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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Kernersville, North Carolina, United States
    Posts
    3

    Default NC to Estero, Florida using back roads! Did someone say Memories or Crazy??

    We are heading from Kernersville NC to Estero Florida for a Hockey tournament. My husband feels the need to make road trip memories and wants to use back roads. We will be traveling CHRISTMAS EVE and Christmas Day. If anyone has advice on back roads, good food stops, although most will be closed because it's a holiday, or interesting and unusual sights or photo ops, we would appreciate the info!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Definitely not crazy!

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum.

    Although my familiarity with the area is not sufficient to name routes for you, I can tell you how I typically approach a trip like that.

    Get out good maps, such as are published by AAA and Rand McNally and see which routes are marked as scenic routes. I would choose mostly those routes and link them with other routes I can find on the map.

    You will however need to check weather.

    Have a great Christmas Trip.

    Lifey

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default It Comes at a Price

    It is certainly possible to take 'back' roads for your trip, but you need to be aware of the cost. Mainly it is one of time. While taking the Interstates would require a solid day and a half of driving, that would leave at least a moderate amount of time to make a few memorable stops along the way. Taking the back roads on the other hand would take the full two days that you say you have available, with time only for brief photo ops, short walks, and picnic lunches. If you can devote a third day to the drive down, or even leave in the afternoon/evening of Dec. 23rd, then your husband's desire to have a memorable journey has the best chance of succeeding. There is a second price as well. Following the Interstates is relatively easy. It's 'just' I-85/I-77/I-26/I-95/I-4/I-75. Taking the back roads requires a navigator with a bit of map reading skills to be constantly aware of where you are and what road your looking for to follow next.

    To help you reach a decision on which way to go, I'll lay out a back road route for you so you can check it on a map. You'd leave the Greensboro area on I-73 south. This is to get you on your way - I assume you've seen most of the back roads around your home. At Rockingham NC, where I-73 ends, take US-74 west for about 5-6 miles to NC-145 south and continue when it becomes SC-145 at the state line. This will put you on US-1 south near McBee SC. Just southwest of Camden SC switch over to using US-601 south to Orangeburg SC where US-301 becomes your road to follow. Your next road change occurs at Statesboro GA where you'd get on US-25 south for just a bit before getting on GA-169 south and then GA-121 south when the two roads run together west of Glennville. Leave GA-121 at Blackshear for US-84 west to Homerville and US-441 south. Pick up US-41 south in Lake City FL, and US-27 south in High Springs. US-27 takes you all the way down to just past Haines City where you'd use FL-544 west to jog over to US-17 south to Arcadia. There, I'd use FL-31 south to avoid the Tampa - St. Petersburg area. At Fort Meyers, US-41 south will take you the rest of the way to Estero. Not quite as straightforward as the directions for the Interstate route, is it? On the other hand, such a route will avoid much of the holiday traffic and most of the large cities between your home and your destination.

    So, that's your basic choice for routes although you can, of course, alter either one of them a bit to suit your own tastes. Major attractions on the way where you might want to spend more time than just a quick visit include Congaree National Park, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, and others depending on which way you go.

    AZBuck

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Kernersville, North Carolina, United States
    Posts
    3

    Default Wow thank you!

    Thank you for all the info. I believe you are correct and it will not allow for much "memory making" because we will be so rushed. I might try to convince him to take interstates and look for great stops along the way !

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Kernersville, North Carolina, United States
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Great map info! I'll definitely look into those. Thanks!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Memories can be had, whether on back roads or on interstates. When on interstates, one thing we found helps for better meals: go into the town or the city, and find something that's more local. If you stick to the places right at the exit, it will more likely be a chain that you have access to at home. We found ourselves getting on Urbanspoon and TripAdvisor and searching for places that were local that had good ratings -- one of us (usually me) would do that, read the reviews aloud and wait for the other to comment. That's how we found a few great breakfast places and some lunch places as well. Of course, then I had to route us from the interstate to find the place. It made for memories in Pierre, SD, because the route I found happened to have a lot of construction that neither MapQuest nor our GPS knew anything about. Interesting, though!


    Donna

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