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Q: Interesting stops on a road trip, Orlando, FL to SW Connecticut. ( Answered,   0 Comments )
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Subject: Interesting stops on a road trip, Orlando, FL to SW Connecticut.
Category: Sports and Recreation > Travel
Asked by: plinsey-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 01 Jun 2004 22:47 PDT
Expires: 01 Jul 2004 22:47 PDT
Question ID: 355160
I'm looking for good third-way points to stop and spend the night (and
bit of time in the day) between Orlando, Florida and Fairfield,
Connecticut (which is an hour north-east of New York City). I know
where we're staying on the way down, but on the way back up I was
hoping we might stop somewhere interesting once or preferably twice.
Optimally each stop would not take us more than a few hours outside of
a reasonably direct route and decent lodging would be availible for
under $100 (USD). If timeframe matters, we will be leaving Orlando on
the morning of Friday, June 11 and arriving back in Connecticut the
evening of Sunday, June 13. Also, in terms of demographics, both my
fellow traveller and myself are reasonably intellectual, college
educated males in our mid-20's. We both enjoy history, literature,
architecture and the outdoors. We also lived in Washington, DC for
many years, so please exclude it from possible suggestions. Hope this
isn't too broad a request. We are very open to "off-the-beaten-path"
and unique suggestions. To the extent that we would appreciate indoor
plumbing, anyway. Thanks in advance.

Patrick.
Answer  
Subject: Re: Interesting stops on a road trip, Orlando, FL to SW Connecticut.
Answered By: omnivorous-ga on 02 Jun 2004 09:01 PDT
 
Plinsey --

Mapquest's an excellent resource: the trip is about 1,160 miles or
roughly 400 miles per day, using I-95 most of the way (and a bit of
I-4 near Orlando).  That's an estimated 18  hours of driving, though
it may be a bit slower in the Washington-New York corridor late on a
Sunday.

This would put Friday night in the Charleston, SC area and Saturday
night in the Richmond, VA area.


CHARLESTON, SC
================

Charleston, SC is an interesting mix of modern and Ante-Bellum sites. 
Of course it's where the Civil War began, with the firing on Fort
Sumter aligning a number of famous Americans on either side.  G.T.
Beauregard was there on the Confederate side; Abner Doubleday there
with Union forces:
CivilWarHome.com
"The Attack on Fort Sumter"
http://www.civilwarhome.com/ftsumter.htm

National Park Service
"Fort Sumter National Monument"
http://www.nps.gov/fosu/

Having avoided destruction during the Civil War, the area contains a
large number of buildings in the National Historic Register.  And it's
a popular get-away site, with an excellent mix of culture and history.
 The Spoleto Festival is an international music and culture festival
hosted by the city which just opened its 2-week 2004 run.  The weekend
that you'll be there is closing weekend and here's the Friday evening
schedule:
Spoleto Festival 
June 11 Schedule
http://www.spoletousa.org/events/calendar.php?date=2004-06-11

The Charleston Post& Courier has a summer guide online that's an
excellent introduction to the area, including lesser known aspects
such as the Gullah culture:
Charleston.net
"Summer Guide"
http://65.17.225.131/xsum/

The city is famous for its walking tours of houses and gardens.  There
are several online guides to them.  Here's a link to one of them:
"The Charleston Walk"
Walks
http://www.charlestonwalks.com/cwalk.html

Among the many places to dine or drink, this one stood out as having
one of the more-interesting histories:
Blind Tiger Pub
http://www.bestreadguide.com/charleston/stories/070103/din_blindtiger.shtml

For more detail and a close-up look at the city, Cecily McMillan's
guide is highly recommended on the Internet for its detail and
intimate knowledge:
Amazon.com
"The Charleston, Savannah & Coastal Islands Book: A Complete Guide
(Great Destinations Series)," Cecily McMillan
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1581570244/ref=pd_sim_books_1/104-2912122-0883953?v=glance&s=books


SATURDAY NIGHT?
=================

Saturday night would put you in the Richmond, VA area.  It would be
historically symmetric to spend Friday in the city that started the
American Civil War and Saturday in the city where it ended.  However,
since you spent some time in the nation's capital it's possible that
you spent some time in the Virginia capital -- so we're going to make
two different recommendations.

1.	COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG

This spectacularly-redeveloped community covers 301 acres.  And it was
the capital of the British American holdings in the 18th Century. 
Here are the activities for Saturday, June 12:
Colonial Williamsburg
June 12 Calendar
http://www.history.org/visit/eventsAndExhibits/calendar/index.cfm?search=true&month=6&year=2004&day=12&startRow=0&weekView=false&orgType=false&txtKeyword=&hidType=1&numReturns=15

There also is an interesting factory tour in the town of Williamsburg:
The Candle Factory
"The Candle Factory"
http://www.candlefactory.com/retail/candlefactory.htm

However, it may be a bit too "family oriented" for a couple of guys
traveling -- so I'm going to make a second recommendation.


2.	CHINCOTEAGUE, VA

Rather than continuing up the I-95 corridor through the Washington
area, get off at Emporia, VA and head towards Norfolk-Newport News. 
Norfolk has a jazz festival that weekend but we're not going to leave
you in the home of the Atlantic fleet:
Daily Press
June Calendar
http://www.dailypress.com/entertainment/events/search-events.front?categories=hr-festivals&date=Specify+date%28s%29+below&start_date=06%2F01%2F04&end_date=06%2F30%2F04&keywords=&eventSortOrder=date

Instead, cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge into the Delmarva Peninsula. 
The Virginia portion of this peninsula has a large number of barrier
islands.  One, Assateague Island, is home to hundreds of horses that
legend has it are descendants of horses from a wrecked Spanish
galleon.  They are fascinating to watch, particularly early and late
in the day as they graze on the wild grasses of the salt marsh that
encircles the island:
National Park Service
" Assateague's Wild Horses" (undated)
http://www.nps.gov/asis/horses.htm

The town of Chincoteague sits on the edge of Assateague.  It should be
relatively quiet, as the annual running of the horses takes place over
July 4 weekend.  We've been there and there are several good
restaurants in town -- though coming from the south you might still
find temperatures quite cool in June:
Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce
http://www.chincoteaguechamber.com/map-crus.html

One of the advantages of traveling through the Delmarva Peninsula is
the chance to get off the main interstate routes and see a bit of the
Chesapeake Bay culture in towns like Salisbury, Easton or St.
Michaels.   The town of St. Michaels, MD is a fishing town that also
has the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum:
Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
http://www.cbmm.org/

St. Michaels, MD
http://www.baydreaming.com/stmichaels.htm

You can start working your way back onto the I-95 corridor by crossing
the Chesapeake Bay Bridge at Annapolis.  I've always found the Harbor
Center area of Annapolis a great place for dining and just walking
about the dock and shopping area.  The Naval Academy students should
be sparse, as it's past the end of the academic school year:
Baydreaming.com
Annapolis, MD
http://www.baydreaming.com/annapolis.htm


Google search strategy:
Mapquest
Historic Charleston
Fort Sumter
Secret Charleston
Colonial Willliamsburg
Chincoteague + Assateague
Annapolis harbor center


Finally, don't forget the Dave Matthews CDs for this road trip. 
There's 19 hours worth of listening pleasure on this drive and lots of
country radio stations enroute.

Bonne route,

Omnivorous-GA
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