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denisel1980 May 3rd, 2010 03:30 AM

richmond down to charleston
Hi, my friend and I are visiting the states in September, flying to New York, and driving down to Atlanta where we fly back from. We have 16 nights to do this in, and have the first part of the trip sorted (New York/Philadelphia/Baltimore and Washington). Once we leave Washington, we are a bit stuck as to what to see between there and Charleston (we have to visit Charleston not only for its apparant beauty but because I also have friends there who I am visiting). What do people suggest we see over those few days travelling from Washington to Charleston? We have three nights to get from washington to Charleston. Once we leave Charleston, we will visit Savannah for a couple nights then one night in Atlanta before our flight back the next day. If anyone could help us on the washington to charleston route it would be much appreciated as not sure whether to take the coastal route (if there is one), or try to visit the mountains. I'm just not sure how much you can do between those two places in 3 nights? Thanks!

Ackislander May 3rd, 2010 04:21 AM

There is a coastal route, US 17.

It is not a motorway but is a dual carriageway highway for most of its length.

You can pick it up in Fredericksburg, about 50 miles south of Washington, and it will take you all the way to Savannah (and beyond), mostly through pleasant rural country, but through a few large cities (Norfolk, VA) a small city (Wilmington, NC) a few smaller cities (New Bern, NC and Georgetown, SC) and one major tourist attraction, Myrtle Beach, which, if you are British, is best compared to Blackpool without Rock. In other words, there is great variety. YOu can stop to visit plantations, eat fresh seafood, see the historic district in Beaufort, SC, etc. Three days would make a good time for the trip. It will be hot but not crowded at the time you are coming.

denisel1980 May 3rd, 2010 12:50 PM

Thanks, thats great stuff. I was looking on the RAC route planner as obviously we need a place to stay each night, so was thinking Washington to Richmond, stay one night there, then to Jacksonville or Wilmington with one night there, then Myrtle Beach for a night, then destination friends house in Charleston. It would be nice to have a bit of beach time on the days as well as the driving, and that looks like its an option, however you route looks great too, so will have a look at that now, thanks!

GoAway May 3rd, 2010 01:16 PM

Washington to Richmond should only be a couple of hours drive. Unless you plan to spend time in Richmond, you could probably drive further than that on your way to Charleston. Someone else will have to comment on what Richmond has to offer (I personally don't find much of interest there, but that is strictly my opinion, and I know it's not shared). One option would be to go on to Williamsburg and spend a day, and continue from there.

If you want to pursue the Route 17 option - which I like - you could travel east from Williamsburg towards Virginia Beach / Norfolk, and pick it up there (actually, I'd find a way to bypass those cities by skirting around to the west of them, rather than driving into them, to get to 17).

denisel1980 May 3rd, 2010 01:45 PM

thanks for everyones help, I was not sure about Richmond myself, it looks a nice place, but as a tourist I could not find much to see there, so think we may bypass that one and visit somewhere else a bit further along like you suggested. We are not really booking hotels, other than the one in New York. Is it quite easy to find cheap places to stay as we go along?

TDudette May 3rd, 2010 02:08 PM

What about Williamsburg and spending the night (or the 3 you mentioned) there? You could actually get to Charleston from DC in one day.

Also New Bern NC is a nice little town.

denisel1980 May 3rd, 2010 02:18 PM

Hi, i would like to stick to the coast if possible, as coming from near London, we don't get to see the beach that often, or the sun for that matter :) Saying that though, we will be a week in Charleston and Savannah, so plenty of beachtime then I guess. Whats there in Williamsburg, seems quite a few people are recommending it.

denisel1980 May 3rd, 2010 02:29 PM

sorry, am being stupid, you mean Williamsburg in Virginia, not NC. Good idea, So Washington to Williamsburg, then down the US17 to Charleston. Thanks all!

bachslunch May 3rd, 2010 04:24 PM

There do appear to be things to see and do in Richmond -- for example there's this list of possibilities at Frommer's:

Whether you'd prefer to spend time in Richmond instead of, say, Williamsburg, is another question entirely.

denisel1980 May 4th, 2010 03:02 AM

ok, thanks for the link. Now I am confused, looks like I need a vote, Richmond or Williamsburg?

TDudette May 4th, 2010 03:14 AM

In a nutshell, Williamsburg is a restored historic town. Many tours/demos of early American life.

Richmond is capital, has good art museum, historic homes.

Another coastal place would be Virginia Beach, VA. It is more the beach town you want.

Gretchen May 4th, 2010 04:26 AM

I don't really think you have much time to tarry along the way. And I think there isn't that much you would miss. Keep your eye on the prize--Charleston--and ONE day in Savannah. I would drive to Wilmington for a night and then an easy day's drive to Charleston, with a stop off in Georgetown en route. On your way to Savannah, stop in Beaufort also.

gail May 4th, 2010 02:06 PM is a good resource if you are driving the highway - lists food, gas stations.

Have driven that route multiple times. I am sure there is something to see, but I have never found it. Driving thru NC and SC seems endless - and options for food and fuel along the way are limited. Rocky Mount, NC is probably the largest municipal area along the way - and an ex-coworker loves the lifestyle there, but not sure there is much to see.

I would just hit the highway, and drive to Charleston. But that is my travel style so reasonable people could differ on this.

denisel1980 May 5th, 2010 12:02 AM

Thanks all, I think I may just take your advice and get straight to Charleston, looks beautiful and charming and that way I get to spend more time with my friend too and relax on the beach. I guess it also means if we want to spend another day in New York (which I really think we might :)) then we can.

Gretchen May 7th, 2010 08:47 AM

BUT PLEASE do not just hit the road on I95. Take it to I40, to over to Wilmington, and then drive south on route 17. I think it could even be a shorter trip, and it will most certainly be MUCH more interesting. PLEASE!!
If you come to a place you want to stop, then you can, and have something to do besides look at an interstate.

denisel1980 May 8th, 2010 11:44 AM

ok, thanks for the advice, I definitely want a more scenic route, so will take the route 17, and hopefully find some nice places to see on the way down.

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