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Driving to Florida Honeymoon-Suggestions and Advice Please!

My Fiance and I will be driving to Disney where our honeymoon will be. We want to drive and stop at states along the way. He is from Europe so has never taken to drive to Florida...we have always flown together.

List your advice from experience including times to leave, places to stay and stop along the way, and places we CANNOT miss! Im an avid photographer, so if you have some great photographs from your trip down tell me where!

We are getting married October 14th. We have to be in Disney on the 19th. So we could leave the 15th-the 17th. We kinda want to leave the 15th, stop along the way and get into Orlando early for Sea World-FI's never been-and Universal.

Looking forward to your suggestions!
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Re: Driving to Florida Honeymoon-Suggestions and Advice Please!

  • If I was driving down the East Coast of the US, I would most definitely stop at The Great Smokey Mountains.  I hear it's absolutely beautiful.  I know they have loops you can drive to see more than going straight through it.  Research it a little bit to pick the best route!
  • strlzfan11strlzfan11 member
    Ninth Anniversary 1000 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited August 2012
    Well if you're coming from NJ, your best bet will be to stick to the I-95 corridor.  If I were driving and wanted to see Sea World and Universal before I got to Disney on the 19th, I'd do the following:

    -Leave on the 15th and stay near Hilton Head or Savannah (it's probably going to be at least a 12 hour drive, though)
    -Spend the morning of 16th in Savannah relaxing and doing touristy things
    -Drive to Orlando (about 5 hours from Svannah) late afternoon/early evening of the 16th
    -Go to Sea World on the 17th
    -Go to Universal on the 18th and early on the 19th
    -Check into your Disney hotel mid-afternoon of the 19th

    In all honesty, that's a LOT to try to cram into a few days. I'd personally skip Sea World and Universal and just spend my time getting down there (and this coming from someone who really wants to go to Universal).  When I lived near Savannah, my parents decided to come get me and go to DW for a weekend trip.  They drove to my place on Thursday, we drove to Disney on Friday, came back to my place on Sunday, and they drove home Monday.  It's just a really long trip.

    If you were flying, I'd say to fit everything in, but since you're driving that's a nightmare in the making.  JMO.
  • Has your FI been to DC? If not, you might think about spending a little time there. And while I agree you should stick to the I-95 corridor, that DOESN'T mean you need to stick to I-95. You should absolutely 100% take US Route 301 south instead of I-95 south from DC. Rt 301 rejoins the interstate at Ashland VA (or you can continue on it until Richmond, but just for the scenery -- you'll be able to travel faster on the interstate at that point). 301 has stop lights in MD, but is quite smooth sailing through VA. Which is not what I would say for I-95 south. On 301, it's a reliable 3 hours or so to Richmond from Baltimore -- on I-95, it could be 2.5, or it could be 6.

    Driving on I-95 or the Capital Beltway around DC totally stinks. "Rush Hour" starts at 5-6 am, and doesn't end until midnight. I've driven up to DC from NC, and seen traffic backed up for miles on I-95 south just south of the beltway at 11pm. It's insane. The only time you can pretty much guarantee no huge traffic mess and/or too much traffic driving way too many different speeds is if you are traveling those highways between midnight and 5 am.

    If you guys like little old-style road-side motels, 301 has plenty, mostly in MD but some in VA as well. There's a Holiday Inn Express or something like that on Rt 301 about 5-10 miles into VA, too. Definitely get a AAA membership if you don't have one already.  You can pick up their Tour Books for the states you'll go through; they are the easiest possible way to find places to stay and things to do along your route. Myrtle Beach or Charleston SC (both a ways from the interstate, though) and Savannah GA might be interesting to you. Myrtle isn't exactly pretty except for the ocean. Charleston and Savannah have cool old buildings and things. I wish I could suggest something in NC for you, but there just isn't much along I-95 in my fair state.
  • There is a lot to do at Disney, Seaworld and Universal. Unless you're taking multiple weeks, it just doesn't seem like there'd be enough time to road trip down there. Now, you can still drive. My family always drove to Orlando for our Disney vacations, but we didn't stop on the way (aside from food, gas and bathroom breaks). Perhaps it would be better to drive straight down, spend your days at the parks, and then slowly go back up and be tourists back through Savannah to DC? 
  • I think some of it depends on what way you are going.  If it's down 95, you won't be anywhere near the Great Smoky Mountains.  I love them and they ARE beautiful, but you will be on the other side of NC, away from the state line.  However, if you are comign down 77, you will be closer.  

    Charleston and Savannah are wonderful places!  They have so much to do.  I also agree with Washington DC.  I believe that every American should visit DC once in their life.  

    When my family drives down from NC, we usually leave the day before and stay the night in Ormond Beach off of I-95 in Florida.  There is a Hampton Inn there that's always been nice.
  • We've done the drive multiple times. We used to leave at 6 am, stop in SC and continue the drive the next day.  Now we just drive straight through for 20 long hours.  I-95 doesn't really have any sights to see.
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  • I vote for Charleston- that's where I live. It's off 95 a little, but worth a stop. Savannah is pretty close to here also- about 1.5 hours. Have fun.
  • Congratulations! We are getting married day before you and also driving to Florida from Texas. We rented a condo near treasure island. I am so excited. We should be in Florida around same time, too. Here's hoping we all have an awesome trip with our SO's.
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