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Meredith66 Jun 22nd, 2004 02:34 PM

The big Florida to Baltimore Trip
All right all you 95 experts! I'd like to issue a call to arms -- I need help :-) I stumbled across this forum thinking I'd find just a few hotel reviews, but obviously you all are travel agents in your spare time.

Can anyone lend advice to a girl traveling from South Florida to Baltimore? I was going to sotp in Lumberton overnight, but in reading old posts I discovered that may not be the best plan. Then I was going to take 95 all the way up, but I learned that I should take rt 301 around the DC traffic. So, it's now painfully clear that I have no idea what I'm doing.

Thus, I beg of you: Where's a good place to stop after the first day? Fayetteville? I'll have a dog with me by the way :-) What else should I know?

Thank you SO much in advance for any help.


Edye Jun 22nd, 2004 02:45 PM

Did this drive on April 30-May 1 with my 75 year old mom. Left Boca Raton 8am on a Friday. Made one shopping stop in Jacksonville for 45 mins (great Tommy Bahama outlet), then crept through tornado activity throughout 2 hours stretch in GA. Not fun. Stayed in Florence SC, arriving around 7 pm. Could have gotten to Fayetteville had weather not been a factor.Tons of motels, not sure which accept pets. Next day left Florence at 7:30 am and got to Baltimore suburbs by 3pm.

Did not use 301. Do not suggest you do either, lots of traffic lights. Length of travel depends on day of week. DC area traffic less on weekends, for sure, although 95 may be more crowded on weekends in general.

patsfan Jun 22nd, 2004 02:59 PM

we took 301 once-never again
worse than 95 (if you can believe it!!)

LN Jun 22nd, 2004 05:07 PM


I guess the best thing you can do is "look at a map". The area that you're going to is a straight shot from 301. I say this because, IMHO, which really is not too humble because I drive this route often, there is still much construction going on in Springfield vA at the Mixing Bowl. If you get tied up in traffic on 95 around DC you can literally sit for hours (and many do sit that long) The 301 route does have traffic lights but the traffic does move along plus the distance is shorter to Baltimore this way.

I've stayed in fayetteville, Lumberton, Rocky Mount and they're all pretty much the same.

have a safe trip!!

JoyinVirginia Jun 22nd, 2004 08:33 PM

Going south from Richmond VA to Florida we usually stop somewhere in SC, no specific recommendations. I always take 301 north to Baltimore, here is what to do when you reach VA: About 45 minutes after you cross Va state line, you will get to I-295 - take it NORTH toward DC. After about another 35-45 minutes, you will reach the exit off I-295 for 301 north. DO take it, Baltimore is about 3 more hours drive. I like 301 and drive it all the time. It is more scenic, less traffic. Past Fort AP Hill and Port Royal there is a Sheetz gas station/ convenience store that actually has very good fast food. You will cross the Potomac River Bridge into Maryland. IF you hit this stretch of road during AM or PM rush hours on a weekday, traffic is more congested, so try to time your trip, make a doggy rest stop, etc. Go north on Maryland 301, then Maryland route 3, then I-97 north, then follow directions to your specific destination.

Meredith66 Jun 23rd, 2004 04:04 AM

Wow - everyone has been enormously helpful. Thank you for all your specific tips and opinions.

If anyone should return to this post:

Do you have any specific hotel recommendations? I'm worried about getting someplace late, finding it to be entirely frightfull, and just being too tired to move onwards.

I'm going to have to get my map and check out the 301 option. I guess ultimately the decision to go the back route will depend on when I'm heading through the DC area.

Thanks again, all,


kaudrey Jun 23rd, 2004 04:50 AM

Hi Meredith,

Since you will have your dog, I'd suggest going to the following website (or others like it, you can do a google search for "pet friendly hotels". Print out the list for the cities you might stay in, so when you get there, you know where you can go without having to search around too much.


k_999_9 Jun 23rd, 2004 07:24 AM

Can give you some clues about motels, though they might not be at convenient stopping points for you.

DO NOT stay at the days in in Benson, NC. The place is a dump -- well, if they upgraded it a little, it might make the category of "dump."

In Santee, SC, the Best Western and Ramada are decent. Rooms are clean and reasonable. Both have breakfast, but the Ramada's features hot stuff like eggs.

The general rule on I-95 hotels is that you get what you pay for, and a price difference of $5 can make a big difference in accommodations. Sometimes, it just depends on what you're willing to put up with.

I'd give 301 a shot if I were you, since Baltimore is your destination. That construction around Springfield and the DC traffic can be a real pain, depending on what time of day you're passting through.

GoTravel Jun 23rd, 2004 12:06 PM

Florence is the only place I'd stay off I-95.

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