I have been planning and researching for my family's first long drive from Toronto to Tampa. I've searched through some available information on these forums and some recommended reference books. We plan to leave early morning Dec 22 and target to be in Tampa by the 24th.
I've looked at Mapquest and my first major decision point is to determine if I should take the border crossing at Michigan and take I-75 South most of the way. The alternative is for me to take the Niagara / Buffalo, NY border crossing and take the I-190, I-79, US-19, I-77 route. Depending on the first decision point, we would like to spend a night midway. I would like to get suggestions on where to spend the night. I am referring to which State and specifically any suggested motels along the way. Also, is it good practice to reserve a place to spend the night beforehand, or are there plenty along the way to just pop in?
While the objective of the drive from Toronto to Tampa will be primarily quickest possible time, we would certainly welcome interesting stop overs that would be of interest to kids below the age of 12.
On the way back from Tampa to Toronto on the first week of January, we would be open to spending more time driving back and visiting places that would be of interest to the family. We would certainly welcome suggestions here. I have looked at the reference guide books from the links and google searches. But I am sure if there is a single book I can purchase that would suffice for the purposes of this trip. I would welcome suggestions here as well. Also, I've just gotten my handy GPS so I shouldn't be too worried about taking the wrong turn here or there....