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CA to NH trip

California
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CA to NH trip

Anyone ever driven from CA to NH via I20? I am looking for ideas of sites to see and places to go on my next trip in March. I will be stopping in Tucson, AZ and Salem, SC also. Thank you in advance for your help. :)

NewEngland
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1. Re: CA to NH trip

Well, I may be completely wrong, but after checking my AAA Road Atlas, I see that Rt 20 goes from CA to Florida. Do you have a route chosen for traveling north to New England? Some are very busy superhighways, there are some that offer some speed and some scenery, or you could meander for quite a while. How long do you have for your trip?

California
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2. Re: CA to NH trip

I have about a week. I will only be taking I20 until I need to go north to SC, then I may take 95 the whole way, but I hate that Tapanz bridge in NY. I drove out here a few years ago and just wung it and took I40 across, but I was hoping to do more sight seeing this time. I figure it takes about 8 1/2 hours to get from where I live to Tucson, AZ where my uncle lives. I will stay the night there and then leave for SC. I can spend a night in SC at my dad's, but will probably be staying a night or two between AZ and SC.

Boston
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3. Re: CA to NH trip

I never drove from CA to NH before but I drove from NH down to SC and then flew back to NH last December. If you're driving from SC up to NH, it's about 18 hours, I remember we were on I-77 for about 200 miles then we passed through I-81 for about 370 miles, which was the long haul of the whole trip through about 3 states, then the rest of the way was I-78 and a few other routes and exits and the next thing was we were there! For you you could mapquest it or use GPS if you have that tool in your car or van. It depends on what you want to see and where you want to stay along the way of course. One place that you could check out is Washington, DC on the way up from SC. Just go in to the DC forum and you'll get a lot of ideas on what to see there. You'd be able to see a LOT in a few days, but then again you might get all wrapped up in a few of the area sites, such as the many museums in DC and have to go back some day in the future to see more; like my family and I! We were absolutely mesmerized this past year in DC; there was SO SO much to see and do there!

One place I just loved about the drive down to SC from NH was through VA's Shenandoah Valley. It was SO SO beautiful, I loved it all through there! If you get the chance to drive through there at all? Then definitely go there on your way to DC, if you get the chance. It covers more than 325,000 acres along interstate 1-81 and 1-66 corridors leading to the Washington, DC metropolitan area. More than half of the acreage is in forestland and another 20% is part of the George Washington National Forest. Shenandoah County is close to DC, but with half of its area all completely forested. It's absolutely beautiful all in through here, you'll really like it a lot!

Pennsylvania has the Dutch Country and there's a good site to see all the attractions through there:

www.visitpa.com

We didn't get the chance to stop through PA at all because I was driving some good friends down to SC to their new permanent home, so we were on a mission to get down there fairly quick.

Wait till you see Shenandoah Valley though! We got the chance to stop here; it was my favorite part of that whole trip.

Here's a good site to see what I mean:

http://www.shenandoahtravel.org

It'll be wonderful from CA to the east coast, I bet, you'll see a lot! Have a wonderful time in March, it sounds like it'll be one trip that you'll never forget!

Boston
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4. Re: CA to NH trip

On the way down from NH, we were determined we wanted to avoid NYC, so the first night, I remember it was a Monday night, we left NH and drove straight up to Middletown, NY and we stayed there over night. Then the next morning, Tuesday we took off and we drove through PA in no time and that night we stayed in Virginia, (where it was SO pretty through the Shenandoah Valley!) That 2nd day we did most of our driving because on Wednesday AM by 11:30 we were in SC before we knew it, it wasn't bad at all. We were on a mission to avoid the tolls and NYC going this way and we accomplished that, so it actually worked out very well. When I go back down to SC I'd definitely go this same way again. It's extremely scenic going this way too! The I-95 is just such a boring nothing road!

Manchester, NH
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5. Re: CA to NH trip

I drove from NH to Florida a couple of years ago. I took 95 to the Jersey turnpike, stopped in MD, then 95 the whole way to florida. Coming back through NY on 95 I literally thought my car would fall apart. The pot holes were horrendous. And the only view I got was all the trash along the highway. It may have changed since then but I would avoid 95 going through NY!!!!

