I'm heading to sunny Fl in a couple of weeks and need to find the best route from the seacoast of NH to Tampa area and need help. I last made the trip 5 years ago in a small car, lots of fun. However, this time it's a long truck towing a 34' tt, I need the easy route. In the past I would follow 95-495-290-84-81-77-95 to avoid NYC and Washington area. Do you have a better route? I can easily do 500+ miles a day; have any suggestions on stopovers? I'm open to any WM or truck stops or easy CG, just want to stop for the night.
Returning from Bangor Maine to central Pennsylvania we take I-495 around Boston. Then pickup the Mass. Turnpike, I-90 W to I-84 W.. Follow I-84 W until you pickup I-81 S. in Pennsylvania.
Take I-81 S to the Harrisburg PA area. From there you can stay on I-81 S, take I-83 S or US 15 S.
Either of the above routes will take you south. I would stay off
I-83, it takes you to the Baltimore/Washington D.C area.
Some take I-81 S and pick up US 17, below Winchester VA., and follow 17 to I-95 S.
Others take I-81 S to I-64 E, in Virginia, then follow I-64 E to
Or you can take US 15 S from Harrisburg PA. until you pick up US 17 S in Virginia. US 17 will take you to I-95.
All the above routes will bypass Washington/Baltimore.
When you enter Pennsylvania on I-84 there is a Welcome Center at Exit 53. I believe you can overnight there. And there is a Walmart not far from the exit.
Just off I-81 Exit 170B, Wilkes-Barre PA., is Mohegan Sun Casino. They Allow overnighting.
And just off I-81 Exit 80, Grantville/Hershey PA, is Hollywood Casino. They also allow overnighting.
I'm sure you'll get other opinions, this is just mine.
Have a good trip.
* This post was
edited 02/17/10 03:55pm by gbopp *
Follow I-84 W until you pickup I-81 S. in Pennsylvania.
You don't even have to go that far west. Take 84 to 684 to 87/287 over the Tappan Zee Bridge. I believe there's a restriction on that small stretch of 84 that requires this (can't remember why exactly, but I know we go that way for a reason). Take 287 to 78 in NJ, thru PA to Harrisburg, and follow whatever route from there. Harrisburg isn't difficult to navigate. Sometimes there is congestion at the bridge but otherwise it's fairly easy to go through.
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I detest I-95 and drive from Maine to Florida without getting on it. I would say get to I-81 however you want then go south to I-77S to I-26. Since your going to Tampa, I recommend getting off I-26 outside Colombia SC to US 301S to I-75 just before Ocala. Only gotcha is to watch the weather around Fancy Gap.
When we head down that way, we avaoid the mountains, also, but we do it a little differently - as follows:
I495 to I290 to Mass Pike to I84 to I287 South (Newburgh, NY) to I287 South in NJ to NJ Turnpike. At end of NJ Tnpk, follow signs for I95 South. Get off at next exit ( #4 ? - approx 2 miles) and follow signs for Delaware Rt 1. Follow Rt1 (aka Delaware Tnpk) past Dover, to US 113 in Milford. Take 113 thru the rest of Delaware and Maryland to where it joins US 13. Take 13 South, across Cheasapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, to Norfolk. Pick up I64 East (towards Va Beach/Chesapeake) and follow signs for US 58/Emporia. US 58 will take you to I95. Follow I95 to Jacksonville to I295 to I10 West to US 301. We take 301 to the Ocala area (where we visit relatives), where you pick up I75 for the remainder of the trip to Tampa.
I travel from Portsmouth to Norfolk several times a year for my job. Altho I do it a little differently in the 4-wheeler, than in the MH. I have found that US113 is the way to go, vs US13, thru Delaware and Maryland.
Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
Enjoy your trip.
Joyce '46 (DW)
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The problem is with going the mountain routes this time of year is weather. That's why the alternative to go south on the NYS Thruway,to the Garden State Parkway(right lane for wide vehicles at toll booths), all the way to Cape May,NJ. Then hop on the Cape may Lowes Maryland Ferry (80 minute ride) to Delmarva then south on 13 to the Chessapeeke bay bridge and tunnel then west to I-95 at Emporia Va. That way you miss the mountains and all the DC Baltimore area. Just google the Cape May Ferry and the schedual will be given, with rates for the ride (about $75). You better plan to stay in a camp ground perhaps before you get on the ferry boat, somewhere in Cape May, NJ. Another stay in SC or Georgia would be good then your third day will put you in Florida mid day. I do that route all the time, as for what problems you could have in the mountains and the traffic in DC are out of the picture and the nice boat ride makes the trip enjoyable.