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2014 Forester XT CVT
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So i'm doing a feature shoot for a car in Raleigh, NC.

The drive from ny is about 8ish hrs. I was wondering if anyone knew any neat stop along the way? or are in raleigh nc. Maybe things to do and see?

If anyone is free to meet up i'm planning to drive early wednesday morning till maybe saturday.
 

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2014 2.5i Premium 6MT
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We do the NYC-DC drive fairly often. Since we like pumping our own gas we always stop in Elkton, MD instead of an NJTP rest stop. Take the first exit after crossing from DE into MD and go south. The big gas station on the right is clean and has lots of amenities in addition to reasonably priced gas. Women I travel with approve of the restrooms, and it's a good place to stock up on snacks.

Assuming you are traveling south on I-95, exit in Havre de Grace immediately after crossing the Susquehanna River. It's a picturesque little town right on the river and there are several restaurants that specialize in regional seafood.

If you don't know Charm City (Baltimore), just take the exit for the Inner Harbor. There are public garages (a bit pricey but won't shock if you're from NYC). If you have time and are so inclined, the aquarium is quite good. There is also The Maryland Science Center on the other side and the American Visionary Art Museum. If you live in NYC, these may not impress you that much, but they are worth a visit. There are a number of restaurants in the area. If you're interested in history, I recommend the Shot Tower which is one of the few that remain standing in the entire country. All of these places are within walking distance of the public parking garages.

Washington, DC: Lots to see and the Smithsonian Museums are free! Do not attempt street parking as rules are inflexible and local authorities love to ticket and tow vehicles with out-of-state tags. Just pay for a public parking garage within a couple blocks of "The Mall". Choose your favorite museum. (If you are really into aviation, skip the Air and Space Museum on the mall and drive out to the Udvar-Hazy center near Dulles Airport. They will charge you for parking, but admission is free and it is way better than the museum on the mall.) If the weather is nice. take a stroll on the mall. To get a birds-eye perspective on the city, go to the Old Post Office (Pennsylvania Ave and 12th) and ride the elevator up to the tower. The food court on the lower level is a good place to eat--not high end but reasonably priced and diverse offerings. Most of the museum cafes are mediocre and overpriced, but the Native American Museum foodcourt has food that is historically representative of different regional tribes. If you're into night-life, it's mostly in Adams Morgan or Georgetown, but be careful about parking in both those areas--again, I recommend just paying for a garage. Throughout DC the speed limit is always 25mph unless otherwise posted and there are plenty of red-light and speed cameras. You have been warned.

From Georgetown, take Key Bridge into Virginia and continue straight until you see signs for the Netherlands Carillon and Iwo Jima Memorial. You can park near the memorial and get an excellent view of how Washington DC is laid out. Naturally, the Iwo Jima Memorial is worth it just for itself.

Depending on how much time you have, you can either take I-95 through Richmond then catch I-85 to Raleigh. If you care to do more sight-seeing, I suggest the following route:

From DC go to Harpers Ferry, WV. See the historical sights and eat lunch or get ice cream. It's often possible to park in the lot by the train station, but if not do not attempt to park in the town itself--just park in the park service tourist lot and walk or use the shuttle.

Get on Route 340 south to Front Royal, VA. Just south of town (on 340) you'll see Skyline Caverns on the left. If you've never seen the sort of limestone caverns that pepper Appalachia this is one of the best and it's slightly less touristy than Luray Caverns a bit farther south.

From Front Royal, you can either head east on I-66 and get back on I-95 south to Richmond and beyond, or you can get on Skyline Drive (lots of twisties but low speed limit and really much better with fall colors.

Consider going through Charlottesville and seeing Monticello (Thomas Jefferson's house) and the University of Virginia. If you like southern-style ribs or chicken, a visit to Mel's Cafe on W. Main Street will justify any effort required to drive through Charlottesville.

Most of the stuff between Charlottesville and Raleigh is farm country and very pretty, but will be much slower going than getting back on the interstate. You can take I-64 East toward Richmond and work your way to I-85 South.

On the way back, consider swinging through Williamsburg, VA then through to Virginia Beach. From there you can take Route 13 across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (worth it just to experience 20 miles of bridge) then drive north through the DELMARVA peninsula up to Delaware where you can either get back on I-95 north to return home or go to Lewes, DE to catch the ferry boat (Cape May-Lewes Ferry Home) to Cape May, NJ and then go back to NYC. If you have time, Rehoboth Beach is a nice beach town that won't be too full of tourists this time of year, and Cape Henlopen is beautiful and you can see the remnants of WWII watchtowers.

Enjoy! Whatever you do, get off the interstate....
 

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2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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The drive from ny is about 8ish hrs.
That's likely the minimum driving time, perhaps in the middle of the night. As a practical matter, I'd allow for at least 10 hours of driving time, and 11 or 12 hours may be closer to reality, assumuing no major accidents.

Traffic from Baltimore south to/around DC and then down to Richmond on I-95 can be especially gruelling. :icon_frown:

Otherwise, have a great trip!

Regards,
Jim / crewzer
 

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2014 2.0XT Touring CVT
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That's likely the minimum driving time, perhaps in the middle of the night. As a practical matter, I'd allow for at least 10 hours of driving time, and 11 or 12 hours may be closer to reality, assumuing no major accidents.

Traffic from Baltimore south to/around DC and then down to Richmond on I-95 can be especially gruelling. :icon_frown:

Otherwise, have a great trip!

Regards,
Jim / crewzer
Once made it from Worcester, MA to DC in 5.5 hours!
Of course, we left at midnight and arrived at 5:30am and were driving my friend's 350Z with a detector. Only stopped once for gas, didn't even run to the bathroom then! We did switch from him to me driving at the station, then back to him at a microstop just outside the city so he could handle the parking.
We parked on the street and slept until about 9am in DC. Walked The Mall a little bit after breakfast and then met our friends who were coming in from other places around the country.
It was pretty fun!

Other than seeing ballgames, the high points of the trip otherwise were Fells Point in Baltimore and the air/space museum near Dulles (mentioned above).
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 Forester XT
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Harper's Ferry is very nice.
 
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