WHAT TO EXPECT

As you head south from New York, expect to see places of major historic significance as
well as diverse scenery.  You’ll visit places that were important to the development of our
nation.  Pro and college sports seem endless and away from cities there are many
activities — white water rafting, fishing, hiking or just plain sightseeing.  

Maybe you’ll  see Cadets parade at the
United States Military Academy at West Point or
the noon formation at the
United States Naval Academy in Annapolis.  You might take part
in a re-enactment of a colonial court case, or ride in a hot air balloon, or visit the White
House, or go to the Smithsonian.  You'll feast on Maryland crabs or test both styles of North
Carolina barbecue.  So many places to see and things to do!  

History buffs will visit battlefields of the Revolutionary War or the Civil War.  Places such as
New York City, Philadelphia, Valley Forge, Williamsburg, Yorktown, Charleston,
Gettysburg, and others too numerous to mention down into Georgia were all of great
significance during these wars, both militarily and politically.  Visits to local areas will point
you to places that date to the period — maybe there is a plaque that “Washington slept
here” or a farm that was used by the Underground Railway during the Civil War.  

As you read this you may wish to trace the route on your road map.
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New York Metro Area to Southeast
  • Coastal route to Florida and
  • Interior route to Asheville, NC
with lateral routes connecting them
(includes routes to bypass the New York/Washington corridor)
Explanation of the segments

The most traveled north/south highway in the east is I-95 which goes from northern
Maine to south Florida.  Many tourists, who are not visiting Washington, DC or New
York City, take alternate routes to avoid these traffic bottlenecks.   Because many
points of interest lie on either side of I-95 two segments are described, one on
each side of I-95.  
Lateral routes (in green typeface) between these
north/south segments
are included as there are clustered points of major
interest.  

There are a number of ways to skirt the worst traffic in the New York-Washington
corridor.  We have taken several.  These two seem to be preferred by RVers to
avoid the worst congestion.  

    1.   Newburgh, NY to Asheville, NC interior segment
    This segment is described in purple typeface.
    From Newburgh, NY go west to Scranton, PA and then head south.  Many
    RVers prefer this route as it has less traffic even though parts are on
    Interstate Highways.  It is mountainous and quite scenic with sightseeing
    opportunities.  We often go to Scranton and then head south to Harrisburg,
    PA and south to the Baltimore area to the Annapolis, MD area.

    2.  Newburgh, NY to Florida via the coastal segment
    This segment is described in black typeface.
    From Newburgh, NY go south to Suffern, NY and take I-287 south to  the
    New Jersey Turnpike.  This avoids New York City and Newark, NJ.  It‘s a
    suitable way to reach Philadelphia and environs.  However, you encounter
    some heavy traffic.  Continue on the NJ Turnpike to the south, and cross the
    Memorial Bridge over the Delaware River and enter Delaware and join I-95.  
    You can avoid Baltimore and Washington (which are on I-95) by going to the
    southern end of the New Jersey Turnpike, over the Memorial Bridge to
    Delaware then ...

    south onto US-13 to Virginia’s Eastern Shore and points south on US-17.  

    OR take US-301 south to Annapolis, MD and Bowling Green, VA and go
    onto I-95 just north of Richmond.

    Note: If going north on I-95 take I-295 near Wilmington, DE to get on the NJ
    Turnpike using the Memorial Bridge.  (We’ve known people who stayed on I–
    95 and encountered heavy Philadelphia traffic.)
New York

Interior Route:

    From Newburgh, NY … Head west on I-84.  When you reach
    the exit for US-209 at Port Jervis, go north on US-209 to...

    Cuddebackville.  Here you can visit the D&H Canal Museum,  
    photo, In the latter part of the 1800s canals were constructed to
    serve as economical transportation of goods.  This museum
    describes a canal that ran from the Delaware River to the
    Hudson to carry coal to New York City.  (I am interested in this
    exhibit as two of my great-grandfathers worked on this canal.)  

    Numerous similar museums are in the eastern US including
    High Falls, NY, a few miles north of Newburgh, NY.  Continue
    on I-84 to...

    Pennsylvania

    I-380 and go north to I-81 south.  I-81 is scenic and goes
    through the mountains of Pennsylvania’s former coal mining
    areas.  Mine tours are available.  We have seen spectacular fall
    colors along this route .  



