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velrox
07-13-2009, 04:21 PM
I am not sure if this is the correct area of DVC to post this thread, but I was wondering if anyone from Massachusetts has done the drive to HHI. We are thinking about doing it next April. I think it is doable. I would imagine that we would drive the majority of it in one day and then do a few hours the next day. Any thoughts? Any suggestions on where to stop, stay, eat, etc? Thanks.

JVL1018
07-13-2009, 04:41 PM
We drive from NJ and drive about 11 hours the first day(Saturday) and stay in Florence, SC. The following day we have a 3 hour ride to the resort.

Not sure where you are in MA, but I guess you'd like somewhere a little farther north than that..on the way home last year we stayed at a Fairfield Inn(brand new) in Wilson, NC. I'm pretty sure that's about 5 hours from Hilton Head.

This year on the way home we stayed at a Holiday Inn Express in Emporia, VA, about 6 hours away from the HH resort-it was $79/night as was the Fairfield Inn.(AAA rate). Very nice, comfy hotel. Probably be about a 12 hour drive from the Boston area.
I like to do the bulk of our driving the first day on the way down, so we're at the resort by noon the latest on arrival day-and on the way back I like to stay at the resort for a good portion of the day before hitting the road, that's why we don't split it up evenly between our 2 travel days.

ETA-just saw that you do have your location listed.
Emporia, VA is about 11 hours form you, so I'd stay there. Get through all the cities on Day 1 and then you just have the easy ride on 95 through the Carolinas on Day 2.
If you feel like pushing, Wilson is 12 hours. Lumberton is 13.5(stayed at the Fairfield Inn there-it was good) and Florence is 14. We stayed at the Country Inn and Suites in Florence and it was nice. we've also stayed at the Wingate there and would again.

DisDaydreamer
07-13-2009, 09:22 PM
You could also drive down to Virginia and take the Amtrak Auto Train down and back. It's a pretty nice trip on the train.

buzz5985
07-14-2009, 03:01 AM
I am not sure if this is the correct area of DVC to post this thread, but I was wondering if anyone from Massachusetts has done the drive to HHI. We are thinking about doing it next April. I think it is doable. I would imagine that we would drive the majority of it in one day and then do a few hours the next day. Any thoughts? Any suggestions on where to stop, stay, eat, etc? Thanks.

April school vacation?? We did it one year. I believe we drove to Dillon SC that year. Would not recommend that hotel. Dump. The next day we only had about 2 1/2 hours to drive.

Every year there are more and more hotels being build along 95. Make several reservations - just check the cancellation policy - and cancel if you find you can go a bit further. Most have a cancellation policy of 5 pm or 6 pm that day of check in.

MouseMomx2
07-14-2009, 08:56 AM
The drive takes us just about 16 hours from the Webster area. We usually do it in one day, leaving around 4am and getting to HH around 6pm. We use Priceline or Hotwire for an inexpensive room that night and then move over to our villa bright and early the next morning.

Duane
07-14-2009, 09:06 AM
If you do decide to drive, here (http://www.i95exitguide.com/index.php) is a guide for I-95 all along the eastern seaboard that will provide all kinds of information. We use this when we pull our RV to WDW mainly for construction information.

On the subject of the Auto Train, if I'm not mistaken, you can only load in Lorton VA, and unload in Sanford, FL. I don't think there are stops along the way for one to have their car taken off the train....

velrox
07-14-2009, 04:27 PM
April school vacation?? We did it one year. I believe we drove to Dillon SC that year. Would not recommend that hotel. Dump. The next day we only had about 2 1/2 hours to drive.

Every year there are more and more hotels being build along 95. Make several reservations - just check the cancellation policy - and cancel if you find you can go a bit further. Most have a cancellation policy of 5 pm or 6 pm that day of check in.

Thanks for all the inforamtion. This is great! Something to consider instead of airfare. Doesn't seem that bad, I guess.

rockydek
07-14-2009, 05:12 PM
You could also drive down to Virginia and take the Amtrak Auto Train down and back. It's a pretty nice trip on the train.

