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Author Topic: Some summer stuff  (Read 5183 times)

noelbotevera

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Some summer stuff
« on: May 30, 2016, 07:24:59 PM »

While my bigger brother is in Africa, the other family members (including me) are thinking of going to Richmond, Virginia + King's Dominion. Planning is up in space, but I want to get a route worked out. Here's some basic knowledge I know, mostly form the forum:

-US 29 south of Charlottesville is darn near empty
-I-95 is a massive speed trap, along with US 301
-I-64 west of Henrico County to the WV State Line is pretty empty

I'm also considering a hotel since this is a multi day thing. Feel free to suggest things with your routings or anything to do there. Suggest anything, hotels, attractions whatever you choose. Note: I'm allotted twenty to thirty minutes for out of the way routes to add time for routings.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2016, 12:49:35 AM by noelbotevera »
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Re: Some summer stuff
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2016, 10:54:04 PM »

US-29 doesn't go near Fredericksburg. I believe you're thinking of US-1 as to your first point.
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Re: Some summer stuff
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2016, 11:26:03 PM »

Keep it within 10 mph of the limit (and below 80), and there's no problem with speeding on I-95.  Anywhere.
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noelbotevera

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Re: Some summer stuff
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2016, 12:49:20 AM »

US-29 doesn't go near Fredericksburg. I believe you're thinking of US-1 as to your first point.
Whoops. I meant Charlottesville (or something like that). Gonna edit that.
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Re: Some summer stuff
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2016, 08:26:19 AM »

Quote
-I-95 is a massive speed trap, along with US 301

Not really.  That dog is more bark than bite...
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hbelkins

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Re: Some summer stuff
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2016, 01:08:57 PM »

While my bigger brother is in Africa, the other family members (including me) are thinking of going to Richmond, Virginia + King's Dominion. Planning is up in space, but I want to get a route worked out. Here's some basic knowledge I know, mostly form the forum:

-US 29 south of Charlottesville is darn near empty
-I-95 is a massive speed trap, along with US 301
-I-64 west of Henrico County to the WV State Line is pretty empty

I'm also considering a hotel since this is a multi day thing. Feel free to suggest things with your routings or anything to do there. Suggest anything, hotels, attractions whatever you choose. Note: I'm allotted twenty to thirty minutes for out of the way routes to add time for routings.

If you're going from your outpost in Pennsylvania to Richmond, then US 29 south of Charlottesville and I-64 west to the WV state line are way than 20 minutes out of the way.

Best routing I can think of would be I-81 to US 17 to I-95. Or alternately, I-81 to US  522 to I-64.
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noelbotevera

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Re: Some summer stuff
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2016, 01:29:40 PM »

If you're going from your outpost in Pennsylvania to Richmond, then US 29 south of Charlottesville and I-64 west to the WV state line are way than 20 minutes out of the way.

Best routing I can think of would be I-81 to US 17 to I-95. Or alternately, I-81 to US  522 to I-64.
I won't be able to utilize US 29 south of Charlottesville, but I can use the empty 175 mile section of I-64 west of Henrico County (which is what I meant). I'm trying to avoid I-95 because of traffic, but I can utilize I-295. I-81 is also handy because that also has low traffic (it maxes out in the state at 61,000 AADT, which shouldn't cause traffic issues).

US 522 might be a problem. I read through the Corridor H meet itinerary and it stated that US 522 is a speed trap (I think the rest was that it was from Winchester to Front Royal).
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noelbotevera

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Re: Some summer stuff
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2016, 01:48:53 PM »

So I found a couple hotels for the time we're staying (June 22nd-26th, but is tentative). Three good hotels I found were a Hampton Inn and Suites Richmond/Glenside, Candlewood Suites Richmond Airport, and Country Inn and Suites, Richmond West (right by I-64). If anybody has any experience with these hotels, feel free to tell me in any way, shape or form.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Some summer stuff
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2016, 02:09:07 PM »

Hampton Inns are part of the Hilton chain, and deliver a consistent, quality product, with a good, free breakfast.  I haven't stayed in the other 2.  Glance at TripAdvisor to see what people are saying as well.
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noelbotevera

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Re: Some summer stuff
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2016, 02:19:20 PM »

Hampton Inns are part of the Hilton chain, and deliver a consistent, quality product, with a good, free breakfast.  I haven't stayed in the other 2.  Glance at TripAdvisor to see what people are saying as well.
People say that the other two are good too, but I just want to see what I'm expecting from the forum's personal experiences with these hotels/chains. I don't want another Atlantic City trip where we stayed in a crappy Ramada hotel (the staff was excellent though).

