Travel and Lodging 2016

The 3rd Annual National Plant-based Prevention Of Disease (P-POD) conference returns to North Carolina State University, Raleigh NC on May 19-22, 2016 (starting on Thursday!)

Please see tabs below for travel or lodging information.

CONFERENCE SITE:  All sessions held at McKimmon Conference and Training Center 1101 Gorman St., Raleigh NC 27606 (South Campus), pinpointed on the map above.

AFTER HOURS:  From about 8 to 11 pm Saturday -optional, casual, social evening off-campus.  Music provided by a disc jockey who takes requests.

CARPOOLING:  To arrange carpooling to Raleigh with other P-POD registrants from your area, please tell us via our Contact page.

HOTEL DEADLINES:  Please note that each hotel has a reservation deadline for our group rates, disclosed in our downloadable list (see HOTEL tab below).

GLOBAL REACH:  Our 2015 P-POD conference attendees represented 17 states, Mexico and Norway!

Raleigh is served by Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), located at 2400 Terminal Blvd., Morrisville, NC 27560-9217.  It is 10 and a half driving miles from our conference building (McKimmon Conference Center) for the May 19-22, 2016 event.  There is a $2.25 local public bus (Triangle Transit Route 100) linking the airport to downtown Raleigh, that may be very useful in bringing you within closer range of your final destination (though not door-to-door).  The Hotel section of this page shows how far you may still be from each suggested hotel, even after 2 connecting bus rides….  but the front door of one hotel is 375 feet from a bus Route 100 stop, and another hotel offers a $20 airport shuttle.  Using taxi services that originate at RDU airport results in expensive transport:  regulated fares that average $30.80 to Raleigh locations, or average $21.05 to locations in Cary, where several of the recommended hotels are.

Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) is served by Allegiant, Air Canada, American, CEI, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, United and US Airways.  Delta begins non-stop service from Paris, France one week before our 2016 conference.

Long-distance-bus travel to Raleigh can be very inconvenient, and may or may not be economical, but we’ll here provide some information that might be of interest, if you are adventurous!

GREYHOUND is the generic long-distance bus carrier that comes into the city limits of Raleigh.  Unlike with Megabus, fares would almost never be discounted.  Terminal location is in the northeast part of Raleigh, distant from P-POD’s sites and all P-POD’s recommended hotels, at 2210 Capital Blvd., Raleigh NC 27604, 919-834-8275.  Public transportation from there to the middle of Raleigh (at least a slightly closer taxi-range to hotels and university) would be:  the #1 GoRaleigh $1.25 bus, whose bus stop is across the (wide, busy) street from Greyhound.  The #1 bus takes about 13 minutes normally from Greyhound to downtown’s Moore Square Station (214 S Blount St., Raleigh 27601), and about 17 minutes the other way.  Normally the #1 runs every 15 minutes on weekdays, every 30 minutes on Saturdays, every hour on Sundays.  Other connecting city buses from Moore Square Station could take you much closer to your final destination.  See “Trip Planning” on the right side of  the #1 GoRaleigh page.

Coming from CERTAIN CITIES, the MEGABUS may be a much more economical and commonly more pleasant choice.  Below are a few examples of plausible connections, in case you are adventurous or a bargain hunter!

From Richmond VA and Washington DC, it is clearly plausible to use Megabus followed by local public transportation on Thursday or Friday, and still attend the evening P-POD session.
From Athens GA, Atlanta GA and Charlotte NC, that would involve time pressure and uncertainty late in the afternoon.
From Columbia SC and Fayetteville NC, current-day timing is inadequate, so Megabus would need to be taken the day before your first day of P-POD attendance.



IF YOU TAKE A MEGABUS TO DURHAM NC, then the following may help you consider what local bus resources might then be helpful.  (Megabus stop is about 100 ft. from the door of the city bus station, which is sheltered for connections.)

(1) If you arrive weekday daytime in Durham:
**On the hour (noon or 1 pm etc.) you may leave Durham city bus station on eastbound “700” bus (fare $2.25) which will be linked to change to the “100” bus (free transfer) at the Regional Transit Center.
**The “100” bus can let you off 375 feet from the front door of the Ramada hotel on P-POD’s list, or else it can be figured out which “100” stop puts you within taxicab range of your particular hotel.

(2) If you arrive mid to late afternoon weekdays in Durham:
**3:39 or 4:20 or 4:50 pm you may leave Durham NC city bus station on “DRX” bus (fare $3) eastbound toward Raleigh.
**About 35 minutes later, you’re due to arrive at Carter-Finley Park and Ride (nearest searchable address 4600 Trinity Rd., Raleigh NC 27607).
Note:  If you are going to the Red Roof Inn on P-POD’s list, you stay on the bus another 25 minutes to the final stop at Wilmington St. and Martin St., from which Red Roof should be within a normally-5-minute 2-to-2.5 mile cab ride.

Otherwise, Carter-Finley Park and Ride is within a 1/2 mile cab ride from the Ramada hotel on P-POD’s list, and the other hotels on P-POD’s list are normally 9 minutes or less driving distance from here.

