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Chicago to Virginia Beach

Chicago, Illinois
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Chicago to Virginia Beach

We’ll be driving to Virginia Beach from Chicago this August and would appreciate any tips on choosing the best route. The past 4 summers we visited OBX (Hatteras) and made either Beckley, WV or Princeton, WV our overnight point. The next day we continued toward Greensboro/Raleigh, NC to OBX. I believe we can go a similar route but taking I-64 to Richmond and then VB. As alternative, we can drive through Pittsburg, PA and then Washington, DC area. Any suggestions? Thank you in advance!

Chesapeake, VA
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for Virginia Beach
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64 reviews
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1. Re: Chicago to Virginia Beach

We drove from here to Pittsburgh by way of Washington DC one time -- worst drive of our lives on that PA Turnpike. Locals gave us a more scenic and relaxed route home through Morgantown, WV to Hagerstown, MD, down I-81 to I-64 toward Charlottesville to Richmond to Newport News and on home. That's an option for you -- wish I could remember exact route numbers but I don't.

I have been to Ohio through Beckley, and that route along I-64 is actually very good and quite easy. It's a beautiful drive especially from Beckley to Lexington. I vote this route.

Williamsburg...
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2. Re: Chicago to Virginia Beach

The drive through WV is very pretty - far more relaxing than through Pittsburgh and D.C. - a route that is guaranteed to bring you stress. I personally don't care much for Beckley - I think motel prices are inflated and motels not particularly great. But, as Wendymath says, the drive is beautiful. You will pick up a LOT of truck traffic on I-81, but you're on it for only a relatively short distance. I-64 to Richmond is also pretty - but not as much as the route through WV. The portion of I-64 from Lexington to Charlottesville is scenic, with your trip over Afton Mountain (which you do not want to attempt in the fog). I find I-64 from Charlottesville to Richmond a bit soporific.

From Richmond, going around I-295, into Williamsburg on I-64, is definitely not scenic, and fairly heavily travelled - but nothing like the horrible stretch of I-95 from D.C. to Richmond.

DON'T take the Pittsburgh - Washington route,

Altoona...
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3. Re: Chicago to Virginia Beach

I would do I-68 to Hancock MD, then catch US522 S thru Berkely Springs WV to WinchesterVA. Take 37 S around Winchester ( 4 lane bypass) to I81 S to I66 E then grab VA17 S to pick up I95 at Frederick. Take I295 and ignore I64. Pick up US 460 East near Petersburg and follow that in to I64/264 and follow the signs in to VB. ( Ignore the OBX signs LOL ) This eliminates DC traffic for the most part, and is on a lot of 4 lane rural roads. Only thing on 460 is watch the speed limits in the smaller towns. Lots of vacation traffic and they watch speed pretty close. It eliminate the HRBT traffic jams and the mystery slowdows on I64 on summer weekends. A much more relaxing route.

4. Re: Chicago to Virginia Beach

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