How to make the trip from Baltimore to Chincoteague nice?
June 29, 2011 2:38 PM   Subscribe

Travelling from Baltimore to Chincoteage with Grandma (late 80's) and daughter (4). Where should we stop along the way to make the trip more pleasant?

It looks (from Google maps) like we'll be driving around Baltimore (coming from Towson area), and through Annapolis, Cambridge, and Salisbury. I really want to make this 3 1/2 hour drive pleasant for everyone, even those who are young for sitting long stretches in the car or are getting too old to want to travel much. I'm unfamiliar with the area.

Are there good places that we should stop for lunch? Nice parks to stretch our legs in? Are there rest stops?

I've seen these posts about Annapolis. Is Annapolis the best place to stop for lunch?
posted by Margalo Epps to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
We've made the same trip a few times, though not yet with kiddo. Stopping in Annapolis is a good plan. There are lots of options for food and it's a nice distance away from Baltimore at a time you'll probably be ready for a break. Parking might be tricky, especially on a weekend, but walking around downtown would be a nice way to stretch your legs.

Closer to Cincoteague, there's NASA's Wallops Flight Facility. If nothing else, they have a nice outdoor area you can walk around, or you can stop in to see the little museum there.

Have fun! Chincoteague is one of my favorite summer spots!
posted by goggie at 2:50 PM on June 29, 2011

Response by poster: Wow, that Nasa museum looks really neat. (I'll have to see if anyone besides me wants to see it.)

Also, we are driving on a Tuesday and Friday. Which cities should we be trying to avoid rush hour? And is rush hour a 7-9am and 3-6pm kind of deal?
posted by Margalo Epps at 2:58 PM on June 29, 2011

Annapolis is probably your last place with much variety (and yes, parking can be a pain) - once you're over the bridge and past the outlet malls there will be long stretches of 50 with almost nothing on them, punctuated by some strip malls. I think Salisbury and Cambridge have probably your next best shot if you aren't hungry by Annapolis. Watch your speed, there aren't always cops but often enough, usually they give a 10 mph cushion.

If you're taking 695 to 97 to 50, there is rush hour up to Annapolis (heavy traffic on 695 up to about 295, then heavy again on 97 from about Glen Burnie to rt 50), and probably not much bridge traffic on a Tuesday (i.e., not a big backup at the toll plaza). I wouldn't leave Towson before 10-ish (9 if you feel confident, check the local news at 8:25 and 8:55 on Channels 11 and 13 for traffic), unless you plan to leave really early.
posted by mrs. taters at 3:12 PM on June 29, 2011

There are a lot of great places to eat in Annapolis, but it may not be Grandma- and 4-year-old friendly because a lot of walking can be necessary downtown. There are a lot of restaurants just off the highway in Easton, MD. Further off Route 50 in Easton is a quaint little downtown area with more places to eat. If you're interested in that, follow route 565.

There's a wildfowl museum and a zoo in Salisbury. You used to be able to ask for some kind of a wildlife scavenger hunt game at the bay bridge; I don't know if they still do that or not.

As to rush hour, you should only have a problem in points west of the bay bridge. The bridge does have a very pronounced rush hour traffic problem, though, so avoiding evening traffic going east and morning traffic going west is a good idea.
posted by mchorn at 3:15 PM on June 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

The zoo in Salisbury has the added benefit of being free.
posted by spaltavian at 8:29 PM on June 29, 2011

Best answer: I have done this trip about a million times with small kids and the elderly. Usually we don't want to take too long to get to our destination, so we tend to not stop for long. I would drive to Cambridge (somewhat halfway), grab something from a carryout place located just after you cross the bridge into town. Tons of fast food (McDonalds, Dairy Queen etc) and sub shops. Then take it to the Sail Winds Park which is a playground/visitor center right on the water. Eat, relax, climb. Hop in the car and move again. You don't have to go off the main road or out of the way.
posted by maxg94 at 6:21 AM on June 30, 2011

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