Hi Rob...The Auto train runs non-stop from Lorton VA to Sanford Fl.

Connears
07-14-2009, 06:18 PM
We drive from Natick all the time to HHI and WDW. We usually do one overnight in NC/SC area (3-4 hours from HHI) you need to plan to avoid rush hour for NYC(if you go straight on 95 over GW bridge-we do) and also DC rush hour. After that the drive is not bad. We plan to check in late morning at HHI to enjoy the beach, pool, etc. We usually check in by 12-1pm and have been able to get our room all but 1 time. You can get details on the drive from 95 interstate forum online and get a triptic from AAA if you are a member.

good luck
Connears

Conan the Librarian
07-14-2009, 08:47 PM
When driving to HHI from anywhere, plan for at least an hour for the 15 mile drive from I-95 to the resort. Even at night, that bit of road is busy.

Also, beware of the speed laws. Blufton (the town you drive through to get to HHI) is a speed trap.

velrox
07-14-2009, 09:13 PM
When driving to HHI from anywhere, plan for at least an hour for the 15 mile drive from I-95 to the resort. Even at night, that bit of road is busy.

Also, beware of the speed laws. Blufton (the town you drive through to get to HHI) is a speed trap.

Good to know about the speed trap!

minnierealtor
07-15-2009, 10:54 AM
We drive to HHI from NH every spring. We avoid driving on I-95 because you never know what type of traffic you will encounter. Most of the trip is on I-81 and you avoid most major cities. We do end up on I-95 about 90 miles north of exit 8 to HHI. We have found this way to be stress free and we have not encountered any traffic issues in the last 7 years. We usually leave from northern NH around 3am on Saturday and arrive Sunday afternoon at the resort.

kda
07-15-2009, 09:49 PM
We drive to HHI from NH every spring. We avoid driving on I-95 because you never know what type of traffic you will encounter. Most of the trip is on I-81 and you avoid most major cities. We do end up on I-95 about 90 miles north of exit 8 to HHI. We have found this way to be stress free and we have not encountered any traffic issues in the last 7 years. We usually leave from northern NH around 3am on Saturday and arrive Sunday afternoon at the resort.

I've read that's a wonderful route to take. We're planning to drive from CT this fall. How many hours does this take you? ie, how many hours do you drive the first day and how many the 2nd day?

Connears
07-16-2009, 05:42 PM
We drive to HHI from NH every spring. We avoid driving on I-95 because you never know what type of traffic you will encounter. Most of the trip is on I-81 and you avoid most major cities. We do end up on I-95 about 90 miles north of exit 8 to HHI. We have found this way to be stress free and we have not encountered any traffic issues in the last 7 years. We usually leave from northern NH around 3am on Saturday and arrive Sunday afternoon at the resort.

We are from MA, where do you get on I-81? You don't mean I-91 do you? I am confused...we have driven to HHI and wdw at least once a year(usually twice) since 1994 when we joined dvc, but I'm not sure where you get on I-81 from NH?
Thanks
Connears

5forDiz
07-16-2009, 07:58 PM
We live in southern most part of NY state and travel I95 to HHI.

Leaving 4 - 5 am it takes us about 14 hours with stops for gas/restrooms/eats. It is 810 miles approx for us.

Leaving NY around 4 -5 am works well for us to avoid Baltimore & DC morning
rush & Richmond's too.

If you're looking for an overnight stop DC area I'm guessing may be around 500 miles for you ? You may want to stay in Alexandria if you'd prefer to avoid staying in Washington DC itself ( you can expect to pay about $40 to valet or regular park you car at DC hotels - hotels outside DC are more likely to have no fee parking ).
We use Priceline to book DC & that area - we bid Resort or 4 star or 3.5 star ( we find below 3.5 star to be too unreliable in quality & upkeep); check out winning bid histories on website bidding for travel.

