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Driving to Williamsburg from the Northeast

kpgclark

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Specifically we are travelling from Philly to Williamsburg. I know going I95 is the most direct route but I was wondering if anyone has travelled there via the bay-bridge-tunnel? If so how did you like that route? How much time did it add onto the trip? I thought it might be nice to take a different route home than I 95.
 

Big Matt

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Taking 13 down the easter shore is a great drive. You will hit a few traffic lights, but you won't be stressed out and won't hit any backups on 95. It is actually very similar mileage wise. It would take about an hour more going this way, worst case.
 

basham

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I have done it both ways travelling from the Boston area to both Williamsbug and the OBX.

I far prefer using the Bay Bridge tunnel route, mainly because of the traffic nightmare around the Washington area.

SailBadtheSinner was kind enough to give me directions from CT and a refinement to the rte 13 way, use Route 113 to avoid the many local traffic lights on rte 13 and I would also recommend that.
 

kpgclark

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Thanks for the info. THe toll doesn't bother me I just want to take a route that is the shortest timewise. I also don't want to risk getting lost!
 

HuskyJim

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I travel between VA and CT regularly, and have used RT 13 occasionally.

You have to be aware that to get to Williamsburg, once you are across the CBBT in Virginia Beach , you have to then go thru the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, and that can be a nightmare during the summer.

I understand your concern about avoiding DC, Northern VA and I95, but the alternative is not necessarily a piece of cake. But it is more relaxing for the stretch on the Eastern Shore in MD and VA, but even there you do have quiet a few traffic lights.
 

pcgirl54

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We also wanted to experience a different route and took the CBBT and throughly enjoyed taking our boys to VB and Williamsburg many summers ago. We stayed two nights in Virginia Beach at a oceanfront hotel and then spent a week in WB. This was awhile ago but it was worth the trip. Traffic through Ocean City to CBBT was heavy.
 

kpgclark

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We are going over spring break if that makes a difference.
 

cjklutz

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Driving to Williamsburg

We did a roadtrip from Maine last year to Williamsburg, but used the Chesapeake Bay Tunnel/Bridge. My spouse thinks it was the quickest route, I'm not so sure. We did encounter moderate traffic but the worst was the traffic lights through the small towns. It seemed to take forever! Next time it think I may insist on 95!
 

HuskyJim

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Spring break should be a little better for getting around the Hampton Roads area.

But the Tidewater/Hampton Roads area (Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, etc.) has significant traffic issues now, regularly, during the year. The HRBT (I-64) can be backed up almost every day, both directions, during rush hour (morning and afternoon). If you can avoid traveling thru there at the peak times, going that route should be OK.

Here is the Trafficland website that has up-to-date traffic cameras showing some of the major intersections. (This site also has links to DC area traffic.)

http://www.trafficland.com/findacamera/findacamera.php?city=HR
 

KenK

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We also use the Bay Bridge TUnnel on nearly all of our trips to VB, Williamsburg, and Florida.

We live near milepost 100 on the Garden State Parkway, and USUALLY do not drive W to the NJ TUrnpike or 295 and head S.

However, if we do, we go over the Del. Mem. Bridge, and get onto 95 S and EXIT onto DEL Route ONE south (Its a toll road-easy pass). This expressway takes you (so far) just below Dover, and deposits you near Rt 13 or 113 S (We also always take 113 to its end in Pocomoke, then 13 down the rest of the way.

Most of the time we take the GSP S to Cape May ferry, and avoid tons of traffic heading to the Del & Md beaches. (If you do that, exit ferry at Rt 9 S, continue to rt one S (its not an expressway here), and then turn R onto Rt 23, which will hit rt 113 S (TURN L) in about 23 miles.

If we catch the 8 AM ferry, we are in VB by just after 12 noon. (We used to meet family at the Duck Inn for lunch...now a condo) Ferry is a 90 minute break.

Leaving this area of VB (Rt 60 at Lynnhaven bridge), at about 1:00 PM usually got us to Florence Fairfield by 5:30 if lite traffic on 95.

