AZ to FL
I am driving from Phoenix, AZ to Pensacola, FL in December and am looking for advice on the quickest route. (I know from experience that Google Maps is not always accurate! Lol.)
I am not interested in any scenic/tourist/adventure stops, as I have lived in most of the states I am driving through - I just want to get from A to B. Thanks :)
Welcome to the RTA forum!
The fastest is about as straightforward as it gets: Hop on I-10 and go. Google pretty good about showing the fastest route, where isn't go providing accurate travel time estimate. At about 1900 miles, you should plan for spending 3.5 days on the road, in good weather. While you are crossing the southern most part of the US, I-10 is not immune from seeing winter weather.
With the following exceptions:
1. Take Loop-1604 around downtown San Antonio.
2. Take the north segment of I-610 around downtown Houston.
3. Take I-12 between Baton Rouge and Slidell.
To get around El Paso (whose traffic can be a bit annoying), use the following suggested by the late Harry Kline:
There is a nice bypass around downtown El Paso and all the traffic. That will take you up over the Franklin Mountains (two nice overlooks up there too) and down into North El Paso where the road continues as a divided highway around the east side of the city, mostly desert landscape. It rejoins I-10 at Exit 44 and you are already past most of the city and ready for open country driving again.
I would warn you that you will probably want to make your first night's stop at Van Horn. It's about 550 miles from Phoenix. The next overnight possibility is Fort Stockton, another 110 miles down the road. That's too long a day (take it from me, experienced with this). You lose an hour between Phoenix and Van Horn in December, too.