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Route from Wash DC to Buffalo/Niagara Falls?

jq
Sacramento, CA
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Route from Wash DC to Buffalo/Niagara Falls?

Driving 37' rv and towing car from Wash DC to Niagara Falls area in early June. Looking for possible routes to use to avoid big traffic and big city hassles and see things in area that should not be missed. Is Hwy 219 a suitable hwy without any major problems or should we zigzag and stay on interstates? Not doing NYC this trip. Thanks for any help.

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11. Re: Route from Wash DC to Buffalo/Niagara Falls?

Hey Readytogo.

Although I don't have RV experience, I do drive this route as far as the DC area at least 5 times a year, and have been doing so for the last 8 years, so I can only use my imagination and put myself behind the wheel of an RV. Although 219 appears to be the most direct route, and it is, you are looking at alot of miles of winding, twisting, and hilly 2 lane roads, with changing speed limits and very few nice places to stop. Alot of wear and tear on the driver and vehicle, and alot more two-lane road risk. I don't even like driving it in a sedan. and refuse to do so.

I normally alternate between the I79 route and the US 15 route. They both take you to Frederick Md., where you continue on I70 to I95, and south towards DC and points south. There is a difference of only about 20 miles between the two routes. The I79 route is interstate all the way (except for about 2 blocks at the Breezewood PA. changeover), and is an easy, seamless drive. The US 15 route is either interstate or 4 lane divided highway for about 85% of the route, and is a bit more scenic.. There are some 2 lane driving through Lewisburg and Selinsgrove PA, and a bit more to get around Harrisburg.

I would probably suggest that your first day you drive as far as Frederick or Hagerstown MD. That should be about 10 to 11 hours of driving, and has you stopping just before you would otherwise hit the afternoon rush hour in the Washington outerbelt. You will find an abundance of hotels & restaurants at both locations, especially Hagerstown, with its outlet mall.

Hope you find this helpful. EM me if you have any questions.

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12. Re: Route from Wash DC to Buffalo/Niagara Falls?

Thank you for your speedy reply Tulman. I forgot to mention that we are not driving an RV.

I think I will research the US 15 route a little more. I would like a more scenic route than I79 which we are very familiar with. I initially thought we could make it as far as Hagerstown MD which seems to have lots of recommendations from Trip Advisor for accommodation and restaurants. Thank you for your insight.

One last question, do you recommend crossing the border at Lewiston rather than Buffalo?

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13. Re: Route from Wash DC to Buffalo/Niagara Falls?

I don't particularly care for the Lewiston crossing. I will either use Rainbow or Peace (depends where I am going). On busy days I use the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge, which is a NEXUS only crossing.

If you are travelling US15, you willl end up in Frederick MD and not Hagerstown, since Hagerstown is on the I81 route. You may want to consider an overnight in the Gettysburg area, where there are plenty of hotels and restaurants.

I would also suggest stopping at the Pennsylvania welcome centre on US 15, about 3 miles past the NY/Penn border. Very scenic overview and clean restrooms.

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14. Re: Route from Wash DC to Buffalo/Niagara Falls?

Thank you again for all your valued tips. I will take a closer look at all your suggestions. Wishing you safe travels.

Washington...
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15. Re: Route from Wash DC to Buffalo/Niagara Falls?

I've done this route many times, as I'm from Buffalo and live in DC. I haven't had bad experiences with the 219 route but I avoid it in snow and from time to time you'll get stuck behind a slow car that you can't pass. First of all, if you're crossing the border on a weekend, save yourself the trouble and go all the way to the Peace Bridge. Lewiston-Queenston is a total nightmare and takes forever on the weekends. From the Peace bridge, I'd encourage you to follow 190 South to the 400 (S) to 20A, and then meet up with the 390 in Mt. Morris and then follow 15. I take the 219 route usually, but it is boring and there really isn't anywhere to stop. This will put you going through Washington (hint, avoid DC weekdays between 7am and 9:30 am and 3pm-6:30pm) But you can meet up with 95 and go the rest of the way. Plenty of places to saty around the Baltimore area - but you could also stop in Harrisburg. Good luck!

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jq
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16. Re: Route from Wash DC to Buffalo/Niagara Falls?

Thanks for all the help. We will be traveling from Wash DC to Harrisburg/Hersey/Gettysburg/Lancaster area where we will probably stay for several days of Memorial Day weekend. Then head up to Niagara Falls by one of these routes. Not sure if its nicer to stay on Amercan side or Canadian? From there it will be on to Toledo and eventually I-90 and South Dakota. Does anyone know if going the northern route around the lakes towards Toledo is easier, less crowded, nicer to look at?

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17. Re: Route from Wash DC to Buffalo/Niagara Falls?

Remember you need passports to cross into Canada, and to get back in. Also, if you are renting a car, make sure they know it will be crossing the border. Generally not a problem (into Canada) as long as they know.

If you said you were going to Detroit, the answer is the Canadian route should be faster.. Toledo... kind of a toss-up. Given the potential for getting into a long wait at the border, it may not be worth it. With apologies, neither route is particularly scenic, so that doesn't really matter.

I'm losing track here - do you have an RV or a car? If you have a car, there are a lot of really nice routes for the more leisurely driver between PA and Niagara Falls, let us know and we can suggest some.

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jq
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18. Re: Route from Wash DC to Buffalo/Niagara Falls?

mclee, we are traveling from Calif to east coast and back by motorhome towing our small suv..I got confused too with other poster conversations. We will use car for touring around each area we stop in. The mh serves as our hotel room and sometimes restaurant!

19. Re: Route from Wash DC to Buffalo/Niagara Falls?

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