Best driving route, Boston to Baltimore?

Hi everyone,

I’m headed out on a little road trip from Boston to Baltimore, MD, and though I’ve done this trip a few times before, I have never figured out the best way to go around NYC. Could someone give me the lowdown? Google tells me to take 90W to 84W to 91S to 95S, but then I get hammered at the GW Bridge. Here’s the Google Maps link:

Would someone mind giving me an idea of a better route (or, you can change the map now by dragging points on it!)? Thanks!


I’ve made that trip a few times, although it’s been a few years since the last one. I recall taking I-84 all the way through Connecticut to I-87 in New York state; taking that south to I-287 in New Jersey, which then connects to I-95 going south to Philadelphia.

I’ve also taken back roads in New Jersey to avoid following the full loop of I-287, but I couldn’t tell you now what they were. (Nice and scenic though.)

On one occasion I took I-90 west from Boston, all the way through Massachusettes to I-87 in New York, then south from there. That’s a longer route, but it avoids the congestion you’re likely to find in Connecticut — depending on the day and time of day.

Good suggestions! We actually just decided to go through Poughkeepsie, NY, so going 90W to the Taconic St. Parkway and then down west of NYC is easier. Cheers!


I’ll second taking the Tappanzee (sp?) bridge on I-287 also. It then gets you to the Jersey Pike on down to I-95. I don’t remember exactly which way, but I think it was 90 (Mass Pike) to 84 to 684 to 287.

84 get’s congested as all get out in CT. I’d take 95 south to 287 south (Tapanzee) to 95 south to Maryland.

Take I-95 south to New London, CT, take the ferry to Orient Point, go west across Long Island to the Verrazano Narrows bridge, cross Staten Island to New Jersey, and back to I_95 south.

I’ve done that trip in the other direction and quite liked it. It was a Sunday evening, though, so I can’t say how the traffic will be for you.

Have you taken the Taconic before? It’s a very hilly, narrow road. Fairly scenic, though. It’s NOT for everyone.

If you prefer bigger roads (and you might, if the first few hours of driving tires you out) you can take I-84 straight across CT and through Newburgh to the NY Thruway, then down to 287 and loop to the NJ Turnpike. That avoids both the George Washington AND Tappan Zee bridge traffic. I-287 will have some traffic depending on time of day, but it’s usually not horrible.

This is an even better idea heading back to Boston, by the way; both the GWB and Tappan Zee have eastbound tolls.

Tofergregg is likely to hit a LOT more traffic this way than following the Google directions. The Cross Island/Belt route to the Verrazano (or, Og forbid, the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway) has traffic nearly 24/7. Plus, taking the Long Island Expressway is a crapshoot.

90-84-Rt. 15-95.

Take the GW bridge.

You’re in traffic, but there’s simply no good way through there.

Tappan Zee can get just as crowded, and if you swing out to 287 (or 87, whatever it is), you’re adding time and distance to the journey. It’s quicker going over the GW, but if you really really hate traffic. . .fine, go 100 miles out of your way on a 400 mile journey.

I usually take the GW route. I will sometimes divert onto the tapenzee. Listen to the traffic reports and make the decision based on that. What time of day do you plan one doing this. I’m a big fan of driving odd hours for longer drives so I can avoid traffic.

This is what I would do, but then again I hate traffic.

84 west to Scranton Pa.

81 South to Harrisburg Pa.

83 South to Baltimore.

I do the route Maine to Scranton, Pa at least once a year. I have driven a few times on 81 south, not been on 83 at all.

I found the 95 route (Boston to Phili), the worst for traffic.

84 is busy between Hartford and Danbury Ct but you can schedule this portion of the trip to miss the morning or afternoon rush. The traffic in NY & Pa has not been a problem for me. Just do not go in an ice or snow storm.

It’s been a long time since I’ve done that drive, but back in the 1970s and 1980s, the GW Bridge used to be much preferable to the Tappan Zee.

I’d try I-84 to I-91 to Meriden, CT, where you pick up the Wilbur Cross/Merritt/Hutchinson River Parkway (one continuous road, three different names along its length) to the Cross County Parkway to I-87 to the GW Bridge to the NJ Turnpike. Then get off at Exit 7, I think it is, to jog over to I-295, which parallels the lower end of the NJTP but is a lot less crowded. Take that to the Delaware Bridge, and I-95 from there.