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  1. Default NY/NJ to Orlando and back

    Hi guys!
    My sisters and i are trying to plan a road trip down to FL and back
    Friday June 28- Saturday July 6th

    We want to make the best of our trip by stopping at all the major sightseeing/ tourist attractions on our way
    we're all young so constant driving wont be a bother to us. maybe we could take one route down and then another on our way back to see different things.
    we would like to see landscapes waterscapes bridges mountains gardens volcanoes stuff like that postcard places... no museums or exhibits shops/ restaurants/ bars that stuff isnt on our list this time
    please help plan the trip! i've read all the threads on this topic and came up with the below list. But everything is vague
    i need 3 or 4 best places to see each way! if you say Savannah, please tell me what to do there :)
    and what do i do for places like Virginia beach? or myrtle beach? just put in virginia beach on the gps? or is there a specific location to see? i ask because 2 years ago we took a trip to the grand canyon... and i did a lousy job planning it... i mean we did see the canyon but we missed out on the "spots" that people rave about. They're never gonna let me live it down :(

    Washington DC (i know this is contrary to our sightseeing list/ but if its on out way we'd like to stop quickly and take a pic in front of the white house =D)
    Virginia Beach
    Myrtle beach, SC
    Busch gardens, Virginia
    Savannah, GA
    Outter banks kitty hawk NC
    Swamp fox south of border NC/SC line
    Assateague Island
    Skyway bridge across tampa bay

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Sights and the Time to See Them

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Certainly you can take differing routes dawn and back, and we would strongly encourage you to do so in order to maximize the number of different sites that you can see on this trip. Two good possibilities, that generally fit with your itinerary, are listed here. However, one thing you said sets off all kinds of alarms:

    Quote Originally Posted by haany
    we're all young so constant driving wont be a bother to us.
    No. You're all young so you don't think it will be a bother to you. But people trying to drive on too little sleep kill as many people each year as do drunk drivers. 'Sleeping' in a moving car while sitting up is not the same as getting eight solid hours in a bed. Yes, having multiple drivers will help a bit as you can keep an eye on each other and relieve a driver too tired to drive whether she wants to be relieved or not. But this requires that a minimum of two people be awake at all times. You cannot rely on the diminished judgement of a sleepy driver to be able to determine when they should stop driving.

    Eight days or so is enough time to make the drive, see a lot of sights, AND get a good solid eight hours' sleep each night.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    I'm very inclined to agree with AZBuck on this one: don't try to drive straight through. If you do, you'll miss a lot of great stuff. Also (something that worked for me when I was young and traveling with others besides my hubby), agree in advance that no one should have to drive for more than 2 hours at a stretch. Maybe have a rotation like Driver, Front Seat Passenger, Back seat passenger side, back seat driver side rotates clockwise or counter clockwise one position every 2 hours.

    Assateague/Chincoteague is about 10 miles off of Rt 13. There's a nice Wildlife Refuge visitor center. Keep your eyes peeled as you drive Rt 175, as you could be lucky (as we were, last summer) to see some of the wild horses on Chincoteague. (Think Marguerite Henry's horse book, MISTY OF CHINCOTEAGUE, from your childhood.) Another thing out that way is a small museum run by NASA, Wallops Island. It's hidden on the east side of the road, but marked, and free. We took about 45 minutes to look through it and enjoyed ourselves.

    Between the eastern section of Virginia, and Norfolk area, is the Chesapeake Bay-Bridge Tunnel. Last summer it set us back about $12 in tolls to cross it, but it was a fascinating crossing for us. One minute you're cruising along on a bridge, the next minute you're in a tunnel going into the bay. I was glad we did this!

    BTW, it's been years since I've been there, but it will probably NOT be easy to just drive into DC and take a photo of the White House. The traffic will be a mess. (My brother assures me that I would rather drive in downtown LA during Rush Hour, than in downtown DC. He's done both, and recently.)

