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Driving between Charlottesville and Roanoke options

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Lewes, United...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
posts: 10,506
reviews: 40
Driving between Charlottesville and Roanoke options

We have almost all day to drive to our ultimate destination of Huntersville, NC from C-ville. Thus, we don't have to use interstates for the whole route, and would prefer to avoid them as our preference always. However, our plan would be to aim for Roanoke as a mid point break or lunch stop. Does this make sense to those who know the area?

Then there's the route choices. Which is the nicer drive: One option to Roanoke would be via Lynchburg. The other option would be via Lexington and the Natural Bridge.

Any other comments and thoughts would be much appreciated.

U.S. expats
Destination Expert
for Windsor, London
posts: 16,712
reviews: 127
1. Re: Driving between Charlottesville and Roanoke options

You might not make better time, but I would be tempted to take the Lynchburg route. I-81 can get packed with trucks, and the route to Lynchburg, while slower, will be more scenic.

If you continue on to Bedford, Virginia, you can visit the D-Day Memorial, in Bedford, Virginia.


posts: 399
reviews: 73
2. Re: Driving between Charlottesville and Roanoke options

Another scenic option would be to take US 250 west to Staunton, Va then take US 11 south to Us 220 then to Roanoke. This route takes you down the valley but not on the interstate.(I-81 replaced this route) It will take you thru Wayesboro, Staunton, Lexington. across Natural Bridge. Beware that Us 11 and I-81 share the same roadway at some points/ This is a slow route. The best route is I-64 west to I- 81 south.

Lewes, United...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
posts: 10,506
reviews: 40
3. Re: Driving between Charlottesville and Roanoke options

Thanks both Laura and Grenville for your opinions and suggestions. We were never going to use I-81 as our primary route unless we found we needed to make up time, which would be unlikely given how long we have.

We have actually been to Roanoke before, about 20 years ago. Much may have changed, so any recommendations of which part of the city to head for a pit stop?

Laura - you keep popping up and answering all my detail queries. This is clearly your home area, you must be wondering what our plans are!


posts: 197
reviews: 312
4. Re: Driving between Charlottesville and Roanoke options

If your final destination is Huntersville, why not drive down State Route 29 from Charlottesville, VA. Route 29 will take you all the way to Greensboro, NC and from there you can catch I-85 to Charlotte. Danville or Greensboro would be a great spot for a lunch stop.

posts: 562
reviews: 54
5. Re: Driving between Charlottesville and Roanoke options

Route 29 south would be a good route. This is a fun stop in NC, might be a little out of the way, but Replacements Ltd has free tours of their facility every hour. They are between Greensboro and Burlington.


"Replacements, Ltd. (located in Greensboro, NC) has the world's largest selection of old & new dinnerware, including china, stoneware, crystal, glassware, silver, stainless, and collectibles. Our 500,000-square-foot facilities (the size of 8 football fields!) house an incredible inventory of 12 million pieces in more than 400,000 patterns, some over 100 years old! "

I dragged my family there one year and we all took the tour. They thought they would be bored, but they ended up just as fascinated as me!

Lewes, United...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
posts: 10,506
reviews: 40
6. Re: Driving between Charlottesville and Roanoke options

Route 29 looks like a nice route. The only thing against it that I can see is that it doesn't pass through Roanoke! This is not the most important thing in the world to us. We originally had in mind going via Roanoke simply because we passed through there some maybe 20 years ago, liked it and thought we'd revisit. However, driving an entirely new route, that is not an interstate looks good, too, and works probably better!

Hope we don't hit heavy traffic around Greensboro, though, as we don't have such good memories of that! Danville could certainly work for lunch!

Oh, and Joy, I laughed so much at your suggested stop at Replacements. Too funny! Why: Well, we have some unusual china that's no longer made, and I broke some plates. I scouted the globe to find some extra pieces and found it ....... at, yes, you guessed, Replacements (and it was made in the UK!). I had to get a girlfriend in the USA to order it for me and get it mailed to her - fragile, breakable stuff! - and ask her to keep it until we stopped by on a trip to trip to the States, then wrap it in my dirty clothes to carry back home. Just as well we visit fairly often. I guess I'd find the place fascinating, but DH would run a mile.


7. Re: Driving between Charlottesville and Roanoke options

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