In a poem by Robert Frost, the last verse ends
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference"
When Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, it authorized the construction of the National Highway Defense System (NHDS) aka the interstate system, and those highways became one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the United States" One of the oldest of the Interstates, I-95 extends from Miami to Maine. Its nearly 2,000 miles of highway (which mostly parallels U.S. 1) cross through 15 states including all 13 of the original colonies and the District of Columbia. I-95 is definitely NOT the road less traveled by. If you want to get someplace in a hurry, you take I-95. But while it is efficient, it is stressful. Speeding down a sterile concrete path surrounded by massive trucks is not my idea of a holiday
When we were snowbirds - traveling south on the Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway (ICW) our boat each winter, we meandered along at a pace of about 35-40 miles a day. Definitely not I-95 pace. We were not insulated from our surroundings and we stopped at many little towns and cities to truly experience the country. It can be a most relaxing way to travel.
For someone who does not have access to a boat and who wants to explore the southeastern United States, there is an alternative. It's called the Coastal Highway and part of it goes from Port Royal, VA, down the coast to Jacksonville, Florida. It is US 17. In NC,SC and GA it sometimes parallels the Intercoastal.
If you start in Port Royal, US 17 takes you down the peninsula between the York and the Rappahannock Rivers, through Tappahannock, past Gloucester Courthouse, and crosses the York River to Yorktown. After you visit the Yorktown battlefield, follow US 17 through Newport News
and Hampton. Here it crosses the James River, to Portsmouth and follows the Dismal Swamp Canal to South Mills and Elizabeth City NC.
After Elizabeth City, US 17 deviates from the ICW which goes across Albemarle Sound and up the Alligator River to Belhaven. US 17 goes instead to Edenton,
Williamston and Washington (which is referred to by North Carolinians as "Little Washington" to distinguish it from Washington D.C. It continues on to New Bern
(the first NC capitol) and Jacksonville NC and rejoins the ICW to go down by Surf City, Top Sail and Hampstead to Wilmington.
US 17 enters NC at Calabash and Little River and follows the ICW down to Barefoot Landing which is a free dock for boaters and one of the places where you can walk along the dock and look at the boats.
and along the Rock Pile to Murrell's Inlet with the wonderful Brookgreen Gardens.
It then goes to Georgetown with it's Rice Museum
through the Francis Marion National Forest to Sullivan's Island
and Charleston. After Charleston it cuts across and parallels I-95 to Savannah and Jacksonville FL. Of course you could just take I-95 and get off to go and see these places, but that's not really easier. At least for me.