The only real problems that I can think of is the location and commutes. One is decently close to I-64, and another is smack dab almost right next to the airport. There's no shuttle service, meaning we have to drive to downtown, and the commute is 10-11 miles, but even then that can be too long (Google says that it's 16-21 minutes).
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noelbotevera

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Re: Some summer stuff
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2016, 03:46:50 PM »

I may as well throw Petersburg into the fray because that's where the crater is located, and some important Civil War related things happened in Petersburg.
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hbelkins

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Re: Some summer stuff
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2016, 11:12:04 PM »


I won't be able to utilize US 29 south of Charlottesville, but I can use the empty 175 mile section of I-64 west of Henrico County (which is what I meant). I'm trying to avoid I-95 because of traffic, but I can utilize I-295. I-81 is also handy because that also has low traffic (it maxes out in the state at 61,000 AADT, which shouldn't cause traffic issues).

You'll still be going well more than 20-30 minutes out of the way if you use I-81 to Staunton (which runs diagonally southwest, away from your destination) and then I-64 to the Richmond area. Also, I-95 has three lanes to handle its traffic, while I-81 only has two lanes and a fair amount of truck traffic that tends to slow things down. The very minor reduction in traffic you might get by staying on I-81 longer than Winchester would be negated by how far out of the way you'd be going.

Quote
US 522 might be a problem. I read through the Corridor H meet itinerary and it stated that US 522 is a speed trap (I think the rest was that it was from Winchester to Front Royal).

Judging from my own observations in driving through the Old Dominion this past weekend, every road in Virginia is subject to being a speed trap.  Don't greatly exceed the 55 mph limit in rural areas, and observe posted limits in small towns, and your dad should be fine.
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noelbotevera

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Re: Some summer stuff
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2016, 01:04:43 AM »


I won't be able to utilize US 29 south of Charlottesville, but I can use the empty 175 mile section of I-64 west of Henrico County (which is what I meant). I'm trying to avoid I-95 because of traffic, but I can utilize I-295. I-81 is also handy because that also has low traffic (it maxes out in the state at 61,000 AADT, which shouldn't cause traffic issues).

You'll still be going well more than 20-30 minutes out of the way if you use I-81 to Staunton (which runs diagonally southwest, away from your destination) and then I-64 to the Richmond area. Also, I-95 has three lanes to handle its traffic, while I-81 only has two lanes and a fair amount of truck traffic that tends to slow things down. The very minor reduction in traffic you might get by staying on I-81 longer than Winchester would be negated by how far out of the way you'd be going.
I'm really not gonna be on I-81 for a long time, I'm just taking it down to exit 313, take US 522 south all the way to I-64, and then I'm about 30 miles from Richmond. In the case I run into traffic on any of those roads, I've talked to my dad to allow an hour of buffer time (which means that we would leave an hour earlier) so that we still have spare time if we are stuck in traffic and can still check into the hotel early.

This is my route. I just used the airport because that's probably where the hotel we'll check in is.
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Mapmikey

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Re: Some summer stuff
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2016, 06:42:45 AM »

US 522 through Front Royal and Culpeper can be busy although since it will not be the weekend you might do better.  Louisa is not usually crowded but the speed limit is 25.

Note that SR 729 is not striped (it is paved though) between US 211 and US 522 so if your dad isn't into using smaller back roads...

SR 729 south of US 211 is better from that standpoint. 

