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  1. Default Florida road trip


    My husband and i are planning a Florida roadtrip. We are flying to Miami, stay there for 2 nights (18th april - 20th april), then we are planning to rent a car and drive around Florida. We have 6 nights, we would like to see Florida Keys (but not necessarily, because we'll go on a cruise there later), the West coast some central and northern Florida and then return to Miami. We would like to see The Kennedy Space Center and Disneyworld (where is best to spend the night for those two atractions?) Any suggestions what is really worth seeing? Where to spend the nights, what cities/towns to see? We would like to take it easy but still see what's worth seeing. What is the distance between Miami and Orlando, how much does the drive take and which route to take?

    Also, we were planning to stay in Motel 6 while on the road, mostly because we do not really know any other motels that are rather on a budget but still clean and feel safe (we stayed in motel 6 while travelling around California, but we chose the ones in the cities rather than the ones outside by the road). Any ideas on good alternatives to Motel 6?

    thank you.
    Last edited by kasiopea; 04-05-2010 at 06:27 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Miami to Orlando via fastest route (I-95 and the Turnpike) is 240 miles and can be done in about 4 hours. If you want to make it an all day trip, you can go up the coast to around the Space Center then go inland.

    Other budget motel chains in the Motel 6 class are Econolodge, Rodeway Inn, and Knights Inn. Slightly above that are Super 8, Days Inn, La Quinta, Howard Johnson's, and Quality Inn. is a very good site to research costs, but they do not list any Motel 6 properties, you have to use their own site for that. It looks like rates in Orlando in late April are dirt cheap, you may be able to afford something above budget class such as Holiday Inn Express.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Schaumburg(Chicago), Illinois

    Default Just some suggestions

    One suggestion I have is West Palm Beach, not as big as Ft. Lauderdale or Miami but it is such a nice town right off the Ocean. Just north of that you will find Palm beach shores which has many small hotel/motel type places to stay right along or near the beach. They also have a few small stores and such on the island, it is such a nice and safe neighborhood/area, great for a quick stop if you are in the area. And if you happen to be there on a Thursday they do an awesome Vendor Night at the Sailfish Marina Restaurant on the island. It is a nice place to mingle and see all of the local art and jewelry. If you are looking for more of a local beach, rather than somewhere with a whole lot of tourists try Boynton Beach - it is a bit south of West Palm Beach, and they have a nice boardwalk area where you can purchase drinks and snacks if needed which is really nice, they also have decent bathroom facilities which is also nice to have for a day at the beach.

    Food - if you are near Jupiter, FL. there is a great place called the Crab Shack - I think it is in Jupiter..... Another great FLorida favorite is Toojay's Gourmet Deli, they have them all over Florida, and they make some of the best sandwhiches I have ever had.....

    From Miami to Orlando you are probably going to want to give yourself at least 5 hours of driving time. Florida traffic can get bad depending on the time of year/week/day that you are traveling. Take 95 if you don't want to pay the tolls but taking 75(the turnpike) will probably save you a lot of time, and hassel as far as traffic.

    Scenic route as for the Atlantic would be taking a route they call A1A. It is the stretch that pretty much runs along the coast the whole time - the thing about east coast of Florida that people don't realize is that it is all islands, so the scenic route goes from the main land to the islands and back to the main land. It gets a bit confusing at some points but if you follow the signs and have a map it is no problem and you will see a lot of great beaches and some outragious mansions and such.....

    Disneyland is definitely a place you will have to devote a day or two to, unless you had a specific reason to visit. I would try and look into what all Disneyworld has before you go, to plan out the definite places you want to see. There is so much there now - from the Main part of Disneyworld to Downtown Disney and the different water parks they have you will definitely want to have an idea of what would draw your interest the most.

    As far as the West Coast - I have only really been to Tampa, briefly. I also stayed in Clearwater shortly which of course is a huge tourist spot. Beautiful beaches and a great place to find great shells and sand dollars, you may also catch a dolphin in the bay, I was lucky enough to.... They have some smaller hotels, but most of the hotels on the island are pretty big. It is a great town if you are just looking for a place to do some souvineer shopping - they have a ton of souvineer type shops. They also do a lot of the Parasailing and Themed Boat Ride Dinner Theatre type things, we did a pirate one which was kind of fun.

    In Ft. Lauderdale they have the Jungle Queen boat tour that takes you around to see all of the huge mansions in Florida. Then you get dropped off on an island where you get a great southern dinner with a comedy show which was actually very funny - from the advertisements it looks more like a kids show but it was definitely entertaining. Just north of Ft. Lauderdale there is a place called Mizner Park - great place for outdoor shopping, and they have some great stops for food; doing a bit of research though I am a bit skepticle about recommending it- it looks like it may be under new management and not quite the tourist stop it used to be.

  4. Default

    Thank you both, glc and MaBusch! You gave me really useful information on the topic.

  5. #5

    Default Folrida

    Couple of years ago, we had the opportunity to visit Florida (Orlando and Clearwater) with kids.

    We had a 7 day pass to Disney. We spent 4 days at Disney before heading out to Clearwater. Beach in Clearwater was really nice (& warm, even in December). We stayed at a place (brand new at the time) Residence Inn which was amazing and would recommend it. Talking to some locals, we found that that beaches just south of Clearwater @ Siesta Keys (public beach) are even nicer. Unfortunately, we didn't have the time to visit. For dinner, one evening, we drove up to a small (Greek) town 'Tarpon Springs' which had several nice restaurants.

    In Orlando, after returning from Clearwater, we spent another 3 days at the Disney parks. After spending all that time, we felt we had not covered everything we wanted to.

  6. Default

    Jacksonjohn83, thank you for your reply. We are planning to spend just one day in Disneyworld in Magic Kingdom. I believe this is the classic and would feel sorry not to see it while there. Otherwise Disney is simply to big :). I will definitelly check if visiting Clearwater fits into our itinerary. Thanks for the tips!

  7. #7

    Default st. augustine

    i don't know how far north you're thinking of going, but St. Augustine is between Daytona Beach and Jacksonville, and if you have spare time it's an awesome little town to wander around in.
    It's an fort, that became a city that's now all historic and touristy. I havn't been in years, so my memory's a little foggy, but there's defiantly little shops and restaurants and street performers and musicians- very cool if you have an afternoon to kill!
    admittedly i skimmed all your other responses so hopefully no one's mentioned this yet..
    here's the site
    have a great trip!

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