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  1. Default Driving from South FL to Nashville, TN

    Hi, we have a week where we are driving from South FL to Nashville, TN. We need to be in Nashville for 2 days but other than that we have no specific plans. I am clueless on what to do in Nashville with our kids (15, 12, 10, 9) and where to stop on the way there are back. We don't mind driving all in one day...but not sure what to in Nashville with our kids. And...we aren't sure where to stop on the way up and back and things to do. We are not use to vacations like this...we have only taken cruises with our kids, this type of open vacation is making me lost! We are traveling to Vanderbilt University to visit our cousins. Any very specific advice would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default First and Foremost!!!

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    I cannot stress this enough. You need two full days to drive from 'South Florida' (I assumed Miami) to Nashville. The particular town you're leaving from doesn't really matter that much as it's still going to require you to drive nearly a thousand miles. Even if you stick to Interstates and make only standard stops for fuel, food, restrooms and the like, that is 18 hours in transit. You need to make an overnight stop or the kids will be in open revolt long before you reach Nashville!

    When you add that overnight stop, I think you'll find that the trip immediately becomes much more manageable. Two back-to-back days of driving 500 miles is eminently doable and even leaves time for a couple of stops each day along the Interstates that otherwise you'd just have to go barreling past as your kids fought in the back seat.

    I'm going to suggest that you stay in Lake city/White Springs area, not because that's necessarily your destination, but it's about half way, at the crossroads of I-10 and I-75 so there will be plenty of lodging options nearby, and because it allows you to shop for just one place to stay both coming and going (but on two different dates, of course) saving you some planning hassle.

    Doing so also means that you can use a different route between there and Nashville north- and south-bound so that you and the kids can explore different places and things on the two different legs. On one leg you'd use I-75/I-24 through Atlanta and Chattanooga, on the other you'd use I-10/US-231/I-65 through Tallahassee and Birmingham.

    A few other general hints to help get you started. Have each of your kids pick out a couple of places they'd like to see on whatever route(s) you choose. Getting them involved gets automatic buy-in and means that they'll almost automatically have a better time than if they're just doing what mom and dad want. You might even have a spare day, even with taking two days each way and spending two days in Nashville, so see if there's anywhere along the way where you'd like to spend that.

    I was just in Nashville last spring and loved it, but my wife's tastes and mine run to history and stately homes, so the only place I have personal knowledge of that might interest your kids is the Lane Auto Museum. But let us know what they like and maybe we can offer some appropriate suggestions.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Some good maps will help you.

    Following on from Buck's advice, get hold of some really good detailed maps, which show so much more than what you will find on electronic mapping. If these are not available locally, you could purchase a Rand McNally road atlas from the RTA store via the link at the bottom of this page. Good maps are also available from AAA (free to members). Free maps are also available at each State's visitor information centre. Florida has a particularly good one.

    These will show you where the scenic routes are, when you want a respite from the interstates, where there are historical sites, nature and wildlife refuges and so much more. If you are starting from Miami, I would highly recommend that you start by following highway A1A north as far as Cape Canarveral. This would also make a good stop over with your children. The Kennedy Space Centre is a very interesting place, and your children are at the right age to really appreciate it.

    Teach the children how to read a map, and get them to give you the general directions. They will benefit greatly from that.


  4. Default

    Thank you- I will take a look at your ideas. My kids are kind of use to the long car rides (I don't fly). We drive to North Carolina about 2x a year and drive straight through - but the destination is seeing my family for weeks at a time so there is nothing to plan along the way. I am hoping they won't revolt this time either! :)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Why risk it ?

    You don't say your exact start and finish points, but 800 miles plus shouldn't be done 'straight through'. It's a bit like playing Russian roulette where you may walk away a few times before the inevitable happens. Yes fatigue is a killer and it's the reason professional drivers are limited by law to their driving hours, which equates to about 600 miles maximum on the road per day. I would recommend you follow these guidelines next time you visit family in NC and for your trip to Nashville. I can't see any advantage in risking lives when you are spending weeks at a time at your destination, make the journey enjoyable so your Kids love road trips and do not just endure them.

    Have a safe trip !

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