Driving from Arkansas to Maine--advice, please

We’re moving to Maine! Which of these routeswould be the prettiest drive? Anything we shouldn’t miss on the way? We can’t take too long getting there, but we could make a few quick stops.

I’ve made the drive from Arkansas to DC many times. I think the I-81 route is prettiest, especially in Virginia.

The New York-to-Maine part isn’t particularly lovely (nor particularly not, it’s just a highway), but north of NYC, it’s the fastest way to do it. The part in southern CT/New York (steps 15-30) is both unnecessarily complicated and not truck friendly, if you’re going to be driving a moving truck. Any road within NYC with ‘Parkway’ in the title (eg the Hutchinson or the Saw Mill/Moshulu combo in those directions) is cars only. (Pickup trucks are ‘trucks,’ but SUVs and vans are ‘cars,’ FWIW.)

Oh, sorry, we’re not driving a moving truck (thank og). We will be driving an f-150 pickup. Those aren’t allowed on parkways? WTF?

Also, we have a GPS, so complicated isn’t too much of a problem if it’s prettier than highway without too much more distance.

Pickup trucks are rare here in the New York metro area, and I was taking the word of a former friend who had one, plus the fact that I’ve never noticed a pickup on a parkway here, but apparently I overgeneralized. I’ve just looked up the law here (page down), which is apparently

From what I can find online, some F-150s make the 5500 pound weight limit, and some don’t. No trailers allowed.

Of your 3 routes i would definitely take the one that goes through TN/VA mountains (I-81) if you’re looking for scenery. They are very pretty.
And unless you’re excited to see NYC, i’d go up and around to avoid the often hideous traffic. I’d continue on 81 past Harrisburg and get on 84 near Scranton, PA. That will take you to Hartford, CT and back on your general route and be no doubt hours faster.

Personally, I would not do the Cross Bronx Expressway/GW Bridge route. I’d use the Tappan Zee Bridge. Others would disagree, but I find that route preferable, because the Cross Bronx Expressway can be hair-raising and you can get horrendous traffic jams around the GW Bridge. (To be fair, the Tappan Zee sees its fair share of traffic jams too.) I guess it depends on how much you want to see New York City.

I agree with both the TN/VA mountains (if you’re dawdling take the Blue Ridge Parkway), and avoiding NYC. At the least, take the Tappan Zee bridge (I-287 I think) north of the city, even if you don’t go all the way up to I-84. If on the other hand, you do want to see NYC, then be sure to budget for parking.

We’ll see NYC some other time. This trip is going to be long enough that we won’t feel like sitting in hours of traffic at the end of it. We’ll definitely go north and avoid the city, thanks for the advice.

Knoxville, I-81 to Pennsylvania would be the most scenic.

I haven’t traveled I-81 in Pennsylvania in many year (1980’s) but it was notorious for lots and lots of potholes back in the 70’s and 80’s.

and yes, stay away from NYC. And Boston if you can.

I did almost that exact drive this summer; VT to southern MO (by way of a detour through Memphis) and back. TN was gorgeous. We did a little detour in VA and drove down through Shenandoah National Park (well, we went part of the way, and then exited and found the highway again . . . it’s a very slow drive and we were eager to get to our destination). That was an incredibly scenic drive. But, to get there, drive a ways on it, and get back to the highway will cost you a few hours.

Like others have said, skip the coast until you absolutely need to be there. I’d take 81 up through Harrisburg to Binghamton, get on 88 East towards Schenectady, and then get on 90 East to head through to 95 North, at which point you’re back on the 2nd route in your link.

If you come up through NY or Ct.the quickest way to Berwick, ME is to pick up 290 in Massachusetts, mass pike and take 290 north to 95 north After the Hampton Toll Booth bear right on the spaulding turnpike into NH. Take exit 13 and bear right. Stay straight and it will bring you right into Berwick.

Another Maine Doper? I don’t know if the state can handle that many.

I used to live in Arkansas. It’s where I grew up. My advice for anyone leaving the state is to leave early and drive fast! :wink: