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Author Topic: Toronto to Washington DC, can't decide on route  (Read 21919 times)

jemacedo9

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Re: Toronto to Washington DC, can't decide on route
« Reply #25 on: June 22, 2014, 09:50:25 PM »

US 20A is all 2-lane, goes through several towns, and goes up and down some steep hills w/o truck lanes.  It's generally pretty slow...
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Haeleus

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Re: Toronto to Washington DC, can't decide on route
« Reply #26 on: June 23, 2014, 06:45:21 PM »

Well, I'm back from my DC trip now. Overall the drive was great; there were only two slower bits. The first was US-20A from Buffalo to Mt. Morris and I-390 but at least traffic was very low and the route was scenic, so I enjoyed seeing the opportunity to see a few small towns like Warsaw. The second was US-15 just south of Williamsport through Lewisburg and Sunbury due to city traffic and a bunch of stop lights, even with taking I-180 to bypass most of the city.

Otherwise, most of the US-11/15 road from there to Harrisburg was a decent 55 mph 4-lane highway with no delays that connected via freeways to I-83, and I especially enjoyed the new freeway portion of US-15 from Corning to Williamsport (makes sense seeing as its labelled as a future interstate corridor); low traffic and the Appalachians made for a relaxing drive. We just got lost in Harrisburg for a while since there was a massive traffic jam caused by an accident that blocked off the ramp to I-83, so I detoured through the city streets to avoid it. Traffic picked up again on the I-83 all the way to Baltimore but all the way to I-495 there were no slow downs, and the return trip was even easier since I had a better feel for the route. If I ever travel to DC again I'm definitely taking this route again!
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vintel

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Re: Toronto to Washington DC, can't decide on route
« Reply #27 on: May 05, 2015, 01:25:48 PM »

Hi -

I am planning to go to Washington DC in up coming long week end in 2 weeks from Toronto with full family; kids, wife and parents . I'm reading this post and since it's not been recently updated, thought to check what will be best route for me considering any construction etc.

I am planning to stay at Hagerstown first day by driving straight from toronto; posibly on friday. Weekend; 2nd and 3rd day in Washington DC, Monday; 3rd day in Hershey City and roadside america inc and then return back on 4th day.

I see google map is suggesting US219 South after coming out of ontario but I see I90 has sevral construction zone plus I heard US219 is only 2 lanes; more chances of to traffic congesion etc. . So any guidance is much appreciated. This is only second time I am driving to US but have good car though :-). My preference on route is scenery plus rest area (like Onroute on 401 in Ontario) at about 2 hour distance. I don't mind driving on freeways/highways for long hours.

Aim is to reach hagerstown without much issue like traffic congestion, spending excessive time on road.

Thanks,

VT.
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briantroutman

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Re: Toronto to Washington DC, can't decide on route
« Reply #28 on: May 05, 2015, 02:12:35 PM »

Hi -

I am planning to go to Washington DC in up coming long week end in 2 weeks from Toronto with full family; kids, wife and parents . I'm reading this post and since it's not been recently updated, thought to check what will be best route for me considering any construction etc.

I am planning to stay at Hagerstown first day by driving straight from toronto; posibly on friday. Weekend; 2nd and 3rd day in Washington DC, Monday; 3rd day in Hershey City and roadside america inc and then return back on 4th day.

I see google map is suggesting US219 South after coming out of ontario but I see I90 has sevral construction zone plus I heard US219 is only 2 lanes; more chances of to traffic congesion etc. . So any guidance is much appreciated. This is only second time I am driving to US but have good car though :-). My preference on route is scenery plus rest area (like Onroute on 401 in Ontario) at about 2 hour distance. I don't mind driving on freeways/highways for long hours.

Aim is to reach hagerstown without much issue like traffic congestion, spending excessive time on road.

Thanks,

VT.

The “rest area” you talk about (“like Onroute on 401”) is what’s known in the US as a service plaza, and they’re typically found only on long-distance toll routes. So you may encounter a few on the New York Thruway, but there aren’t any continuous routes between Toronto and Washington that feature regular service plazas.

