Pittsburgh - drive from DC

Old Jul 16th, 2003, 02:02 PM
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Pittsburgh - drive from DC

I'm a tourist looking forward to visiting friends in Pittsburgh in a couple weeks.

I'm planning to rent a car & drive from DC to Pittsburgh on a Friday morning & return to DC on Monday morning.

Advice on how to get to Pittsburgh & how long it will take to get there?

Should I just take the turnpike? I'm a rookie...does turnpike mean tollway/expressway?
Thank you!
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Old Jul 16th, 2003, 02:07 PM
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No to be curt, but , do a map search on either mapquest or yahoo.com maps..and it tells you exactly which highways and gives you exact travelling times..

also AAA lets you do your own triptics on line...

This is just a heads up...
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Old Jul 16th, 2003, 03:56 PM
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Might I suggest looking into Amtrak. It would be more relaxing trip and you wouldn't have to navigate the construction project that masquerades as the Pennsylvania road system.

http://pittsburgh.about.com/cs/roadconstruction/
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Old Jul 16th, 2003, 06:48 PM
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The trip to Pittsburgh will take you about 4 hours or so.

I have driven there twice from the DC suburbs, but don't remember the exact route. I do know we took the Pennsylvania Turnpike which we picked up in Breezewood, PA (disgusting). The turnpike, by the way, is a toll road.
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Old Jul 16th, 2003, 07:13 PM
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I do that at least once a year. I think it takes me a little longer than 4 hours, though, more like 5. I thought it was about 300 miles.

Anyway, I have tried both the Pa turnpike route but much much prefer going across West Virginia. The road is a lot better, and more scenic, and less traffic. Also, they have a higher speed limit in W Va.

I go up from DC to Frederick, then take 70 west from there. Instead of taking 70 north up to Breezewood, just keep going west across Maryland on 40 which turns into 68 in W Va. Go across the state on 68 and then go north on I79 at Morgantown. This goes up to Pittsburgh. It's a fairly pleasant drive this way, and no tolls (although I don't recall they are that high). I hate the Pa turnpike myself.
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Old Jul 16th, 2003, 07:16 PM
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It depends on where in DC you are leaving from to connect you to I-270 which leads into I-70 and the PA TPKE.

The Tpke is a lousy ride, construction most of the way to Pitt. with a posted 55 MPH workzone speed limit. I was on it in early June for a RT to Ohio, and never again. If Amtrak is convenient, I would suggest that.
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Old Jul 16th, 2003, 07:44 PM
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When I lived in Pittsburgh, my brother (in DC)and I made frequent trips back and forth. The quickest was a little over four hours, the longest more than 6 -- due to hideous construction on the Turnpike. The Amtrak suggestion is a good one but you might (seriously) consider flying -- USAir often has a $108 weekend roundtrip and, even with the time spent in airports, it might be worthwhile if your friends aren't too far from the airport. We found that the drive through WVA added at least an hour over the Turnpike route.

Be sure to take in The Strip (and maybe have a lobster roll at Roland's!) while you're there!
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Old Jul 17th, 2003, 04:28 AM
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Christina is wise. Taking Route 68 West to Morgantown, WV and take whatever road it is north to Pittsburgh is a much more pleasant drive than the ugly old Pennsylvania Turnpike. It will only add about half an hour to your drive but you get to miss one of the ugliest spots of America- Breezewood. Western Maryland and eastern West Virginia has some beautiful countryside. Furthermore, for a quick lunch, there are several Long John Silver's along the way from Morgantown on up to Pittsburgh.
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Old Jul 19th, 2003, 07:21 PM
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Frankly, anyone who describes something as "ugly" and then recommends you eat at Long John Silver's I wouldn't trust much. The distance is 230 miles..the Turnpike is hardly ugly and Breezewood, which probably isn;t exactly pristine will be but a blip on the radar screen. I would fly rather than take Amtrak (and I'm the train buff!!!)
 
Old Jul 20th, 2003, 06:50 AM
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Hi Jam

I live about 50 miles south of the 'burg. You definitely don't want to get on the pike. Take 70W through MD and get on I-68 in Hancock. Take that and follow to either Morgantown or Pennsylvania. The roads in MD are much better maintained--smoother ride, and are scenic through some nice mountain ranges. If you follow 68 to Morgantown, you will stay on 68 bypassing the friendly WVU city and continue following until you see signs for 79 North towards Waynesburg or Washington, PA. You will need directions from your friends once you get farther north in Pittsburgh. There is another route going through PA that you could opt instead of 68 through Morgantown "depending" on which side of Pittsburgh your friends live on. This would be Route 40 down through Confluence, Farmington, Uniontown and connecting with Route 51 N. Route 40 this direction is only two lanes and slower moving, then Route 51 N. is filled with stop lights and people pulling out in every direction. Since you are a rookie, I'd stay on the main roads and let your friends get you to their place from I-79 N. Good luck!
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Old Jul 20th, 2003, 07:49 AM
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Taking an Amtrak to D.C. is terrible. I was on it for 9 hrs. The train originates in Chicago and if there is any delay on the way due to switch changes. etc. you are screwed. Better to drive there. You can get to D.C. in 5-5 1/2 hours. Its about 230 miles from Pittsburgh. When I go to D.C. I like to stop and eat in Breezewood, PA or Frederick, MD. Personally I don't like the Turnpike, too narrow for the heavy truck traffic and traffic in general. There is the 68 route which would be more scenic as everyone mentioned above.
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Old Jul 21st, 2003, 10:20 AM
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Obviously, Intrepid has no love for good, old fashioned fish and chips. Snob. There's no better fast food in America than their good ol' fish and chips.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2003, 02:05 PM
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well, there are many fast-food restaurants along the route going through WV and up to Pittsburgh, so that is no problem. I'm surprised it's only 230 miles as it does seem longer to me, but I think that's because it can take forever to get out of the DC area during rush hour (up I270) and there is some strange Bermuda triangle of traffic problems around Frederick. At least, every time I've driven up there in the last couple of years, cars are backed up bumper to bumper for miles around Frederick.

The reason I started going through WV in the first place was the time and problems I had on the Pa. Turnpike, and I don't think it adds any time on because it's a faster drive and better roads and less traffic and less construction--at least the times I went (you too will be thanking Bob Byrd when you take 68 which is quite pretty in parts).
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Old Jul 22nd, 2003, 02:21 PM
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Hi

We found I-68 when we were returning from Fallingwater in Pa. The road was excellent - I can only compliment it and it appeared to be very new. Scenery was great. If you don't try it this time - give it a try one of these days.

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