US 522 south of US 33 is difficult to maintain 55 mph as it has plenty of 40 mph curves.  This road also has a fair amount of trooper traffic because one of their outposts is on 522 a few miles north of I-64.
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noelbotevera

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Re: Some summer stuff
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2016, 11:23:09 AM »

So compared to my route to what the Goog suggests, is there anything interesting between the two? Would I-95 cause considerable slowdowns, considering traffic and construction? Which of the two is faster?

Note: I'm using my custom route on the way there, and I-95 on the way back.
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Re: Some summer stuff
« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2016, 12:16:05 PM »

You're a little hung up on 95 traffic, and maybe have mis-construed some people's remarked about this road into thinking it's jammed 24/7.  Unless it's rush hour congestion or a very busy holiday weekend, you're probably not going to have any issues.  Traffic and construction can happen on any road.  There are also 511 sites that should help you out as well as to any traffic problems.
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noelbotevera

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Re: Some summer stuff
« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2016, 08:22:52 PM »

You're a little hung up on 95 traffic, and maybe have mis-construed some people's remarked about this road into thinking it's jammed 24/7.  Unless it's rush hour congestion or a very busy holiday weekend, you're probably not going to have any issues.  Traffic and construction can happen on any road.  There are also 511 sites that should help you out as well as to any traffic problems.
Thanks for the reassurance. I think I-95 shouldn't be bad now.

So now I think my route via Winchester could be considered the scenic way. I struck a deal with my father: I want to buy a regular ticket and Fast Lane plus bundle for Kings Dominion, and he agreed, BUT I have to convince him to drive this route, or else he drives I-95. Since I really want a change of scenery other than boring Interstates, what are some interesting things along the way of my route? This is my route now. The only changes I made was to go through downtown Culpeper (after accepting that we'll hit a slowdown, and that I may find something interesting), check out the US 15/29 freeway, and instead try US 33 to I-295. Both are new routes for me, so if you think the more scenic way is to try US 33 to I-295, or I-64 to I-295, then you can talk to me about it.
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Re: Some summer stuff
« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2016, 12:38:07 PM »

So I found a couple hotels for the time we're staying (June 22nd-26th, but is tentative). Three good hotels I found were a Hampton Inn and Suites Richmond/Glenside, Candlewood Suites Richmond Airport, and Country Inn and Suites, Richmond West (right by I-64). If anybody has any experience with these hotels, feel free to tell me in any way, shape or form.

Candlewood Suites is an extended-stay brand run by IHG (same company which has Holiday Inn). Considering your length of stay, it may not be a bad idea if your parents don't mind bringing food (or grocery shopping near the hotel) and cooking rather than eat out every meal, since rooms tend to have fully equipped kitchens. The caveat I would offer is that the chain typically doesn't offer an included hot breakfast unlike the next-higher tier brand which is Staybridge Suites.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2016, 02:22:38 PM by rawmustard »
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Re: Some summer stuff
« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2016, 05:25:01 PM »

So compared to my route to what the Goog suggests, is there anything interesting between the two? Would I-95 cause considerable slowdowns, considering traffic and construction? Which of the two is faster?

Note: I'm using my custom route on the way there, and I-95 on the way back.

Traffic on 95 is only terrible in Fairfax and Prince William Counties, and if you're willing pay a toll to use the Lexus Lanes, they work pretty well for avoiding that, in my experience.  I've also never gotten a speeding ticket nor been pulled over ANYWHERE in Virginia, and this includes several trips up and down 95 and 301 in the area of Richmond and King's Dominion.

At the recommendation of my former supervisor who has since retired to a house he had built in Charlottesville, I once tried US-15 to US-522 to I-64 as an alternate route south.  Nice, but I don't think it really saved me that much time, especially when I got caught behind a school bus on 522, which is a two-lane road in that area.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2016, 05:43:13 PM by tckma »
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Re: Some summer stuff
« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2016, 03:21:11 AM »

-I-95 is a massive speed trap, along with US 301

Any route near a decently populated area is a "speed trap" because I-95 actually runs through a lot of very remote areas and you can drive 100mph for half an hour before you run across any authorities(when I was young and stupid, I did this on my way back from GA). But yes, keep your speedo at 10 or under (including up to 85), and I suggest getting yourself something that has a GPS speedometer on it so you can see how fast you're actually going.

