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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Missouri, United States
    Posts
    9

    Default Best route/most states Joplin MO to Orlando FL? :)

    Hi there!! We are a family of five planning a trip to Disney this fall. We also have a side goal to visit all 50 states over the next decade. Leaving from SW MO...what is our best course? We have been to Tennessee- so would like to avoid Memphis route. Actually, would LOVE to knock out Louisiana, Mississippi, Alababma, AND Georgia, if possible. We homeschool- so time isn't as much of a factor. Budget is a consideration, as my husband is a firefighter and we are on one income. :) I believe we will have 13 days total. We DO have 3 day passes to Disney already paid for (no expiration option) and might like to spend about five days total in the Orlando area. We would also LOVE to visit the B-E-A-C-H! Any help would be awesome!! Be blessed!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    The most efficient route to cover those 4 states would involve a few non-Interstates and would take 2.5 days:

    US-71/I-540 to I-40 to Little Rock, then I-530/US-65 to I-20 to Meridian, US-80 to Montgomery AL. US-231 to Dothan, US-84 to Bainbridge GA, US-27 to I-10 to I-75 to Florida's Turnpike to Orlando. Depending on how far you can drive in a day, good overnights appear to be Jackson MS and Tallahassee.

    How about listing what states you HAVE been in so far? I finished my 50 a few years ago and helped my sister to get up to 49 a couple years ago. You might be able to knock off a few more on the way back without going too far out of your way. I can get you through SC, NC, KY, and IL in 3 days, and this would let you save a bit of time by modifying the route down to not go through GA.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    I have to agree that knowing what state you still need would be quite helpful.

    For example, if you still need Texas, you could go straight down US-71 and brush through Texarkana, down to Shreveport and then use I-49 down to I-10, which would take you right along the gulf coast and its many great beaches.

    If you really want to add in some more states, heading back you could take the states GLC mentioned and also include Virginia, West Virginia, Indiana, and even Ohio with 3 to 4 days, just by using I-95, I-77, and I-64. (You'd need just a slight detour near Huntington WV to dip into Ohio.)

    Actually, if you dip across the Kansas and Oklahoma borders as you get on the road, that would be a total of 18 states you'd visit on your trip, basically every state in the southeastern corner of the US, except for Tennessee!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Missouri, United States
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Wow! Thanks! :) These are the states that we have visited with ALL three of our children: Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Florida, and New Mexico. I count 12. :)

    I was born in Hattiesburg, MS...and haven't been back as an adult. It might be fun to try and hit that- but I'm not sure if that is doable. Also- New Orleans would be fantastic...but not a must. I'm okay to take longer...I was actually thinking of taking about 4 days out- 5 days there- 3 days back- 1 day for "just in case". Would like to do most of our "sightseeing" on the way there as the little guy may be a bit restless. :)

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

    Default

    Okay - let's modify the trip down a bit!

    Follow my first suggestion to I-20, then at Jackson MS take US-49 to Hattiesburg and I-59 to New Orleans. This will take you about a day and a half - so with an overnight in Vicksburg you would have a few hours in Hattiesburg, or you could get to NOLA early. From NOLA, take I-10 to I-75 and the turnpike to Orlando.

    New Orleans to Orlando can be driven in 1 very long day (12+ hours in the car) - if you want to break it up you could take some of the roads along the Gulf coast and get some beach time.

    For the return trip, if you don't mind driving 3 full days, you can knock off GA, NC, SC, VA, and WV.

    I-95/I-26/I-77 to Charleston WV, I-64 to STL, then I-44 home. Overnights around Charlotte and Louisville.

    If you want to spend a full day in NOLA and/or an extra day hitting a beach along the Gulf coast somewhere, you can "rob" that from the 5 days in Orlando.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Missouri, United States
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Wow, glc...you rock! Thank you very much!!! ;)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Missouri, United States
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Okay, getting down to the nitty-gritty plan stage now. :) We will be leaving on a Sunday morning. We need to be in Orlando by Tuesday. No later. We will have some time on the other side of the trip...leaving the NEXT Sunday...and will need to be back by mid-week that next week. Thursday-Friday at the latest. We want to see the beach. We will be traveling with three kids. What is our best route out and back? :)

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

    Default

    What time Tuesday do you need to get to Orlando? You have at least 5 days to get home, possibly 6?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Missouri, United States
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    What time Tuesday do you need to get to Orlando? You have at least 5 days to get home, possibly 6?
    I'm struggling with this, because my kids would really like to visit Universal's "Island of Adventure" (which will be right across from our hotel). :) We will leave Sunday morning. I would like to just DRIVE and not a lot of sight seeing...Sunday and Monday. I would like to be (at most) two hours away from Animal Kingdom when we wake up Tuesday morning, because that is where we are headed. :) If that doesn't work out, I have a buffer later in our stay to go to AK. But- we check in 4pm Tuesday. Right now...we are checking out Sunday. It is possible that we will have to visit ANOTHER park on Sunday...leaving my husband and I in rough shape to drive. So...Sunday's drive would be (at best) just a few hours. I am also toying with leaving TUESDAY morning....and then taking Tuesday, Wed, Thursday, and Friday to get home. My husband reports back to duty Saturday @ 0630. Either way...we have to fit in four parks (gah!) at least ONE down day during the week (for sanity)...and lots of driving. :) I am okay with taking a long while to get home, as long as the drive was pretty, not many hours per day...and it involved some beach time. :)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Missouri, United States
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Would Springfield, Memphis, Tupelo, Birmingham, Orlando....there...and then hitting Destin (beach) and coming back up thru Hattiesburg (my birthplace), Jackson, Little Rock, etc. work? Is that my best bet. My husband really loves Destin. and it seems to only add about two hours to the round trip if I do it that way?

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