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  1. #1

    Default Miami to Niagara? Brave or stupid

    Hi, I am new here and from Scotland so please be gentle. I am flying into Miami next June and I am planning on heading straight to Niagara then back to Miami via the east coast.

    I am looking for any advice?

    I enjoy driving and I don't have a problem doing long distances (can clock between 700 and 1000 miles in a day) and I enjoy being behind the wheel.

    The vehicle I am renting is a full size SUV. Something like a chevy tahoe which I guess will be a pleasant place to rack up the miles.

    From what I can see the 95 would be my best bet heading North but coming back I would like to run as close to the coast as possible taking in as many sights as possible so the 1 or the 1a?

    I am spending a night in Miami when I arrive as I land at 1800 and think I may need a rest before I head north. That is the only accommodation I have booked. Happy to sleep in the car if needs must.

    Can anyone help me with tips or routes that I can take? I am traveling alone so won't have to worry about someone else needing rest stops.

    Thanks for your help.

    Stephen.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    PLEASE don't plan on more than 600 miles a day. Driving long hours DAY AFTER DAY is completely unsafe, and is actually illegal for professional truck drivers. Also, you can't just pull over anywhere and sleep in the car - for both safety and legal reasons.

    Before I can recommend routes, how many days do you have to make the trip, each way? It will take a minimum of 3 days each way taking Interstate highways, longer if you want to take secondary roads or do any sightseeing.

    Note that the "northeast corridor", which is centered on I-95 from Richmond to Boston, is very congested and not particularly scenic.

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

    Default Let's Just Say Foolish

    Ceud měle fŕilte! Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Any plan that involves driving 700-1000 miles a day is foolish at the least. Not only is it unsafe, but it is counterproductive to actually enjoying your trip. If all you do is "see" America through your windscreen, you might as well just stay home and watch travel videos. The other major problem with your stated plan is your intention "to sleep in the car if needs must." As one who has made good use of Scotland's liberal (some would say nonexistent) trespassing laws, I would have to warn you that the situation here is completely different. There are very few places where you can park overnight to sleep in your car and not be rousted by the local constabulary for violating somebody's personal property rights. To try to do it on the fly as "needs must" is essentially impossible.

    With those two caveats you can certainly have a great time making the journey from Miami to Niagara Falls and back assuming you have at least a week and a half for the drive. I wouldn't recommend I-95. There are certainly better alternatives both inland and along the coast. So clearly you can have a great trip as long as you realize that not having to worry about someone else needing rest doesn't mean that you as the driver of a three-ton vehicle don't need any.

    AZBuck

  4. #4

    Default

    thanks guys, I wasn't sure what the rules were for having a wee sleep in the car.

    I have 18 days to complete my trip and was only planning on going to NY then slowly making my way back to Miami 18 days later.

    As you can guess my plans are not set in stone so I could change my route and hopefully see some of the beautiful sights on the way.

    I am not fussed about the usual tourist stuff and I prefer beautiful countryside and views to Disney world.

    Any routes would be appreciated and maybe a few places to visit.

    Thanks again.

    Stephen

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    The fastest way to Niagara Falls is I-95/I-26/I-77/I-79/I-90. This is about 1500 miles and assuming a morning start out of Miami, plan on overnighting in Savannah and Charleston, WV.

    Coming back there would be a multitude of ways to do it, just keep in mind that the I-95 corridor from Boston to Washington is very congested and not particularly scenic.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default One in the same?

    Quote Originally Posted by elliss23 View Post
    Miami to Niagara? Brave or stupid
    I don't think that's an either or question. Really, when it comes to driving on an American Freeway, anything that requires Bravery probably is pretty Stupid.

    If you want to enjoy beautiful sites along the way, why would you limit yourself to the most congested freeways in North America on either leg of your trip? Instead, why don't you enjoy a loop where you are exploring great sites both directions? Look at the Links Buck provided earlier for many great ideas.

  7. #7

    Default

    I wasn't sure which was the best route and some of the motorways over here pass through some beautiful scenery. Not sure about the I95 but now I know to avoid it.

    Thanks for the link, I will have a good look at it later and maybe plan a map to see what it looks like.

    Is there anything I need to keep in mind when driving on US roads? I have been driving for around 17 years and have had left and right hand drive vehicles and driven on the left and the right of the road, not in the same place !!

    I guess gas stations are freely available along most routes? And is there anywhere that would be best avoided?

    TIA

    Stephen.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    You should never have a problem finding gas stations, food, and lodging. The Interstates generally have signs before each exit indicating what services are available at the next exit. Use your senses to avoid areas, if it doesn't feel or seem right, it probably isn't.

    Travel with a laptop, wifi is generally available in lots of locations.

  9. #9

    Default

    Just looking at the Appalachians trail as a way north or even back from NY, Do you guys think I am biting off more than I can chew?

    Just have it in my mind that Miami or even key west to Niagara or NYC and back is doable but I don't just want to spend my 18 days driving.

    Spent some time in LA but always wanted to do the east coast.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    The Appalachian Trail is a hiking trail, you can't drive on it. However, there's no reason why you couldn't take part of the Blue Ridge Parkway and/or Skyline Drive.

    If you want to break the trip in half instead of deadheading it one way, look at taking an inland route one way and a coastal route the other way. Get a good set of paper maps or a road atlas to start your planning.

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