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Old 06-01-2009, 08:01 PM   #1
Goofygirl17
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Driving to Va Beach from CT ?s

Hi everyone. I'm driving from CT to Va beach in July with my DM, DD6 and DD10 and I have some questions.

1. We've been before and taken the Chesapeake bay bridge tunnel. I'm wondering if that's really the fastest way.

2. We are considering stopping halfway down (or maybe more than half so the 2nd day's drive isn't so long). Any suggestions for places to stop where the kids could swim/play?

3. We're leaving on a Friday (checking in on Sat afternoon) so thinking about leaving in the morning after the rush so we can make it through New York etc in between rush hours. Any advice?

I appreciate any suggestions or advice!

Thanks!
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Old 06-01-2009, 08:39 PM   #2
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Driving to Va Beach

Since I am from New Jersey but live in the Hampton Roads, I can tell you that going across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge is the shortest distance, however going down 13 doesn't give you too many options to stay over to break up the drive. If I was you I would go the 95 to 64E way so that you will be able to stop in Baltimore, DC or Richmond. Hope this helps
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Old 06-01-2009, 11:02 PM   #3
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I travel Rt. 13 across the Bay Bridge two to three times a year to go to Massachusetts. We stop in Wilmington. there are several hotels there. My favorite is the Hampton Inn with free breakfast. They also have a pool and a Cracker Barrel Practically next door. Going I-95 to I-64 will add almost 3 hours to your trip. I know because I've gone that way on many occasion and always sorry that I did. Traffic in Baltimore/Washington/Northern Virginia is unpredictable and almost always slow/Backed-up or even at a standstill. 13 may be a boring drive but it's a shorter distance and typically I only get traffic in the Salisbury, MD area. Have fun in Va Beach. I love it there!

Dover also has lots of hotels. Some with Casinos in them! Ramada is nice and newly renovated. We stayed there coming home last summer. Walk in at $89 a night. Indoor Pool. Just don't eat there.
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Old 06-02-2009, 06:02 AM   #4
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It is a little shorter (time) to go down the Delmarva Peninsula. I have also found it better to use 113 below Dover than to use 13.

I think a stay in Dover is a good idea, but if you want to be a little further down there are some bay and ocean front hotels that are a little more “resort like”, of course they are also a lot more expensive.

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Old 06-02-2009, 07:47 AM   #5
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If I had a choice between going down the Delmarva peninsular or taking Rt. 95 south to Rt. 64 on a Friday afternoon in the summer ……. well, let’s just say it’s not much of a choice for me. No thanks to being on Rt. 95. Yes, if you go my way and take the bridge/tunnel, you have all those pesky stops lights once you get into Virginia and you have to watch your speed on the open stretches (yes, they do own radar guns in those little towns – lots of them!) but overall I find the ride much more enjoyable and way less stressful. You’re worried about NYC but remember Rt. 64 through Norfolk on a Saturday can be very bad. You miss this by going across the bridge. If you take Rt. 113 outside of Dover you will come within a few miles of Ocean City, Maryland. You would be there in 5 to 6 hours of driving from Connecticut. Assuming you go through NYC around 10:00 am, you be at Ocean City by mid-afternoon. Plenty of time for a swim and an evening on the Boardwalk (you have to get Thrashers french fries - the best in the world!). If you’ve never been there, it’s quite a place to see. There’re nothing like it in New England – think 50 time bigger and more tacky than Hampton Beach. Your girls would love it there. We go there every year with our kids and grandkids. I’d opt to stay over night there. From there, you’re trip south on Saturday would actually be pleasant.
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Old 06-02-2009, 07:47 AM   #6
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If I had a choice between going down the Delmarva peninsular or taking Rt. 95 south to Rt. 64 on a Friday afternoon in the summer ……. well, let’s just say it’s not much of a choice for me. No thanks to being on Rt. 95. Yes, if you go my way and take the bridge/tunnel, you have all those pesky stops lights once you get into Virginia and you have to watch your speed on the open stretches (yes, they do own radar guns in those little towns – lots of them!) but overall I find the ride much more enjoyable and way less stressful. You’re worried about NYC but remember Rt. 64 through Norfolk on a Saturday can be very bad. You miss this by going across the bridge. If you take Rt. 113 outside of Dover you will come within a few miles of Ocean City, Maryland. You would be there in 5 to 6 hours of driving from Connecticut. Assuming you go through NYC around 10:00 am, you be at Ocean City by mid-afternoon. Plenty of time for a swim and an evening on the Boardwalk (you have to get Thrashers french fries - the best in the world!). If you’ve never been there, it’s quite a place to see. There’re nothing like it in New England – think 50 time bigger and more tacky than Hampton Beach. Your girls would love it there. We go there every year with our kids and grandkids. I’d opt to stay over night there. From there, you’re trip south on Saturday would actually be pleasant.
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Old 06-02-2009, 01:03 PM   #7
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Just an FYI - there is horrendous traffic on 95 north of Richmond, 295 around Richmond and 64 towards Norfolk on summer Saturdays. It reminds me of the 84/Mass Pike interchange.

