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Recommended driving route from Philadelphia PA to Asheville NC

Recommended driving route from Philadelphia PA to Asheville NC

Old Dec 21st, 2010, 05:14 PM
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Recommended driving route from Philadelphia PA to Asheville NC

Good evening!

Im heading up from the Philadelphia, PA area in Pennsylvania to Asheville NC area on Thurs AM (day before xmas eve) and I was hoping someone could provide their recommendation on the best route. I've taken this drive before and have found that there are negatives with the routes I've taken:
1. 76W to 81 to 26. The biggest negative from what I recall was that alot of 81 was 1 or 2 lane and its a lot of truckers.
2. 95S to Winston Salem and stay on 40W

I've also heard theyre strictly enforcing speed in VA these days so would like to stay out as much as possible or avoid heavily ticketed areas.

Any ideas?
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Old Dec 21st, 2010, 05:25 PM
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I 81 to I 26 is the best route.
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Old Dec 21st, 2010, 05:31 PM
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You could run into rockslides before you get to Asheville on the W side of the city in the Smokies. Here's a website to check on traffic.

http://www.ncdot.org/travel/i40_rockslide/default.html
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Old Dec 21st, 2010, 06:26 PM
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I just drove 304 miles on I-81 in Virginia today, and did not come across any one-lane part of the interstate. There were a lot of truckers, but speed limits were not so strictly enforced that I could not drive 72 mph at several places.

The best way to get to I-81 from Philly is to go south on I-95 to I-695 (the loop around Baltimore), then west on I-70, southwest on US-340 (at Frederick), then I-81 at Winchester.

Absolutely do NOT go south on I-95 through Washington DC.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2010, 07:52 AM
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The interstate speed limit through most of Virginia was recently changed to 70 MPH. Even when it was 65, I never had a problem passing parked state police driving at 75.

When we go to the Philly area we use 81 and 76. Going to Long Island use 81-78-287 into Staten Island. We live off 81 so haven't used 95 north in the eleven years that we've been away from the DC area..
.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2010, 09:36 AM
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Given a choice between 81 and 95 we'll take 81 every time, despite the trucks. It's not like there aren't any on 95.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2010, 02:39 PM
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No queston, I81.
AS for the speed limit, hmmmmm. YOu can almost always count on 9 miles over it. And I have just come back from a trip where I did that, and it was the fastest trip (I do it often) I've had, with no heart palpitations.
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Old Oct 6th, 2021, 05:41 PM
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Mountains on I-81?

Originally Posted by PaulRabe View Post
I just drove 304 miles on I-81 in Virginia today, and did not come across any one-lane part of the interstate. There were a lot of truckers, but speed limits were not so strictly enforced that I could not drive 72 mph at several places.

The best way to get to I-81 from Philly is to go south on I-95 to I-695 (the loop around Baltimore), then west on I-70, southwest on US-340 (at Frederick), then I-81 at Winchester.

Absolutely do NOT go south on I-95 through Washington DC.

Hi there! I know 95 is crazy, but I am also wondering how mountainous it is to take I-81. I also see a route that is 29 and maybe some of 81 to 66 and 270- but it is 30 minutes longer. I can drive in the mountains, but I just would rather it be a less scary amount of them, or more friendly mountain roads than the rockslide scary ones. Any suggestions? Thanks so much!
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Old Oct 6th, 2021, 05:42 PM
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Or even if you can give me a heads up on how mountainous 81 or 29/81/661 to 270 is
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Old Oct 6th, 2021, 08:05 PM
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Welcome to Fodors kimbazel5638. The thread you've tacked on to is eleven years old. It would be much better if you started a thread of your own with your specific questions.
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Old Oct 7th, 2021, 03:22 AM
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Well, I had missed how old it was because the answers are always the same==too many trucks on I81. Well, the traffic moves just fine.
And there aren't any real mountains that I recall. It is a hilly drive--long ups and downs but not precipitous.

The reference to possible rockslide is on the WESTERN side of Asheville in the Pigeon River Gorge part of the interstate. You don't go on that to get to Asheville and even then that isn't "mountain" driving--and that particular part is one of the prettiest drives you'll see.

Last edited by Gretchen; Oct 7th, 2021 at 03:27 AM.
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