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Routes from northwest Ohio

By: Rene Coutts
7/1/2022 12:10 PM

Anyone traveled recently from northwest Ohio? Which route did you take and what was construction like?

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By: jfalba
7/1/2022 12:27 PM

The key to traveling that distance is start out night driving. I see you are near I80.......so probably 80 into PA, then 79 towards Pittsburg until you reach an entrance onto the PA turnpike BUT THEN MAYBE JUST GET ONTO THE OHIO TURNPIKE AND CROSS OVER. exit the PA Turnpike at Breezewood, go South towards Winchester, then towards Fredricksburg where you catch I95 South then we take the loop around Richmond and connect people like going towards VA beach, we prefer a bit of more country driving to hit Suffolk then points South. Bobby went into the NORFOLK VA BEACH area one time and I was pissed and then down turns Moyock.

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By: jfalba
7/1/2022 12:34 PM

Also dont through DC...Fredricksburg entrance is bad enough at busy times. If you have extra days. We like stopping in Fredricksburg to sleep and swim in a pool and get onto I95 in the morning. Cross the WMB before check in and shop/go out to eat until time. it actually just makes more sense not to hurry. Bobby races down there like a bat out of hell. In fact I have no idea how we got onto a Hatteras beach by 9am one year. when check in was at 1 pm. I was asleep in the back with the baby as he drove with his Red Bulls. That was actually a fun vacation we took 2 trucks and another couple down with us. Tyler had a diesel engine that made this sort of air noise traveling I forget what its called. He was funny. Guys in their 20s.

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By: Rhaun
7/1/2022 4:05 PM

I would agree on avoiding the DC area traffic. It may be a bit longer, but less traffic stressful would be to go over 80 and down through Pittsburgh head to Stanton and then pick up 64 to Richmond and down. Another option is down through Columbus to 35 and take that to Beckley, WV and then 64 across to Richmond.

It also depends on the time/month and part of OBX. If you are going to the Nags Head area or even going further down to Avon or Hatteras, then get to Beckley and head to Raleigh down 77 to 74 then 40 across and hook back into the 64. Beckley to Winston Salem is not too bad. Winston over to Raleigh can be busy but flows pretty fast. Once you pass Raleigh traffic thins out. There are some two-lane roads as you make the last leg to Nags Head, but I have never had it be as bad as coming down from Richmond on a Saturday.

If coming down from Richmond and you are on a Saturday during prime-time switch day traffic will be very heavy - not just for OBX, but you'll also catch the Virginia beach traffic.

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By: SteveWolf
7/2/2022 4:42 AM

A couple of friends told me I was dopey for driving the PA turnpike and then driving around DC. Took me years but I finally tried the I-77 south to North Carolina and then east. WHAT A FRIGGING DIFFERENCE! SO MUCH EASIER. I will NEVER again go around DC.

I am west of Cleveland and use this:

Click to follow link...@38.9120294,-78.313662,6z/data=!4m24!4m23!1m15!1m1!1s0x88309390c42e61ed:0x4e2b3210ef80c93b!2m2!1d-81.9225118!2d41.4115517!3m4!1m2!1d-78.6523026!2d35.9116045!3s0x89ac57e3b238b16f:0xcbb63baef12ba64b!3m4!1m2!1d-78.431754!2d35.7966985!3s0x89ac4481fccaf8b7:0x68c3662ad8d37c04!1m5!1m1!1s0x89a43849fb39bb59:0x76cc6f9fdf7dfc37!2m2!1d-75.5028523!2d35.3463685!3e0

I have other routes at:

Click to follow link...

Steve

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By: Leon
7/5/2022 11:19 AM

We go 77 south thru W. Virginia, Virginia and the go across NC on 74/52/40 around Raleigh on 540 and then 64 to the Outer Banks. So much less stressful than the northern route thru Virginia. We sometimes stay overnight near Wyethville VA. There is a great state park named Camp Creek in WVa that we also like to stop and have lunch at the picnic shelter. There are two tunnels and 3 tolls but we still prefer it over the other ways.

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By: KateF
7/6/2022 6:19 AM

As the last two posters said, go through West Virginia. You want to take 75 S to Route 35, then pick up 77 in WVa and take it down to 85 in NC. Mileage-wise it is longer than going through PA and VA, but it's about the same time wise once traffic slows down and it's infinitely less stressful.

Go nowhere near DC or I-95.

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By: mikekhs
7/6/2022 11:33 AM

Avoid 95 between Richmond and DC at all costs!

