Sunday, March 26, 2017

US 1: Columbia, SC to Washington, DC

We're continuing with our US 1 series this week featuring the drive from Columbia, SC to Washington, DC, with a few stops along the way.

48 No Interstate: Back roads road trip: Columbia, SC to Washington, DC on US Highway 1


When driving US 1 south to north, South Carolina is the first state where the highway passes through or near the capital cities of most of the 13 original colonies, so it's a perfect route for travelers who want to visit the all the state capitol buildings.  In most cases, the Capitol building is directly on US 1.  Check ahead for tour information if this sounds like something you're interested in doing along the way.


US Highway 1
Columbia, SC to Washington, DC
11 hours / 475 miles

South Carolina
Picking up at the South Carolina state Capitol in Columbia, where we started our first ever back roads road trip to Key West a few years ago, we drove North through small towns and farmland on US 1.


48 No Interstate: Back roads road trip: Columbia, SC to Washington, DC on US Highway 1

North Carolina

US 1 enters North Carolina near the path Sherman's army took as it marched North from Georgia in 1865, and not long after it passes by a Revolutionary War POW exchange site.  The second of many state Capitol buildings situated along the route is in Raleigh.


48 No Interstate: Back roads road trip: Columbia, SC to Washington, DC on US Highway 1

48 No Interstate: Back roads road trip: Columbia, SC to Washington, DC on US Highway 1

Virginia

We stopped in Richmond for a few hours to stretch our legs and visit a couple of museums after driving past the third state Capitol building on US 1.


48 No Interstate: Back roads road trip: Columbia, SC to Washington, DC on US Highway 1


The Edgar Allan Poe Museum is located within a house that was once visited by the Marquis de Lafayette, but Poe never lived in it.  The museum covers Poe's life: the death of his mother, his adoption by the Allan family, his time in the Army and at West Point, and his career as a writer.  The museum's collection contains items that belonged to Poe, letters and manuscripts that he wrote, and even a lock of his hair!  Outside, two black cats prowl around the peaceful courtyard inspired by Poe's poem To One in Paradise.



One cat is named Edgar; I assume the other is either Allan or Poe.


48 No Interstate: Back roads road trip: Columbia, SC to Washington, DC on US Highway 1

The American Civil War Museum is located next door to the White House of the Confederacy.  It introduces visitors to several Southern generals and covers the major Civil War battles from beginning to end.  The exhibit displays Civil War artifacts, including weapons, uniforms, letters, and more.  Visitors have the choice of visiting both the Museum and the White House of the Confederacy or just choosing one or the other for roughly half the price.  We skipped the White House of the Confederacy so we could pass through the Monument Avenue historic area and get our of town before 5:00 traffic.


48 No Interstate: Back roads road trip: Columbia, SC to Washington, DC on US Highway 1

Monument Avenue is a wide tree-lined street with historic town houses facing a grassy median containing large monuments at various intervals.  After a drive to one end, we turned around to get back to US 1 and head North to Fredericksburg, our final stop of the day.

48 No Interstate: Back roads road trip: Columbia, SC to Washington, DC on US Highway 1

48 No Interstate: Back roads road trip: Columbia, SC to Washington, DC on US Highway 1

48 No Interstate: Back roads road trip: Columbia, SC to Washington, DC on US Highway 1

48 No Interstate: Back roads road trip: Columbia, SC to Washington, DC on US Highway 1
Carl's frozen custard shop was hopping as we drove in to Fredericksburg,
so of course we had to stop to see what all the fuss was about!
Fredericksburg is possibly my favorite town in Virginia.  Its quaint historic district beside the Rappahannock River is full of attractive old houses, commercial buildings, and churches and has a colonial feel that's distinctively different from towns further south.  


48 No Interstate: Back roads road trip: Columbia, SC to Washington, DC on US Highway 1
Caroline Street

48 No Interstate: Back roads road trip: Columbia, SC to Washington, DC on US Highway 1
The Rappahannock River as seen from the William St. bridge
Its streets, with names like Charles, Prince Edward, Caroline, and Princess Anne, were named for family members of King George II of England.  


48 No Interstate: Back roads road trip: Columbia, SC to Washington, DC on US Highway 1

Murals referencing the town's history and geography can be found on the side of several buildings.


