I think you'll get better answers on the TA Forums for each state and/or the RoadTrip Forum, folks who know those toll roads and alternative routes. Once "out west", you'll have freeways, no tolls. Best wishes to you all.Edited: 12:30 pm, May 04, 2012
Thanks. Will post questions on state forums. Take care.
Try mapquest.com. It gives three major routes, with a slightly more southern one that goes by Indianapolis and misses the Pennsylvania turnpikes. Tolls are not listed for that route, whereas the ones that go further north into Pennsylvania toward Chicago are. We've done the Chicago route heading west to east to Pax River in MD.
Generally, you want to get on I-90 in the midwest and go straight to Washington from there. Albert Lea MN is not a bad jumping on point, if you take 70 west to Indy then 74 and others through Illinois and into Iowa, and north. You do not want to go surface roads in Iowa as there are many many little towns and your progress will be slow. I have driven from Indy to Peoria and it was not a toll; very uneventful.
Are you hauling gear? If not, take I-90 to its terminus in downtown Seattle, then take the Bainbridge ferry to Poulsbo. Be sure to stop at the bakery (if the time is right) to welcome yourselves to town!
If you are hauling gear, you might want to take I-5 down to Tacoma, cross the Tacoma Narrows and then head up to Poulsbo. Be sure to watch the Galloping Gertie video first...
Google Maps has an option where you can specify routes that avoid toll roads. Not sure where you're starting in MD (assume the DC area?) but here's one that avoids tolls: http://g.co/maps/ep4dv
That said, the tolls through PA or OH are not very much; probably under $20 per car, which if it saves a few gallons of gas or a couple hundred miles might be worth it.
It should be noted that the floating bridge that takes I-90 over Lake Washington is a toll bridge with no toll booths...they take a picture of your license plate and mail you a bill. I have no clue as to how that would work with Maryland plates and a Maryland address that is no longer valid. Avoid it by taking 405 south as recommended and go over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Tolls are collected only on eastbound trips so you are home free heading over to Bremerton and points north.
>> It should be noted that the floating bridge that takes I-90 over Lake Washington is a toll bridge with no toll booths...they take a picture of your license plate and mail you a bill. <<
This is not accurate. The SR520 floating bridge (north of I-90) is tolled; the I-90 bridge is not.
You are absolutely right!!! As one who never has to cross a floating bridge I answered off the top of my head and blew it. Still, the advice to go around via the Tacoma Narrows Bridge is valid.
Kazmer, you've been given good advice and suggestions, I need to say to you welcome to WA state. I hope you are happy here. and all goes well.