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barb45
01-12-2005, 10:28 AM
For this first time we are taking the I-77 down in March because we will be stopping in Savannah on the way to Orlando. I figures we will be stopping around 10:00 pm in West Virginia or there abouts. Does anyone have any hotel recommendations or even what city we should stop in? I'm afraid to book ahead in a bad area or nasty hotel. I don't even know which cities would be best. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. We usually take I-75 when we go to Orlando and there are so many hotels along the way, we just pick one when we are tired. This trip has me a bit worrked.

chucked
01-12-2005, 02:37 PM
Don't worry, I have done this drive many times. There are lots of hotels. I leave the Toronto area around 5:30 AM and stop in Statesville, NC around 6:00 PM. There is a comfort inn with an indoor pool for the kids to tire themselves out in. I usually book ahead and get a decent rate.

You can stop 2 1/2 hours North of Statesville in Beckley VA, or an hour North of Statesville in Wytheville WV, if you want. Both towns have lots of hotels. I like to get to Statesville as you are out of the mountains at that point and do not have the worry of poor weather and/or morning fog if you get past them the first day. Wytheville is almost exactley the half way point (in miles) between Toronto and Orlando.

Hockeychic
01-12-2005, 07:19 PM
When we took that route in 2003 we stopped in Fayetteville, WV at the Comfort Inn New River. It was a nice hotel right off the highway and there was a gas station right outside that was open at 6AM for us to refuel to get back on the road. Price was very reasonable also. #304-574-3443. I do suggest calling ahead as we had a reservation on the way down and paid $48.59 on the way home we stopped a little south of there, can't remeber the name and we paid $98.00 for the night but we where to tired to care....lol

I enjoy this route much better then the I75 route, I believe it is shorter as well as quicker but there is also more to see the scenery is beautiful in WV.

barb45
01-12-2005, 08:56 PM
Thanks. I am just a bit nervous because we have never gone that way before.

tigercat
01-12-2005, 09:26 PM
I was wondering if anyone had a web site that I might be able to look at the weather for Fri. night along that route. We are going to see what the weather is like along both routes and then decide.
tigercat

Hockeychic
01-13-2005, 06:24 AM
www.wunderground.com is a good site for weather information. You can even get historical information.

barb45
01-13-2005, 07:33 AM
Tigercat - If you take the I-77 route, would you please try to check out a few of the lodging signs through West Virginia for me?

cottontail
01-13-2005, 08:48 AM
Hi Barb:

We stop in beckley wv, it is 8 hours from hamilton, I always stay in the country inn and suites in beckley (the one on harpers road,) , with a nice light continental breakfast in the a.m., it was very clean.

http://www.countryinns.com/reservation/clearReservation.do

BE VERY CAREFUL THAT YOU STAY UNDER THE SPEED LIMIT IN THE TOWN OF SUMMERSVILLE WV, IT IS A BIG TOURIST TRAP FOR EVEN 1 MILE OVER.

The countryinn's may be a little more expensive than some others, but after driving that long i have to feel comfortable about where I stay or I cannot sleep.

We stayed there last april and everything was fine. In fact we liked it so much we switched to country inn and suites all the way down. I think the next stop was 1 hour past savannah, I think it was kingsland georgia (9 hrs from beckley) also a nice country inn and suites . We were about 5 min from the florida border.

Make sure you have a good "open window" for weather before you travel that route, there are alot of mountains in that area. CAA tells everyone to go down I-75 in the winter.

Deb.

iluvflorida
01-13-2005, 01:27 PM
Hi. We use #77 every year now. Lots of Motels. Pick up the discount hotel books at the state welcome stations and some resturants etc. to save $$

Yzma and Kronk
01-13-2005, 02:09 PM
Also, www.weather.com will give you road conditions for the drive. Just click on the "driving" section.

We just recently came through that area on the way back down from Xmas in Canada. Chucked is right, there are a lot of hotels. However, I would try to pre-book one if you can, because we've driven that route during off peak times and had problems getting a room. We stayed in Washington PA a few weeks ago and got one of the last rooms, as there was a wrestling tournament in town then....go figure!

Cottontail - is that the Country Suites in Beckley that has the big indoor/outdoor pool? We stayed there in October, and the kids still talk about the pool. Nice hotel as well.

I would agree with the weather. If it looks as if there is going to be snow, I would change to I-75. We've driven I-77 a lot, and it's my preferred route but we also driven it in fog and freezing rain - not a very fun drive!

Have a great trip!

cottontail
01-13-2005, 02:25 PM
Hi:

Yes the country inn and suites right in beckley, on harper road, it is really nice. Well worth the money.

It did sell out, each time we stayed there, but that was last april.

I would try to book a hotel with a 6 p.m cancellation, you can pick a hotel on the i 77 route and one on the i75 route, cancel the one on the route you will not take as per the weather the day before you leave, just a suggestion.

When driving it is nice to get into a hotel that will give you a cont breakfast, then you can stop for a heartier breakfast after a few hours later on the road.

Deb.

barb45
01-13-2005, 04:18 PM
Thanks for all the details. This is great - something to work with. Are you saying that I-77 is worse than I-75 if the weather is bad?? I think I will book a room before we leave just in case it is very busy. We have never had a problem on I-75 but when we went to New Brunswick through the states we were planning on stopping in Maine for a room and they were booked solid everywhere. We ended up driving straight through (21 hours) - and we had my poor mother with us! Now I'm a little more careful if I don't know the area. I knew I could depend on my dis friends!

cottontail
01-13-2005, 04:47 PM
Yes, I 77 is worse than I75 if there is winter weather.

