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Planning route to North Georgia

Old Apr 14th, 2013, 04:07 AM
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Planning route to North Georgia

We re planning on going to North Georgia (Helen,GA) this summer and im trying to plan a route for us. We live in the Washington DC area. Im thinking I-66 to either I-81 or US 29 through Virginia. Then, im not sure after that. US 29 hits I-40 near Greensboro,NC. Or I could take I-81 to Johnson City, TN to I-26 to Asheville,NC then west on I-40 to US 19 to US 441 south into Georgia. I could also go west from Greensboro and US 29 and then go that same way.

Another main option would be to take US 29 and then take I-85 from Greensboro there through Charlotte, then Greenville and Spartenburg, SC. Then once in Northern Georgia, North from I-85.

We have two days to make the drive headed down there and two days coming back home. So, we would be spending the night both ways. So, I have a few questions. First, im not the biggest fan of the I-81 corridor and think that US 29 through Virginia would be a great alternate scenic drive. But, that dumps me out at Greensboro. From there I can take I-40 or I-85. Is there any scenery along I-85 in South Carolina or would I be better off taking I-40 to just a little past Asheville and heading South on US 441 into Georgia through the mountains? Looking at the map, I-85 seems like it has a lot of cities, whereas I-40 seems to have much less after Winston-Salem.

Thanks-
asdaven is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2013, 04:34 AM
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I40 is far more scenic--be interstate comparison standards. and 85 south around Charlotte is a MESS.
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Old Apr 14th, 2013, 07:05 AM
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I really enjoy that drive down 29, but Gretchen is right. I85 can be busy.
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Old Apr 14th, 2013, 01:58 PM
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Could take 29 to I-40 to past Asheville then south......going down though. Would have to go through Greensboro and Winston-Salem. But, looks better than I-85. I-81 to I-26 in Asheville, then I-40 west to US 19 to US 441 South into Georgia is the other option. Maybe ill go one way going down and the other going back.
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Old Apr 16th, 2013, 02:57 AM
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That's not a bad idea. It's easy to get through Greensboro from 29. Both Greensboro and Winston will have a little more tfaffic during rush hours, so you may want to time it so you come through late morning.
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Old Apr 16th, 2013, 03:51 AM
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I would the route to Asheville and down to Clayton before going over to Helen. It was the return route I planned to take this week. The drive from Asheville to Clayton is an easy one, on four lane highways with a scenic drive.

My route UP to DC was via Greensboro and that was fine but I got off in southern VA and wandered around for a day before heading into DC after traffic cleared. I think a route through NC will be fine as long as you time it right and avoid rush hour traffic.

If you plan to come to Atlanta for anything, my return route this week was a really easy drive. I took 20 between Atlanta and Florence and then 95. I was surprised at how fast and easy the drive was - long...but fast and easy. I'd been warned that 95 was a "beast", but both traffic and road surfaces changed completely after the 85/95 split near Petersburg, but on a Saturday morning there really wasn't much traffic to speak of.

If you take the 85 route through NC/SC (Greensboro, Charlotte, Greenville), I'd take the last exit in SC - Highway 11 - to head up to Clayton GA. That drive, 11 to Westminister to 76 to Clayton, is one of my favorite scenic drives. It's not a fast drive, but my favorite one to cut over to that corner of GA.
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Old Apr 16th, 2013, 04:09 AM
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I85 is not just slow in Charlotte--it is STOPPED. There is construction from Concord to Charlotte. They have finally opened the Yadkin River bridge. There is also construction north of Salisbury. Salisbury has 8 lanes going through it (wonder who that was in the legislature) which then goes down to 4 (2 per side). BAD
I40 from Greensboro/Winston is really fine. Very uncrowded and 70MPH. The Route 19/441 is lovely.
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Old May 3rd, 2013, 10:58 AM
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Like Gretchen said, stay away from 85 in Concord, it is stop and stop traffic.
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