Going to Williamsburg this way at lwast two time in summer, we had no traffic. We beat my BIL (from Alexandria) by 5 hours. (Traffic on 95 was so bad, he went onto rt 17)
 

nrosetojr

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Taking the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel is definitely a scenic route, and if you don't mind going many miles out of your way for the scenery, it's a good way to go to avoid the Rte 95 Delaware to Baltimore to DC to Richmond congestion, take in the scenery and enjoy a leisurely drive, but with the extra miles, you won't save much time. Plus having to then "backtrack" northwest, and go through the Norfolk/Hampton/Newport News area (depending on time of day) may increase your travel time significantly, making the trip longer in both miles and time. A better way, and still somewhat scenic, but definitely shorter, that avoids the Rte 95 Baltimore to DC through Northern VA to Richmond nightmare, is to take Exit 1 off Rte 95S in Delaware (the last exit before crossing into Maryland), getting onto Rte 896S, which turns into Rte 301S, you can then take 301S (at times there are Rte name changes, such as Rte 71, Rte 299, but is picks up again as Rte 301), through what's called the Eastern Shore (as defined by the Chesapeake Bay not the Atlantic Ocean), of Maryland, to and across the Chesapeake (Annapolis) Bay Bridge (just prior to which it merges with Rte 50), to, what's called, the Western Shore of Maryland, and by staying on 301S (Rtes 50 and 301 divert near Bowie, make sure you follow the Rte 301S signs, otherwise you'll wind up in DC), you can avoid all the Baltimore through DC and Northern Virginia area congestion. Staying on 301S you travel though, a portion of what's called Southern MD, across the Gov Henry Nice Bridge (over the Potomoc) in King George County, VA. You can then either stay on 301S, to Richmond and Rte 295S to Rte 64 which takes you directly into Williamsburg. Check the map for the different routes, this one will be most direct, in fact the mileage is about equal to taking 95 all the way, but without the congestion. By-the-way, all tolls take EZPass.

Enjoy the trip, and Williamsburg, which is one of our favorite places.

One caveat to this route, from Memorial Day through Labor Day, if you travel from west to east Friday afternoon/evenings, or Saturday mornings, try another route (DC metro traffic going to Ocean City & DE beaches). Likewise during the same timeframe, avoid traveling east to west on Sundays (DC metro traffic coming home from beaches)

Nick
Chespaeake Beach, MD
 
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nkldavy

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Quickest Route

I live to the west northwest of you about 60 miles. I go down I-95 to the Harbor Tunnel in Baltimore area and then get onto 295 south which becomes the Balt-Wash Parkway. Stay on 295 along the Anacostia River in DC area (also called Kenilworth Ave) which will bring you to an exit for the Wilson bridge . Along that drive you will get a decent view of the Capitol, Washington monument etc. Cross the bridge and get back on I-95 going south again in the Springfield, Va area. Good inexpensive gas stop at exit 104 on I-95 which is about 75 miles south of DC. When you get down to I-295 take it as it bypasses Richmond and then get onto I-64, and then take exit 238 for Williamsburg. I've made it in 5 hours but normal is 6. If I am going to hit rush hour in DC, I don't go that way, I go down route 301 but there's a lot of lights that way ... good luck ... Uncle Davey
 

KenK

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Two other ideas we use sometimes:

The first thanks to Martys Huusband, Bill:

If you do take 295 S as mentioned above, and don't expect traffic going S on I 95, TURN off 295 S onto Pennsylvania Ave, and drive over the river. On the other side, watch signage carefull, and enter I 395 S. I 395 S turns into RT I 95 S jusr S of the 495 Beltway. Doing this avoids the Wilson (under construction) Bridge. It will bring you inro the S parts of DC. (Some do this via rt 50 (New York Ave...I don't recommend this) by turning off I 295.

The second might also be helpful. When heading into Alexandria (family), we do the I 95 after the Del Men Bridge, and use the exit for the route one expressway S (but its a toll). In 5 minutes, (approx) we exit at Middletown/Odessa, turn R-toward Middletown, and drive about 3 miles to the junction of Del Rt 301 S as mentioned above. Hewe we fill car with gas from WaWA, or now Citgo, which seems much less expensive than in MD or DC areas.