If you are proceeding directly to the conference as opposed to a hotel, please get in touch with us to receive our suggestions.  We would likely suggest that you take a cab to the Ramada, which we expect as in 2015 will be a location for our shuttle service  to P-POD.

(3) If you arrive on a weekday evening in Durham:
**On the hour (8 pm or 9 pm or 10 pm) you may leave Durham city bus station on eastbound “700” bus (fare $2.25) which will be linked to change to the “100” bus (free transfer) at the Regional Transit Center.
**The “100” bus can let you off 375 feet from the front door of the Ramada hotel on P-POD’s list, or else it can be figured out which “100” stop puts you within taxicab range of your particular hotel.

Below you will find:  (1) some representative one-way driving distances to our Raleigh NC conference site from various cities;  and (2) basic LOCAL driving directions to the building we’re using, McKimmon Conference and Training Center, on the “South Campus” of North Carolina State University.

(1) The following are some representative one-way driving distances to our main Raleigh NC conference site from various cities:
Asheville NC:  244 miles
Atlanta GA:  403 miles
Baltimore MD:  313 miles
Birmingham AL:  551 miles
Charleston SC:  283 miles
Charleston WV:  316 miles
Charlotte NC:  163 miles
Charlottesville VA:  178 miles
Chattanooga TN:  469 miles
Cincinnati OH:  513 miles
Columbia SC:  229 miles
Columbus OH:  478 miles
Gainesville FL:  525 miles
Jacksonville FL:  457 miles
Knoxville TN:  357 miles
Lexington KY:  490 miles
Nashville TN:  536 miles
New Brunswick NJ:  490 miles
Philadelphia PA:  430 miles
Pittsburgh PA:  499 miles
Richmond VA:  160 miles
State College PA:  494 miles
Virginia Beach VA:  207 miles
Washington DC:  267 miles

(2) Basic LOCAL driving directions to McKimmon Conference and Training Center on the “South Campus” of North Carolina State University:

The address, 1101 Gorman St., Raleigh NC 27606, is suitable for searching via MapQuest, Google Maps, GPS and similar means.

It should be noted that Gorman St. runs all the way from Hillsborough St. on the north to I-40 on the south.  Western Blvd. runs all the way from Chatham St. at the Cary/Raleigh border on the west, to downtown Raleigh on the east.

The Center provides these simple instructions for persons who will be traveling on Interstate 40:

From I-40 traveling east:

Take Gorman Street Exit #295.
Turn left onto Gorman Street.
Go approximately 1 mile.
McKimmon Center is on the right past Avent Ferry Road, before Western Boulevard.

From I-40 traveling west:

Take Gorman Street Exit #295.
Turn right onto Gorman Street.
Go approximately 1 mile.
McKimmon Center is on the right past Avent Ferry Road, before Western Boulevard.

Registrants may stay anywhere they wish, but for the 2nd year in a row, P-POD has set aside non-smoking rooms at 7 Raleigh hotels rated at least 4-out-of-5 stars via TripAdvisor reviews, with guaranteed rates ranging from $62 to $99 plus tax per night….  and with Mapquest-quoted normal driving times ranging from 6 to 9 minutes to our conference building.  Friday morning and suppertime driving would require much more time than the quotes shown.

For May 19-22, 2016 we have developed a downloadable list that includes comprehensive details about these hotels and all room possibilities.

Each hotel has set its own expiration date for these rates and these setasides, and the downloadable list discloses these deadline dates, ranging from April 28th to May 5th for each hotel.  After a hotel’s deadline, you may still book, but there’s no guarantee what the current rates might be.  (For Hilton Garden, it MIGHT be possible to try to book after deadline under the original arrangement, by calling an alternative number 919-377-0452.)

For most of the hotels, as shown in the list, you may sign up in advance with P-POD (as early as possible) for a $2.50/person/ride “shuttle” service between hotel and conference site, which will travel once at the beginning and once at the end of each conference day, and probably once after the Saturday night social.   [We also encourage carpooling among attendees, and you may tell us at our Contact page if this interests you.]


All sessions (except for an off-site Saturday evening social) are at McKimmon Conference and Training Center, 1101 Gorman St., Raleigh NC 27606 (part of the “South Campus”).  There are 700 parking spaces at the center.  The large “front lots” at McKimmon are suitable for P-POD parking, and 3 smaller lots at the sides are reserved for University employees.  It seems consistent that approved visitor spaces everywhere have pavement lines painted in a greenish color (though some paint is fading with age), and unapproved spaces are marked with different colors.

Information about P-POD shuttle services between certain hotels and the conference is included under the “HOTEL” tab.

Train travel can be fairly expensive, though comparatively energy efficient, and most riders find it enjoyable.  Amtrak service to Raleigh or Cary is all in the following timetable, and examples of departure times from specific cities are shown at the end of this tab below.

Whether you get off at RALEIGH or CARY depends on specifically where (such as which hotel) you’re going immediately, so here are hotel examples with suitable local-bus connections out of Amtrak stations…..

