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  1. Default NYC/NJ to Orlando in 16 days. Help please!!


    New to the forum here. Just posted a long one but seems like it didn't actually get posted, so here goes another try. I've gone through numerous posts on similar topics and learned a lot. Based on that I'm trying to put together a 14-16 Day road trip for 2 families - 4 adults (mid 30's), 1 adult (60's) and 4 children (7,6,5,4) - from Northern NJ to Orlando in early August in 2 vans.

    We are planning on staying in Orlando for 8 days, which gives us 6~8 days to drive up and down. We are making sure we follow these rules:
    1. Kids must enjoy each stop/activity during the day - Adults can drink at night 
    2. Maximum driving at 6~8 hours per day (my wife is pregnant)
    3. Proper sleeping each night (no sleeping in the car/overnight driving)
    4. Have a memorable trip in the US (4 members are visiting from out of the country)

    I was thinking of doing the following travel schedule
    1. Leave NJ/NYC
    2. 1 night in Philly (Museum, Historical district)
    3. 1 night in DC (white house)
    Stop by: Shenandoah (rafting ??? )
    Drive by: Blue Ridge Pkwy ???
    4. 1 night near Charlotte / Raleigh / Chapel Hill ???
    Stop by: some beach in Northeast FL (St Augustine / Daytona ???)
    5. 7 nights in Orlando
    6. 1 night in Savannah or Charleston ??? (Activities ???)
    7. 1 night near Chesapeake (Activities ???)
    Drive by: CBBT
    8. 1 night in AC or Ocean city ???
    9. Back to NJ/NYC

    What are your thoughts on this schedule?
    I’ve thrown in quite a few places I did not have in mind after going through the forum. I also sensed aversion to i-95, which I completely concur with – especially between NYC and DC + 495. That said, I would very much appreciate any comments/suggestions/guidance on the itinerary above as well as suggested routes from point to point. I’ve highlighted areas I have questions on with ???

    This is our first road trip as a family and we are very excited. I am glad that I found such a knowledgeable and active forum!

    Thank you,


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Looks Good.

    Hi, and welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum.

    You certainly have done a great job putting your trip plan in place. I'm glad the forum has helped with the important basics of a trip - your first four points.

    Once you get south of NC I-95 is actually quite good. So no need to dismiss it completely. However, even though I have driven down to FL from MA several times, I cannot rattle off the routes like some other members can. I am sure one or more will be along shortly.

    When it comes to the FL beach towns, St Augustine would be my choice. A lovely city with so much to see. But can get very busy for that very reason, as can their beach.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Concerns and Possible Solutions

    I agree that you've obviously put a lot of thought into your routes, and applaud your efforts to make the trip more enjoyable for the kids and your wife. So let me first address a couple of problems I see. The first and most obvious is that under your current plan, after two days on the road you'll only have gotten about 240 miles, as far as Washington DC. You then plan to cover around 1000 miles over the next two days. You won't be able to do that and keep the driving times to under 6-8 hours, particularly if you make the detour to use the much slower Blue Ridge Parkway. You'd do much better to more evenly spread out the driving and save one of the major northern cities for the return drive, or even another trip altogether. I'd suggest instead that you plan on getting to Washington on Day 1, and stay on or around the Mall until early evening, leaving town only after rush hour. Then a Day 2 target of Mount Airy NC and a Day 3 target of Hendersonville SC, would not only set a more steady pace, but put you in smaller, quieter towns for your adult beverages and sleeping.

    Similarly, on the way back, overnight stopping points in Charleston SC and Virginia Beach would put you within a day's drive of NYC, or let you take two days from Virginia Beach and visit Philly on the way back, or use that 'extra' day to explore Charleston in some depth, or just get home a day earlier.

    Now, as for things to do along the way. I suspect that you've already found and read my previous post on just such a trip. If not, it's a pretty good source for what's generally available. I would specifically suggest, especially if you decide to take my advice and skip Philly on the way south, that you get to Washington by taking I-78 out of NYC to Harrisburg PA, then US-15 south past Gettysburg to Frederick MD and I-270 into the DC area. Also, my suggested second overnight of Mount Airy NC might mean something to the older members of the group. It was Andy Griffith's hometown and the inspiration for Mayberry. And Hendersonville has a nice little (free!) historical museum as well as a nearby 'gem' mine that kids tend to enjoy very much.

    On the return, in Charleston SC, a ferry ride from Patriot's Point out to Fort Sumter is absolutely de rigueur. If you spend a little more time, I would suggest a visit to one of the old plantations along River Road, a walking tour of the old downtown open-air market, or a narrated carriage ride through the older sections of town. Finally, even if you decide to hoof it back to NYC in one day from Virginia Beach, consider taking the ferry from Lewes DE to Cape May NJ. The kids will love it, and the adults won't have to drive. It is also very stable and unless the weather is very bad should not induce nausea. If you do decide to take two days with a stop in Philly, take the time on the way up the Delmarva Peninsula to visit both Chincoteague Island NWR (home to some unique ponies) and Wallops Island (home to a NASA launch facility with a nice little kid-friendly museum/visitors center.) Those two are practically next-door neighbors.

    You don't mention it, but I'm curious as to your travel vehicle(s) for nine people?


  4. Default

    Thank you so much for the feedback, Lifemagician & AZBuck.

    you kinda nailed my concerns. I'll review my schedule again and post it.

    I'm planning to take 1 minivan + full size SUV for the travel. (and like 5 ipads with mifi)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Maps.

    Quote Originally Posted by dryu81 View Post
    .... (and like 5 ipads with wifi)
    You will however be carrying good maps as well, won't you? Don't set out with just your electronics. Many have done so at their peril, some with fatal consequences. By all means use them, but have good maps as your primary navigation tool. AAA has good maps free to members.


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