I would not recommend US 209. Construction is unavoidable from spring through fall in most of the northern states, and I’m not aware of any massive construction projects that would cause me to change my recommendation from what I suggested in a previous post, which is this. This may not be the shortest route in terms of mileage, but it is, in my opinion, a pretty stress-free route with the best combination of speed, simplicity, and access to services...while avoiding town streets.

You mentioned stopping in Hagerstown: if you take the route I suggest, you won’t be going through Hagerstown. If you still want to stop at roughly the same point in your trip, however, you could stop somewhere between Gettysburg, PA and Frederick, MD—there are plenty of hotels between the two cities. If you really do want to stop in Hagerstown for some reason, you could simply stay on I-81 leaving the Harrisburg area and connect to I-70 in Hagerstown.
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vintel

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Re: Toronto to Washington DC, can't decide on route
« Reply #29 on: May 05, 2015, 02:32:32 PM »

Thanks briantroutman for quick response.

How you compare your suggested route with I90 to Erie, I79 to I76 (PA turnpike), the I76 to Breezewood, PA, then I70 to hagerstown?  I do not have any particular reason to stay at Hagerstown other then avoiding friday evening traffic to Washignton DC. I thought it's close to 8 hours drive..so will be able to reach hagerstown by dinner time and in morning start back to Washignton.

So choice is now the one you suggested and otherone is via I76 as I mentioned above. I have no personal experince and gather this info by reading other forums and they mostly suggested via I76.

Again, thanks for your time.


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briantroutman

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Re: Toronto to Washington DC, can't decide on route
« Reply #30 on: May 05, 2015, 02:48:01 PM »

The I-90/I-79/I-76 Erie/Pittsburgh route is valid, but here are a few points to consider. The distances are close, although it is about 30 km longer than the US 15 Williamsport/Harrisburg route.

You’ll also be paying more in tolls to take the Erie/Pittsburgh route. If you don’t have E-ZPass and will be paying cash (which I assume is the case) the NY Thruway will be charging $3.15 from Buffalo to the PA state border, and the PA Turnpike will charge $16.20 from I-79 to Breezewood.

On the other hand, the only toll you’ll pay on the Williamsport/Harrisburg is $2.75 for use of the NY Thruway between Buffalo and I-390.

I’ll declare a bias here and admit that Williamsport is my hometown, but even so, I’d argue that I-86 and US 15 through southern NY and northern PA—and especially US 15 in the Susquehanna Valley between Selinsgrove and Harrisburg—is more scenic than I-79.

...Also,I forgot to mention the second part of your trip from Washington to Hershey and Roadside America (I assume you’re talking about the extensive miniature model town in Shartlesville, PA). That part is easy enough, and this is what I’d recommend. (However, if you’re somewhere in the eastern end of the Washington area this might make more sense. All other things being equal, though, I’d probably recommend I-270/US 15 route over the I-695/I-83 route because I think driving through the Baltimore area is a little more of a headache than Frederick)

Regarding Hershey—are you planning to visit Hersheypark, Hershey Chocolate World, or something else? You really need a full day to get your money’s worth out of the high admission charge. Chocolate World is immediately adjacent to the park and is free, so it might be a good option if you only have an hour or two to spare.

I’ve driven by Roadside America countless times but never visited, so I can’t say much about it. From what I’ve read, it sounds like you’ll need only an hour or two for that.

But then you’re planning on staying overnight somewhere near there, then driving back to Toronto the next day? I ask because Shartlesville is on a somewhat desolate stretch of I-78 with few restaurants and hotels nearby. Also, the shortest route from there back to Ontario would involve driving through some steep and winding roads through rural areas before getting back to US 15. If I were in your position, I might consider driving back toward Harrisburg and staying overnight there, then continuing on US 22/322 West, then US 15 North, etc.—going back the way you came.
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