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  1. Default Help please... Road trip from NYC to Orlando and back

    Hi everyone,

    I am from Brazil. This is my first time to USA and also first road trip in USA!

    I and my wife will be in America from mid August to mid September. We will start enjoying NYC for about 5 days, then we will go to Mahwah/NJ visit some friends and then we are planning a visit to Orlando. But as we are looking for some adventure, we chose to take the road instead of flying!

    The main stops are:
    - Mahwah - NJ (trip beginning)
    - Orlando - FL (Disney, shopping, etc)
    - Atlanta - GA (to visit the Aquarium, maybe Coca-Cola and then have a "Fried-Green-Tomato-Something")
    - New York - NY (trip ending)

    But we are uncertain of the best route, which we prefer scenic ones. And we want to travel in the daylight, around 500 miles/day.
    We came up to this one:

    day 1 - stop in Charlottesville-VA to sleep
    day 2 - stop in Florence-SC to sleep
    day 3 - arrive in Orlando-FL
    days 4 - 6 - enjoying Orlando
    day 7 - stop in Atlanta-GA to sleep
    day 8 - enjoying Atlanta
    day 9 - stop in Roanoke-VA
    day 10 - arrive in NYC

    But, as said, I don't know how good is this route, and have no idea on toll costs.

    Thanks in advance!

    Google maps route:,3&t=m&z=6

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO



    I would recommend you take the inland route in one direction, and the coastal route in the other direction.

    On the way down, you could spend the first night in Roanoke and the second night in Atlanta. Take I-287 to I-78 to I-81 to I-40 to I-75. Tolls will be $1.00 on the bridge from NJ to PA, and about $5.00 on the Florida toll roads.

    On the way back, it is possible to drive from Orlando to NYC in 2 long days, so with a 3rd day you can do some sightseeing. Take a good look at a map of the east coast and see what places you might want to go. Taking I-95 all the way is neither particularly scenic or a very nice drive. It's very congested from about Richmond VA all the way to NYC. Perhaps you could get off I-95 at Emporia VA, head over to Norfolk, take the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and head up the Delmarva Peninsula. Chincoteague and Assateague are particularly nice places to see. Time and schedule permitting, you could take the Lewes-Cape May ferry and go up the NJ shore to NYC. Reservations required for the ferry. If you don't have time, you can take DE-1 to I-95 to the NJ Turnpike. Tolls on the return trip will be a lot more.

    On the first day out of Orlando, you can make it to right around the SC-NC border. The second day would get you well onto the Delmarva. This is assuming you don't take any sightseeing detours along the way.

    If you take the ferry, it's about a 3 hour drive up the Garden State Parkway to NYC. If you don't, it's about 3 hours to NYC from Dover DE.

  3. Default

    Thanks for your advices!

    Following your suggestion, I changed my routes in order to take the inland route when going to Orlando, and the coastal one when coming back.

    Now I have this route:

    This way will I be able to avoid the heavy traffic?

    I wish I could make two stops when returning through the coastal route, so I selected this two cities: Florence-SC and Norfolk-VA.

    Any other ideas, or better ideas? I just chose them because they splited the route into 7~8 hour segments.

    Are there any other better places to stop? Please tell me. :-)
    We just need clean hotels to rest and some options to have a decent dinner.

    But if you say, don't stay in place X and get to place Y instead to taste that delicious seafoodsomething or go to Z instead in order to see that amazing sightseeing, then we will be very gratefull! :-)

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 07-16-2012 at 11:20 AM. Reason: Removed Quote of Entire Previous Post

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Those stops look good. You should be able to find a decent hotel and restaurant in Florence, and definitely Norfolk - I'd probably look more toward Virginia Beach rather than downtown Norfolk.

  5. Default

    I will look for hotels by Virginia Beach then. Thanks!

    I need some more info about the tolling systems...

    I read somewhere that some turnpikes in US are completely automated and there would be no option to pay by "exact coins" nor by cash. Is it true? If so, will I encounter any of this "automated-only" turnpikes along the routes?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I don't believe you will, but if you do, there will be a system that will take a picture of the license plate. The rental company will receive a bill which they will then have you pay.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    On every turnpike and toll road we've been on this summer (and there have been quite a few!), there have been lanes for the EZ Pass or the Sun Pass (FL), and for Cash. On some freeways they go even further by making the EZ Pass, Cash - Need change, and Exact Cash lanes.

    We have gone completely cash and I think that's the easiest for us. I never saw an option where your license plate would be photographed and you would be billed later, but that will come soon I'm sure.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Donna, there are some systems that are cashless and have license plate tolling in lieu of a transponder. 2 that come to mind are some of the toll roads in Miami-Dade County FL, and E-470 in Denver CO. I understand that some of the new toll roads under construction in other areas, such as the RDU area in NC, will have this.

  9. Default

    I expect the company I will be renting do offer this "pay after" system.

    Anyway, be it cash or not, you previously said it will be something around $10 for the tolls when going to Orlando and then "Tolls on the return trip will be a lot more.".
    How would be an estimate for that? ~$50, $50 ~ $100, $100+?

    Just in order to keep that amount nearby...

    Besides tolling, are this roads well served with gas stations? Or there is any particular area in which will be difficult to find gas?

    Sorry for so many questions, but those I believe were the last ones :-)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Fuel stops a plenty.

    Quote Originally Posted by bsbuser View Post
    Or there is any particular area in which will be difficult to find gas?
    Along your route, it will be difficult to go 100 miles without being able to buy fuel. The best policy always is to start looking when you are down to half full, and never let it drop below quarter. That way you will always be fine.


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