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Best route from DC to LI

shellfellshellfell 3720 replies12 threads Senior Member
I've got to drive from DC to LI in the near future and was wondering what the best route to take is. I'm especially looking for the best way through the boroughs. Thanks.
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Replies to: Best route from DC to LI

  • 4kids4us4kids4us 1050 replies4 threads Senior Member
    edited February 13
    I’ll let someone else give more detail about the getting to Long Island part (when I used to make the drive 30 years ago, I always took the Verrazano Bridge across Staten Island and then the Belt Parkway but I suppose it depends where you are going and time of day).

    One thing to consider is that there are two ways to get to Delaware Memorial Bridge from DC. One is to go straight up 95 thru Baltimore but depending on time of day, there can be lots of traffic, esp as you get closer to DE/Christiana. Alternatively, you can take Rt. 50/301 across the Bay Bridge and then thru the Eastern Shore to Rt. 1 which puts you on 95 right before the Del Mem Bridge. It is much more scenic and NO traffic. Depending on time you leave, you may hit some traffic on Rt 50 /w DC and Annapolis if leaving in the evening rush. In the morning, you won’t hit any. You will need EZ Pass. I almost always take this route rather than 95 thru Baltimore/DE except in the summer when there is beach traffic. I hardly see any cars b/w Queenstown and the DE line.
    edited February 13
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  • TheBigChefTheBigChef 710 replies6 threads Member
    95 to the Jersey Tpk. As far as getting past the City, it really depends on the conditions at the time. Could be GWB to the Whitestone or Throgsneck. Could be going thru Staten Island to the Verrazano to the Belt Parkway. Probably best to avoid going thru Manhattan via the tunnels. Any way you slice it, usually not a fun ride.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 9786 replies110 threads Senior Member
    Use Waze. One small accident could derail the “best” route instantly. We typically tried for the GWB and the Whitestone Bridge but again, highly subject to delays.
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  • shellfellshellfell 3720 replies12 threads Senior Member
    Thanks for the recommendations. I'm familiar enough with the NYC area to realize traffic/accidents could alter what the best route is. I'll use Waze as we approach the city to see which way we should go.
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  • emilybeeemilybee 14246 replies36 threads Senior Member
    I’ve found the most direct way to get to the island is GWB to Whitestone or Trogsneck, but agree that it depends on traffic conditions. TBS, my cousin’s husband - who live on the island but works in NJ does the Verrazano/Staten Island route to get to work and back - even though they live on the North Shore.
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  • greenwitchgreenwitch 9187 replies42 threads Senior Member
    After you cross the Del Memorial Bridge heading north, you can get on 295 instead of the Turnpike. It is free, often faster in the southern part of the state where the turnpike has only 2 lanes, and gas is cheaper than relying on the rest stops. You can rejoin the turnpike further north, I'm not sure if that is exit 4 or 5.
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  • LennonLennon 189 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Where on LI? Because you could also look into the Amtrak train from DC to Penn Station NY and then LIRR out to where you need to be. Long Island Rail Road leaves from Penn Station so it's an easy connection. It might be a wash time wise and $ wise depending on how far in advance you can book the ticket. And it would be much less stressful than driving, if that is an issue for you. We're in NJ and Stepmom is in LI-we've done the train to the train the last few holidays just to avoid the crazy traffic around Christmas.
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  • BigPapi2BigPapi2 16 replies1 threads Junior Member
    It's been years since I made a similar trip but, I think it was I95 and when you are in NJ, take 287/440 to the Outer Bridge crossing. Take 278 towards Brooklyn NY.... Hop on the Belt Parkway...
    It really depends on where you are going but to avoid some traffic, I would take Flatbush Avenue South through the Rockaways and look for Penninsula Blvd. take Peninsula Blvd north and then hop on the Southern State (again, it depends on where you are going) but I was always able to save myself time on this route.
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  • shellfellshellfell 3720 replies12 threads Senior Member
    The train definitely won't work for this trip, but thanks for the suggestion, @Lennon.

    We'd be heading to western Suffolk Co., between 495 and the Southern State. DH grew up on LI, but isn't there much anymore so may not remember the ins and outs of driving there, and we've never come there from the south (we used to live in CT).
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  • greenwitchgreenwitch 9187 replies42 threads Senior Member
    When we were coming from the south, we would usually take the Belt to Southern State. There's no good route really, you just hope to be lucky! I'd also listen to 1010 and 880 on the radio as soon as I could get the signal.
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  • mom2andmom2and 3044 replies20 threads Senior Member
    Google maps (or waze) will be your guide. Typically, 95 to NJ Turnpike is the most direct route to 278 (Goethals bridge) across Staten Island to the Belt Pkway and then the Southern State is the most direct route. But there are many other options depending on traffic. 295 instead of the turnpike, staying on 95 thru Philadelphia and then joining the turnpike. And in North NJ, going thru the City or going up to the GWB and then over.

    Good luck! If you are lucky, it should only take about 5 hours. Hopefully, you can avoid rush hour in DC, Baltimore and especially in NYC.
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  • oldchief78oldchief78 67 replies3 threads Junior Member
    greenwitch wrote: »
    After you cross the Del Memorial Bridge heading north, you can get on 295 instead of the Turnpike. It is free, often faster in the southern part of the state where the turnpike has only 2 lanes, and gas is cheaper than relying on the rest stops. You can rejoin the turnpike further north, I'm not sure if that is exit 4 or 5.

    Exit 4 and 5 both work. You can also rejoin at Exit 7 (Bordentown).
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  • greenwitchgreenwitch 9187 replies42 threads Senior Member
    Also, there's a trick we used to do to avoid the Delaware toll - get off at the last exit in MD, exit 109 B-A. Head towards Newark, DE on Elkton Road. Turn right onto route 4, turn right onto route 896. Get back on 95 N having skipped whatever Delaware charges for the 13 miles of federal highway that you are on while in their state. Repeat in reverse for the trip home.

    There are several gas stations along this route, and two Dunkin Donuts, on either side of the road, so you can get coffee and gas with ease. We started doing this to avoid the toll backup, but things are more streamlined now.
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  • Classof2015Classof2015 4214 replies191 threads Senior Member
    We take Grand Central Parkway from the city (vs LIE) when we head out to Suffolk County. Do you have flexibility on when you arrive or is it a specific time like a wedding?
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  • shellfellshellfell 3720 replies12 threads Senior Member
    We hope to arrive sometime in early afternoon, hopefully before rush hour traffic gets bad.
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