Best route between Cincinnati Airport and Huntington, West Virginia?
September 21, 2016 2:26 PM   Subscribe

My wife and I are flying in to Cincinnati Airport (CVG) with the purpose of going to Huntington, West Virginia. What's the best route to take? We don't need anything scenic, etc. Would just like to get there (and back, eventually) safely and not too slowly. Google Maps seems to favor KY-9 for most of the route, but I'm seeing conflicting reports on how safe that road is.
posted by kmz to Travel & Transportation (12 answers total)
Google Maps is showing me that going on I-75 to I-64 is only five minutes longer taking traffic into account and 15 minutes longer without taking traffic into account. Given that, and if you are seeing the same thing, and if I didn't care about scenery, I would take the Interstate route every time. Drive 70 mph and you'll get there even faster than Google suggests. Not sure if it's true where you're from, but the chance of backups and slowdowns and small town speed traps on state highways is larger in most places than on interstates.
posted by sheldman at 2:50 PM on September 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

How comfortable are you on two lane mountain roads? I haven't driven this route specifically, but from experience with a lot of other WV driving you REALLY don't want to do the smaller roads unless you're super comfortable with that style of driving already. Since Google maps says the big freeways only add about five minutes to the trip, I would strongly recommend taking those, especially if there's any weather. I've driven mountain roads in rain and snow and neither are an experience I'd recommend to newbies.
posted by MsMolly at 2:53 PM on September 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

Also if either of you is prone to car sickness, DEFINITELY take the freeway instead of the mountain roads.
posted by MsMolly at 2:55 PM on September 21, 2016

According to my roommate, who drives rural KY roads all the time, KY 9 is windy and rural, and one of the most dangerous highways in Kentucky to drive. There are also very foggy areas, and areas with no cell coverage.

Take the interstate.

And when you drive by, I'll wave in your general direction. I live a mile off one of I-64's exits.
posted by The Almighty Mommy Goddess at 2:57 PM on September 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

Take the interstate, not only for safety, but for your wallet's sake. That road is an infamous speed trap for out of state license plates.
posted by Gyre,Gimble,Wabe, Esq. at 4:22 PM on September 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

The interstate is a much better road, especially if you can time it so you're not circling Lexington at rush hour.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:07 PM on September 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm a WV native, currently living north of the Nati. Definitely take the highways.
posted by pinkacademic at 5:46 PM on September 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

I grew up in eastern kentucky, and I'm very familiar with that whole area. You definitely want to take I-75 to I-64. Far, far easier drive, once you get out of Cincy there's really not going to be any traffic to speak of (unless your drive happens to coincide with a UK basketball game or something going through Lexington). If you aren't familiar with the terrain, I'll grant you that it looks crazy as a route to take, but doing 9 or 52 going East there is very, very serpentine, lots of tiny towns with lots of red lights and cops.

Take the Interstate, and wave at Carter Caves State park for me as you drive past on I64.
posted by griffey at 8:45 PM on September 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

See you at Candlenights?
posted by Tevin at 5:30 AM on September 22, 2016 [3 favorites]

Interstate will be so much less stress and likely faster at realistic it is a good excuse to stop somewhere in Bourbon country on the way thru Lexington.
posted by mmascolino at 6:34 AM on September 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Another tip when driving is to make sure to plan out your route ahead of time and don't follow Google maps when it says taking this turn will be 5 minutes faster during the trip. Google seems to overestimate how fast you can go on some of these small state roads.
posted by Joe Chip at 6:38 AM on September 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Wow, unanimous for I-75 -> I-64. I'm so glad I asked now because I somehow didn't even notice that the time estimate is barely more for that route versus KY-9. Thanks everyone!

And yes, Candlenights here we come! I'm so so excited.
posted by kmz at 12:04 PM on September 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

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