Boston
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6. Re: CA to NH trip

Absolutely MLynnsoucy I agree with you on that one! My letter carrier told me about this other way of going south from NH and it was GREAT this way! I'd go this same way again, ANY time just to avoid I-95, and all the foolish tolls and that NYC when I don't want to be there through their traffic and madness! In fact, it might be some time this year because I want to get down to SC again to visit this same couple I drove down there last year, I'll see how it goes, I might decide to fly instead.

Antrim, New...
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7. Re: CA to NH trip

CaliforniaAngel, you must be a young en with lots of energy and endurance. You realize, of course, that you are talking about 3500 miles or more in 7 days. That is 500 miles a day, about 7 hours+ at 70 mph. That assumes the most direct routes on superhighways with no traffic and no stops. Make your route less direct, stop for a meal or two, etc., and you are not going to see much in the way of sights. Spend a day in one place and you have to add those miles to the other six days. Your specific visits in Tuscon and SC will add time, unless the folks you are visiting live right along your route.

The Blue Ridge Highway from NC through VA is beautiful, but the speed limit is about 50 mph (45, I think, but maybe higher). Depending on the route you take north, you can avoid the NYC area, but each option is longer than the next, with the only advantage being that you may avoid traffic, which would slow you up, anyway, and which is extremely annoying. So, either way, you add time. Perhaps the most direct is to avoid going near the coast at all and getting on I-81 in Knoxville, TN. But that would miss SC, too. So, from Columbia, SC you can go up I-77 to I-81. THis will take you up through the Shenandoah Valley. At least you will have beautiful scenery. In Binghamton, NY you will get onto I-88 up to Albany, NY, and from there, you can take I-90 called the Mass Pike (Massachusetts Turnpike) toward Boston, or you can come across the 2-lane state highways, across the mountains of VT and NH, which may truly be the prefereable route, depending on your NH destination.

If you find yourself heading north on I-95 instead, keep in mind that from south of DC to north of Boston you are driving through a very dense urban/suburban megalopolis. Use the beltway roads to get around DC (495) and Baltimore (695). The Jersey Turnpike rather than 95 through the Philadelphia area. any of these can get very congested almost any time of day, but especially during rush hours. Likewise the NYC area and I-95 through CT and Mass. To get around NYC, if you are unavoidably on I-95, take the Jersey Tpk to I-287 which will take you north by going around to the west of the Jersey suburbs. This will take you right up to NY State and I-87, the NY State Throughway. You can take this north to I-84 at Newburgh. Take I-84 east. This will cross the Hudson River north of the Tappan Zee (good move to avoid, though not always disastrous) and take you into CT. I-84 goes to Hartford, where you can get on I-91 to head north through Mass and along the VT/NH border, or continue on I-84 into Mass. There, you will be able to get on the MAss Pike in Sturbridge and have a variety of road options depending on your NH destination.

The other option on I-87 (NYS Thruway) is to go north to Albany, head east on Rte 7, which becomes Rte 9 in VT and crosses into NH in Brattleboro, VT. Continue over to Keene and you will have other road options, all 2-lane state highways, heading east and north. Also in Brattleboro, you can take I-91 north, especially useful for accessing the west side of NH.

If you can be more specific about your destination in NH, I can suggest a preferable approach.

Good Luck

Antrim, New...
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8. Re: CA to NH trip

By the way, yes ABSOLUTELY avoid I-95 through NYC. I am a NYer, living in NH for over 20 years, and go back frequently to visit family and friends. To me, the single most consistently congested stretch of major road in NYC is I-95 from the George Washington Bridge across the Bronx. Don't do it.

NewEngland
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9. Re: CA to NH trip

NextStopl-I have to agree with your route, although another options is to pickup the Taconic State Parkway off of Rt 84 in Newburgh. That wil take you right into the Mass Pike Extension at the end, or you can hook up with the southern VT route via NY Route 22. I do this a lot since I visit family in NY south of Albany. It's less congested, very scenic with interesting places to stop along the way.

CalAngel, where are you headed for in NH?

10. Re: CA to NH trip

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