Mike

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By: jfalba
7/6/2022 7:43 PM

Its all timing with I95. It has to be early on early off spend the morning on the outer banks. I agree 1 accident and its a disaster. You can go on route 1 parallels 95 one time the guys avoided turnpike tolls and I was like where the hell are we! I'm all about tradition on my obx drive. Before the bypass we went straight through Richmond and drive past Mr Peanut. I like to hit the VA diner on my way down and back.

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By: obxcarla
7/7/2022 9:41 AM

From Western PA, we normally take the turnpike, 70,81,66,17,95,295 and either 64 or 460. My question is, if we would attempt 495 around 8:30 a.m. and then choose Route 1 instead of 95, how's the drive and what type of road/highway 2 lane or 4 lane? Thank you in advance.

A few years ago someone on here gave alternate directions that you could avoid route 17 (Fredericksburg area) to 95 we did try that way as well.

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By: jfalba
7/7/2022 10:37 AM

I think route 1 is a 2 lane. My sister sometimes uses it to get off 95 or to exit if accidents. I dont think there is anything fast about it. My nephew ilives in Mechanicsville IOI I go my fathers route. Turnpike to Breezewood towards Winchester to Fredricksburg to 95 to 295? the 460 I believe to Suffolk the the back way to 158. This was when there were no major highways except the Turnpike and 95. I can drive by landmarks and taught my daughter the same. Met a man from Suffolk crabbing on the OBX, I told him I knew exactly where Suffolk is. His comment Shhhh . I told him my dads been coming to OBX since after WW2. He loved planes and was part of a Liberator crew in the Pacific. So the Wright Brothers were everything to him and he had his own plane with his brother.

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By: obxcarla
7/7/2022 11:33 AM

When we go in September we usually stay with friends in Suffolk, so it's a nice change to travel 460 instead of 64. I was born in Hampton VA and we have traveled to the Outer Banks since the late 60's and have tried multiple routes. Mostly looking for the fastest, but now those routes as usually so hectic.

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By: jfalba
7/7/2022 11:59 AM

Sunbury.

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By: NightOwl
7/7/2022 5:08 PM

From Western PA, we normally take the turnpike, 70,81,66,17,95,295 and either 64 or 460. My question is, if we would attempt 495 around 8:30 a.m. and then choose Route 1 instead of 95, how's the drive and what type of road/highway 2 lane or 4 lane?

obxcarla


I would strongly advise against using that route (Beltway-495 to Route 1 to Fredericksburg).

If you have an E-ZPass and don't mind high tolls, you can get down 495 to Springfield and 95 quickly using the express lanes. If you continue to head east on the Beltway to Route 1 (Richmond Highway) you'll hit local traffic. You might get lucky, or you might not.

Richmond Highway is local traffic, and has many, many lights. Not something you'd want to try weekday or weekend mornings.

Again if you don't mind high tolls, you could take 95 South express lanes at Springfield. Tolls vary by traffic on the non-tolled lanes, so if those are congested, tolls on the express lanes will be very high. There are various points at which you could jump off 95 to Route 1, but Route 1 would be agony all the way to Fredericksburg. Despite being 4 lanes with a turn lane, Route 1 is really a local road and a shopping district.

When the express lanes end at Garrisonville, you're back into regular 95 traffic.

Fredericksburg itself is much better on 95 than it used to be. Local traffic for Route 17 and Route 3 has been split off into their own lanes, and that helps a lot, though there may be some slowdown where that starts.

Once you're past Fredericksburg, Route 1 is mostly rural 4 lane. Not as fast as 95, but a decent second choice before Ashland, then very slow with lots of lights. If you have to go through Ashland, stay on Route 1 which goes into 295 just west of where 95 enters.

I would not attempt to do what you want to do on a Friday or a weekend. If it makes you feel any better, the Christmas season can be even worse.

The only time you want to try this is hitting 95 south after 8:00 PM, or not returning on 95 north in Northern Virginia until 9:00-10:00 PM. I don't end know the 17 route at all, but if you know it, I'd stick with it.

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By: Orange Crush
7/12/2022 3:55 PM

We go 77 south thru W. Virginia, Virginia and the go across NC on 74/52/40 around Raleigh on 540 and then 64 to the Outer Banks. So much less stressful than the northern route thru Virginia. We sometimes stay overnight near Wyethville VA. There is a great state park named Camp Creek in WVa that we also like to stop and have lunch at the picnic shelter. There are two tunnels and 3 tolls but we still prefer it over the other ways.

Leon


Is 540 around Raleigh a time saver or just to get away from the traffic? I took this route 1 time purely by accident but the GPS never offers it as an option.