Of course, I don't know how traffic will be on Delmarva while you are sharing the road with folks heading into Ocean City MD. That could be just as bad.
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Old 06-02-2009, 01:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goofygirl17 View Post
Hi everyone. I'm driving from CT to Va beach in July with my DM, DD6 and DD10 and I have some questions.

1. We've been before and taken the Chesapeake bay bridge tunnel. I'm wondering if that's really the fastest way.

2. We are considering stopping halfway down (or maybe more than half so the 2nd day's drive isn't so long). Any suggestions for places to stop where the kids could swim/play?

3. We're leaving on a Friday (checking in on Sat afternoon) so thinking about leaving in the morning after the rush so we can make it through New York etc in between rush hours. Any advice?

I appreciate any suggestions or advice!

Thanks!
Goofygirl
I'd say it's probably a case of flipping a coin. Lave on Fri after 1PM and you'll hit horrific traffic going in and out of NY. Leave Sat morning and you have beach traffic all up and down te eastern seaboard.

I also think when you leave depends entirely where in CT you re coming from. It may be a small state, but the traffic in certain parts is far worse than others.
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Old 06-02-2009, 02:33 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the advice. We're leaving from the New Haven area so that's why I want to leave after Fri am rush hour. We've been twice before and last time we stopped right before the Delaware bridge at a Hampton Inn (maybe the one you're talking about Jane?). We drove straight through on the way home that trip- about 9 hours total.

I was thinking that this time we'd try to make the drive part of the vacation by stopping somewhere in the afternoon so the girls can play and swim, get dinner and then get back on the road in the morning.

bookewormde- I haven't heard of using 113 before- is it an alternate to 13 that ends up in the same place?

GranddadTom- I'll have to check out hotels near Ocean City. We've tried to exchange our timeshare for a place there for years but there's never anything available. That's why we're going to Va Beach

Colleen- We're planning on leaving Friday around 8am so we avoid New Haven and New York traffic (and hopefully everywhere else!) and then stopping halfway or farther down.

I'm thinking of taking the Merritt instead of 95- that worked for us last summer when we went to NJ. I got the directions from CT to Avalon NJ from people here on the board and they worked great!

Thanks everyone! Still planning!
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Old 06-06-2009, 10:37 AM   #10
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I've been checking out directions online (still need to update our Garmin) and I've decided to use the Chesapeak bay bridge. I still have to decide if we do 13 or 113- don't know much about that.

I've been researching hotels and haven't decided where to stay on the way down yet. The ones closer to the beach are very expensive. Since we're swapping my mom's timeshare -our week in Va Beach is only costing $164 so it's tough to spend that or more for 1 night on the way down

Thanks for all the advice and info!

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Old 06-06-2009, 11:13 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goofygirl17 View Post
I've been checking out directions online (still need to update our Garmin) and I've decided to use the Chesapeak bay bridge. I still have to decide if we do 13 or 113- don't know much about that.

I've been researching hotels and haven't decided where to stay on the way down yet. The ones closer to the beach are very expensive. Since we're swapping my mom's timeshare -our week in Va Beach is only costing $164 so it's tough to spend that or more for 1 night on the way down

Thanks for all the advice and info!

Goofygirl
I recommend definitely taking 113 around Dover. It's a private toll road and is much faster than going through all the Lights on 13. I also avoid the George Washington bridge during the week. I go around to the Tappan Zee instead. It adds more time but I rarely in 15 years of traveling around that area, have gotten stuck in traffic except in White Plains during a snowstorm.