This is the GPS speedometer I use: http://www.ebay.com/itm/111361429650

I was told by a NYS Trooper a VERY long time ago to go 7 over - but I slowly upped it to 8, then 9, now I do 10 - but I won't push that because an 11-20 over ticket is a different ball game than a 1-10 over ticket. I've also driven past many many cops with their radar guns blaring at that 10 over (GPS confirmed) and they don't even look at me, they keep that gun focused down the road. I however did self-limit to 8-over on the 80MPH highways, I felt that 90MPH was just too much.
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noelbotevera

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Re: Some summer stuff
« Reply #20 on: June 18, 2016, 02:53:01 AM »

Sorry for reviving this, but I'm thanks for the advice. Most family road trips are day trips. The last time we had a stay this long was two years ago, in Atlantic City NJ, and the last time before that was in 2010. I'm taking this as a big deal, though I'm kind of overthinking things.

Here's the plan for our week (3 things a day limit):
June 20th (Mon.)
-Leave Chambersburg for Richmond at 5 AM, estimated arrival would be 11 AM. Hotel: Country Inn and Suites, Chester VA (yeah, the airport area hotels got expensive, as we have four people with us)
-1st Thing: Confederate Capitol Building
-2nd Thing: Virginia State Capitol Building (also a road can be clinched at the capitol building, I forget the number but was mentioned on the forum somewhere)
-3rd Thing: Tredegar Ironworks
-Suggest anything for lunch/dinner

June 21st (Tues.)
-Suggest breakfast (though it will probably be the hotel)
-1st Thing: Roadgeeking
ROADS PLANNED:
Clinch VA 288 (south of VA 76), I-195/VA 195, VA 76 (north of US 60), VA 895, VA 150 (north of US 60), I-295
Travel I-95 SB from Kings Dominion to I-85/I-95 split (for the Rocky Mount NC/Miami and Durham/Atlanta control points). Turn        around at I-85 exit 65.
Travel I-64 WB from I-295 to US 522. Turn around. I'm not sure if I-64 west of Richmond is noteworthy, and feel free to correct me on this. If not, I'll turn around at US 250 and take that into downtown.
Street Tour: all US routes, and any VA routes inside a convoluted "outer beltway" route (I-295, I-64, VA 288, I-95, VA 895)
NOTE: I'm not sure how long this will take. I'm planning to wake up relatively early (around 7 AM) to finish this. The only problem is the morning rush hour. My estimations is probably four hours.
(EDIT) NOTE 2: There was a road meet back in 2012 that did this. I could try to follow the old itinerary.

-2nd Thing: Chickahominy Flank. If this is minor, I'll switch this with Beaver Dam Creek and replace it with St. John's Church. Another thing could be Malvern Hill battlefield.
-3rd Thing: Beaver Dam Creek battlefield
NOTE: I'm not sure how much of the Seven Days campaign I can cover. I'll try my best.
-Suggestions for dinner are welcome.

June 22nd (Wed.)
-1st Thing: Science Museum of VA. Revisit on 25th for an event.
-2nd Thing: VA Museum of Fine Art. Mostly for my dad, as he likes art.
-3rd Thing: The Crater/Siege of Petersburg site

June 23rd (Thurs.)
-Kings Dominion (Day 1). Mostly to ride roller coasters. I'm planning on getting a season pass to make use of exclusive ride times so that I can do the most noteworthy ones, such as Intimidator 305 or Rebel Yell. I could work from Intimidator out to the far end of the park, and loop around back to Intimidator from Grizzly, taking a path that's more northern and would put me near Soak City.

June 24th (Fri.)
-Kings Dominion (Day 2). This is time to either get on thrill rides or roller coasters that I have missed. Mostly the time will be used to do things at Soak City. If there's enough time at the end of the day, I'm not really planning anything, so feel free to suggest something.

