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DC to Myrtle Beach Drive with Kids

Washington DC...
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DC to Myrtle Beach Drive with Kids

We're headed to Myrtle Beach for a week the last week of June. We've got a 1 year old and a 7 year old. What's the best route to take I95? I also noticed we could take 85 down as well?

Also, for those of you that make the trip regularly - any good recommendations for halfway point stops? We're going to need to break the drive up quite a bit so looking for good stop suggestions!

Brookneal, Virginia
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1. Re: DC to Myrtle Beach Drive with Kids


You probably already know that I-95 from DC to Richmond is a nightmare on summer weekends.

It could take 2 hours or it could take 6. just to get to Richmond- and STRESS???

Think about a different route:

Take 66 west to route 29 south.

You'll stay on 29 all the way through the rest of the state.

With the exception of Charlottesville, you won't have to go through another city- all have bypasses- until Greensboro, NC.

In Greensboro you take 73/220 south all the way to Rockingham, NC where you will get on 74 east for about 7 miles before taking 38 south into SC- all the way to I-95 and beyond where it turns into 501 right on into Myrtle Beach.

Yes, it's slightly more complicated than getting on I-95 and just heading south (432 traffic laden, sometimes gridlocked miles)- BUT.

Once you are on 29 there won't be bad traffic, and once you get Charlottesville in your rear view mirror, the next traffic slow down you will see will be entering MB. (489 quiet, peaceful, pastoral miles)

The roads of often almost empty, especially in comparison to 95.

Also, lots of beautiful vistas to see between Culpeper and Danville, VA.

Hope you have a wonderful trip :)

Silver Spring, MD
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2. Re: DC to Myrtle Beach Drive with Kids

Hi there, My wife and I travel yearly from Silver Spring. The key to the trip is an early exit from the DC area, we hit the road between 4:30-5:00am, traffic moves smoothly on 495 weekday and weekends. I would suggest the 1-95 route, no need to head south on I-85. The most challenging section is between Springfield VA and Fredericksburg, VA (most difficult on the return). We travel on the 295 extension around Richmond. As a rule of thumb, with the speed limits as they are, we are able to figure 3 hours of drive time in both Virginia and North Carolina on i-95, then another hour into North Myrtle. Smithfield NC would be an area to consider a stop for lunch. The North Carolina welcome Center has a playground for the children, great for a snack. Where your staying would determine that last hour, many alternatives to arriving in Myrtle, check Google maps for the alternatives.

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3. Re: DC to Myrtle Beach Drive with Kids

I can't give any route advice, but I can help you out from experience of driving with kids. Leave early and get the first two or three hours of the trip in while they sleep. We have a 7 hour trip and usually try to leave by 3:30 or 4:00 a.m. It makes it easier on the kids and also allows you to get a headstart on the road with little traffic out. If you are breaking the trip in half, you will have a harder time with the leaving early part. We stopped traveling only halfway because the kids would sleep in the car on the evening drive and not want to go back to sleep once we got to the hotel. I like driving straight through better.

Rehoboth Beach...
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for Myrtle Beach
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4. Re: DC to Myrtle Beach Drive with Kids

I will be the third to suggest that leaving early (REAL early!) is the key to a happy drive with kids.

And leaving from DC, that seems the most likely way to preserve your sanity as well.

As for the route, take a look at 301...the first leg is not very enjoyable at any hour, but it eventually becomes a very scenic, relatively traffic-less stretch that will enable you to cut over to 95 just north of Richmond, well below the "problem stretch" of 95.

If you leave early enough, and take a long rest stop or two, you might be able to complete the drive the same day. Otherwise, there are a lot of inexpensive motels along 95 in NC. We stopped in New Bern a few times...it's a picturesque town with a harbor and historic district.

5. Re: DC to Myrtle Beach Drive with Kids

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