Phoenix, AZ to Portsmouth, NH
March 9, 2008 11:08 PM   Subscribe

I'm driving from Phoenix, AZ to Portsmouth, NH next week. Which route does the hive mind recommend?

My two main concerns:

1. Speed. I'd like to get there as quickly as possible. I'm not interested in sightseeing... I just need to get my butt out to the east coast ASAP.
2. Weather. Driving through as little snow and ice as possible is preferable.

Thanks guys ;)
posted by MiaWallace to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total)
Uhhhh, I'm guessing you'll hit less snow if you head east to the coast and then travel up the coast. (Total guess from a Californian.)
posted by salvia at 1:17 AM on March 10, 2008

Nah, I take it back, the hypotenuse is much shorter. The weather channel suggests that there's not really much snow until 6 days from now, when some snow will hit the Ohio area. So if you can get through that area before the snow hits, you can take 40 to 44 to 70.
posted by salvia at 1:23 AM on March 10, 2008

If you're looking for speed, avoid the I-95 corridor between Richmond and Boston. Swing around on I-81 and take that to I-88/I-90. You'll save yourself the pain of driving through the megalopolis (not to mention quite a bit in accumulating tolls).

Snow is probably inevitable. It's still winter in much of the country.
posted by j1950 at 4:53 AM on March 10, 2008

I concur with j1950's recommendation, if nothing else because navigation gets a bit confusing around NYC with New Yorkers' uncontrollable need to use all of their local names for the local section of every interstate.

Alas, you will just barely miss the opportunity to stop for some of the best barbecue on the East Coast, Dinosaur BBQ in Rochester and Syracuse.

Also, in case you haven't done lots of long-distance driving, try to avoid passing through any large city during rush hour lest you be caught in traffic.
posted by XMLicious at 8:46 AM on March 10, 2008

Oh, if we want to open this up to road-trip best practices in the name of speedy travel (not sure the OP welcomes this, but anyway) I've found it saves a lot of time to bring a bunch of sandwich fixings with me and just eat at rest stops. It turned out that looking-for-an-acceptable-fast-food-place took a lot of my time.
posted by salvia at 1:15 PM on March 10, 2008

Best answer: 17 North to Flagstaff
40 East to Knoxville, TN
81 North to Scranton, PA
84 East to Massachusetts
90 to 495 to 95 to Portsmouth

Google Maps says it should take you about 43 hours, obviously not counting gas and other stops. Bonus: Except for the Hudson River crossing, no tolls till you hit the Mass 'Pike.

Other options:
Stay on 81 to Binghamton, NY and take 88 to Albany; pick up 90 E from Albany. Doesn't save much time, at least on paper, and it'll prob. cost you a little more toll-wise. Does get you a bit further away from NYC, though.

Personally, I would try to get as far east as possible before getting as far north as PA. 70/76 (the PA Turnpike), 80, and 90 (NY's turnpike, for some reason called the Thruway up there) all pretty much suck. The last time we drove from Pittsburgh to Albany, we took state highways almost all the way there and back. . . .
posted by FlyingMonkey at 1:50 PM on March 10, 2008

flying monkey has very good opinions. i won't add more cept to say. welcome back to portsmouth!
posted by Soulbee at 1:56 PM on March 10, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks to all.

Salvia- I'm a big fan of the DIY rest stop sandwich, too. Huge time saver.
posted by MiaWallace at 2:18 PM on March 10, 2008

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