I've traveled from MI to FL every year along I-75 as I live right off it and it's a straight shot. That being said, it's also become boring for me.
This year I'm taking the I-77 route for a change of pace. Does anyone have some great POIs that I can use n this trip, or, offer any great stops along the way?
I'll be leaving here MI in a few weeks....
Just outside Beckley is the WV showcase for local artisans, Tamarak. It has it's own exit and is a great place to while away a couple hours and do some shopping. As it features only WV craftsmen, the selection is always changing so what you see on the way south wouldn't necessarily be there heading north.
The food concession is run by the Greenbrier Resort, scene of one of the PGA tournaments every summer. The Greenbrier is not too far off one of the Interstates near there in White Sulphur Springs. The food is excellent, and a stop at the clubhouse is always a treat. It was the site of the "secret" old war bomb shelter for the US Congress and tours of parts are conducted regularly.
I assume you will take I-77 to I-95 and continue south. Last February, we traveled that route. I found the old waterfront in Savanna was a great stop. https://www.google.com/maps/search/safe+%26+sound+mobile+ele...
East and West River Streets are full of old interesting restaurants, pubs and stores. Great place to stop for the evening on the way down. If you've never stopped in Savanna it's a must.
...Tamarack is a great place to stop and kill a couple of hours. Also, just south of there at the Princeton exit (US Route 460, I believe) there is a Vietnam Veteran's memorial at the rest area. Not the biggest thing in the world, but not too shabby either.
Did anyone warn you about Charlotte? The best time to take I77 through Charlotte is between Midnight and 5 AM. Yes, the traffic on I77 in Charlotte is that bad. Even on the weekends.
I-77 is a nice scenic route but there are several steep hills therefore I would use extreme caution if snow is in the forecast.
The hill on the border of Virgina & North Carolina is certainly impressive and I wouldn't want to test my driving skills nor vehicle AWD mode there in a snow storm
That being said Phranc is absolutely right that there's really alot of traffic before and after Charlotte even though there are HOV lanes.
From the I-77 I take the 26 East bound and then connect onto the I-95 in South Carolina.
Have a nice safe trip
Isn't as bad as Phranc leads you to believe except at the normal heavy periods. During the mornings after 9 and before noon and again from around 1 till 4 you can actually get through Charlotte with little delay. My experience from living in a similar venue, traffic will be heavy into the city between 7 and 9 with the afternoon peak stretching from 3:30 till about 7. Traffic actually starts to flow into the city around 6 AM and reaches peak between 7 and 8:30. As people can stagger their arrivals they can't have as much leeway in leaving. That's why the afternoon period is always worse, most people get off around 5 and they all hit the road at the same time.
I only drove through Charlotte on the I-77 once and have started using the I-485 to avoid the normal heavy traffic
Savannah is a great place to visit and safe and easy to walk around. On a recent trip to Myrtle Beach we visited Charleston, SC and can suggest Boones Hall Plantation and the Charleston Tea Plantation. Take the Trolley Tour of Downtown. However, after all is said and done, my wife and I prefer Savannah's Downtown over Charleston.
Always love the drive through WV and VA. Locked cruise control at 72 MPH and loved the bends, turns and elevation changes. Set your GPS to display Elevation. It's fun to see the changes.
You likely will not go through summersville, WV, but if you do watch out for speed traps. Speed drops from 65 MPH to 50 MPH and its a speed trap that even AAA warns about.
Traffic through Charlotte wasn't bad, but we did not come through at rush hour.
I'm guessing that you're familiar with St. Augustine, FL, but if you haven't been there, it's well worth the visit. Oldest city in North America. I would suggest that you stay in the old city, for a couple of days, instead of out by the Outlet Malls.
I endorse the favorable comments about old-town Savannah. I spent a week there at a conference at the beginning of this month. There are a lot of tourist-trap shops in the Historic area filled with made-in-China gee-gaws, but it is still worth a visit.
Among other things, there are some pocket parks every few blocks that go back may years and provide some interesting tid-bits about the history of the city.
- Tom -
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