NYC to DC - Drive

Jun 7th, 2002, 10:39 AM
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NYC to DC - Drive

My husband has never been to DC and is thinking of renting a car and takin one day out of our week in New York City and driving down to see as many sights as possible in a day. He's thinking Saturday, the 6th of July with a really early departure from the city, and a late return.
We don't know anything about traffic, tolls, etc. so I'm just looking for a bit of guidance here.
Jun 7th, 2002, 10:45 AM
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This makes for a long day...
Penn Plaza NYC to the Smithsonian institution on the mall:

Total Distance: 231.43 miles
Total Estimated Time: 4 hours, 1 minute t5zbiK59SRvkrfr2KyZNrugf09UI2Pw0Hx%252fWVtLMQXV16P BKWhgQlf6uGe3O26RbUKsaQAy433vgYPzg%253d%253d&2s=DC&2c=Washington&2sk=10&2g=SMz7%252fDLXAbI%253d&2y=US&2l=HhhIsgNYHZo%253d&lr=2&x=78&y=18

Try the Acela or MEtroliner service from costs a few $, but you don't have 8 hours of driving.
Jun 7th, 2002, 10:51 AM
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Traffic could be bad. On a good day, trip takes about 4 hours each way, bad day 6+.
Tolls are pretty high--about $25 round trip. Car rentals from NYC on a weekend can be difficult to find (many New Yorkers don't keep cars in the city, but rent for weekends--since its part of what could be called a long 4th of July weekend, even harder) and are very expensive ($75 or more). Then of course you'd need to find parking in tourist-crowded DC.
If you do want to go to DC for the day, I strongly recommend taking the train. Sometimes Amtrak has one day excursion fares, second person discounted fares, etc that would make the prices a little more reasonable. You might even want to stay overnight in DC (summer hotel rates are pretty low) if you really plan on seeing the sights, depending of course on whether you want to give up a day in NY.

A day trip to DC by car in summer is certainly possible, but seems stressful,IMHO
Jun 7th, 2002, 10:55 AM
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Of course, the Jersey Turnpike through Elizabeth is delightful on a hot July day...
Jun 7th, 2002, 11:30 AM
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Driving round trip to Washington for a day really doesn't make a lot sense, considering that the driving time alone would be at leasy 9 hours! But, even taking public transportation, a day trip from New York to Washington isn't very practical. You wouldn't have that much time to see the sights. Staying overnight makes a lot of sense.
Jun 7th, 2002, 11:55 AM
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If you don't mind flying, it would be more reasonable to fly to DC and back for the day.

LGA to Reagan national for example would bring you in close and you may get a view of the city coming in or out.

Take the metro from the Airport to the city, enjoy and fly back.
Jun 7th, 2002, 01:21 PM
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DON'T do it. as an experienced DC to NY driver, it may take you anywhere from 4 to 8 hours depending upon traffic, and you will be incredibly frustrated when you get to dc. tolls are a minor expense -- maybe $15 or $18 -- but the horrendous back ups at the tolls at the NJ tpk and sometimes maryland tolls will add to the horrific experience. (unless you get up at 3 am and drive all night) take the train, stay overnight, and train back. penn sta. to union sta.

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