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Author Topic: I-95 Florida to NYC rinks  (Read 1443 times)

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Offline alan

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I-95 Florida to NYC rinks
« on: June 06, 2016, 12:11:51 AM »
Will be driving in June from FT Lauderdale to NYC. Any suggestions on any good rinks that are along the way and convenient for a quick stop and some skating while I drive up the I 95 corridor?

Offline lutefisk

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Re: I-95 Florida to NYC rinks
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2016, 07:58:18 AM »
University of Delaware in Newark, DE is right off of I-95.  Also the Ponds Ice Rink is located in Newark, DE but not quite as handy as UDEL's rink.  A little farther North, but just inside of Delaware is the Skating Club of Wilmington's rink.  In the DC area you could try the Cabin John Ice Rink, which is on the Maryland side of the 495 beltway as is the rink in Wheaton, MD.  There are several rinks close to I-95 in Maryland in the Baltimore area but I don't know how accessible they are to I-95, having never skated at any of those.

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Re: I-95 Florida to NYC rinks
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2016, 02:29:09 PM »
Prince William ice plex in Dale City VA. About 15 min off I 95
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Offline alan

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Re: I-95 Florida to NYC rinks
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2016, 09:50:46 PM »
Thanks, will stop there on my drive.

Offline Query

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Re: I-95 Florida to NYC rinks
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2016, 02:07:24 AM »
Do NOT come up 95 the whole way. A traffic jam could easily add 12 hours or more around DC. I haven't done it often, but it seems to be typical rather than atypical.

My personal experience is that it is overwhelmingly faster to come around DC on the Maryland side.

I don't remember the optimal route, but it might involve taking 207 north-east at Ruther Glen, to 301 north east, to 50 west to the Beltway (495) north and west, until you rejoin 95 north.

That looks like a slow route, because the roads are small. But 95 slows to frequent stops from Fredericksburg through most of Virginia, and is much worse. Especially if you don't have 3 people in the car, so you can't drive in HOV-3 lanes.

Near that route are rinks in Bowie (great rink, but closed in June), Laurel, Wheaton, Columbia, maybe Glen Burnie. I have a list and map of nearby rinks, including those, with links, on my web page, which is listed below. As with most rinks, you need to check schedules to determine whether they work for your schedule. Cabin John is out of the way, and requires crossing very slow Montgomery County traffic.

BTW, I think 95 is also usually extremely slow through Richmond - take an alternate route.

You will need a GPS to avoid getting lost, but don't always believe what it says. E.g., it will probably not understand that 95 is such a mess, and it may try to take you on highway 1 - very slow, lots of lights - for part of the way. (Most GPS's do not understand that traffic and lights can add many hours to your route.)

The best time to drive long distances is often late at night, when you don't fight as many people for space on the road.

You'll need advice from NYC folk on where to park in NYC. It's really hard and expensive.

It may literally be cheaper to fly from Florida to NYC than to drive, if you include parking, and hotels along the way. Once in NYC, subways go almost everywhere.

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Re: I-95 Florida to NYC rinks
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2016, 08:00:08 PM »
Woodbridge, NJ's community rink is nice, but strict about the rules.
Also in NJ, the Union Sports Arena is about 15-20 mins off the NJ Turnpike. 

The Pavilion on Staten Island (Just off 440/outerbridge crossing) is the southern-most rink in NYC!  Open year-round.

Right before you leave Florida, there's a rink on the southbound side that's really nice.  I usually make it a pit stop on my way into FLA.  Not as convenient from the northbound lanes, but you can stop on your way back, I guess.

In NC, the closest rink is probably the Polar Ice House in Garner, but it's not close to 95.
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Offline alan

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Re: I-95 Florida to NYC rinks
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2016, 12:02:08 AM »
Thanks for all this good advice. I'll certainly will try to stop by some of these rinks. Great way to break up the drive. I agree with the traffic warnings in the DC area and usually do try an alternate to the I-95. I need the car up there for about three  or four months, hence the drive. Otherwise I would definitely fly. In NYC I always buy the unlimited subway and bus pass and take the public transit everywhere. It's the best way to travel around Manhattan.

Offline Query

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Re: I-95 Florida to NYC rinks
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2016, 12:38:46 AM »
If you look at my overall map, within a little over 100 miles of DC:

  http://mgrunes.com/dcicerinksmap.html

you will see where many rinks are, from Richmond, VA, through MD, DE,  to Aston, PA. (BTW, Aston looks like a really nice skating complex, based on my one short visit. I think they have 4 indoor ice surfaces, so probably have a lot of ice time.)

If you click on the broken box icon near the upper right, you will get a bigger map. This is a Google map, so you can You can use "+" and "-", near the lower left, to zoom in and out, and you can drag the map around to pan it. Click on a red "+" to find out which rink is chosen.