June 25th (Sat.)
-1st and 2nd Thing: If there was not enough time on the 21st and 22nd, I'll revisit Chickahominy Flank and The Crater.
-3rd Thing: Revisit Science Museum of VA for event. If not, then St. John's Church/Malvern Hill.
-Probably eat somewhere fancy.

June 26th (Sun.)
-Departure. Pack up and go back up I-95, I-495, I-270, I-70, and I-81 back home. Since I got my way to take the most roadgeekiest route, my dad just wants the fastest in terms of miles, no matter how complex.

I'll write up a post meet report and try to post any pictures we took.
Neeaaaugh. This itinerary is awful and nobody will like it.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2016, 03:45:38 AM by noelbotevera »
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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Some summer stuff
« Reply #21 on: June 18, 2016, 06:30:32 AM »

You really broke out the Zelda CDI memes? lol


I would suggest giving SwishFlims and QuibbyJibby a look, you won't be disappointed.

noelbotevera

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Re: Some summer stuff
« Reply #22 on: June 18, 2016, 06:39:26 AM »

You really broke out the Zelda CDI memes? lol


I would suggest giving SwishFlims and QuibbyJibby a look, you won't be disappointed.
I just had to. Couldn't resist doing that instead of typing the same thing. Besides, we all know how bad they are that it's good.
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noelbotevera

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Re: Some summer stuff
« Reply #23 on: June 27, 2016, 03:35:35 AM »

I am finally at a computer and no longer have to type with a crappy virtual keyboard. Autocorrect be darned.

Trip Report:
Monday was when we drove to the hotel. Route:
I-81 to Winchester - exit 313
US 522 to south of Front Royal - turned onto SR 729
SR 729 to north of Culpeper
VA 229 to Bus. 15/29 south of Culpeper - via roundabout
US 15/29 back to US 522 to Hanover County
US 33 to I-295 to I-64 to VA 288 to Chesterfield County
VA 76 to Richmond, then US 60 to VA 150 south to I-95, down to Chester and the hotel not far off from I-95, VA 10, and US 1/301.

Culpeper hates that US 15/29 is on a bypass, because there was no Business banners on any signs.

Rested up until 6 PM, and drove up I-95 to Richmond. Checked out Mama J's for dinner and the place had good food.

Tuesday got into historical stuff. I also learned that Richmond is really bad at labeling highways inside their city.
I-95 up to Richmond, took US 33 west down Broad Street.

Checked out Museum and White House of the Confederacy. Ate at a food truck near the VCU Gateway building.

Later drove down some city streets to Tredegar Iron Works, and called it a day because the museums close in half an hour at the time. Drove back to the hotel.

Wednesday was the Petersburg National Battlefield. Took I-95, "Business" US 460 (in quotes because US 460's reroutes are poorly signed and most signs point that it has never been rerouted) and VA 36. Checked out The Dictator siege cannon, Batteries 5 and 9, and the Crater. Ate at some BBQ joint on US 1/301 for lunch.

We then checked out Main St. Station and the architecture. We attempted to go to St. Johns Church, but that was closed. Went back to the hotel and ate leftovers.

Thursday was roadgeeking. St. John's Church was completed and we ate some sushi. We drove to Stony Point Fashion Park, dropped off my mom and sister, and with my dad we took VA 195, VA 76, VA 150, I-64, I-295, US 360, and US 33. After that we all went to Croaker's Spot in Manchester with better soul food.

Friday was part 1 of King's Dominion. Rode all the coasters except Ricochet and Woodstock's Express. Front and back. Met a friend and his mother, Kathy and Johnny. Signed off to meet again tomorrow, after being interrupted by a bad storm.

Saturday was Part 2, and we did all the best body slides in Soak City, re-rode some rides, and said goodbye to Johnny. Intimidator 305 is currently my favorite roller coaster. Ate amusement park food and leftovers.

Sunday was when we drove home, via I-95, I-495, I-270, I-70, and I-81.
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Doing things that nobody wants to do since 2004.
I was THE youngest forum member from May 14th, 2015 to September 25th, 2016.

I am the second Alex, since I currently use my father's name...

 


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