Charlotte to New York Road Trip
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- Charlotte to Durham
- Durham to Charlottesville
- Charlottesville to Gettysburg
- Gettysburg to Hershey
- Hershey to New York City
- Fast back
- Scenic way
- Roadside assistance
A Charlotte to New York road trip is a chance to see various steps of American history and culture as you cross each state line, from Durham to Charlottesville to Gettysberg.
There’s plenty of big-city hustle and bustle waiting for you in New York, so use your road trip as a time to check out the smaller towns and historic sites along the way. The route might be longer, but it’s definitely more scenic!
Most importantly, make sure you’re prepared for the trip and any mishaps that may be lying in wait on the open road with roadside assistance and great car insurance coverage. To help you with both, turn to Jerry.
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Once you’re all set, hit the road and enjoy the sights!
Start in Charlotte, North Carolina
The Queen City is royalty in the Southeast, not only for its art and culture, but as the birthplace of NASCAR and the cornerstone of American motorsports.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Barbecue is sacrosanct in the American South, and Midwood Smokehouse does it right with some of the best classic BBQ in town. If you’re craving the fresh flavors of Vietnamese cuisines, head to Lang Van for popular favorites like pho and spring rolls, along with other classic Vietnamese dishes. For a whole new dining experience, check out Zen Fusion’s harmonious marriage of Japanese and Spanish cuisine transformed into unique dishes and flavors.
- NASCAR Hall of Fame: This shrine to the history and heritage of America’s most popular motorsport celebrates and honors the drivers, crew, and contributors who shaped it.
- Carowinds: This iconic amusement park features 407 acres of roller coasters, water rides, and more.
- Bechtler Museum of Modern Art: Dedicated to the art of the mid-20th century, the Bechtler features exhibits from Ernst, Picasso, and Warhol, among many others.
- Hendrix Motorsport Complex: Fans of NASCAR not just content with touring the Hall of Fame will want to make their way to Hendrix, which supports four champion NASCAR premier teams.
- Olde Mecklenburg Brewery: The oldest and largest craft brewery and beer garden in Charlotte serves up award-winning beer year round.
NASCAR Hall of Fame, Charlotte
Charlotte to Durham, North Carolina
Driving time: About 2 hours
Durham earned its place in history for its role in the Civil Rights movement, as the location for a number of prominent protests and the home of Black Wall Street.
Nothing beats pizza made from scratch, and Pizzeria Toro’s rustic pies are guaranteed to hit the spot. If you’re looking for healthier options, the menu at the Refectory Café can give you an almost-religious culinary experience
Beyond its title dish, Dame’s Chicken and Waffles offers up a slew of comfort foods like wings, grits, and collard greens.
- Duke University: Duke is prestigious for its reputation as one of the best schools in the country, but it also features a few points of interest. Besides its incredible architecture, it offers an art gallery and wooded gardens.
- Bennett Place Historic Site: Bennett Place is particularly important in American history as the location where the last major Confederate army surrendered to the North before the surrender at Appomattox, which ended the Civil War.
- Museum of Life & Science: This incredible outdoor science park features one of the largest butterfly conservatories on the east coast and over 60 species of live animals.
- Craft beer tours: Durham is home to a number of excellent craft breweries, so hitting up a local beer tasting tour is a must for any true beer lover!
Duke University chapel, Durham
Durham to Charlottesville, Virginia
Driving time: About 3 1/2 hours
Queen Charlotte had more than one American city named after her. One of them is Charlottesville, a small, independent city famed for its breweries, nightlife, and history of birthing American presidents.
The only life hack worth knowing is that street food is the best food, and Otto Turkish Street Food proves the point. For something simple and tasty, hit up Mel’s Cafe for classic American café food.
If you’re looking for American fare with more heft, burgers and beers from Burton’s Grill & Bar are at the ready.
- Monticello: You may recognize this neoclassical home from the back of nickels, but it’s better known as Thomas Jefferson’s plantation home. It’s now a museum and educational institute with particular focus on the lives of the slaves that lived and died there.
- Wine and beer tasting: Charlottesville features a number of reputable wineries and even more excellent breweries. Whether you prefer the grape, the hops, or both, a tasting tour of these facilities shouldn’t be missed.
- Hot air ballooning: To see Charlottesville from a different point of view, hop in a hot air balloon and spend some time cruising. If you’re visiting in the fall, this view of the foliage will be hard to beat!
- Carter Mountain Orchard: Marvel at the lush groves while picking peaches, apples, and more (seasonally, of course!). On Wednesday evenings during the summer, you can also enjoy acoustic music with a side of gorgeous sunset.
Carter Mountain Orchard, Charlottesville
Charlottesville to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Driving time: 3 1/2 hours
One of the most iconic locations of the Civil War, Gettysburg is a treasure trove of American history. It’s best known as the place where Abraham Lincoln delivered his legendary Gettysburg Address and the Battle of Gettysburg, the turning point of the Civil War.
