Plan My Drive from ATL to Vermont
October 29, 2009 1:32 AM   Subscribe

A few weeks ago, you guys helped to reassure me that I could drive from Atlanta to Vermont in December. Now, I'm asking you to offer some suggestions for that drive. The plan is to drive for three days, stopping after about 6 hours of driving each day, and arriving in Vermont on the third day. I'm looking for suggested routes and cities-towns-villages to stop in that would have some combination of a) cool place to spend the night, b) a nifty place to get a bite to eat, and/or c) something cool to see/do. Thanks for any suggestions!
posted by tmharris65 to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total)
In my opinion there is not a lot that is interesting very close to I-95. Six hours a day is a pretty relaxed pace! If you have two people, just set up two eight hour shifts, get on I-95, lock in the cruise control whenever possible and then enjoy doing nifty bites to eat and cool things to do when you arrive in Vermont.
posted by thewalrus at 2:29 AM on October 29, 2009

The first poster is correct, 95 sucks, steer clear of it! Asheville, NC is a must see... Nice little city tucked away in the mountains. The weather should still be decent there in December, too... I lived there for a few months and loved it. "The Laughing Seed" is right down town, and it's got great vegetarian food. "12 Bones" is a bit out of town, and it's the best barbeque I've ever had! Unfortunately I stopped there to grab some ribs on the way home from Asheville, and regretted never having gone before :P

From Asheville, if the weather is good and the road isn't closed yet you could hop on the Blue Ridge Parkway and head north into Virginia. I've heard about a museum in southern VA, near the border of western NC, where they've reproduced the civil war, but gave the North dinosaurs. Yep. That might be cool to see...
posted by Glendale at 3:29 AM on October 29, 2009

Are you driving alone?

6 hours per day is pretty slow, if you end up deciding there's not much you want to stop at on your trip, you could pretty easily trim that down to two 9 hour trips, which is totally doable, and even driving from 8am until 2am is pretty doable, but I'd probably prefer company or somebody to trade off with.

Also, if you got your 18 hour number from Google Maps, I've found it's guestimates to almost always be off when it's not routing me around the city. I think it must assume you drive about 55 on the interstates, when around here the clip for granny and posted limit is 70 if you're not hitting commuter traffic. 1100 miles at 70 is 15 and a half hours, at 85 it's 13. Although I suppose it might work out when you consider food stops or if you're a more commendable driver than me.
posted by floam at 6:18 AM on October 29, 2009

Oh, and the stuff I had to say there about plausible driving speeds was me driving around the Pacific Northwest and our always-mild weather. I didn't really consider driving conditions. Snow storms? Google's estimate may well be way over-optimistic. What do I know?
posted by floam at 6:23 AM on October 29, 2009

New York City.
posted by Zambrano at 9:35 AM on October 29, 2009

I don't know why you would even consider going on I95. Take I85 north to I26, I26 north to Asheville, then I181 to I81 to I84 to I91. (Alternatively you could take I81 to I88, then from upstate NY over to Vermont, I don't know where you're going in Vermont or I'd give you the best route from upstate NY.) Traffic will be much lighter, scenery will be much more beautiful.

This inland route does not add very much, if anything, to your travel and you avoid major traffic crazy city snarls, Richmond, Washington, Baltimore, NYC. Of course any way you go the weather might become a factor. Make sure that your tires are all-season or snow tires.
posted by mareli at 11:25 AM on October 29, 2009 [1 favorite]

Done similar drives. From Flordia until NYC there is nothing worth seeing on 95 until washington DC. Even to NYC it sucks.

I'd recommend you either try route 17 which runs along the coast through charleston (stop at jacks cosmic dogs just outside charleston heading north) and myrtle beach and Wilmington - even has a ferry you can take at one point - or the blue ridge. It's just gorgeous and while you'll miss the fall colors at that point I think the curvy roads are a blast to drive.
posted by anti social order at 11:29 AM on October 29, 2009 [1 favorite]

77 in Virginia is beautiful and a whole lot faster than the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Blue Ridge is a lovely drive, just not when trying to get from point A to point B. Always avoid 95.

Northhampton and Amherst are great college towns. Brattleboro has five used book stores. Asheville is a great little city too and surrounded by the most beautiful scenery you'll see anywhere on the drive.
posted by mearls at 4:14 PM on October 29, 2009 [1 favorite]

small thing, keep in mind that if you use a radar detector they are ILLEGAL in virginia
also, if you havent been to DC its worth spending a day in/around there...feel free to mefi mail me if your looking for things to do in DC :)
posted by knockoutking at 4:23 PM on October 29, 2009

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