Are there any sites that offer driving recommendations?
July 31, 2008 10:51 PM   Subscribe

Are there any sites that offer driving recommendations? I don't mean driving directions, I mean sites that offer tips and tricks for more pleasant ways to go from point A to point B, or that provide information and tips about specific interstates, freeways, highways, and roads.

Tomorrow I'm taking a trip from Philadelphia down to Virginia. Google maps says take I95, but I'm fairly sure that taking I81, though a greater distance, will avoid the potential nightmare that is the beltway on a Friday afternoon. Beyond that, however, I really don't know what's better: do I stay on I81 the whole way and then take I64 East? Or are there state roads/highways that offer a more scenic, pleasant, or stress-free trip?

So, I'm wondering if there is a "Chowhounds" for driving...a place where expert/practiced car travelers share their collective wisdom about the best way to get from one place to another. Reports on individual roads would be great too, especially if they're updated regularly enough that information like construction is listed there on a timely basis, or at least more timely than Google (Here in Philly Google Maps routinely tells me to take a street that is not only currently partially roadblocked, but also takes ages to drive on).

Piggyback question: I know a lot of people swear by those in-car GPS tools like TomTom. Is it possible to use factors like "low traffic" or "pleasant scenery" when calculating a route? Is getting one of those worth-while?
posted by Deathalicious to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You can start with Roadside America, then get off the beaten path.
posted by TDIpod at 11:00 PM on July 31, 2008

Best answer: Roadtrip America, especially their forums.

Piggyback answer: my GPS (an ancient Garmin StreetPilot III) has an option to avoid interstates. That doesn't guarantee "pleasant scenery," of course, but it significantly increases the chances of it. I'd imagine more recent GPSes have the same option, although I'm not certain.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:06 PM on July 31, 2008

Surprisingly, there's still good discussion on newsgroups: misc.transport.road is the one with routes and advice for non-commercial travellers; misc.transport.trucking can also be useful.

Philly to Virginia? Go down through Delaware (I-95 or I-295 to US 301) then take the Chesapeake Bay Bridge across to Annapolis, follow US 50 / US 301 across the Potomac via the Harry Nice Bridge, and either join I-95 or carry on US 301, which takes you right down to Richmond. It's relatively pleasant, gives you Annapolis as a nice place to stop, has the classic 'US route' feel. It does get busy as an alternative to I-95, but you'll likely be driving against the flow away from DC.

(We took the reverse route some years ago, avoiding much of I-95, the Beltway, Baltimore and some of Delaware's tolls. And I got that route from the newsgroups.)
posted by holgate at 3:46 AM on August 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

(Here's a Google Map of that route, more or less: it shows the important Beltway-avoiding bits.)
posted by holgate at 3:49 AM on August 1, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks. On my way back now...I wasn't headed to Richmond, although I'm sure that's a lovely route.
posted by Deathalicious at 8:59 AM on August 3, 2008

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