If you’re staying at Red Roof (S. Saunders), then take Amtrak to RALEIGH.  About a block from the station, you may take a $1.25 city bus #7 south on Dawson from the corner of Davie & Dawson, to Red Roof.

If you’re staying at Ramada (Blue Ridge Rd.), then take Amtrak to RALEIGH.  The $2.25 Triangle Transit bus #100 goes to Ramada, but it leaves from Raleigh’s Moore Square Station, which is 5 and a half blocks from Amtrak.  Less than a block from Amtrak, at Davie and Harrington, the $1.25 city bus #13 may be taken to go to Moore Square Station.

If you’re staying at Hawthorn Suites (Buck Jones Rd.), then take Amtrak to CARY.  The $1.50 Cary bus #6 (with service Mon. – Sat. from around 6 am to 9 pm) goes from Amtrak to Hawthorn.

If you’re staying at Best Western (Walnut St.), then take Amtrak to CARY.  The $1.50 Cary bus #6 (with service Mon. – Sat. from around 6 am to 9 pm out of Amtrak) has a stop on Donaldon Dr. 2000 ft. from the Best Western entrance, but at various places you could change from the #6 to a #1 bus, which stops 500 ft. from the Best Western entrance (across from Devonshire Place).

If you’re staying at Holiday Inn (Dillard), Hilton Garden (Columbus) or Doubletree (Caitboo), then take Amtrak to CARY.  2 buses out of Amtrak would put you in front of the Holiday Inn, about 250 feet from the entrance….  the Hilton Garden is about 300 ft. further, behind it, and the Doubletree is yet another 250 ft. behind that.  So, you may judge accordingly.  The $1.50 Cary bus #6 (with service Mon. – Sat. from around 6 am to 9 pm out of Amtrak) would be taken, and at one of several possible places you could change from the #6 to a #1 or #2 bus.

For others, some taxi use is definitely needed, not just optional….

If you’re staying at Wingate (Corporate Ridge Rd.), then take Amtrak to CARY.  The $2.25 Triangle Transit bus #300 has eastbound service out of Amtrak 6 am to 5:35 pm weekdays, 7 am to 6 pm Saturdays.  If you get off at the E. Chatham St.& Soccer Park Dr. Cary stop, you’ll have a 1.46 mile (normal average 3 minute) cab ride to Wingate.


You can certainly take Amtrak from various North Carolina points to Raleigh or Cary on a Thursday or Friday and reasonably expect to get settled and reach the conference evening-session opening on time.  For out-of-state points, that would seem unrealistic because the best arrival due times are 4:42 and 5:03 pm (from 11 farther north cities only), and there is always the possibility of delays.

The plausible “same day” North Carolina connections are (Train 80 Carolinian, Train 74 Piedmont):
Charlotte 7:00 am or 12:00 noon
Kannapolis 7:25 am or 12:25 pm
Salisbury 7:43 am or 12:41 pm
High Point 8:17 am or 1:14 pm
Greensboro 8:39 am or 1:34 pm
Burlington 9:01 am or 1:55 pm
Cary 10:02 am or 2:53 pm
Raleigh 10:17 am or 3:11 pm

The schedule times for the Train 79 Carolinian due to arrive at the end of the business day, are:
New York City 7:05 am
Newark NJ Penn Sta. 7:24 am
Trenton NJ 8:03 am
Philadelphia 30th St. Sta. 8:35am
Wilmington DE 8:58 am
Baltimore Penn Sta. 9:45 am
Washington DC 10:53 am
Alexandria VA 11:10 am
Quantico VA 11:36 am
Fredericksburg VA 11:56 am
Richmond VA Staples Mill Rd. 1:08 pm
Petersburg VA 1:41 pm
Rocky Mount NC 3:11 pm
Wilson NC 3:30 pm
Selma-Smithfield NC 4:03 pm
Raleigh NC 4:42 pm
Cary NC 5:03 pm

The schedule times for the southbound Train 91 Silver Star that arrives fairly late in the evening, are:
New York City 11:02 am
Newark NJ Penn Sta. 11:22 am
Trenton NJ 12:00 noon
Philadelphia 30th St. Sta. 12:35 pm
Wilmington DE 1:02 pm
Baltimore Penn Sta. 1:55 pm
Washington DC 3:05 pm
Alexandria VA 3:23 pm
Richmond VA Staples Mill Rd. 5:17 pm
Petersburg VA 5:51 pm
Rocky Mount NC 7:21 pm
Raleigh NC 9:01 pm
Cary NC 9:23 pm

The northbound Train 92 Silver Star is an all-night train out of Florida that arrives in Cary 8:08 am and Raleigh 8:45 am.  Its final Florida departure, after many pickups starting with Miami, is at Jacksonville at 11:03 pm.  It then makes nocturnal departures from Savannah GA, Denmark and Columbia and Camden SC, and finally Hamlet (6:14 am) and Southern Pines (6:52 am) NC.