We continue on US 301 (it combines with 50), and then stay on 50 when 301 goes S to Richmond. If the beltway I 495 S (radio reports) is backed up (there is construction on the Wilson Bridge) we stay on 50 W to 295 S....and then exit as mentioned above, onto Pennsylvania Ave, toward DC, and enter I 395 S on the other side of the bridge. It takes us right to I 95 and avoids 495 completely (but we exit on Duke Street when we visit family.

I'm sure theres a big milage difference by using 13/113 to Williamsburg, over I 95 ....but I disagree with the time savings. I beat everyone to VB (we started the week in VB, and they all lived closer) doing the DeMarVa route my BIL by 5 hours my cousins by 4 hours...Sat AM, Summer. And there was tons of traffic on rt 23 heading towards the Del Beaches, and tons of traffic heading E on 50 ....but none heading toward 113 or on 113 S.

But that might have been a bad weekend...maybe July 4th. But the traffic we saw was all heading in the opposite direction.

I'm trying that alternate route mentioned through Del next time....if we don't use the ferry
 

Big Matt

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KenK,
this is the nuance of my post earlier. "Worst Case" you take an hour longer going 13/113. That's only if 95 is wide open (no construction, accidents, slow downs, state troopers, etc.). I've actually seen it take as much as two hours longer than normal just from DC to Williamsburg on 95. It's the tortoise and the hair effect.

KenK said:
I'm sure theres a big milage difference by using 13/113 to Williamsburg, over I 95 ....but I disagree with the time savings. I beat everyone to VB (we started the week in VB, and they all lived closer) doing the DeMarVa route my BIL by 5 hours my cousins by 4 hours...Sat AM, Summer. And there was tons of traffic on rt 23 heading towards the Del Beaches, and tons of traffic heading E on 50 ....but none heading toward 113 or on 113 S.

But that might have been a bad weekend...maybe July 4th. But the traffic we saw was all heading in the opposite direction.
 

kpgclark

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Hope this doesn't sound absurd, but we are planning on going over the CBBT on the way HOME from Williamsburg. Are the directions any different or does anyone have any comments about going HOME over the bridge/tunnel from Williamsburg back to Philly?
 

Don

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nrosetojr said:
You can then either stay on 301S, to Richmond and Rte 295S to Rte 64 which takes you directly into Williamsburg. Check the map for the different routes, this one will be most direct,
If you want scenic and still be direct, you can get on South 17 just after 301 crosses the Rappahannock River at Port Royal. You take S17 to Yorktown and the Colonial Parkway into Williamsburg. It looks more direct on the map than going to Richmond.
 

KenK

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kpgclark said:
Hope this doesn't sound absurd, but we are planning on going over the CBBT on the way HOME from Williamsburg. Are the directions any different or does anyone have any comments about going HOME over the bridge/tunnel from Williamsburg back to Philly?
When going home on a SUNDAY afternoon from Williamsburg & VB, there was absolutely no traffic towards the Bay Bridge Tunnel, over it or while on 13 and then 113 until.....

Traffic was light IN OUR direction. On the other side of 113 going towards rt 50 (to the Annapolis Bridge) it was heavy, and got heavier the closer we got to the Del border.

When we hit the area where the RT 24 turn off (to the ferry) was, the traffic was backed up on 113, (it was completely stopped goting N on 113, and I assume on 13...all aiming toward Del Rt one.

My cousin (following us, who lives near Heightstown (exit 8 turnpike) was going to use Rt 1 while we did the ferry. He called our cell, and said he was following us to the ferry. No traffic on 24 in that direction, loaded the other.

We had to wait at the ferry for 3 boats to fill before we had room to get on.

Waited about 70 min, but there is a food court, and mini golf while you wait (and a farmers market on certain days.

On the GSP, (Garden State Parkway) it wasn't busy until after we passed the exits for Marriott Seaview (mileposts about 46). But he got off on 539, (only one on the road to Heightstown), and we took back roads home.

If you plan on this route remember, Del Rt one (to 95/295/PA) will really be busy on a summer Sunday afternoon...as will 50 heading to DC.

The ferry is out of your way, and using the AC Expressway back to Philly will be real busy, if you did use it....and you may have to wait a while at the ferry terminal.
 
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