    BTW, last summer we drove from FL up to north-central NJ. We used I-95 from Titusville (overnight at Jacksonville) to exit 8 in SC. From there we jogged around a little until we caught US-17. (Our original intent had been to get off at exit 33 and head east towards US-17, but there was a major traffic snarl that made us get off the interstate and take the state highways.) We took US-17 into Myrtle Beach, where we overnighted. From there we took US-17 to Chesapeake, VA, where we did an overnight and looked up a friend of mine. I *wish* we'd gone out to Cape Hatteras -- so that's on tap for another trip! After Chesapeake, our next overnight was at my brother's house in NJ.


  4. Default

    Awesome advice guys! thanks a bunch Donna and AZBuck!
    i apologize for how i may have worded my post. i would never let anyone drive tired/sleepy
    we're 4 drivers and will drive no more than 2-3 hours at a time. we plan on stopping at motels for at least 6 hours of sleeping in beds!

    so i've come up with a rough sketch of the routes both way.. still dont know what exactly to see/ where to stop at each location. (help!)
    Home NJ--> DC--> Shenandoah--> Blue ridge--> Great Smoky Mountains--> Cedar key --> Orlando
    Orlando--> st. augustine-->Savannah--> Charleston-->Myrtle beach--> Jamestown--> Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel-->Chincoteague NWR-->Cape May-->Home NJ

    Whats all the talk about nc/sc border? Swamp fox? whats there to see? why is it such a tourist destination? How do i get there?
    What is there to do/see in savannah?
    How do you get to the scenic island drive, in historic Jamestown?
    Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, can you pull off on the bridge? to take a pic?
    any info about the marshes in Charleston? im interested in the greenery/gardens/marshes
    has anyone been?

    Any must sees either way that i missed? Any on the list that arent worth it?

    SORRY for the gazillion questions. i hope it doesnt seem like im taking the easy way by just asking here... i assure you im doing the best research i can on each location.

    Thanks again for all your help. I dont know what i would've done without RTA!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    You can't just pull off on the CBBT bridge, but there are designated parking areas.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Somewhat Less Than a Gazillion Answers

    I can't answer all your questions, but I can offer a few suggestions based on first-hand experience in the area.

    The Swamp Fox was a name given to Francis Marion was a patriot/partisan during the American Revolution who would harass the British Army by operating from the lowland areas of South Carolina that he knew much better than the Redcoats. Although he did little serious damage he has become the stuff of legends through books, TV and the movies. One site associated with him is Ninety Six.

    If you want to see swamps, then you'll have two opportunities, one on the way down and one on the way back to visit one of the best in the world, Okefenokee Swamp in southeast Georgia. Another, smaller venue that I really enjoyed was Old Santee Canal State Park north of Charleston. They used to rent canoes, but may have ceased to do so.

    Savannah is a city built around its Squares, and I would recommend that you plot your visit to the city around them as well.

    The Island Loop Drive is part of the national park at Jamestown. I would strongly urge you to take the 'back' way into Jamestown and use the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry rather than fight your way through Norfolk and up I-64, unless of course you also wanted to see Yorktown and Williamsburg.

    As you cross the mouth of the Chesapeake, there are several opportunities to stop on the Bay Bridge-Tunnel, but all are on the shore ore the man made islands where the crossing changes from bridge to tunnel.


  7. Default

    Thanks AZBuck

    whats the difference between taking the ferry and/or not taking it?
    i assume u can take your car on the ferry right? lol never been on one
    is the ferry to get to the island loop drive? or is it after it?

    whats the best order? virginia beach to ferry to island loop drive in jamestown?
    or ferry island loop then virginia beach?

    the next stop would be Chincoteague fyi

    thanks a bunch!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Ferry

    The link for the Scotland-Jamestown Ferry I provided gives you a couple of great bits of info: Any vehicle that is suitable to highway travel will fit on the ferry, and the charge is $0, nada, nothing! As you continue north off the ferry on VA-31, the first right you come to will be the entrance to the Jamestown portion of the Colonial National Historical Park. That includes the loop drive.

    Since you are coming up from Myrtle Beach, I'd do it in this order: ferry, Jamestown, ferry, Virginia Beach, Bay-Bridge Tunnel. This avoids the Hampton Roads area and the congestion associated with the I-64 tunnel. Returning from Jamestown take VA-31 back to the ferry and south to VA-10 east to US-13 and I-264 which will take you to Virginia Beach. Then just use US-60 to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.


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