Rocky Mount, NC is also an overnight stop we prefer - - southbound Exit 138 / Highway 64 East - it is the Rocky Mount exit that has hospital located at it - Winstead Avenue : there is Hampton Inn & Courtyard Marriott among others that are good quality and there is Outback Steakhouse, Highway 64 Diner & Sonic nearby. I believe there's also a nice shopping mall in area although we've never been.

In Florence, SC definitely Magnolia Mall/Convention-Expo Center Exit is best
( I believe it's Radio Drive / David McLeod Blvd, will try to locate my travel notes & post back specifics ETA Magnolia Mall Exit in Florence should be 160B southbound iirc, may be 160A )
- - Hospitality Blvd. off David McLeod has Hilton Garden Inn, Springhill Suites & others; Chili's and others (Ruby Tuesdays) on both side of road where hotels are located & on Magnolia Mall side.

:goodvibes

minnierealtor
07-17-2009, 10:24 AM
Hopefully I can explain the directions. My DH is normally the navigator in the family along with our GPS "Gabby". "Gabby" does not like our way from NH because it is not the fastest route but we like it much better. We leave from Waterville Valley, NH on I-93 South. We get on the Mass. Pike and head toward Albany, NH. We get on I-88 to Binghamton, NY. At Binghamton we get on I-81 almost to end of Virginia. We get on I-77 to Columbia, SC and then change to I-26. I-26 connects to I-95 and then we get off exit 8 to HHI. The first day we usually drive 15 hours or so and then we have about 6 hour drive on Sunday. We try to leave on Saturday around 3am and drive like crazy. On Sunday we find a Cracker Barrel to have breakfast and stop at the Super Walmart in Bluffton before we check-in.

minnierealtor
07-17-2009, 10:25 AM
I should also mention that we drive our small RV when we go to HHI and we aren't able to drive as fast as a car. We probably only go max 70 miles per hour so it takes us a bit longer.

flipflopmom
08-15-2009, 08:30 AM
Just found this thread. We are going to HHI in January for our first DVC trip! :cool1: We live at "the end of VA"! (Actually, on the NC/VA border) near where you get on 77. Would you say the 77-26-95 exit 8 route is the easiest drive for us? Thanks!

minnierealtor
08-15-2009, 09:46 AM
The reason we take the I-81/I-77 route is to avoid the major cities I-95 goes through, i.e. Boston, NYC, DC and Richmond. By the time you are in NC the traffic is much less heavy even though we have encountered some back ups. Over our entire trip from NH we believe it adds a little over an hour in drive time if both ways are clear of traffic.

AnnetteF
08-16-2009, 12:23 AM
We just did this 2 weeks ago. We drove from CT and stopped in Rocky Mount NC. We stayed at a wonderful, brand new Holiday Inn. It was gorgeous and actually much more luxurious than our room at HHI. I'm not sure of the cost because we stayed on Priority Club points but I can't say enough about how much we loved this hotel. The next day we had about 5 hours to go -it wasn't that bad at all. I would have loved to stop here again on the way back but we wanted to make it further on our first day of driving.

I'm also not sure of the exit but if you rearch for it on ichotels.com , it is the one that is located at I95/US64.

dis-happy
08-16-2009, 11:47 AM
Just found this thread. We are going to HHI in January for our first DVC trip! :cool1: We live at "the end of VA"! (Actually, on the NC/VA border) near where you get on 77. Would you say the 77-26-95 exit 8 route is the easiest drive for us? Thanks!

Yes, this is the best route for you. Depending on time of day you may hit some traffic heading into Charlotte (on the 77). Once you've made it through the city travel time is about 4 hours to the door of HH-DVC.

5forDiz
08-16-2009, 05:31 PM
Yes, this is the best route for you. Depending on time of day you may hit some traffic heading into Charlotte (on the 77). Once you've made it through the city travel time is about 4 hours to the door of HH-DVC.

How much of a drive is it from Charlotte to HHI ? DS is huge Nascar fan and wants to stop for a day or two in Charlotte to visit race team headquarters on one of our north or south bound trips.

