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  1. #1

    Default From DE to FL (via i-95)

    Hello! This is my first post.

    My family and I are planning a short road trip (compared to some that I have seen here on the forums!): Florida in late March (March 27-April 4). I would like to make it a vacation that DOES NOT include theme parks; we want to see the real Florida, thank you. Here is my situation:

    THE TRIP DOWN (AND BACK):
    We are looking to make the drive down there as interesting as possible; to savor it and not making a mad dash to Florida. We would like to stop at a few interesting places along the way (down and back). What would be neat-to-see along the 1-95 corridor (besides 'South of the Border') for 2 adults, 1 teen, and 2 children under 10?

    LODGING:
    We all ready have lodging well in hand for our stay in Florida, but what sorts of cheap lodging (between Wilmington, Delaware and Palm Bay, Florida) is available our way down--and back? Where would be the best places? We are hoping to spend a total of 4 days driving to and from Florida.

    FUEL COSTS:
    How can I calculate the cost of this trip (using recent gas prices)?

    FOOD COSTS:
    We don't want to consign ourselves to eating fast food all the time, but we don't want to burden ourselves with carrying around a lot of food. What's a happy medium that won't burn up our costs? PS: Some suggestions for quick-fixing meals (which require a cooler only and aren't just sandwiches) would also be appreciated.

    PLACES TO VISIT:
    We are looking to spend at least 5 days in the Central Florida area (mostly Brevard County, but we won't say no to traveling elsewhere). On the tentative agenda are a few state parks, the planetarium in Cocoa Beach, a flea market, a zoo, and some beaches, but I can't help thinking we are missing something (haha, like the theme parks?). What else is in the area that will help us see the REAL beauty of the state?

    Thank you for any answers or suggestions you might have!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Most of the answers lie herein

    Quote Originally Posted by autumnlovinmom View Post
    My family and I are planning a short road trip
    Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum!
    we want to see the real Florida,
    Here's a view of Orlando that doesn't include the Disney approach.
    We would like to stop at a few interesting places along the way (down and back).
    There are plenty of posts on this forum about this route -- but one of the all-time best sources of tips for lodging and attractions can be found in this guide book.
    FUEL COSTS:
    How can I calculate the cost of this trip (using recent gas prices)?
    We built a free tool just for you.... check it out here.
    PS: Some suggestions for quick-fixing meals (which require a cooler only and aren't just sandwiches) would also be appreciated.
    Cooler tips here and several ideas for inexpensive road food.
    What else is in the area that will help us see the REAL beauty of the state?
    if you search for all articles by Anne Sponholtz, (see the Google Search in the top left column of this page? Click the RTA button and you will find articles like this one.

    Also here are some tips for planning family road trips!

    Happy reading and planning!

    Mark

  3. #3

    Default

    WOW! There's a lot of fabulous info there! Thank you for saving me time and putting it all right here. The alternatives to Disney article was a definite favorite--as well as the link for inexpensive road food. And now, my husband can have a darned good estimate of the fuel costs! This site is a gem; thank you!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Suggestions for On the Way

    Mark has (as always) given you great insight into the wealth of resources available around here. Let me add just a few of my favorite, non-'tourist' stops on the I-95 corridor. Even if you're only taking two days for the drive, you might want to consider taking US-13 down to Cape Charles and using the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel and avoid Baltimore and Washington. US-58 would then reconnect you to I-95. If you do take I-95, the Petersburg National Battlefield is not too far off the highway. For an urban stop, even your teenager might enjoy a stroll through Savannah's Squares, and if you find yourselves approaching Florida sooner than you had planned, remember that a unique world lies less than an hour west of the highway in southern Georgia.

    AZBuck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    You said "4 days to and from". Do you mean 4 days total for the round trip or 4 days each way?

    The cheapest acceptable lodging will probably be Motel 6 at Interstate exits away from any cities. Check out rates at their website. In cities, Motel 6 tends to be in somewhat seedy areas and the rates are generally higher than the ones out in more rural areas.

  6. #6

    Default

    Sorry for the confusion, lol. I meant 4 days of driving, round trip; 2 days down and 2 days back.

    Thanks for the heads up about the lodging!

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    Mark has (as always) given you great insight into the wealth of resources available around here. Let me add just a few of my favorite, non-'tourist' stops on the I-95 corridor. Even if you're only taking two days for the drive, you might want to consider taking US-13 down to Cape Charles and using the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel and avoid Baltimore and Washington.
    I did this once on a one day trip to Williamsburg, VA; was a lot of fun! Must try it again; thanks for the reminder!

    US-58 would then reconnect you to I-95. If you do take I-95, the Petersburg National Battlefield is not too far off the highway.
    Cool. Not only can my husband and kids get some time to explore a battlefield, I can photograph wetlands and forests. Excellent.

    For an urban stop, even your teenager might enjoy a stroll through Savannah's Squares
    I've always wanted to see Savannah; Columbia and Green Squares seem rather inviting.

    and if you find yourselves approaching Florida sooner than you had planned, remember that a unique world lies less than an hour west of the highway in southern Georgia.

    AZBuck
    Wow. For my kids to see unusual creatures in their ACTUAL habitat (instead of a zoo) would be fabulous. Definitely putting this on my 'must see' list.

    Thank you for your help!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Only 2 days each way is not allowing any time to see anything or take any kind of detours off I-95. It's 1000 miles, which is going to be 10+ hours on the road each day (with gas, potty, and lunch stops) by most direct route just to get there. South of the Border is the halfway point. If you want to "savor it" and not make a "mad dash", you need to add some days to your vacation or cut down your time in FL.

  9. Default

    Not to be a party pooper or anything. I spent 5 days camping the Okefenokee wildlife refuge in the thanksgiving week. Saw just two gators in that period. It got really cold and the gators become quite inactive. So keep that in mind while visiting. However, do try out the kayaing/canoeing in the swamp, it is an awesome experience.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    It's going to be a lot warmer in late March/early April.

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