Trip From the SE up the Coast to NYC

Oct 6th, 2010, 02:06 PM
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Trip From the SE up the Coast to NYC

At the end of April/beginning of May 2011, DH and I plan to fly into Orlando (that's where Alaska Air flies). From Orlando, we want to rent a car and drive up the coast, stopping in Savannah, GA, Charleston, SC and Washington DC. I'm thinking 3 days each place. We have been to DC before, but have never been south of there. From DC, we want to take a train to NYC where we will spend time and fly out.

My questions are: After flying from the West coast to Orlando, where is a good stop for the 1st night before driving to Savannah? We could drive a short distance. Savannah to Charleston, SC looks like an easy drive. We need a stop on our way to DC. Beach time sounds good after 2 cities. Any ideas?

We are wanting to do this trip as inexpensively as possible. If we could keep hotels close to $100-125 that would be great. My preference is to be "downtown" within walking distance of the sights in Savannah and Charleston. Am I dreaming?

This is a plan that is just taking shape. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
travel52 is offline  
Oct 6th, 2010, 02:30 PM
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Personally I think you could cut the Savannah time a day or so and add to Charleston.
Gretchen is online now  
Oct 6th, 2010, 03:07 PM
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Orlando to Savannah is less than a five hour drive, doable on arrival day depending on your arrival time in Orlando. The Jacksonville area is just about the halfway point.

If you can get some of the driving done on arrival day, then I would agree with Gretchen and add a day to Charleston.
ronkala is offline  
Oct 6th, 2010, 06:18 PM
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If you don't mind a slower drive, you could continue up the coast from Charlston to the Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach area or even up to Virginia Beach before heading to DC.
emalloy is offline  
Oct 6th, 2010, 07:33 PM
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Do you realize that you'll be paying a drop off fee for the rental car in a different location/state?
HappyTrvlr is online now  
Oct 7th, 2010, 04:43 AM
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St. Augustine would make a nice overnight on the way to Savannah -- worth a day at least in its own right.
Fra_Diavolo is online now  
Oct 7th, 2010, 05:41 AM
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The idea to drive up the coast ON the coast is good because it is a MUCH shorter way. I95 swings very far west from the coast, and is deadly dull. Go up US17. It is a nice 4 lane highway with some bypasses and is not really "slower" to get yourself north.
For the end of April and beginning of May you may run into "festivals" on the coast and weekend days will be at a premium for price. Just a thought.
In Washington there is that funky bus trip to NYC. Maybe someone can fill in the particulars. It can cost as little as $5 is my recollection. Goes to Chinatown maybe. Anyone? Anyone? Buehler?
Gretchen is online now  
Oct 7th, 2010, 06:23 AM
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I think Bolt bus does that route.
emalloy is offline  
Oct 8th, 2010, 07:08 AM
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Yes, we realize there will be a drop off charge for the car, but I really don't want to drive it back to our pick up location. It would take up too much time and probably cost more in the end. How far is the drive to St. Augustine? It will be a long, full of day flying and an hour or 2 of driving is fine, but not much more.

So...maybe drive to St. Augustine for the night, Savannah for 2 days, 3 or 4 days in Charlston, I will check out Virginia Beach and others.

I will look into the Bolt Bus. Anyone have any more info on it?
Thanks so much.
travel52 is offline  
Oct 8th, 2010, 07:53 AM
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Orlando-St. Augustine 103 miles, 1:37 per
ronkala is offline  
Oct 8th, 2010, 08:10 AM
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For Bolt Bus go to It is one of those lines that posts prices 4 to 6 weeks ahead and the price depends on who gets there first for a particular run. They have several runs each day from DC to NYC and for example in October, most of the runs are $ 17.50 or $19 per person, if you check Dec. 14, you will find some runs for $1.
emalloy is offline  
Oct 8th, 2010, 06:34 PM
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Looks like alot of "window"time in the car.Dont know if youve been to NYC before, but its such great spot to spend time, why wouldnt you just go there directly?/I mean St Augustine, Savannah,Charelston are great spots,but if youve never been to NYC before,Id do that--IMO
bigbomoho is offline  
Oct 8th, 2010, 07:39 PM
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Bolt is a good option. Also DC2NY. The Chinatown busses are not nice.
con_brio is offline  
Oct 8th, 2010, 08:23 PM
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Two days in Savannah would be sufficient if you need to find a place to cut down on time to spend more time somewhere else. Taking the train from DC to NYC is one option, but there are also the charter bus companies, which charge about $20 a person. Such companies are 2000coach, Bolt Bus, Apex. It may be a way to cut costs depending on the prices of the train tickets. The buses usually are cheaper than amtrak. I wrote a blog on the bus companies and how much they charge:

For beach time, North Carolina's Outer Banks are popular beach places. Have you checked out the Motel 6 locations on your route in the cities you want to stay in? I know there is one in Savannah in a good location to the downtown area. Their rate runs about $60 a night.
etalk is offline  
Oct 9th, 2010, 03:48 AM
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If you are flying Alaska Air into Orlando, you must be coming from Seattle. If you are taking the day flight (AS 18), that flight lands at approximately 5:15 PM. It will be about an hour or slightly more before you can collect your bags and get your rental car. will be close to 6:30 PM before you leave the airport and you will encounter some rush hour traffic on I-4. From that point (MCO) I would estimate your driving time to St. Augustine to be a minimum of 2½ hours...maybe 3, depending on traffic. That puts you into St. Augustine too late (and too dark) to see anything.

On the other hand, if you are flying the redeye (AS 10), don't count on getting five hours of sleep. You will be very lucky to get three and then your day begins at 4 AM (Pacific time). Based on my experiences taking this flight 4-6 times in the past, that is a very rough way to begin your day.

If you really want to see St. Augustine (which I recommend), spend a full day there.

Vic's travels:
Orlando_Vic is offline  
Oct 9th, 2010, 09:46 AM
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Thanks. Yes, we are flying in from Seattle, so maybe we should just spend the first night in Orlando. We have been to NYC about 10 times, because we have family there. This adds a different spin to the trip, as we have never been South of DC.
travel52 is offline  
Nov 27th, 2010, 05:48 PM
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I also reccomend St Augustine. Its the oldest inhabited city in the US. We had a timeshare in Jensen Beach & drive up & stayed the night-not a long drive so we had 2 days. There is a tram that drives you all around & you can use for 2 days. I wish I had longer there.
I'd stay as close to the airport as possible-maybe a hotel that offers free shuttle service-then get the car the next AM.
BeniciaChris is offline  
Dec 5th, 2010, 06:59 PM
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About a month ago, I flew into Orlando (from Seattle) on the same flight you'll be taking. My first nights stay was in Daytona Beach, BUT it was dark by the time I got there (1 1/2 hour drive). If you're heading north out of Orlando, I would definitely consider staying in Orlando for the first night. There's a larger selection of hotels and pricing and you'll be rested for your drive in the morning.

During my stay, I did a day in St. Augustine. Definitely worth it.

If you do stay in Orlando and feel up to checking out the surrounding area, I did a 20 minute drive to Winter Park. There are lots of restaurants and little shops. Not your typical "Banana Republic" type shopping strip.
SMac is offline  
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