"Driving DC's Highways" Top 5 Page for this destination Driving / Parking Tip by Ewingjr98
Driving / Parking, Washington D.C.: 36 reviews and 39 photos
The Capital Beltway is one of the most famous roads in the country, particularly for those who are interested in politics. The Beltway is also one of the most infamous roads in DC for local drivers who spend half of their lives sitting in traffic. It is also just one of numerous limited access highways provided transportation to and from the DC area. On a random Saturday in December 2008, it took me an hour just to cross the damned old Woodrow. On a Saturday! Thank god I don't have to drive this freakin road every day.
The Beltway (I-495) - As its name suggests, the beltway forms a ring around central Washington DC, with the road almost entirely in the states of Maryland and Virginia, traveling through DC just over the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. It is designated as Interstate 495 though the eastern portion of the Beltway is also the path of Interstate 95. On local traffic reports you will hear the inner loop and outer loop mentioned... the inner loop is the clockwise lanes closer to the city and the outer loop is made up of the counterclockwise lanes. The total route is 64 miles.
Interstate 395 - I-395 begins in the south where I-95 meets the Beltway at Springfield, VA (this huge interchange is known as the Mixing Bowl). It runs 13 miles northeast through Virginia then over the Potomac and into downtown DC. After passing under the Mall it ends at New York Avenue.
Interstate 295 - I-295 runs just 8 miles from the Beltway at the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, along the east bank of the Potomac, then into downtown Washington DC (where it is called the Southeast Freeway, or even Interstate 695 for 1.5 miles) before it merges with I-395. If you continue north on I-295 rather then heading into downtown DC, this route becomes Anacostia Freeway / Kenilworth Ave then the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.
Interstate 66 - I-66 begins in Washington and runs west for 76 miles to Interstate 81 in Middletown, VA. This is the only two-digit Interstate in the city of Washington DC other than the tiny portion of I-95 over Woodrow Wilson Bridge. In Washington I-66 occupies the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge just north of the Lincoln Memorial and it turns due north before quickly ending around Foggy Bottom and the Rock Creek Parkway.
George Washington Memorial Parkway - The GW Parkway is a small freeway maintained by the National Park Service. It follows the south and west bank of the Potomac through Virginia from the beltway to George Washington's home at Mount Vernon. The Northern Section runs from the Beltway past the Pentagon and Reagan National Airport to the north end of Old Town Alexandria at North Washington Street. The Southern Section begins at the south edge of old Town on South Washington Street, and runs to Mount Vernon.
Clara Barton and Cabin John Parkways - These small freeways run along the C&O Canal and the north bank of the Potomac from Georgetown to the Beltway. The Clara Barton Parkway runs the entire distance from downtown to the Beltway, while the Cabin John Parkway is just 1.5 miles long and connects to the Beltway a few exists to the north. the Clara Barton Parkway is part of the GW PArkway Administration under the National Park Service. It provides numerous parking areas for visitors to the C&O Canal trail.
Dulles Access Road (Rt 267) - As the name suggests it runs to the Dulles Airport. It is really two roads, a free road directly to the airport with no local exits, and a toll road providing access to the communities near the airport. A portion of the tolls will be used to build the Metro's Silver Line to Dulles Airport. The roads run about 14 miles from the Beltway east of the city to the airport.
Anacostia Freeway / Kenilworth Ave / Baltimore-Washington Parkway (DC & MD 295) - The non-interstate portion of I-295. It runs from I-295's end point all the way to Baltimore (via MD 295), mostly along the east side of the Anacostia River.
Interstate 270 (Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Highway) - Runs from the Beltway through Maryland, 34 miles to to I-70 at Fredericksburg. This route runs Northeast away from the city, and it connects into central Washington on Wisconsin Avenue.
Type: Car/Motor Home
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