Like I mentioned, traffic on 95 near Richmond can be pretty heavy, and take several extra hours, too. They have their own Beltway, which goes a little faster. Near Richmond, DC, never go inside the Beltway. Stay outside Philadelphia to the extent you can too. If you drive in the heaviest traffic times, you may even want to use 295 to skip most of 95 near Philadelphia. Locals know the (relatively) fast routes, you don't.

When I drove from Maryland (near DC) to Florida and back, I had to be careful of alligators at rest stops by the time I got to the Carolinas. But I guess you know all about that. (If I lived in Florida, I would probably never have gotten into hiking and camping.) I originally booked a hotel midway, but the 12-14 hours I lost in traffic jams made me change my mind, because I missed my hotel reservation (good thing I had a cell phone). I slept for 2 hours at a time at rest stops, and maybe camped once along the way. Of course, I like roughing it a bit - maybe you like hotels.

I get what you say about needing a car long-term. But you might be surprised how little most NYC residents use cars to get around NYC. Some of my relatives there don't have a car at all, or pay hundreds of dollars or more per month to park, a long ways from where they live. But I don't live there - other people should advise whether you need one at all, beyond an occasional taxi. Probably depends on where you need to go. Don't leave valuables visible in a car - I knew a traveler who lost everything. And always lock your car, though it may sometimes be opened anyway. (As it would be, if you parked much in downtown DC, or Baltimore.)


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Re: I-95 Florida to NYC rinks
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2016, 01:40:26 PM »
Thanks for all this good advice. I'll certainly will try to stop by some of these rinks. Great way to break up the drive. I agree with the traffic warnings in the DC area and usually do try an alternate to the I-95. I need the car up there for about three  or four months, hence the drive. Otherwise I would definitely fly. In NYC I always buy the unlimited subway and bus pass and take the public transit everywhere. It's the best way to travel around Manhattan.

If you want an alternate route to avoid DC and it's beltway, bail out of I-95 at mile 104 (Carmel Church exit) north of Richmond (PS Richmond traffic isn't as bad as Query makes out--depends on the hour of the day and there is a by-pass around Richmond which dumps you back on 95 a tad north of town; anyway, after exiting at exit 104 follow your nose to route 301, drive across the Harry Nice bridge (Potomac River) into Maryland and stop off at the Capitol sports complex in Waldorf:  http://www.capitalclubhouse.com/  The traffic lights through La Plata and Waldorf can be sticky, but if you come on a Thursday, Saturday or Sunday you can stop off and visit Mike Cunningham at Skater's Paradise, which is located in the complex building.  The complex tends to have fast ice.  Jill Heiner, 4th placed juvenile at this year's Nationals, skates at the FSC of southern Maryland which is the club at the complex.

Continue your journey after skating in Waldorf, and 301 merges with route 50 near Bowie, MD.  Take 50/301 across the Bay Bridge and stick with 301 after it splits from 50 near the Queenstown  outlet mall.  Follow 301 into Delaware and you can stop at the rinks I mentioned earlier in Newark, DE.  You can easily rejoin I-95 from Newark, DE.

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Re: I-95 Florida to NYC rinks
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2016, 03:53:11 PM »
i-95 north, get off at Emerson in Jacksonville. Ice rink is right off the highway. Just check the skating times, though I think most of the afternoon is freestyle. :)

Offline Query

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Re: I-95 Florida to NYC rinks
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2016, 08:30:30 PM »
Mike Cunningham is a great tech (BTW, you need to make an appointment ahead of time), but Florida has Tim Burt in Coral Gables, who is supposed to be pretty good too. For that matter, there are skating rinks in Florida too; you don't need to drive that far to skate.

You could do something you couldn't do in Florida: backpacking (AFAICT, not many people hike in Florida, because of alligators, whitewater boating or rafting, or rock climbing. (Florida is almost flat.) Alternately, there are more museums (http://www.washingtondc.com/museums, https://www.imls.gov/research-evaluation/data-collection/museum-universe-data-file) around DC than just about anywhere. Philadelphia and NYC have a few interesting museums too. NYC has Broadway, and Greenwich Village.

Think of it this way. Your life situation might change, or the world might change (e.g., a pandemic), making travel impractical. Take advantage of the occasion to do things you might not be able to do again.

Offline alan

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Re: I-95 Florida to NYC rinks
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2016, 12:16:26 AM »
Thanks everyone. Great info and I'll print out the map.

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Re: I-95 Florida to NYC rinks
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2016, 08:31:32 AM »
If you need a skate tech, Eastern Ice Services is in Myrtle Beach but they travel to rink up and down the east coast.  Email them if you want to make an appointment.  eis2013sc@gmail.com  They have over 30 years experience with their Eastern Ice Sports pro shop in New Jersey.  This is a retirement hobby for them, but they're excellent!

i-95 north, get off at Emerson in Jacksonville. Ice rink is right off the highway. Just check the skating times, though I think most of the afternoon is freestyle. :)
That's the rink I was thinking about!  Thanks!

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