By: Stan Posner and Sandra Phillips-Posner
Publication Date: November 2007 (4th Edition)
Reviewed by: Pamela Victor
Review Date: April 2009
Surely you’ve heard the catch-line “don’t leave home without it.” If you’re driving down the east coast of the United States, please take that phrase to heart and don’t leave home without a copy of Drive I-95. Husband and wife team Stan Posner and Sandra Phillips-Posner share their love of learning and travel with readers in this highly informative, extremely well-organized travel book that guides drivers on an exit by exit tour down I-95.
The first section of the book provides maps of I-95 from exit 12 (where it meets with I-93) in Massachusetts to the very end of the road in Coral Gables, Florida. The maps in Drive I-95 are clear and concise, just right for gleaning quick information at a glance for navigators and drivers. These handy one-page maps (no folding!) supply the reader with the exit number, gas stations, restaurants, lodging, shopping, RV service centers, drug stores, car washes, laundromats as well as nifty places to visit along the way. On these maps, the authors even let you know what the speed limit is at various sections of the road in addition to toll booths and fees, campground/RV sites, golf courses, and possible locations reported or observed as radar traps! Even with all this vital information supplied for drivers, the maps in Drive I-95 are so cleverly designed that they remain impressively easy to read on the fly.
For all the usefulness of the maps, it’s the tourist information and stories provided in the rest of the book that adds charm to Drive I-95. There are 111 pages of exit-by-exit stories relating to key sites you’ll drive by on your excursion. These tales are presented in a companionable style as if a friend had thoughtfully written a travel journal just for you. The authors didn’t miss a chance to poke around wonderful stores or sites in order to gather all the information in this book. For example, at exit 10S in Massachusetts, readers learn all about Furlong’s Cottage Candies including recommendations for the better treats. At exit 138 in North Carolina, the authors share their experiences at Gardner’s Barbecue ‘n’ Chicken, “Okay we’ll admit it, we ate fried gizzards and actually like them…Don’t miss the little corn sticks or the hush puppies. You can take out for a car picnic.” It seems as if no detail has been left overlooked by Drive I-95, for instance the authors warn that at the Lumberton Visitors’ Bureau in North Carolina there are no bathrooms in the information center but you’ll find one a few doors down.
What’s more, readers can’t help but learn historical facts about the towns that are whizzing by. At New Jersey’s exit 15W they write, “Thomas Alva Edison had two labs, one in Menlo Park and one in West Orange. It was here in 1889 that the first motion picture studio was set up.” Folks might end up passing the time in the car by debating which interesting stop to make on the route: Will it be the Collingwood Library and Museum on Americanism, where you can find the lantern used to signal Paul Revere? Or the United States Patent and Trademark Office Museum? Or should you stretch your legs in Occoquan, a pleasant little town on a river? All of them are possibilities while you’re driving through Virginia. You’ll never have to settle for a hastily eaten fast food burger at a rest stop again!
But I’ve saved my favorite part of Drive I-95 for last: the flip-out chart of the radio stations you’ll find along your drive. For each major city along the way, the authors considerately provide readers with the call numbers to thirteen different types of radio stations, from Jazz/Blues to Top 40, from NPR to Spanish. No more frustrating rounds of flipping through the stations in search of your listening pleasure!
Quill says: This book is a MUST HAVE for anybody planning to drive I-95!