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  1. Default Advice on New York to Miami Road Trip

    Hi all,

    I am planning an East Coast road trip in July and wanted to see if it made sense to people more in the know than me! I am in the UK and have never been to the US before. 2 of us going, no kids.

    This is the plan:

    Fly into NY on a Friday and spend Fri, Sat, Sun in the city.
    Monday morning hire a car (Ford Mustang probs) and drive to Washington. Look around and spend a night in Washington.
    Tues: drive to Virginia Beach, VA
    Wed: Myrtle Beach, SC
    Thursday: Jacksonville, FL
    Friday: drive to Orlando - near Universal Park
    Sat, Sun, Mon at Universal Parks
    Monday evening drive to Miami evening
    Tues and Weds in Miami
    Thursday: get an internal flight from Miami to NY
    Flight NY back to UK

    It's about 1500 miles, can anyone guess how much gas is it likely to be?

    Any other suggestions for the trip?

    Last edited by mrtomuk; 03-31-2010 at 07:51 AM. Reason: adding date of the trip

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Welcome!

    Welcome to the RoadTrip America Forum!

    For 1500 miles should be around $250 at current prices and estimating 24mpg.

    Your itinerary gives you little time in Washington, DC, as it's about a five hour drive. An alternative would be to skip it (unless you have your heart set) and head straight to Virginia Beach via the DelMarVa peninsula.

    Otherwise, the distances and time for each travel day seem reasonable.

  3. #3


    I would consider taking the train (Amtrak) from NYC (Penn Station) to DC (Union Station) and then renting your car in DC. Amtrak would probably run you about $100 for two one-way tickets and you wouldn't have to drive the Northeast corridor (I-95), which has a lot of traffic and is really not all that fun for that stretch. It would probably also get you there quicker (under 4 hours). Also, you'd save one day on the car rental price, gas and possible expense to park in DC.

    An even cheaper alternative would be to take a bus from NYC to DC.

  4. #4

    Default The beach stops

    Hello mrtomuk,
    I must admit to a considerable bias against heavily-developed beaches, but my question about your choices is honestly more related to how much out of the way these stops are on your planned route. By reviewing your maps or mapping software, you'll see that I-95 runs well inland from the coast: Virginia Beach is around 120 miles east of I-95 and Myrtle Beach is nearly as far. Plus, the drive from Virginia Beach to Myrtle Beach is one which we locals describe as "you can't get there from here", which is actually just a manner of saying one must navigate around the North Carolina sounds (inland seas/estuaries) on a number of bridges and/or ferries, or otherwise drive the 120 miles due west from Va Beach to reach I-95, thence square back off to the east around Lumberton, NC in order to access Myrtle Beach.

    All of this to say: you might enjoy the trip from DC to Wilmington/Wrightsville Beach, NC, spend a couple of nights there, then re-access I-95 at Florence, SC. That gives you some time at the beach, some time in Wilmington ( a nice old port city close to the beach) and avoids the very crowded, heavily-developed coasts of Virginia Beach and Myrtle Beach (oops, there's my bias again!). I haven't mapped it out, but I suspect the travel time/distance from Wilmington to Jacksonville is similar to that from Myrtle Beach to Jacksonville.

    Have fun planning and taking your RoadTrip!


  5. Default

    Thanks for your advice everyone, it's really useful.

    Mass Tim, that's roughly what I thought on the gas prices, it's SO much cheaper than the UK!

    scosm, I will definitely look at the train for NY to DC, I was dreading driving in NY!

    Foy, thanks for your thoughts on the stop-overs. I shall take it into consideration. Check out the route I thought here:

    Google Map

    The bit between Virginia Beach and Myrtle Beach looked ok I thought?