LATERAL TO GETTYSBURG, VALLEY FORGE AND
PHILADELPHIA

    As you go south on I-81 go east on US-30 to …

    Gettysburg.  This out-of-the-way place was the scene of the
    bloodiest battle of the Civil War.  Go to the visitors’ center of
    Gettysburg National Military Park on Route 134 and take your
    time to learn of this battle that some consider the turning point
    of the War Between the States.  This is also the site of Lincoln’s
    famous Gettysburg address.  Learn more of the battle by taking
    a tour – videotape, personal guide, or bus.  (The price for the
    personal guide is about the same as for two taking the bus.)  


    The Eisenhower National Historic Site is nearby.  To visit
    Eisenhower’s farm go to the same Gettysburg National Military
    Park visitors’ center on Route 134 and you’ll take a shuttle bus
    to the farm.  Go through his home – learn of his interest in
    farming and his efforts to improve the farm.  

    Gettysburg is also the home of Gettysburg College.  Continue
    east to…  

See below, coastal route, for lateral to Philadelphia, Valley Forge, and
Penn Dutch CountryPenn Dutch Country


Coastal Route:

    From Newburgh, NY go south on Route 9 to…

    West Point.  This overlooks the Hudson River.  If you are here
    at the right time you can see the United States Military
    Academy military formations, or maybe see a home football
    game.  This is the location of a major Revolutionary War
    fortification.   
                   
    By-pass New York City by returning to I-87 and taking exit 15 to
    I-287 south to the New Jersey Turnpike and go south …

LATERAL TO PHILADELPHIA, VALLEY FORGE AND
GETTYSBURG

there are exits on the New Jersey Turnpike.  If you are interested in
visiting
Valley Forge National Historic Park head west on I-276,
which merges onto I-76.  An interesting destination is the
Penn-Dutch
area where you can see the Amish who are concentrated in
Intercourse, Pennsylvania.  

    Philadelphia.  There are so many things to see in this city in
    which the founding fathers crafted the Declaration of
    Independence.  Take it all in.  

    Valley Forge National Historic Park.   You’ve heard of the
    deprivations faced by Washington’s ragtag army during the
    winter of 1777-78.  Here you will see the recreated huts and
    fortifications.  At the visitors’ center you can get an overview
    and audiotape tours.  Then on to …

    Penn Dutch Country.  This is the Lancaster area with
    Intercourse at the center.  This area is populated by Amish and
    Mennonite people or “plain people” who have a simple life style
    – farmers use horse drawn implements, etc.   Unfortunately, the
    area is so popular that a number of the Amish and Mennonites
    have relocated to areas that are not as busy.  If you see a
    horse drawn buggy going along the road respect their right of
    way.  
              
    SIDE TRIP.  Leaving the Pennsylvania Turnpike at exit 312
    head south to Kennett Square, which is the location of the
    outstanding Longwood Gardens (at the junction of US-1 and
    Route 52).  This is the former estate of Pierre duPont.  With a
    heated conservatory the displays are year-round.  

See above, Interior route, for lateral route to Gettysburg

Coastal Route:

If you wish to visit Washington, DC continue on the New Jersey
Turnpike into Delaware and take I-95 south to the DC area.  

NOTE FOR RVERS.  If you are on I-95 you must detour near
Baltimore as no propane tanks are permitted through the tunnel.  It’s
easy, just take I-695 via Francis Scott Key Bridge.  This detour is no
problem.  RVers can check the Trailer Life Directory for a RV park
with easy access to the Washington DC Metro (train to the city).    
From Washington continue south to the Richmond, Virginia area…

NOTE FOR WASHINGTON TOURISTS.  If you plan to visit the White
House, Capitol Building, or Bureau of Printing & Engraving contact the
office of your Representative in Congress or Senators for passes
(there may be an office in your hometown or nearby).  Today’s
security concerns may affect availability.  

See above, Interior route, for lateral route to Gettysburg

                   
    
D&H Canal at Cuddebackville, NY
Travel Letters
Eisenhower's home provides an insight of this WW2 general and postwar president
Generals viewed the progress of the Gettysburg battle from this overlook
Connecting the coastal and interior routes are lateral routes with interesting areas to tour
The "coastal route" generally parallels the coast, however, it is often quite distant from the
ocean.  The coastal area is flat lowlands with few hills.  Unlike the Pacific coastal highways the
eastern seaboard is highly developed.  The ocean is in view on these through routes when you
are on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.  

The Boston-Washington corridor is densely populated.  In fact, local roads at the water's edge
are often private -- much of the remaining shorefront is being bought for businesser or housing
in private communities.  There are a few coastal parks on the Eastern Shore (Delaware,
Maryland and Virginia) as well as the Carolinas and Georgia.  Some are quite near the coastal
route.  The interior route is mountainous with some parklands.