:goodvibes

dis-happy
08-17-2009, 01:20 AM
How much of a drive is it from Charlotte to HHI ? DS is huge Nascar fan and wants to stop for a day or two in Charlotte to visit race team headquarters on one of our north or south bound trips.

:goodvibes

Not sure where exactly you are headed (the new Nascar Hall of Fame doesn't open until next year) but Hilton Head to South Charlotte is 4 hours or a little less depending on traffic. The actual race track is north of town, so add 30 minutes if headed north at the time. If you are going during a big race weekend (ie. one of those Coke-A-Cola races) add an extra hour or two to get to the racetrack.

liznboys
08-17-2009, 06:24 PM
When driving to HHI from anywhere, plan for at least an hour for the 15 mile drive from I-95 to the resort. Even at night, that bit of road is busy.

Also, beware of the speed laws. Blufton (the town you drive through to get to HHI) is a speed trap.

Wow, an hour huh? I wonder if it is like that in non-peak times, like early November? That's when we're going to HHI.

How much of a drive is it from Charlotte to HHI ? DS is huge Nascar fan and wants to stop for a day or two in Charlotte to visit race team headquarters on one of our north or south bound trips.

:goodvibes

Yes, this is the best route for you. Depending on time of day you may hit some traffic heading into Charlotte (on the 77). Once you've made it through the city travel time is about 4 hours to the door of HH-DVC.

We just drove home from WDW last night, and from exit 8 on 95 to our home which is south and a bit east of Charlotte was 3 hrs 15 mins (this was from 9pm to 12:15am last night, so no traffic and we were flying down the highway.)

Conan the Librarian
08-17-2009, 08:04 PM
"Wow, an hour huh? I wonder if it is like that in non-peak times, like early November? That's when we're going to HHI."

Not a Peak or Non-Peak issue. Hilton Head (and the surrounding area) is the second or third most populated area in S.C.

There is ONE road onto the island, US 278, and nothing else. You can get around some of the traffic before you get to Bluffton, but, once you pass Bluffton, that's it. One road and a LOT of stoplights.

Once you are on HHI, you'll be ok. Getting around the island is easy. It's getting TO the island that is hard.

liznboys
08-17-2009, 08:08 PM
Wow, an hour huh? I wonder if it is like that in non-peak times, like early November? That's when we're going to HHI.

Not a Peak or Non-Peak issue. Hilton Head (and the surrounding area) is the second or third most populated area in S.C.

There is ONE road onto the island, US 278, and nothing else. You can get around some of the traffic before you get to Bluffton, but, once you pass Bluffton, that's it. One road and a LOT of stoplights.

Once you are on HHI, you'll be ok. Getting around the island is easy. It's getting TO the island that is hard.

Oh ok, gotcha. Thanks for the info!

5forDiz
08-18-2009, 10:39 AM
Not sure where exactly you are headed (the new Nascar Hall of Fame doesn't open until next year) but Hilton Head to South Charlotte is 4 hours or a little less depending on traffic. The actual race track is north of town, so add 30 minutes if headed north at the time. If you are going during a big race weekend (ie. one of those Coke-A-Cola races) add an extra hour or two to get to the racetrack.


Good to know about Nascar Hall of Fame - maybe we'll head up that way when it is open; I'm sure DS knows about this although he didn't mention it - - he seems to pretty much be interested in visiting Hendrick Motorsports, Dale Earnhardt Inc. etc., I think most of these are just outside of Charlotte area.



Wow, an hour huh? I wonder if it is like that in non-peak times, like early November? That's when we're going to HHI.





Our experiences are it has never taken us an hour and believe me we abide by speed limits; we have been various times of year and drove in during all times of day & early evening and it has taken us maybe 40 minutes from Exit 8 to get onto the island itself; we get on Cross Island Parkway once on island to Disney resort - it is much quicker way to get there because it helps avoid traffic signals, local traffic.



Thanks for the info on drive to Charlotte ! :goodvibes