Where do you want to go, Nags Head, North Carolina or Washington, DC?
As you travel south on I-95 (the New Jersey Turnpike), you'll see Staten Island, one of New York City's boroughs, across the shallow Arthur Kill on your left. (The term "kill" comes from the Dutch language, which had a significant role in the settlement
of the Northeast.) Stay on I-95 south through New Jersey and over the Delaware River into Delaware. As you approach Maryland, where I-95 is officially known as the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway, you'll be able to make the scenic crossing of the Susquehanna River your route to Baltimore.
Take I-295 south to reach Washington, D.C., where you can see famous landmarks, learn about American history, and enjoy waterfront recreation. The Smithsonian museums alone might keep you busy for days, not to mention the outdoor activities like hiking, bicycling, and boating.
If you've had your fill of museums, monuments, and historical sites in the nation's capital and are ready for a change of scenery, this route will take you the 280 miles south to North Carolina's Outer Banks. As with most travels like these, you may choose between the quickest route and the most beautiful one. Although the picturesque route adds about an hour to the already lengthy travel (five and a half hours), it is well worth it if you are on vacation.
Take I-395 south from Washington, DC (turns to Interstate 95). You'll go by the Jefferson Memorial before crossing the Potomac into Virginia. Travel southward until you reach State Route 3, which you will take east past Fredericksburg before turning south onto Route 17. Route 17, also known as Tidewater Trail, along the shores of the Rappahannock River, a popular destination for tourists and locals alike due to its scenic beauty and delectable oysters.
Both the York and James rivers flow into the Chesapeake Bay, which you will traverse. Follow I-64 southeast from Newport News, then take Route 168 from Chesapeake into North Carolina. The road connects with Route 158 and leads south to Nags Head on the Outer Banks through a short peninsula. You may kick back on the beaches, see the still-functioning Bodie Island Lighthouse, and watch hang gliders at Jockey's Ridge State Park.
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