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Best route to WF from Northern Virginia?

KellyLJ1KellyLJ1 Registered User Posts: 242 Junior Member
edited January 2012 in Wake Forest University
We will be headed down to Wake Forest for a scholarship interview in March and I have never driven directly from our area (western Fairfax County) to Wake Forest. Google maps indicates a couple of different routes. For those of you who have done this before, is it better to go straight down Rt. 29 south through Charlottesville or is it better to go I-95 and then cut back across on 85south and 40 west.
Post edited by KellyLJ1 on

Replies to: Best route to WF from Northern Virginia?

  • DougBetsyDougBetsy Registered User Posts: 5,830 Senior Member
    I would avoid I-95 whenever possible. As you know, the 100 miles from Washington to Richmond can take 3+ hours.

    We've found that I-81 is a piece of cake. For us, it's much better than 95. It may be longer in miles, but it's definitely not longer (maybe even shorter) in hours.
  • KellyLJ1KellyLJ1 Registered User Posts: 242 Junior Member
    Thanks, DougBetsy! Have you ever taken Rt. 29?
  • HereWeGo2HereWeGo2 Registered User Posts: 259 Junior Member
    29 is the senic route - we drive it to Charlottesville and have taken it down to Greensboro & High Point NC a few summers ago. Watch out for speed traps, especially in Madison County and (I assume) on 15 South of Charlottesville. At least the price of gas drops when you hit Gainsville.

    Google maps recommends I-95 to Petersburg. Depending on how far west you are in Fairfax, I'd take Ffx County Pkwy and 123 to Woodbridge and get onto 95 there. Or 28 into Manassas and PW Pkwy to 95. Once clear of the DC area, you should be OK to Richmond. Traffic will be FAST. Up to you if you go straight through (Google routing) or take the bypass (295). I'd avoid the evening (southbound) rush hour, and try to monitor traffic ahead (some GPS and smart phones can do this) as an accident can jam up 95 for miles.
  • saketmsaketm Registered User Posts: 401 Member
    Def 95 and then 85 > 40. There is absolutely no reason to go on 29 (took it once). Don't be silly and leave at times you know you will encounter rush hour. Leaving around 10am should be fine.
  • ketinmdketinmd Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    We live in Maryland and almost always take 29. It takes about the same amount of time, and is much prettier and more relaxed.
  • willmingtonwavewillmingtonwave Registered User Posts: 3,344 Senior Member
    I second 95...driving from NJ it is what I always took. The traffic is avoidable.
  • rodneyrodney Registered User Posts: 9,406 Senior Member
    GPS devices may take you around the 495 to avoid 95....don't do it; major construction every 5 miles as of two weeks ago.......

    agree with above; time it right and do 95 to 85 to 40......watch speed on 85; it's like a ghost road even at high traffic times......
  • rockvillemomrockvillemom Registered User Posts: 6,988 Senior Member
    Have done all 3 routes multiple times and the vote is for - Rt 81. Take 81 south - you'll pass right by James Madison and Virginia Tech - all the way into NC.

    Second vote is for 29.

    We hate 95 - won't do it anymore. It's fine once you get on 85 - but 95 is ridiculous - afternoon/evening - does not seem to matter.
This discussion has been closed.