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By: Rene Coutts
7/12/2022 7:14 PM

Well we are now driving to Manassas va and spending the night and leaving Saturday mid morning to drive to Chesapeake to stay Saturday night. Hopefully we will see a big difference in Fredericksburg as we usually hit there 6:00 pm when we drive from northwest Ohio. Anyone know what traffic will be like?

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By: Bentmtn
7/12/2022 7:31 PM

We go 77 south thru W. Virginia, Virginia and the go across NC on 74/52/40 around Raleigh on 540 and then 64 to the Outer Banks. So much less stressful than the northern route thru Virginia. We sometimes stay overnight near Wyethville VA. There is a great state park named Camp Creek in WVa that we also like to stop and have lunch at the picnic shelter. There are two tunnels and 3 tolls but we still prefer it over the other ways.

Leon


Is 540 around Raleigh a time saver or just to get away from the traffic? I took this route 1 time purely by accident but the GPS never offers it as an option.

Orange Crush


It takes approximately 10 minutes longer and you don't have to deal with stop lights and the like. Once you are on route 64, you are home free in our opinion. We take that route from Roanoke VA all the time as we go to southern beaches via Manteo. Frisco is 425 miles from our front steps since we are in SW VA.

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By: Mstaszew
7/12/2022 7:51 PM

We go 77 south thru W. Virginia, Virginia and the go across NC on 74/52/40 around Raleigh on 540 and then 64 to the Outer Banks. So much less stressful than the northern route thru Virginia. We sometimes stay overnight near Wyethville VA. There is a great state park named Camp Creek in WVa that we also like to stop and have lunch at the picnic shelter. There are two tunnels and 3 tolls but we still prefer it over the other ways.

Leon


Is 540 around Raleigh a time saver or just to get away from the traffic? I took this route 1 time purely by accident but the GPS never offers it as an option.

Orange Crush


It depends on what time of day. Taking 40 straight through around rush hour on a weekday will be a bit busy. 540 is a lot of extra miles. If you are coming through on a weekend morning I’d just stick to 40 to 440 where 40 splits off headed to the SE, and then onto 64 (now shows as 87 on Google maps).

EDIT: Really unless 40 is at a standstill it’s probably your best option through Raleigh.

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By: Orange Crush
7/12/2022 8:12 PM

We go 77 south thru W. Virginia, Virginia and the go across NC on 74/52/40 around Raleigh on 540 and then 64 to the Outer Banks. So much less stressful than the northern route thru Virginia. We sometimes stay overnight near Wyethville VA. There is a great state park named Camp Creek in WVa that we also like to stop and have lunch at the picnic shelter. There are two tunnels and 3 tolls but we still prefer it over the other ways.

Leon


Is 540 around Raleigh a time saver or just to get away from the traffic? I took this route 1 time purely by accident but the GPS never offers it as an option.

Orange Crush


It depends on what time of day. Taking 40 straight through around rush hour on a weekday will be a bit busy. 540 is a lot of extra miles. If you are coming through on a weekend morning I’d just stick to 40 to 440 where 40 splits off headed to the SE, and then onto 64 (now shows as 87 on Google maps).

EDIT: Really unless 40 is at a standstill it’s probably your best option through Raleigh.

Mstaszew


We've been going straight through Raleigh for the last 10 years or so and never had major issues - just wanted to be sure I wasn't missing anything.

Once passed Rocky Mount the drive is actually pretty nice.

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By: Mstaszew
7/12/2022 8:28 PM

We go 77 south thru W. Virginia, Virginia and the go across NC on 74/52/40 around Raleigh on 540 and then 64 to the Outer Banks. So much less stressful than the northern route thru Virginia. We sometimes stay overnight near Wyethville VA. There is a great state park named Camp Creek in WVa that we also like to stop and have lunch at the picnic shelter. There are two tunnels and 3 tolls but we still prefer it over the other ways.

Leon


Is 540 around Raleigh a time saver or just to get away from the traffic? I took this route 1 time purely by accident but the GPS never offers it as an option.

Orange Crush


It depends on what time of day. Taking 40 straight through around rush hour on a weekday will be a bit busy. 540 is a lot of extra miles. If you are coming through on a weekend morning I’d just stick to 40 to 440 where 40 splits off headed to the SE, and then onto 64 (now shows as 87 on Google maps).

EDIT: Really unless 40 is at a standstill it’s probably your best option through Raleigh.

Mstaszew


We've been going straight through Raleigh for the last 10 years or so and never had major issues - just wanted to be sure I wasn't missing anything.

