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Best Route Harrisburg, PA to Corolla

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Best Route Harrisburg, PA to Corolla

Hi-We will be staying in Corolla July 19-July 25, but we plan to leave Friday around 2pm to drive to Hampton, VA for the night, and then get up early Saturday to make the drive to Corolla. We are looking for advice on which route will be the easiest, as we will have a 3 family caravan with younger kids. Here is what we were thinking: 81S to 50E just past Winchester, then taking 17S to 95S in Fredricksburg and following that to 64E the entire way to Hampton, VA. From Hampton, VA, we planned to take 64E to 168S to 158E to 12N. How early do we need to get leave Hampton to make sure we avoid heavy traffic entering OBX? Thanks in advance for any help!

Columbia, Maryland
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1. Re: Best Route Harrisburg, PA to Corolla

Your route from Harrisburg looks good. It avoids all the DC mess. You could also take 81 to 66 to 17. Its a bit longer but might be a bit quicker, but is probably 6 of one, half a dozen of the other.

The whole key in getting to the OBX is getting across the Kitty Hawk bridge before noon. 11AM is better. You have to find something to do since check ins aren't until 4. You want to be near you rental office so at check in time you can grab your keys and head up route 12 to Corolla ASAP. If your rental office is up in the Corolla area, much the better. Head up there. There are things to do up there and there is even a public beach house where you could change and spend some time on the beach.

The big tie up is at the intersection of 12 and 158 just after crossing the bridge. The left turn onto 12 north is what causes the back up that backs up across the bridge and back up on 158. The drive up 12 to Corolla at the busiest time is no treat either.

Here's a tip to beat the $6 toll on the Chesapeake Expressway. Get off 168 at exit 8B, Hillcrest Parkway. Turn left on Hillcrest Parkway, then right onto old 168 (Battlefield Blvd). It's about 5 minutes longer than the Expressway and then you rejoin 168 after the toll. Coming back you just reverse it. Take old 168 to Hillcrest Parkway and rejoin the Expressway there.

Edited: 14 July 2014, 14:51
Amissville, Virginia
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2. Re: Best Route Harrisburg, PA to Corolla

Got to agree mostly with Dave But if your taking 17 I would pick it up in Winchester instead of going to 66.

An alternate to this Would be 81 to 66 First exit is Font Royal take 522 to 64 . Pick up 288 around Richmond to 95. Take 460 at Petersburg . Take that back to 664/64 and on down the way you planned from there.

522 is all country road but going this way I have never run into any back ups and it avoid 64 through the Hampton area that always seems to back up. I have traveled this way for 20 years and will never take 95 to 64 unless it is off season.

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3. Re: Best Route Harrisburg, PA to Corolla

Thanks so much for your help! Would it make sense to catch 17 in Winchester and take it the entire way to Hampton, VA since we have a stop already planned there for the night? It will allow us to avoid Richmond and 95S entirely, which we will probably hit during rush hour. I am just curious as to how fast/slow the travel conditions are for 17S and if there are many stop lights, etc. It looks as if it is less mileage but travel time is approx. 35 minutes longer. Thanks!

Columbia, Maryland
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4. Re: Best Route Harrisburg, PA to Corolla

I would not recommend taking 17 all the way to Hampton. We did the reverse just for something different one time. From Newport News up to route 33 is lots and lots of lights. Route 33 is about where the York River splits in 2. 17 heading south to that point is a nice drive. At 33 though, you need to cut over to 64. Not sure what traffic will be like on a Friday evening. I know on a Saturday afternoon it is jammed.

By the way - take 295 around Richmond instead od 95 through Richmond.

Here's another alternative to i64 unless your plans are fixed in place to stay in Hampton. Continue on down i295 to 460 and take that across to Chesapeake and stay there somewhere. 460 is a pleasant uncongested drive. Watch your speed though.

Edited: 14 July 2014, 19:53
5. Re: Best Route Harrisburg, PA to Corolla

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