You will go thru more mountains on l77 and there is freezing rain, fog, snow etc.

What you have to do is look a couple of days ahead at each state you will be going thru, pick the cities you will travel thru and if it looks like bright sunny weather, no snow for a few days than you are okay.

My husband loves the l77 route, as he hates the long drive to windsor for us 4 hours. but when we went in the first week december we took the I75 route. It just depends on the weather, we went down the last two weeks of april last year and everything was fine on the l77 route thru beckley.

Just asked hubby when you get out of the mountains he thought it was north carolina. Also he thought there were more motels on the l75 route, maybe that is why caa says to go i75 in winter cause of the abundance of motels, not sure.

Hope this helps,

Deb.

iluvflorida
01-13-2005, 11:25 PM
Hi folks: I have gone down #75 and #77 many times. Due to where I live now it is the #77. CAA is reluctant to route this way. However, from personal experience (maybe I have just been lucky) I have had worse driving on #75 because of ice etc. than I ever had on #77. Also #77 is far less traffic. Must clarify my route is #81-#77-#26-#95. Only driven the north portion of #77 once so that maybe is a difference. We cross at IVY LEE Bridge in Gananoque, Ont. just north of Watertown NY. on#81 :moped:

cottontail
01-14-2005, 10:20 AM
Hi:

We were coming home from wdw in mid dec many years ago and stayed over at Troy Ohio and awoke to hwy 75 being closed for a few hours due to ice all over, when they did open it and we left to come back to canada there were trucks jack knifed all over, and cars off the road, especially bowlinggreen, then we got to toledo ohio and there was no more ice and it was clear driving, I was having a fit. I felt that the trucks that were passing us were going way to fast for the icy road conditions.

I have never driven the 77 route in the winter though.

Here's our route, down QEW cross over at peace bridge, travel down i 90 , I 79 to Fairmont wv, then onto 19 to beckley then I-77 to Columbia, then 26 to just past Orangeburg s.c. then onto I-95 to Daytona then onto hwy 4 to Orlando.

The route is nice because most of the time you have two lanes of traffic going one way divided by a good wide piece of land and two lanes coming the opposite way. Like I said before it is our preferred route, take into consideration we are only 45 min from the u.s. border. The i 75 way we are about 4 hours away from the detroit border.

Hopefully by March most of the snow storms will behind us. Wish I were going again, lol.

Deb.

tigercat
02-02-2005, 08:42 PM
Well I am back. It seems that the 1-75 route was worse than the other route. We ended up having to stay in Charlotte NC because of the ice storm but it wasn't a bad drive. We made it back home the next day all the way from Charlotte to home. We were a day late but at least we got home. We only drove an hour and a half the one day when we decided to quit as the driving wasn't the greatest and there were so many accidents that we were afraid we were going to be one. What we couldn't understand though was that there were several salt trucks going up and down the Interstate but not one of them was unloading it's load. There were a lot of hotels up and down the Interstate and we didn't find any problems getting one for the night.
tigercat

barb45
02-03-2005, 07:41 AM
Tigercat - I'm glad you made it home safely. Where in Ontario are you? Did you mean that there were a lot of hotels along I-77? I realize you are busy with just getting back but I'm a little fuzzy on your report. Thanks for the info though. Barb

tigercat
02-03-2005, 11:58 AM
We found hotels all along the whole route. On the way down we stayed in Erie Penn. the first night (as we left really late and I won't drive all night) and the second night was in Orangeburg (I think NC). On the way back we stayed in Charlotte NC the second night. the first night was in a town an hour and a half south of that. We made it home for the third night. I live near Oakville.
tigercat

The House of Mouse
02-03-2005, 09:05 PM
Chucked, (and anyone else who can answer this)

Sounds like your driving times are similar to ours. We will leave Barrie at 4 a.m and plan on staying in N.C..

My question is: Where to stay on the way back?

We have always driven straight through both ways, this will be our first time breaking up the travel. (we're not as young as we used to be!)

Do you leave Florida first thing in the morning or afternoon?

We will be leaving Disney on Good Friday, I'm a little worried about finding hotels on the way back as people could be travelling on the holiday weekend.

talicskai
02-03-2005, 09:23 PM
Two years ago we left Jacksonville, Fla at 8pm and were home in Paris (between Brantford and Cambridge) at 6pm the next day. We hit a horrible snowstorm in Beckley WV at 6am and just pulled into a hotel parking lot and went to sleep for an hour. When we woke up the snow had stopped! Hwy 19 can be very scary in bad weather.....FYI the weather report was clear and warm for that day (50F) Even the lady working at McDonald's was shocked at the amount snow and zero visibility. My point being - traveling thru the mountains in the winter is very unpredictable - we saw an obscene amount of dead deer (and live ones on the road) so be super careful!
On the upside the drive is shorter and much more beautiful. I just wish there was an Along the I79/77/19/26/95 book for this route... :rotfl:
Maybe I should write one! :goodvibes

Teresa :wave2:

tigercat
02-04-2005, 03:57 PM
taliskai that's really funny. I thought the same thing about writting a along I- 77 ect. book. It would really be helpful especially if it is along the format of the I-75 book.
tigercat