We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

where to stay and which direction to take??

Stafford, United...
Level Contributor
70 posts
76 reviews
Save Topic
where to stay and which direction to take??

This is my first forum question so any advice would be really appreciated.

We are planning to fly into Washington and out of NYC spending a few days in each city and hoping to get Amtrak to NYC. .We hope to travel mid May 2013. In addition we want to visit some of the Civil War sites and towns in Virginia on the way and also travel on the skyline drive. We were thinking of picking up a car in Washington and driving to Fredericksburg. Would we be better to stay a few nights there and visit Richmond and Petersburg from there or move onto Richmond or stay somewhere completely different?

We intend to drive to Lexington to start the journey on the skyline drive - how long would we need there. We thought we would end up in Gettysburg and after a stay there catch the train from Harrisburg to NYC.

Does this trip make sense - can anyone advise on the length of time needed or offer any better route or suggest any other "must see" places please?? Thanks for any help

Richmond VA USA
Destination Expert
for Richmond
Level Contributor
1,232 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: where to stay and which direction to take??

If you want to visit Fredericksburg, Richmond, and Petersburg, then I recommend you stay in Richmond. There's enough Civil War history among these 3 places to keep you busy for 4 or 5 days.

Lexington can keep you busy for maybe a day.

Virginia Beach...
Destination Expert
for Suffolk
Level Contributor
1,595 posts
177 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: where to stay and which direction to take??

When planning to visit several sites or cities, I prefer to keep driving and time in traffic to a minimum so I don't mind changing hotels often. You may consider visiting Fredericksburg on the way out of DC, then moving to Richmond to visit there as well as Petersburg. Then consider visiting Monticello in Charlottesville if it interests you (an easy drive on I64 from Richmond). Since you mentioned picking up Skyline Dr in Lexington, I thought you might be referring to the Blue Ridge Parkway. You can pick up the Blue Ridge Parkway after visiting Lexington and continue into Shenandoah National Park and enjoy all or part of the Skyline Drive. If you are only going to Lexington to access the BRP, you can save time by simply going toward Waynesboro on I64 from Charlottesville, take exit 99 to either (or both) the Blue Ridge Parkway (south) or Skyline Dr (north) in Shenandoah National Park. Check the maps to see where you want to go and where to exit for I81 north or other road to continue your travels to Gettysburg. Here are maps of BRP and SNP........

www.nps.gov/blri/planyourvisit/loader.cfm…

nps.gov/shen/…whole_park.pdf

Hope this is not too confusing! Happy trails.

U.S. expats
Destination Expert
for Windsor, London, Dry Tortugas National Park
Level Contributor
20,153 posts
208 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: where to stay and which direction to take??

How long is your trip? You could easily spend all your time divided between the two cities, or in the towns and battlefields you have mentioned.

Not sure if you will have time for it all unless you will be here for a while.

Brookneal, Virginia
Level Contributor
1,431 posts
98 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: where to stay and which direction to take??

If you are keen on visiting Civil War sites, then you won't want to miss Appomattox Court House, Virginia, where the Civil War ended and our nation reunited.

To many it is a very spiritual place, in many ways unchanged in the past 149 years.

http://www.nps.gov/apco/index.htm

Actually, you can simply follow the Virginia Civil War Trails- Lee's Retreat Driving Tour from Petersburg all the way there, seeing Civil War sites along the way:

civilwartraveler.com/EAST/…retreat.html

When done in Appomattox, it's a pretty simple thing to continue the drive to Lexington, VA.

Appomattox is right on the way :)

see the map for yourself~

http://goo.gl/maps/EV8Mi

orange
Level Contributor
7 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: where to stay and which direction to take??

If it is history and beautiful scenery your are seeking, you are in for a treat. Might I suggest you start from DC and travel out to Gettysburg and take Rte 15 south. This is known as the Journey Through Hallowed Ground (www.jthg.org) where an enormous amount of US historical site can be found. Gettysburg, Harper's Ferry, Culpeper, Orange, Presidential homes, civil wars sites, etc.... You can end in Charlottesville and then drive to Richmond and take the train from there if you wish. Any place along the Journey you can go west and hope on the Blue Ridge Parkway and then get back on. After about 30-40 miles on the parkway going 30MPH, you will have gotten enough of the scenery and views. It's slow going but a great ride. Stay at some of the Bed and Breakfasts in the area as the ones in Virginia are very good. Check out Trip Advisor, of course. Good luck!

Stafford, United...
Level Contributor
70 posts
76 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: where to stay and which direction to take??

thanks for this we didn't make it yet - thinking now of early September and will definitely base ourselves in Richmond - thinking of 5 days there - could we make Monticello from there??

Stafford, United...
Level Contributor
70 posts
76 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: where to stay and which direction to take??

we will have at least two weeks and will be revisiting Washington and NYC so will not have to see all the major sights. thinking of 3 nights in Washington 5 in Richmond then not sure if we should go straight for the Blue Ridge Parkway or even if we need to stop along it before reaching Gettysburg - any suggestions??

From Gettysburg I think we can get to Harrisburg to pick up Amtrak to NYC but would welcome any other suggestions. This way round leaves us with a shorter train trip where reversing the trip would mean a long train journey from Richmond. Am I right?? It's hard to know if the planning is sensible.

Virginia Beach...
Level Contributor
235 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: where to stay and which direction to take??

A definite second on the 22tango recommendation. Richmond is a excellent location and hub for Civil War sites in VA.

Williamsburg...
Destination Expert
for Williamsburg
Level Contributor
6,885 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: where to stay and which direction to take??

Yes, Monticello is about an hour or a little more west of Richmond, and it would make an interesting day trip. If you know your schedule, book your house tour at Monticello in advance. Allow at least three hours at Monticello to explore the grounds, museum, etc. there.

La Plata, Maryland
Level Contributor
1,237 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: where to stay and which direction to take??

Some other places to consider visiting. I also want to warn you that the Washington area (including motorway I-95) has the second-worst traffic in the USA, based on careful annual studies. Avoid driving during weekday rush-hours.

http://www.history.org

http://historyisfun.org

http://www.usmcmuseum.org

http://www.agecrofthall.com

Edited: 12 May 2013, 22:28