Where to take Road trip from DC?

Old May 10th, 2006, 07:44 AM
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Where to take Road trip from DC?

My husband and I have roughly 10 days for a last-minute trip and we thought it would be fun to take a road trip with our dogs. We actually would hope to leave next week Tuesday and return the following Thursday.

So the question is where should we go? We're pretty open to destination and really have no experience in planning such a trip so we're not sure what is feasible in that time frame. Preferably, I think we'd prefer to go west or south/southwest.

Would love to hear your suggestions! Thanks!
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Old May 10th, 2006, 08:11 AM
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Are you more interested in having a long leisurely vacation in a destination or were you more interested in having many small experiences (and always on the move) during those days?

When I think of Southwest, I think Arizona...and that's a good 35 hour drive from DC. When I think West, I think Denver...and that's a good 25 hour drive from DC. Both of those seem entirely too far away for a 10 day vacation UNLESS you don't care to spend very much time there and are more interested on things you see along the way.

I personally am more of a "destination" person then an "along the way" person. So with 10 days, I know exactly where I'd go...to Maine! We've done the DC to Maine trip about 3 times - love it. We usually spend a night or two along the way in either Pennsylvania or Connecticut on the coast.

Outer Banks is a very popular road trip destination from DC and you can find many rentals that allow dogs.
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Old May 10th, 2006, 08:16 AM
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That's a good question. I think we'd rather be able to spend time along the way, keeping the drive on each day to about 4-6 hours so that we can take walks, picnic, etc. Thanks for your comments and suggestions!
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Old May 10th, 2006, 09:37 AM
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Have I got a deal for you!

I get the travelzoo newsletter for DC departures and the latest came in this morning.

It's a special "last minute" fare from United. Must depart between May 15 and May 20 (that's YOU!). The flight is $188 RT to Cancun.

http://airfare.travelzoo.com/interna...airfare/239197

BUT, I suggest you DON'T stay in Cancun (too expensive AND touristy).

Instead either:
1) Get a rental car and stay in one of the sea-side towns between Cancun and Tulum or

2) (Even better) take the 30 minute ferry from Cancun to Isla Mujeres.

http://www.isla-mujeres.net/home.htm

You can get a good waterside hotel outside Cancun for $50/night(or $100 for very luxurious). Eating in the smaller villages is very inexpensive.

The low hotel and dining costs, along with the super low airfare will make for a beuatiful, tasty, relaxing trip!
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Old May 10th, 2006, 09:44 AM
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Doh! Just saw that you want to bring your dogs. In that case, consider the above an alternative (and add in the cost for a house-sitter!).
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Old May 10th, 2006, 10:47 AM
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We took our dog on a honeymoon road trip from NoVa up the coast to Eastport, Maine. (THis was 8 years ago!) It was a great trip and wonderful for dogs in the summer because it was very cool in the north in early June in case we had to leave our dog in the car for a short trip into a store or something, but warm enough for lots of walks and dining with her at outdoor places.

We made it to a friend's house in Westchester Co. NY for the first night and part of the second day, then went to Portland and stayed at a dog-friendly hotel for a couple of nights. We really enjoyed the Portland area- great people, charming, good food, cute brew pubs, etc. and where else can you get lobster at McDonald's?

We then meandered up the coast to Eastport where we stayed at a lovely B and B, ate tons of lobster, hiked, saw a moose, saw the bog, ate more lobster, etc. We also took a day trip to Portobello Island which was lovely.

Then we went to the Mt Khatadin (sp) area, but were disappointed that we couldn't take our dog hiking with us on the mountain, although when we called earlier to ask they said we could. Check first! We found a great trail nearby for hiking instead.

Then we drove to Providence RI where we found a deal at a fancy hotel for a couple of nights- they surprisingly took dogs (Biltmore, maybe?) They upgraded us to a suite since it was our honeymoon. We were in town for the WaterFire celebration, which was so cool. We rented a paddle boat and spent the evening paddling one way and walking back, watching the fires, listening to the music, etc. Very neat idea to bring a city together. Here's a link with the schedule. http://www.waterfire.org/ I think you would miss it if you went next week, but Providence was a cute place to hang out. We spent a day in Newport, walked along the famous ocean front looking at mansions, etc. Really a gorgeous area.

We then did a marathon drive home (8 hours?) on the last day. It was a great, dog-friendly, relaxing time.
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Old May 10th, 2006, 12:55 PM
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Thanks for the tips! I am actually not completely opposed to boarding the dogs and taking off on a cheap flight somewhere but I like the idea of a 'family' trip

BlueSwimmer, I love your quick trip report! It sounds just fantastic so I'll see what the hubby thinks about Maine. Neither one of us has been and we've heard such great things.
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Old May 10th, 2006, 01:52 PM
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There are lots of cool places to go on a 10-day road trip out of DC, without having to drive too far each day.

For example, you can drive through the Delmava Peninsula and down to Virginia Beach area, then continue along the coast down to the Outer Banks of NC, Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA; before heading back.

Going west/southwest, take you time through the Shenandoah Valley/Skyline Drive, and continue along the Blue Ridge Parkway (or jump back on I-81) towards Asheville, NC. Head north, and experience more of Appalachia in Eastern Kentucky and West Virignia. This will be a trip of all mountains.

Or go north to Canada. Drive through western PA and NY to Niagara Falls. Visit Toronto and Ottawa, then come back south through Thousand Island and then either the Adirondacks or the Finger Lakes region of upstate NY; or even do both.

You really have lots of options. Those are just a few ideas.
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Old May 10th, 2006, 03:17 PM
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I thought of a road trip to Charleston as well. My hubby and I drove from Alexandria to Charleston/Savannah a few years ago. We stopped in Charlotte to visit his sister, and then made several stops in SC and GA. There are obviously a number of relaxing barrier islands to explore. Plus Charleston and Savannah are such beautiful cities. And how could you resist stopping at South of the Border

Budget Travel magazine has a Road Trip mapped out in each issue and sometime in 2003 did one on Charleston to Savannah. If you are interested, maybe you could still find the article on Budget Travel's website.
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Old May 10th, 2006, 03:29 PM
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language_buddy-

I actually made myself want to go back to Maine just by writing about it. Lobster...mmmm...

We really love road trips with our dogs (on the Maine trip it was one, then for year we had two that we took to West Va, New Orleans, Chincoteague, Vermont, all over). We just adopted a third this year (a Katrina refuge and such a cutie). We have yet to try a road trip with 3 dogs, but I am hoping there will be more suggestions to your post to give me ideas.

I think travel with a dog is a great way to experience a place, although you have to plan more carefully and might not be able to spend as much time indoors (museums, etc.) because you don't want to leave them in strange hotels rooms alone for too long.

Our dog back on our Maine trip was our perfect, human-like girl who would quietly sleep in our suitcase for hours- as long as our clothes were there, she was fine.

Our current crew includes one guard dog type who thinks any area around her is her territory and barks at all noises. We now try to rent houses and stay put, so that we are far enough away from other people that she won't bother them. This means more marathon drives to specific locations. We always stay at La Quintas if we have to stop en route because they are so dog-friendly.

Anyplace with great walking, whether in the woods, on the beach, or through a city, is great to see with your dog along as a travel companion. If you do take your dogs, I hope you have a great trip together. But...we board ours sometimes too, at Club Pet in NoVa.
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Old May 15th, 2006, 12:24 PM
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Thank you again for all your suggestions! We are still undecided (will do that tonight) but are looking forward to a family trip
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