Planning a Drive From New York to Florida

Driving from New York to Florida can be a fun-filled, relaxing time for everyone. Here's a guide on maximizing the fun from this route.
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Tip to plan a drive from New York to Florida
Did You Know?
The region served by the I-95, the most preferred road to go from New York to Florida, is 3 times as densely populated as the national average of the U.S.
Road trips are the stuff of dreams for many. They are a time to enjoy driving, to savor the company of those whom you cherish, and to make new awesome memories! You pick your route, you pick your companions, you pick your ride, and you set out on an adventure.

The route from New York to Florida is filled with places you may have always wanted to visit. It passes through 9 states, and historically important and popular cities such as Washington, Philadelphia, and Savannah lie along the way. It also offers the option of taking a detour and relaxing on the numerous beach resorts along the way.

The route presents two options: the I-95 or the US Route 1. The best route depends on your choices, but it will probably be a mixture of the two. The journey from New York to Miami is about 1081 miles.

The I-95 is the popular choice, but since it is such a crucial highway and connects bustling cities, it can be very crowded and annoying. However, it runs much closer to the coast than Route 1. It has intersections with many other routes, and can be used to visit most of the popular tourist attractions on this route.

Route 1 runs more inland, and links with some cities that I-95 misses out, such as Raleigh.

All the stops on this route are major cities, and accommodation can be found for any budget, from Couchsurfing hosts who let guests stay at their house for free, to 5-star resorts.

So, we come to the most important step in planning a road trip from the Big Apple to the Sunshine State.

Plan Your Route

i-95
I-95, along with nearby tourist destinations

The two factors that will determine your route are:

➙ How long can you drive in a day?
➙ What do you want to see?


There is no point in planning to make the first stop in Savannah, GA, if you don't want to drive for more than 4 hours at a time. Driving for four hours will get you to Washington, which is a recommended stopover. Similarly, if you are not interested in visiting tourist sites along the way and if you have multiple companions who can drive, you can even make this journey nonstop, by switching drivers at appropriate intervals.

Which brings us to the second question. There are several tourist attractions on this route, and it would be best to just get the map out and decide which you really want to see and which elicit a unanimous "meh". If there are different opinions, try to include as many as possible; nobody wants grumpy faces on a road trip!

The most popular tourist attractions on this route are Washington, DC; Myrtle Beach, NC; Raleigh, NC; Philadelphia, PA; and Savannah, GA. These are popular for varying reasons. Washington contains the US Capitol Building and the Washington Monument, Philadelphia is renowned for its cultural and historic buildings as well as its unique dishes, Savannah is famous for its historic sites, Raleigh is known for its numerous museums and parks, and Myrtle Beach as a seaside resort.

capitol building
Capitol Building
washington monument
Washington Monument

philly sandwich
Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich
savannah
Savannah

pullen park
Pullen Park, Raleigh
myrtle beach
Sunset at Myrtle Beach


Washington, Philly, and Savannah lie on the I-95 (barring a small detour along the New Jersey Turnpike extension/Pennsylvania turnpike). However, you will have to exit the I-95 to get to Raleigh or Myrtle Beach. The former can be reached by exiting the I-95 at Petersburg, VA, or joining the US-64 or US-264 nearer to Raleigh. Myrtle Beach is more accessible from Raleigh, and if you intend to visit the former, it is advisable to spend the night in the latter.

More information about particular highways, such as their current status or closures, can be found here.

Decide where you want to stop, gauge how much you and your companions can drive before you feel fatigued, and decide what the majority of your group wants to see. Once you get that in order, just get in the car and start the engine!
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Published: February 25, 2014
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