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  1. Default Late March trip from Peterborough, Ontario to Fort Myers Beach, Florida

    We are planning our first driving trip to Florida late March 2014. We plan to take at least 2 nights to get there. We would leave Peterborough early in the morning and would like to arrive in Fort Myers by mid day on the 3rd day (reservation starting March 22nd). We are looking for the best route. Also wondering if we could encounter snow in the northern states at that time. I understand that driving time is 23 to 25 hours. We would also like suggestions for overnight stops.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Just Possible

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    If you concentrate simply on driving each of the 2½ days that you have allocated to being on the road, and take no more than the minimal gas/food/restroom breaks, then it is just possible for you to safely make this trip covering 550 miles each of the first two days and 'only' 450 miles on the last day. That will get you into Fort Myers Beach in the afternoon of the third day assuming you don't hit any unexpected traffic, construction or other major delays. I would not try to cover more than that on any given day no matter what some computer software tells you. In the real world you simply cannot do much more than 550 mile a day safely. Note that professional long-haul drivers are limited by law to 600 miles on any given day, and cannot drive multiple 600 mile days, for safety reasons.

    The most direct route, and the only one that will let you complete this drive in the time you've set aside for it, is: the QEW out of Toronto and around to Niagara Falls, I-90 to Erie PA, I-79 south to Sutton WV (your first night's stop), then use US-19 to cut down to I-77 south to Columbia SC, I-26 west to I-95 south spending your second night in Savannah GA. Continue on to Daytona Beach and take I-4 west through Orlando and use FL-570 and US-98 to connect to US-17 south to US-41/I-75 south and stay with US-41 then FL-879 into Fort Myers Beach.

    AZBuck

  3. Default

    AZBuck

    We are not in a huge rush. We want it to be a relaxing holiday, so three nights on the road would be fine. Better to have a great trip & not be exhausted when we get there. What suggestions do you have for that time frame?

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

    Default In That Case....

    If you add a day or so to your available time, then all of that time can be spent relaxing, taking short walks, seeing the occasional historic site, spending the evening watching the sunset, and other pursuits more in keeping with a vacation than simply driving hour after hour. I would still take the basic route that I outlined before (with some minor changes), but now you have time to stop and see some things along those highways. And doing so would only drop your daily mileage total to the 450-500 mile range. Overnight stops would then be Morgantown WV (a college town), Ridgeway SC, and maybe Ocala FL. If you want a major stop en route, then a modest detour using the Blue Ridge Parkway (if fully open - check before starting out, there is only minimal snow removal on the BRP) from Fancy Gap VA to its southern terminus at Soco Gap will put you in position to visit Smoky Mountains National Park. I'd also look at taking an alternative to I-95/I-4 through central Florida such as US-301 from just west of Jacksonville FL down to the Tampa area.

    AZBuck

  5. Default

    "Thanks AJ" it sounds like a plan. Now we can research and plan some activities en route.

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