48 No Interstate: Back roads road trip: Columbia, SC to Washington, DC on US Highway 1

48 No Interstate: Back roads road trip: Columbia, SC to Washington, DC on US Highway 1

48 No Interstate: Back roads road trip: Columbia, SC to Washington, DC on US Highway 1

Travelers who enjoy antiquing will not be disappointed in historic Fredericksburg: the two antique shops we stopped in were full of interesting finds, but since we had two more months of travel before us, we left with very little.

48 No Interstate: Back roads road trip: Columbia, SC to Washington, DC on US Highway 1
There were so many vintage postcards with South Carolina scenes on them

48 No Interstate: Back roads road trip: Columbia, SC to Washington, DC on US Highway 1
I really liked this owl necklace, but I left without it.

48 No Interstate: Back roads road trip: Columbia, SC to Washington, DC on US Highway 1
But I couldn't leave this oversized pair of scissors behind; they belong in my sewing room!
Lunch at Goolrick's Pharmacy, which turned out to be one of our favorite restaurants because of its uniqueness as a restaurant and soda fountain in a functioning pharmacy, was our final stop in town before continuing North toward DC.


48 No Interstate: Back roads road trip: Columbia, SC to Washington, DC on US Highway 1

48 No Interstate: Back roads road trip: Columbia, SC to Washington, DC on US Highway 1

For an informative history of the US Marines, stop at the Marine Corps Museum, which is situated between US 1 and I-95 near Quantico.  The museum informs visitors of the Marines' part in America's wars, starting with their creation by the Continental Congress in 1775 and continuing with exhibits on each conflict through to the present day.  The tour concludes at a wall of photos of every Medal of Honor recipient.


48 No Interstate: Back roads road trip: Columbia, SC to Washington, DC on US Highway 1

About an hour outside of DC, US 1 passes within 10 minutes of George Washington's home at Mount Vernon.  It's a stop we skipped this time since we had visited recently, but one we'd recommend if you've never visited.  The line to enter the house can get long as the day wears on, so arrive early to minimize wait time.  The estate is huge, so allow several hours to see the gardens, tombs, and the nearby gristmill and distillery.


48 No Interstate: Back roads road trip: Columbia, SC to Washington, DC on US Highway 1
Visiting Mount Vernon in October 2013
Washington, DC
US 1 passes straight through Washington, DC, but you might have trouble staying on it through town.  As it approaches the city, US 1 merges with I-395 to cross the Potomac River and enter our nation's Capital City, where it becomes 14th Street.  At some point, it cuts over to 6th Street and eventually leaves town as Rhode Island Ave.  Once you get into large cities like this one, don't worry about whether or not you're on the 'right' road.  Enjoy your time in them, then find your way back to US 1 as you leave.


48 No Interstate: Back roads road trip: Columbia, SC to Washington, DC on US Highway 1
US 1 merges with I-395 to cross the Potomac, but as you can see,
the left lane indicates that we are still technically on a back road :-)

48 No Interstate: Back roads road trip: Columbia, SC to Washington, DC on US Highway 1

Stop in DC for an hour or a weekend before continuing on toward Maryland and the rest of US 1.  There are so many potential stops to make in DC that we won't even go into them here.  We had visited DC twice in the past few years so kept our time in town short to stay ahead of evening traffic.

Join us next week as we leave DC and head to the original Capital City of America, Philadelphia, PA.


48 No Interstate: Back roads road trip: Columbia, SC to Washington, DC on US Highway 1


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7 comments:

  1. I love how many cool things you can experience on a US roadtrip. So many wonderful towns with beautiful buildings, colourful street art and plenty of places to get great food! You guys sure are doing it right and this is a particularly interesting post as I have a lot of friends in the Carolinas so would love to visit the area when I am next in the States! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. What a coincidence - the Carolinas are the area of the US we're most familiar with since we've lived in them our whole lives! :-)

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  2. Frederiksburg does look interesting and worth a side trip the next time we are in D.C. the capital cities theme is interesting as state capitals are not always the most interesting cities a state has to offer. But you made the most of all of them. #wkendtravelinspiration

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    1. I'd definitely recommend a trip to Fredericksburg from DC. If I remember right, it's about an hour train ride and the station is in the historic downtown, so you wouldn't even need a car!

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  3. I would love to do this drive! I have travelled from NYC to Washington DC but would love to have gone further! So many wonderful places and things to see!! #feetdotravel

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    1. There's always so much more to do! And it can be fun to read about what we haven't done (yet).

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  4. Tell us more!!! Also. Do you need to buy the extra lens as well?? Thanks! Trip looks absolutely amazing. So pretty!!!!

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