?

Also, looking for family friendly hotel suggestions in the Williamsburg area - and especially in the outskirts of D.C. near public transportation to get to the Mall area. We have a 14yo and a 10yo. There is just sooo much info I don't know where to start!

Also, are we crazy for doing this in August (weather-wise) ??

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