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Discussion Starter #1
We are going to take a day Friday to drive from Providence to Washington, D.C., in part to break in my new car ... have to vary the rpm's and I can't get on the cams yet of course. So wondering if anyone knows of any places to jump off Route 95 and continue more or less southerly on good secondary roads.

I don't mind meandering around some, but would like to finish the trip in 10 hours or so or leisurely travel.

Any suggestions? Thanks, steve
 

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Depending on the time of day you can try the Merrit Parkway (Rte 15)(http://www.merrittparkway.org/), considered one of the most beautiful highways in the country (built over 50 yrs ago!). The road is very twisting in parts so it is a lot of fun. However traffic can be a hassle. You can also stop at Hunting Ridge Motors which is only a few miles off of the parkway.

There is a connector between 95 and the Merrit in Milford (just west of New Haven). The Merritt turns into the Hutchinson River and takes you to the GW bridge.

There are also nice roads in SE CT north of 95 but I can't name them right now.

There are other awesome roads just north of the highway that wind though Litchfield county. Look at a map to see which ones are convenient.

I think your biggest issue in picking a route is most of the roads tend to run more N-S than E-W. Probably a result of the glaciers!
 

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I'd definitely second the Merrit recommendation during low traffic times, but I'm seeing more construction, traffic, and lower speed limits every time I take it. Just took it last week on a trip to Boston and it just seems to get less and less fun each time :(

But I'd take it anyway, I just hope you don't mind speeding too much. It seems there are quite a few places where they dropped the speed limit from 55 to 40, but I generally like to keep it between 70 - 90 mph. :p On the bright side, there aren't many places for cops to hide.

The Merrit is really the only direct substitute for 95, as far as the rest of the trip you're going to have to go out of your way a bit to find some good roads. I know some real twisties north of philly (just south of the Lehigh valley), but you'd really be going out of your way.
 

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I can't think of a single fun non-expressway to take on this corridor.

Merritt Parkway is a decent choice.

I've had to ditch the NJ Turnpike before for Route 1 going into Trenton, and then take the PA Turnpike from there out to Lancaster - if you go this route, there are some rather scenic highways that will take you around Lancaster and York and around to Gettysburg and down Route 15 into Maryland, but I would not mark any of them as being good for spirited driving.

During the week, you may be looking at an 8 or 9 hour drive by staying on 95 alone.
 

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10 hours will be hard to make, but you need to head directly west, then south. Take 84, out to 90 then down & or some other smaller roads then back down to 84/81. Thats a very nice area through Pennsylvania.

It will definitely add lots of time, but the roads will be much smoother then the crap they keep ripping up around NY. I have been commuting between long island and DC once a week, it is an AWFUL drive. Definitely don't take 95/NJ Pike, or any roads right around NYC.

Grab a cheap GPS for the laptop and get lost, thats what roads are for!
 

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If you are taking 95 through Jersey, get off on route 78 and head into Pennsylvania. Get off in Easton at the first opportunity (Cedarville Road?) and drive to the Delaware River's edge and head south on Delaware Drive. This road will eventually take you back to 95 but the road runs along the river and though several small towns with decent restaurants. The road itself is winding and allows the lotus owner the opportunity to really explore the Elise's handling on the type of roads the car was designed for. If the weather holds out, Club111 will make this run part of an event in Feburary.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks all, I knew that there probably would not be any great choices in that corridor. I used to regularly make the drive on Rt. 95 between Providence and DC anytime from 6 to 6.5 hours. But that was many years ago! Now its pretty much a nightmare from end to end. I appreciate the suggestions. After this trip, my break-in will be over and I'll be "exploring the potential" of the car, as they say! Steve
 

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getting to DC

William,

If I were you, I'd get off of 95 south at Elkton, Maryland, and from there get onto 213 South and head down through the Eastern Shore of Maryland, cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, and on to DC on Route 50.

It's all VERY good single lane roads, very picturesque, all kinds of opportunities to vary speeds, from 60 to 70 down to 25 to 30 as you go through the small towns on the Shore.

Stop in Georgetown (not DC, there's a small town called Georgetown on the Eastern Shore), right on the water, for lunch or dinner at the Kitty Knight House, a lovely colonial mansion on the water converted to a first class restaurant.

Come through Chestertown, home of Washington College (the ONLY college in the US bearing Washington's name that he actually gave such permission for...he served on it's Board of Advisors), cross the beautiful Chester River there, head up through Centreville, onto Kent Island (stop and eat crabs at any number of waterfront pubs and crab houses), then across the Bay Bridge.

Don't know how much time you have, this would make a good two day trek...stay at at B & B in Chestertown, there are several.

The ONE problem is that they are redecking one of the two parallel bridges across the Bay, and depending on when you cross it there can be considerable backups.

Anyway, that's what I'd do if I were making your trip, with that car.

Todd
 

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This is irrelevant, but, if you leave in the middle of the night or on a quiet day, you can drive from Boston to Virginia on I-95 and go through eight states in eight hours.
 

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Re: getting to DC

kusheen said:

The ONE problem is that they are redecking one of the two parallel bridges across the Bay, and depending on when you cross it there can be considerable backups.

Usually the Bay Bridge only shows on DC traffic reports in the summer. Now it's been coming up pretty regularly with backups a few miles long. Might be able to pull their construction schedule, though.

For a bit of variety, one could take the Garden State Coin Toss down to Cape May, take the ferry across to Lewes, and drive from there west to DC. That route does not avoid northern New Jersey though.
 
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