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Road Trip from DC to NYC - Please help

Los Angeles...
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Road Trip from DC to NYC - Please help

I am planning a 4 days trip to visit Washington DC in late October. I will be arriving in DC early Friday morning. I was thinking about driving to Manhattan Saturday afternoon to try and dodge the work day traffic as I hear it is bad.

Yahoo says the trip should take 4 hours, so I wanted to confirm:

Is there still heavy traffic on Saturday and Sunday in the DC/NYC area?

Are there multiple routes to take?

How long does it normally take to drive from DC to NYC on a Saturday?

Is the weather still ok in late October?

Any help is much appreciated! Thank you.

North Carolina
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1. Re: Road Trip from DC to NYC - Please help

Megabus allows 4 1/2 - 5 hrs for the trip. That's the way I'd go if I were you - that or the train. It might be fun driving to and around Manhattan, but finding a place to put your car when you decide to stop is a major hassle. Costs $$ too.

Los Angeles...
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2. Re: Road Trip from DC to NYC - Please help

Thank you for the response! We are planning to do a stop in Philadelphia or Baltimore, which is why we wanted to drive. I heard that DC is a nice place to visit during the day, but the area becomes dangerous at night...which is why we wanted to drive to Manhattan to enjoy the night life. Thanks for the parking reminder, I believe it is $55 per night to park the car at the hotel. Do you know the name of the bus that can take us? Any additional information would help. Thanks!

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3. Re: Road Trip from DC to NYC - Please help

Www.megabus.com is site for megabus, it is safe and reliable and has wifi. Also check out Amtrak site. Parts of DC can be sketchy, but the tourist areas are ok. I have been to DC numerous times for meetings and walked around at night and used the metro at night with no problems. Driving in DC can be aggravating because of traffic and the way the city is laid out and having to walk half a mile from where you parked. Driving in Manhattan is not fun with all their traffic and the cost of parking. Baltimore is fairly easy for me to find my way around and parking seems easier there to me. I don't know about Philadelphia, haven't ever driven around there. The interstates between the cities are fine. Oh, new Jersey section of interstate 95 has tolls. And I think going into Delaware is toll also. So going via bus might be easier and cheaper.

Edited: 23 September 2013, 06:11
Los Angeles...
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4. Re: Road Trip from DC to NYC - Please help

Thank you so much...this was great advice! I will suggest this to my friend. I'm thinking the bus would be a better and safer option for us. Have a wonderful day!!

Washington DC...
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5. Re: Road Trip from DC to NYC - Please help

A few things...D.C. isn't any more dangerous at night than any other city. It depends on where you are, and likely as a tourist, you won't be anywhere near the places that are consistently dangerous at night. Obviously, as anywhere, don't do anything stupid. D.C. is a beautiful city to be in at night. Walking the Mall and seeing the monuments is a great thing to do at night. Bars, clubs, dancing, etc. there is some of that too. Depends on how crazy you want to get.

Yes, there are tons of tolls driving from D.C. to NYC. I don't think anyone will recommend it.

If you take the train from D.C. up, it stops right in Baltimore and Philly. The Philly train station is easy access right to SEPTA and downtown Philly if you want to jump from there around. Same with Penn Station in Baltimore.

The buses are an option. Cheap, but they can take a long time and do sit in the same traffic on I-95. I sat in a horrible backup in Jersey once on one of those things. If you can afford it, take the train.

Edited: 23 September 2013, 15:54
Richmond VA USA
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6. Re: Road Trip from DC to NYC - Please help

I agree with jwhiteree. I love DC at night. I don't think it's any more dangerous than NYC, and definitely not more than Baltimore or Philly. Trying to do more than one city in a day it seems like you will waste a lot of time just trying to find parking and not much time for actually seeing or doing anything.

Baltimore, Maryland
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7. Re: Road Trip from DC to NYC - Please help

It's simple.

DC isn't dangerous in tourist areas-

If only visiting cities take bus or train.

Weather is fine-we call it fall. Don't think you get that season in LA.

Edited: 24 September 2013, 02:40
Los Angeles...
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8. Re: Road Trip from DC to NYC - Please help

Awesome, thank so much for your help! Since you are very familiar with DC, do you recommend anything in particular besides the normal touristy areas? Any restaurants or specific places the locals enjoy?

U.S. expats
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9. Re: Road Trip from DC to NYC - Please help

What are your interests? How long will you be in DC? DC is filled with things to see and do.

In your initial post you say something about 4 days...and then mention four cities.

The East Coast may seem close together on a map, but I think if you try to hit all those places in four days, you will maximize the time you spend on a train, the money you spend getting there, and minimize the experience of being there--any of them.

With four days I would choose one city. Especially if that four days includes your arrival and departure.

Edited: 25 September 2013, 01:11
Los Angeles...
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10. Re: Road Trip from DC to NYC - Please help

You're absolutely right, I had high expectations because I saw that all of the cities are so close together, however as I researched this - I see that every one says it will be a nightmare to drive from place to place. We have decided to stay in the DC area. The possibility of a road trip is now only with Philadelphia.

So far, our "to do" list consists of all of the touristy areas in DC. We will be staying at the Sofitel and I hear it is centrally located.

Any suggestions or must see attractions? Ever do the bus ride or trolley around town?

Would you consider a road trip to Philadelphia if you had 4 days? I arrive in DC on Friday at 7AM, I leave DC at 6PM on Monday.

Thanks!