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  1. Default Birmingham AL to Jacksonville FL

    Hello roadtripamerica!

    I just found this site today. Awesome place!
    I love driving. Especially long haul driving! My girlfriend and I are planning a trip to head to Jacksonville, FL from Birmingham, AL. Iíve done this trip two times before.

    Both times, we traveled on interstate 65 south through Montgomery, connecting to highway 231 and then finally onto interstate 10 the rest of the way. I canít complain about this route, but since I am a road tripping enthusiast, I always love trying new routes!

    My question is, how is it driving through Atalanta? If I were to take Interstate 20 and connect to interstate 75 in the heart of Atlanta. Iíve never driven through Atlanta. Is there a preferred time to connect from i20 and i75? Would my best bet be to take this trip over night? Should I avoid Atlanta all together and stick to my normal route?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,258

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    I'd avoid Atlanta at all costs. Try this as a decent alternate:

    Take I-65 to Montgomery, get on I-85 east. Take Exit 15 to AL-110, take that to US-82 to I-75 to I-10.

    This should take you approximately the same time as using US-231 and is about 15 miles shorter.

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Welcome to RTA!

    I'd avoid Atlanta at all costs. Try this as a decent alternate:

    Take I-65 to Montgomery, get on I-85 east. Take Exit 15 to AL-110, take that to US-82 to I-75 to I-10.

    This should take you approximately the same time as using US-231 and is about 15 miles shorter.
    I'll look into this route! Thanks for the suggestion! :D

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,935

    Default Following on from glc's suggestions.....

    If you like roadtrips, start of by getting some decent maps or a road atlas, and check out all the alternatives to the interstates. Only when you start ignoring the interstates, and taking the minor highways - many of which are still four lane - will you get to see a different view each time you make this trip. I have found US90 a great alternative to I-10. Not much slower, but certainly much more interes5ting and scenic. There are dozens of other options to and through FL.

    Lifey

  5. Default

    Since there'll be two of you, you can drive in the HOV lanes!

    High Occupancy Vehicle

    Depending on the day and time, you might want to go straight through. We've done this several times and enjoyed watching passing the traffic jam of single driver cars. It's great fun. Sometimes though, the HOV lane can back up too. I usually chance it.

    You have to be on the ball though. Several times the HOV lane separates from I-75 and becomes a one lane road. Can get confusing if you're not paying attention.

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post
    If you like roadtrips, start of by getting some decent maps or a road atlas, and check out all the alternatives to the interstates. Only when you start ignoring the interstates, and taking the minor highways - many of which are still four lane - will you get to see a different view each time you make this trip. I have found US90 a great alternative to I-10. Not much slower, but certainly much more interes5ting and scenic. There are dozens of other options to and through FL.

    Lifey
    Thanks for the response! I hope this doesn't sound to lame, but I always love spending part of my trip on interstates. They are fun to drive in my eyes. I would love to venture off for a little bit though. Do you have any suggestions for a good road atlas? I have been using Google maps only, but perhaps I should get something physical. I have been thinking about get the 2018 Rand McNally Large Scale Road Atlas. Not sure if that would be a worthwhile investment or not?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by travelingman View Post
    Since there'll be two of you, you can drive in the HOV lanes!

    High Occupancy Vehicle

    Depending on the day and time, you might want to go straight through. We've done this several times and enjoyed watching passing the traffic jam of single driver cars. It's great fun. Sometimes though, the HOV lane can back up too. I usually chance it.

    You have to be on the ball though. Several times the HOV lane separates from I-75 and becomes a one lane road. Can get confusing if you're not paying attention.
    That is awesome they have HOV lanes. Thanks for the response :)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,935

    Default You won't do better!

    Quote Originally Posted by senatorarmstrong View Post
    Not sure if that would be a worthwhile investment or not?
    It would be a great investment, but if you are a member of AAA you can get maps of all the States (and Provinces of Canada) free.

    Google is fine as a back up, but when on the open road your primary navigation tool should be good physical maps. Many of us travel with an atlas, AAA maps and then pick up a free map of the States through which we travel, as we;; as well as our electronics. Not only do all the maps have an incredicble amount of detail (unlike most electtronics), but I often find each has something the other two do not have.

    Florida has a very good free map. Pick it up at the Welcome centre.

    Lifey

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,536

    Default

    We have one of the large scale Rand McNally atlases, as well as a regular scale and a smaller atlas. We also have a trucker's atlas -- we keep an atlas in each of our travel vehicles, and two in the house. I like the large scale one, because it's easy to read, but it is kind of annoying to have to flip the pages from one side of the state to the other, and some states are on 4 pages.

    We usually travel with a stand-alone GPS unit, as well as the ones on our phones. But this past trip, we didn't use the stand-alone at all, because the maps on the smartphones were more up to date.

    Like Lifey, we also pick up maps for our trips at AAA, and then stop at the Welcome Centers. The latter give you a good stretch of the legs, usually laden with informational maps and booklets, and also coupon booklets for lodging.


    Donna

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,347

    Default Shorter, Longer, Different

    Like you, I'm always looking to take different routes between places I've already driven between. Besides the change of scenery, taking 'new roads'© gives me the chance to see new roadside attractions and visit lesser-known (and less visited) historic sites. Anyway, one of the things I'll do is to try to find the road(s) that are closest to 'as the crow flies'. This will usually result in driving fewer miles while taking more time, but is almost always well worth it. So... No software mapping program, nor the fine actual people at AAA, will recommend the following route, but have a look at it anyway.

    Leave Birmingham on US-280 and follow that all the way down to Roland GA. There pick up GA-520 and stay with that until it hits GA-45 south to Dawson GA where you'll take US-82 east to Albany, There use US-19 as a bypass around the town and rejoin US-82 on the east side and continue on US-82 to Peterson GA where you'll take US-441 south. At Fargo GA take GA-94 to FL-2 to Moniac FL. Next up, FL-185/FL-121 to I-10 and Jacksonville.

    The above route is about 60 miles shorter than the Interstate route through Atlanta and 35 miles shorter than the route you have taken in the past, BUT it will take about half an hour longer to drive due to the slower roads. Still, it can be driven easily in a day and will give e you a much different feel for the country you're driving through than sticking mainly to the superslabs.

    AZBuck

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    Like you, I'm always looking to take different routes between places I've already driven between. Besides the change of scenery, taking 'new roads'© gives me the chance to see new roadside attractions and visit lesser-known (and less visited) historic sites. Anyway, one of the things I'll do is to try to find the road(s) that are closest to 'as the crow flies'. This will usually result in driving fewer miles while taking more time, but is almost always well worth it. So... No software mapping program, nor the fine actual people at AAA, will recommend the following route, but have a look at it anyway.

    Leave Birmingham on US-280 and follow that all the way down to Roland GA. There pick up GA-520 and stay with that until it hits GA-45 south to Dawson GA where you'll take US-82 east to Albany, There use US-19 as a bypass around the town and rejoin US-82 on the east side and continue on US-82 to Peterson GA where you'll take US-441 south. At Fargo GA take GA-94 to FL-2 to Moniac FL. Next up, FL-185/FL-121 to I-10 and Jacksonville.

    The above route is about 60 miles shorter than the Interstate route through Atlanta and 35 miles shorter than the route you have taken in the past, BUT it will take about half an hour longer to drive due to the slower roads. Still, it can be driven easily in a day and will give e you a much different feel for the country you're driving through than sticking mainly to the superslabs.

    AZBuck
    I love this idea! Thank you! :D

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