Once passed Rocky Mount the drive is actually pretty nice.

Orange Crush


I’ve lived about 15 mins south of Raleigh since ‘02 and take 64. I grew up east of Richmond and took interstate 64 back then. 64 through Raleigh is a dream drive compared to interstate 64 especially since much of it was widened in the early 2000’s.

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By: Leon
7/13/2022 7:28 AM

We go 77 south thru W. Virginia, Virginia and the go across NC on 74/52/40 around Raleigh on 540 and then 64 to the Outer Banks. So much less stressful than the northern route thru Virginia. We sometimes stay overnight near Wyethville VA. There is a great state park named Camp Creek in WVa that we also like to stop and have lunch at the picnic shelter. There are two tunnels and 3 tolls but we still prefer it over the other ways.

Leon


Is 540 around Raleigh a time saver or just to get away from the traffic? I took this route 1 time purely by accident but the GPS never offers it as an option.

Orange Crush


We have tried the various ways around Raleigh and prefer 540. It may be longer as others have said, but for us it is worth the potential time as we have found it to be less stress and less busy. There is also an interchange (40E to 440S?) that we like to avoid by using 540. Also, sometimes we spend the night in Raleigh and have had better luck finding hotels along 540 that work for us.

I should note that we usually take the 64E Business route (Knightdale Blvd) exit as we travel south on 540 if it's not rush hour. Although it may not be much faster than going all the way to the regular 64 exit, it gives us easier/more options for food/gas, etc. before we push east to get to the OBX.

Good luck all and have a great beach vacation!

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By: OceanBlue
7/13/2022 8:48 AM


I’ve lived about 15 mins south of Raleigh since ‘02 and take 64. I grew up east of Richmond and took interstate 64 back then. 64 through Raleigh is a dream drive compared to interstate 64 especially since much of it was widened in the early 2000’s.

Mstaszew


Just be careful once getting close (and on the two lane road part)… if heading east a few hours before sunset or west (around sunrise) you are an eye squint to on coming traffic, and with water on each side there’s no where to go if some distracted knuckle head driver wanders into your lane.

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By: dawiggs
7/13/2022 9:07 AM


I’ve lived about 15 mins south of Raleigh since ‘02 and take 64. I grew up east of Richmond and took interstate 64 back then. 64 through Raleigh is a dream drive compared to interstate 64 especially since much of it was widened in the early 2000’s.

Mstaszew


Just be careful once getting close (and on the two lane road part)… if heading east a few hours before sunset or west (around sunrise) you are an eye squint to on coming traffic, and with water on each side there’s no where to go if some distracted knuckle head driver wanders into your lane.

OceanBlue


^^^^ What Blue said, Plus.....Also watch for Deer, Bears and maybe a lost Alligator! Enjoy the trip!

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By: Mstaszew
7/13/2022 9:26 AM


I’ve lived about 15 mins south of Raleigh since ‘02 and take 64. I grew up east of Richmond and took interstate 64 back then. 64 through Raleigh is a dream drive compared to interstate 64 especially since much of it was widened in the early 2000’s.

Mstaszew


Just be careful once getting close (and on the two lane road part)… if heading east a few hours before sunset or west (around sunrise) you are an eye squint to on coming traffic, and with water on each side there’s no where to go if some distracted knuckle head driver wanders into your lane.

OceanBlue


^^^^ What Blue said, Plus.....Also watch for Deer, Bears and maybe a lost Alligator! Enjoy the trip!

dawiggs


...and do NOT speed (too much) on the Columbia to Roanoke Island stretch. You're pretty much clear for as fast as you feel comfortable along 64 from Raleigh to Williamston. Stick generally to the limit through the Williamston-Plymouth stretch. You can cheat it a bit, but 70 MPH in a 55 is not kosher unless you feel like donating $350 to a local lawyer. I did that once. From Columbia to the coast though I tend to stick to no more than 60 MPH for the above mentioned advice as well as the revenue stream that road can be.

On bears, I haven't been fortunate enough to see one yet. I've done ~150 trips from Raleigh to Nags Head and have seen gators a few times, but no bears. I don't do my eastbound travel near dark though just because I try to get there as early as I can to enjoy more of the first day.

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By: jfalba
7/13/2022 10:00 AM

We did the Columbia to Roanoke Island stretch coming back from Florida. It seemed a breeze until you got close to the island and then traffic galore. Probably made it to the hotel by 2 pm so we were getting into that rush to the beach traffic. It really is all about timing early in/early off.

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