At Dobbin House Tavern, combine history and classic American fare in a historic house that survived the Battle of Gettysburg.
For those who like their burgers and fries with a side of kitsch, Hunt’s Battlefield Fries & Cafe has more hats than any other restaurant you’ll find—but the food alone is still worth the visit.
If you’re looking for something from back across the pond, Garryowen Irish Pub has a great spread featuring classic Irish dishes and beers.
- Gettysburg National Military Park: Dedicated to preserving the region where the Battle of Gettysburg was fought, this park also houses the Gettysburg National Cemetery, Devil’s Den, and the David Wills House, where Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg Address.
- Eisenhower National Historic Site: Gettysburg was also where former president Dwight D. Eisenhower retired with his wife Mamie. The converted farm and land is now available for public tours.
- Gettysburg ghost tours: Given Gettysburg’s bloody history, paranormal activity is often reported in the area. If you ain’t afraid of no ghosts, check out one of Gettysburg’s nighttime ghost tours!
Eisenhower National Historic Site, Gettysburg
Gettysburg to Hershey, Pennsylvania
Driving time: About 1 hour
If the name of this community reminds you of the candy, there’s a reason! While an unincorporated town, Hershey is the home of its namesake candy magnate and the Hershey chocolate plant, making it a must-stop for anyone with a sweet tooth.
If you thought this list would only feature chocolate, you might be disappointed. But console yourself with some excellent Italian and Mediterranean food elegant little eatery Piazza Sorrento.
Contrary to the name, chocolate isn’t a feature on the menu of the Chocolate Avenue Grill, which specializes instead in contemporary American cuisine. If you need to satiate your sweet tooth, finish off either breakfast or lunch with one of the Hershey Pantry’s massive cinnamon rolls or brownies (you have to get some chocolate in while you’re here!).
- Hershey Story Museum: If you don’t know much about Milton Hershey’s extraordinary life before and after he became the candy man, the Hershey Story Museum is the place to learn about it.
- Hersheypark: If you’re looking for more of a thrill, Hershey has that too (what a guy!). Hersheypark is a classic family amusement park with roller coasters, water rides, and more.
- Crossroads Antique Mall: For the old souls out there who like their furnishings with some history attached, Crossroads is a massive antiques mall filled to the brim with treasures.
- Cullari Vineyards and Winery: As we know, wine goes well with chocolate. Pair the two up with a tasting at Cullari.
MORE Road trip games
Hershey to New York City
Driving time: About 3 hours
There’s no city on earth quite like New York, the city that never sleeps. There’s more to do and see and eat in NYC than can be done in a day, a week, or even a lifetime. From its museums to its art galleries, architecture, nightlife, shopping, and food scene, there’s something for everyone to love.
New York City
For fully authentic Neapolitan pizza just as the Italians intended, visit SottoCasa Pizzeria, which has locations in Harlem and Brooklyn.
If you’re looking to detour around Italy for Mediterranean fare, hit up Loi Estiatorio for authentic Greek cuisine.
Mei Jin Ramen is a great stop for eclectic ramen with unusual toppings like tuna tartare and chili beef, along with poke and a broad range of sake.
It may be impossible to see all of NYC in a day, but a guided city tour can help you see the best that the city has to offer and is great if you don’t have time to spend exploring. If you prefer the DIY route, here are some must-see things:
- Times Square: The busiest intersection in the world and the center of NYC’s commerce and entertainment. Why not take in a Broadway show along the Great White Way?
- One World Trade Center: Home now to the tallest skyscraper in the US and a monument to the victims of 9/11, it’s worth a visit if you find yourself in the financial district.
- New York Catacombs: It’s a little-known fact that beneath the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral lay Manhattan’s only catacombs—and you can explore them by candlelight!
- Greenwich Village walking food tour: Get a taste of everything by hitting the pavement in Greenwich Village and sampling a wide variety of cuisines.
- Central Park: No trip to NYC is complete without a stop in the world-famous Central Park, which alone has enough attractions to merit a full day’s visit, including a zoo, a nature sanctuary, and Belvedere Castle.
Greenwich Village, New York City
The fast way back
Take I-95 and I-85 South, but check traffic conditions before you go. This route either skirts or cuts through a number of major cities, which means rush hour traffic could actually make this the slow way back.
The scenic way back
Via I-81 South, this route takes you further west than the fast route. Instead of traffic, you can look forward to scenic mountain roads past national forests.
Why you need roadside assistance
Once the route is picked and the GPS is ready to go, it’s time to make sure you’ve got a backup plan for if the worst happens. This trip covers well over 600 miles through mountainous terrain and small towns, where it may not always be possible to get repairs. Roadside assistance is definitely a tool worth having in your toolbox!
But what if your car insurance provider doesn’t offer roadside assistance? That’s where Jerry comes in! Jerry now offers roadside assistance services, including towing, fuel delivery, tire replacement, and much more—all for $6.99 for one car.
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