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Virginia Road Trip August 8-15, 2022

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BlueOutback7:
So this has been in the planning stages for about a month now and weíve decided to do it. We will be leaving on a road trip from Massachusetts to Virginia for the ultimate road trip through the state. We will be leaving the second week of August. On Day 1, we will get to our halfway point and stay with relatives in Allentown, Pennsylvania and perhaps visit Jim Thorpe on the way. Day 2, on August 9 we will start making our way towards Virginia and visit the Shenandoah Valley. Iím not sure how long weíll be there for, but we are still figuring that out. Maybe travel down either Skyline Drive or the Blue Ridge Parkway and make our way towards I-64 to Richmond. We may stop and visit Colonial Williamsburg for the day and then visit the Hampton Roads region. If thereís time, Iíve considered going down to the Outer Banks. We also want to visit Jamestown and see that. We will then start making our way back north towards the Northeast and arrive back in Massachusetts on August 15. Any suggestions on other areas that I may have missed that would be worth a visit? Iím really looking forward to this adventure.

1995hoo:
What specifically are you interested in when you ask for "other areas"? Interesting roads or interesting sights to see?

Regarding the places you've noted, one rather obvious suggestion is to combine Williamsburg and Jamestown into the same one or two days because they're located so close to each other. It doesn't make sense to see one, leave, and then come back to see the other, unless perhaps you were to have a compelling scheduling issue that required you to go somewhere else in between (which I assume you don't on what sounds like a vacation).

I assume you know that Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway generally have a much lower speed limit than parallel routes. They're roads you take for the scenery, not to make time. I mention this mainly because you only have a week for the trip and driving on those roads would eat up a decent chunk of one whole day. If you're coming from the north and you want to go to Richmond, I would not use the Blue Ridge Parkway because it goes too far southwest. Instead, I would exit Skyline Drive at either Thornton's Gap (US-211) or Swift Rung Gap (US-33) and head east from there. Or, if you're interested in caves, exit at Thornton's Gap and head a short distance west to Luray Caverns (a nice visit in August if the weather is hot, too, since it's nice and cool underground).

Avoid I-95 in the Fredericksburg area if possible due to significant road construction.

webny99:
I've stopped at a few places in Virginia on trips to/from Tennessee that might be worth a stop, but some of them may be too far south/west, especially Natural Tunnel State Park in Duffield.

Natural Bridge State Park might be more feasible - it's only 150 miles from Richmond via I-81 and I-64, but it is south of I-64, so there would be a bit of backtracking. I'd certainly consider it worth a stop if you're in that area, though. The "bridge" is pretty cool, and it's a scenic area in general; I believe we walked most or all of the way to Lace Falls.

I would echo what 1995hoo said about Skyline Drive - scenic, but time-consuming, especially if you stop at all the overlooks since there are so many of them. I've also done a short segment of the Blue Ridge Pkwy - it's less touristy but even more remote and seemed to be a particularly long distance between exits. I would choose Skyline Drive if given the choice.



--- Quote from: 1995hoo on June 07, 2022, 08:25:02 AM ---... Or, if you're interested in caves, exit at Thornton's Gap and head a short distance west to Luray Caverns (a nice visit in August if the weather is hot, too, since it's nice and cool underground).

--- End quote ---

I've never been to, or surprisingly even heard of, Luray Caverns - but certainly noted for if I'm ever in that area again! It looks kind of like a bigger, better, Howe Caverns.

BlueOutback7:

--- Quote from: 1995hoo on June 07, 2022, 08:25:02 AM ---What specifically are you interested in when you ask for "other areas"? Interesting roads or interesting sights to see?

Regarding the places you've noted, one rather obvious suggestion is to combine Williamsburg and Jamestown into the same one or two days because they're located so close to each other. It doesn't make sense to see one, leave, and then come back to see the other, unless perhaps you were to have a compelling scheduling issue that required you to go somewhere else in between (which I assume you don't on what sounds like a vacation).

I assume you know that Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway generally have a much lower speed limit than parallel routes. They're roads you take for the scenery, not to make time. I mention this mainly because you only have a week for the trip and driving on those roads would eat up a decent chunk of one whole day. If you're coming from the north and you want to go to Richmond, I would not use the Blue Ridge Parkway because it goes too far southwest. Instead, I would exit Skyline Drive at either Thornton's Gap (US-211) or Swift Rung Gap (US-33) and head east from there. Or, if you're interested in caves, exit at Thornton's Gap and head a short distance west to Luray Caverns (a nice visit in August if the weather is hot, too, since it's nice and cool underground).

Avoid I-95 in the Fredericksburg area if possible due to significant road construction.

--- End quote ---

Iím looking at interesting sites. I really like your suggestion about Jamestown and Williamsburg on the same day though. And yeah I agree with I-95 in Fredericksburg. I remember traffic being a mess on that highway.

hbelkins:
My recollection is faint about a family trip we took back in the early 1980s, but we overnighted in Harrisonburg, then accessed Skyline Drive via US 33. We then went south on Skyline Drive/BRP and although my dad was definitely not possessive of a lead foot, I think we reached Boone, N.C., for our overnight stay. So it is possible to do a significant chunk of the BRP in one day and still enjoy the scenery.

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