I think where you want to stop will depend on how far you want to drive the First day. If you leave at 1 pm, I would stop around Dover/Wilmington. I suspect on a Friday it will take more time than normal because of traffic issues. The Hampton Inn was a total gem of a place. It's actually in Pennsville. It's Fairly New, good breakfast, pool, very friendly staff. $89 bucks a night. Some of the other hotels right off the Delaware bridge are kind of Icky. We stayed at one many years ago and the A/C was broken and they refused to give us our money back it was dirty too. We ended up staying 4 hours and then took off. there are also nice hotels off the Jersey Turnpike that can be gotten on priceline pretty cheap. I sometimes stop in Dover area mainly because there's tons of hotels, just make sure it's not a race weekend!!
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Old 06-06-2009, 07:12 PM   #12
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They just had the big NASCAR race in Dover a couple of weeks ago.
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Old 06-07-2009, 07:29 AM   #13
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Jane- Thanks. The Hampton Inn we stayed at last time was right before the Delaware bridge and was very nice. The kids swam and we ate at Cracker Barrel. It was $140 a night though I think. I'll have to check hotels/prices online.

GranddadTom- Does that mean it won't be a race weekend?- or just not a NASCAR weekend. I know nothing about racing.

Thanks!
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Old 06-10-2009, 11:48 AM   #14
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I'm late to the thread (sorry), but it sounds like you want to make this a two day trip instead of one. It is possible to do this in one day and remain sane. I live 2 hours north of you in MA and drive down to see my brother in VA Beach a lot. Many trips over the years when the kids were little and the minivan packed to the roof. A few lessons learned:

1) Get an EZ Pass if you don't have one. This will save time as you can't go through NJ and DE without tolls and lots of them. It now works on the CBBT too (and costs $12), so put plenty of money on the EZ Pass.

2) Take the shore route and not I-95 to I-64. If you really must do a two day trip, consider taking the Merritt to I-287 to the Tappan Zee to the Garden State Parkway and take it to the end and then take the ferry from Cape May over to Lewes, DE. The kids will love the break in the action. Once on the DE side, getting over to 13 or 113 is pretty quick. There are lots of newer, budget class motels along 13 especially that you should be able to get a good deal on if you want to spend the night and break up the drive. Go to Yahoo Maps or AAA Maps and turn on the options for hotels along the route and you'll be surpirsed how many new hotels have sprung up on the Delmarva route.

3) You can forget item #2 above and take this advice or leave it, but you should consider making this a day trip and leaving New Haven at 3 am or so and beating the traffic on I-95 over the GW bridge to the New Jersey Turnpike to the DR bridge to route 13 exit in NYC, NJ, DE, etc. The kids can sleep for the first half and you'll be into Delaware before they even want breakfast. Using this strategy, I can make the trip in 9.5 hours from central MA to VA Beach with two 15 minutes stops for gas and fast food along the way. You avoid the worst of the northeast corrider by going early. Listening to 1010 WINS will give you NYC and tri-state traffic alerts on the 1's so you can avoid any developing messes. You wil lfind plenty of food places along 13 south. Even if you double your driving breaks, your on the road time shouldn't exceed 7.5 hours at legal speed limits. Broken up with breaks for food and gas, you should arrive after lunch and ready for a swim. The same logic works for the trip home. You'll miss 90% of the lights on the VA part of the eastern shore by leaving early.

Enjoy your trip!!
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Old 06-10-2009, 06:45 PM   #15
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Thanks BigTigger.

Last time we went we stopped on the way down but drove straight through on the way home. It took 9 hours to get home. Not too bad for me driving but my mom is coming too and has arthritis in her back so the long drive is rough. Also, it is very hard for her to get up really early in the morning so the 3 am start won't work. It's funny you said that though because when I was a kid it seemed like everywhere we went on vacation we had to leave at 3 am "to get through New York". It became a family joke.

I figured since we can't check in until 4 on Saturday we could take two days to get there and just stop on the way down for the kids to swim etc and my mom can stretch and rest.

We went to Avalon NJ last summer so it might be nice to drive down that way and take the ferry. Do you know if large pickups can go on the ferry? We have a full size Dodge with an extra cab.

Thanks!
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