  6. #6



    Your google map shows 341 miles and 6.5 hours from VB to MM via US 17. The 341 seems correct, and as is often the case, google maps shows an average of 52.5 mph for the trip--which appears to a material underestimate of travel time by overestimating the travel speed. It takes close to an hour to get away from the VB oceanfront to US 17, then one must go through Elizabeth City, New Bern, Jacksonville, Wilmington, and at least a dozen, dozen and a half smaller towns. High speed cruising, it's not, and much of the route is 2 lane. There must be in excess of 100 stoplights over the 341 miles. I'd reckon more like 8.5 hours for that trip.

    If I were intent to go to VB and MB the next day, I'd be inclined to go west from VB on US 58 to I-95 at Emporia (home of the world-famous speed trap!), thence down I-95 to I-40 at Benson, NC, thence east (actually south) to the new US 17 bypass at Wilmington, thence to MB. I don't know how much farther that'd be, but it's got to be a much more relaxing drive. One gets virtually no impression of being along the coast on US 17 between VB and Wilmington, to begin with.


  7. Default

    Gas is running $2.70-2.80 in the Carolinas these days.

    A Mustang is a wonderful car, but it's going to rent for a premium price and the Mustang is known for enjoying a good drink at every gas station it passes. If money is an issue, choosing a less expensive car is an obvious choice.

  8. Default

    Hi, didn't see your post until after i had posted a similar thread, we are planning a similar trip early august, only going as far down as far as tampa for a wedding. I'll keep an eye on your thread and see what other advice you get. Hope evreything goes well for you, exciting isn't it??, all the best tony and alison

  9. Default perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by mrtomuk View Post
    Thanks for your advice everyone, it's really useful.

    Mass Tim, that's roughly what I thought on the gas prices, it's SO much cheaper than the UK!

    scosm, I will definitely look at the train for NY to DC, I was dreading driving in NY!

    Foy, thanks for your thoughts on the stop-overs. I shall take it into consideration. Check out the route I thought here:

    Google Map

    The bit between Virginia Beach and Myrtle Beach looked ok I thought?
    i don't live in the Carolinas, but i do drive the US 13-17 route rather than I-95 between FL and NY. to me, it's really a question of what you prize most. i am not a fan of I-95 so to me it is worth the extra time to travel the back roads rather than hunker down with everyone else. that said, i do agree with the poster who suggested skipping VA Beach and Myrtle Beach. if you are driving from DC you can drive down either side of Chesapeake Bay to Norfolk/VA Beach and get to Eastern NC fairly quickly. if you do go the way your google map shows, here are a few observations--

    --Newport/VA Beach can be a traffic headache, and the old US 17 is a mess. 168 south is a pretty quick way out.
    --US 17 in NC is mostly a four-lane road with bypasses around the larger towns and stoplights for major rural intersections. the exception to this is on both sides of New Bern. there are bypasses around Elizabeth City, Washington (under construction) New Bern, Jacksonville and partially around Wilmington (US 17/I-140).
    --there is also an excellent bypass for Myrtle Beach--SC 31.
    --do stay with US 17 into Charleston (not I-526), as it will take you over the new bridge. just don't do it at rush hour.
    --in NC, if you really want to have a nice, if rural, drive, you might want to look at NC 32 and then pick up 17 again at Washington, NC.
    --the VA part of the Delmarva peninsula is extremely quiet, as there are no beaches. apart from the chicken plants it is the land that time forgot. plus you get the Chesapeake Bay bridge-tunnel.

    the nice thing about US 17 in the Carolinas is that you can stop pretty much anywhere and you are not limited to the usual highway blandness. and it takes you to/through a number of interesting towns in NC--New Bern (don't take the shortcut on your map--stay with 17 for an interesting water view of New Bern); Wilmington (a river not a beach town), and then in SC, Charleston and Georgetown and in GA, Savannah. that said, some of it is ugly, too, especially the sprawl around Myrtle Beach and Wilmington.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum, Sparky!

    You're certainly not alone in not being a fan of I-95, and those are some excellent, and detailed, suggestions for other good ways to get up the East Coast. Thanks for sharing!

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