Worth Driving from DC to New York?

Old Mar 3rd, 2003, 04:54 PM
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Worth Driving from DC to New York?

My husband and I will be in Quantico, VA (near DC) end of March and plan to visit New York City for 5 days. Depending on the weather, we will either rent a car and drive or take the train (if there is snow or heavy rain we'll take the train). Since we will have a bit of luggage (my husband has been in Virginia for 2 1/2 months for training--so he will have at least 2 large bags to handle) and we enjoy exploring new places we thought driving would be a nice option. THE QUESTION: is there anything of interest between Virginia (near Washington DC) and NYC? Is it a nice drive or will we be better off taking the train? The difference in travel time is not enough to sway us either way (about 4-4 1/2 hours). The costs are fairly comparable, too. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2003, 05:28 PM
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I assume you mean, besides Washington D.C. Baltimore harbor is a really pretty area, with plenty to keep you busy for a day, if you allow time there. That's the only place that comes to my mind.
LoisL is offline  
Old Mar 3rd, 2003, 05:31 PM
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It's a pretty straight drive to NYC. Did it many times while living in Fairfax County. There is nothing really scenic along the way. Just I95 to the NJ TPKEinto the city. If there is a place to leave your belongings at Quantico while you are , then go by

Baltimore has much to offer and the Wilmington area also, but they could be weekend trips.
ronkala is offline  
Old Mar 3rd, 2003, 07:28 PM
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Take the train.

This drive really sucks. Since your husband is a lawman (who else goes to Quantico?) he could probably get away with speeding. I95 is a major revenue source for many states.

Also, just like the ancient Silk Road, I95 is the 'drug road'. Motorists get hassled constantly. Driving in NY is crazy. Parking, unless you know the side streets like I do, is also incredibly expensive.

So I suggest take the train and relax.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2003, 07:33 PM
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Philadelphia would be a worthwhile stop along the way. It is roughly midway between DC and NYC. Check out www.gophila.com for information on what to see and do in Philly.
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Old Mar 4th, 2003, 12:00 AM
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Since you would have to rent a car to make the drive, skip it and take the train. A car is annoying and expensive in NYC anyway. As far as the bags, can he ship some of the stuff home. 2 reduce bags?

To answer another of your questions - it is not a "nice drive". That part of New Jersey is ugly and industrial (and before those from NJ start hounding me, I grew up there!)
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Old Mar 4th, 2003, 06:38 AM
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One thing I don't get from your note is whether you will be returning to Virginia - or if you will be going somewhere else from NYC. As a previous poster said - Philadelphia is a pretty neat place to visit (the philly cheesesteaks really ARE unbelieveable there). The drive is OK, but it is all interstate which doesn't usually take you to the best parts of the countryside. If you're returning to VA - you might want to consider flying. If Southwest flys into NY - their flights are less than $120 roundtrip with advance purchase.
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Old Mar 4th, 2003, 08:05 AM
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Most East Coasters would do anything to avoid driving that route. It's a nightmare, as is having a car in NYC. The only reason to drive is if you actually want to spend some time in places like Baltimore or Phila or Bucks County on the way -- but by "time" I mean a full day at least, not just a "drive-thru."

If you are determined to drive, and you are willing to add a little time to your trip, I might recommend going through Bucks County and into NJ from there instead of dealing with the NJPike -- Bucks County is pretty, but it takes a little time to get there and once there, you'd want to stop and spend time there. Otherwise, take the train from DC.

Your luggage problem is a complication, and it's not clear why all of it has to go with you to NYC. Are you not returning to Quantico or have you no place to leave it while you are away?
Old Mar 4th, 2003, 08:19 AM
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I would take the train for several reasons. First, I don't think you will be able to rent a car one way, so unless you want to drive back to Virginia renting isn't an option for you. Even if you can rent one-way and/or were planning on driving back to Virginia, I would take the train anyway because parking in NYC is very expensive and hard to find. Not to mention driving in NYC itself which is challenging even for natives. You will not need the car in NYC itself, so renting seems like an expensive option.

If you weren't going in March, I might be slightly inclined to tell you to drive and stop off on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and the Naval Academy in Annapolis. But, I would also say to stay overnight there as it is a bit out of the way.
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Old Mar 4th, 2003, 08:53 AM
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Someone mentioned the Wilmington area. They're either nuts or never been to Wilmington. Skip it unless you have a business meeting or bankruptcy hearing to attend or just want to do some tax free shopping. Go to Philadelphia, eat a cheesesteak, ride the Philly Phlash - a hop on/hop off tour trolley, visit the art museum and have dinner in one of the great restaurants (too many to list)
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Old Mar 4th, 2003, 08:58 AM
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Not to confuse the issue but I say DRIVE. Driving is always better -- you control your destiny. Aside from maybe Baltimore's Inner Harbor or Philly, there's nothing much of interest along the way, and with the wind at your back you can do the drive in about 4 hours. The train will take longer and there's no dragging your luggage all around train stations.

As for driving in NYC, don't believe the naysayers. How tough can it be when you're going 2 to 10 MPH most of the time and it's laid out like a grid??? The Avenues go north/south, the even number streets go east the odd number streets go west. Is that difficult?
al is offline  
Old Mar 4th, 2003, 09:11 AM
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A brief defense of the Wilmington suggestion. Don't think I'd recommend the city itself as a tourist destination, but the Brandywine area is really pretty and there are a number of things to do nearby that might, for some people, be worth the detour -- notably the Winterthur estate, museum, and gardens, as well as Longwood Gardens, the Nemours (du Pont) mansion and gardens, and the Brandywine and Hagley Museums and grounds.
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Old Mar 4th, 2003, 09:44 PM
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Thanks to all for the replies! To clarify...if we drive, we plan to drive the car one way (no car in NYC). We will need to return to Washington DC following our 5 days in the City (which is where our flight home departs--I realize all the back and forth is a lot of miles but my husband has a prearranged/no change ticket paid for by his employer). Shipping some of his luggage home is a good suggestion we've considered. We'll look at the costs there. I now understand the "drive" is not an interesting route. We live in California and often drives make the trip interesting and provide some beautiful scenery or interesting stops. Doesn't sound like that's the case here. Thanks, again, for the great feedback.
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