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Thread: NJ to Florida

  1. Default NJ to Florida

    At the end of July my boyfriend and I are driving down to Florida from NJ.
    I haven't visited any of the states really and neither has he. We want to see nice scenery's and try new food or free activities. What states would you recommend stopping at and sights to look at? We really want to enjoy the trip and not do a straight shot down to Florida. Does anyone know of any resting stops on the way down to sleep at? Hotels are just very expensive, are there any camp out spots anyone knows of?
    I have gone on google maps and saw that the trip will take about 18 hours but they of course don't include any rest stops or traffic, so I know of course it will be more. Yet from google maps I can't see where I should stop or if there are any routes I should avoid.
    If anyone has any advice please let me know!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    NJ and FL are two big states, FL being larger. So for the purposes of assisting you, I used Paterson NJ as the departure point, and Miami as the arrival -- 1300 miles. That is more than a two day drive, rather than an "18 hour" trip.

    Don't sell hotels as being "very expensive" as a general rule. There are many variables. There are cheap places, usually mom-and-pop non-chains, budget chains, and more, available, depending on what you require. You may be able to search online and find some good deals.

    Camping is fun, so if you have a little experience with it (or want to get some) and the means to pick up a cheap tent, sleeping bags/pads and something to cook on and with, it can be a big savings. However, you'll usually have to go a little out of your way to find the state park and national forest campgrounds that are a better bargain than privately run campgrounds.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default specifics are important

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    As Donna mentioned, New Jersey and Florida are big places and without specifics it's very difficult for anyone to provide much in the way of help. A trip from Patterson to Miami as Donna guessed would be completely different than say a trip from Atlantic City to Pensacola or from Sussex to Fort Myers.

    What kinds of things are you interested in seeing and doing? There is great scenery to be found in every state, but are you more interested in mountains or coasts or historic sites or cities?

    Similarly, a blanket "hotels are very expensive" really isn't true either. There are times and places you can find budget motels that are even cheaper than some campgrounds (especially if don't already own camping gear), and then there are also alternative lodging options too, like AirBnB that can be possibilities at times. But if you enjoy camping and want to camp, that can be a great option too. And of course, if you want to camp there are literally thousands of camping spots between NJ and Florida.

    The more information you can give us, the more others can help you put together the best trip for you, but that also means you need to do a little work and figure out some things that might be must sees for you, which probably means digging in a little more deeply than scanning an online map. If you really have no ideas, then pulling out some good paper maps will probably give you a better perspective on all the options that are available to you.

  4. Default

    How much time do you have?
    You'd probably be able to do the drive in 2 days, but this would not leave any time for any activities. You'd just be cruising down I95from early morning until after dinner with only short food/gas/toilet stops.

    I don't know much about the route north of SC but can give you some thoughts about the area south of the NC/SC border.

    Depending on where your destination is in Florida you could e.g. take the route along the coast and visit e.g. Myrtle Beach SC, Charleston SC or Savannah GA and also many State Parks, Wildlife Refuges and Wildlife Management Areas that invite for a long stroll/short hike.
    Also there are some lighthouses and Islands to see, maybe a sunset at one of the great beaches?

    If your destination is more towards the west of Florida (Pensacola, PCB,...) you could also take I81 and maybe hit some of the National Forests (Monongahela, George Washington, Jefferson, Cherokee, Nantahala, Chattahoochee, ...).
    Also I would recommend visiting Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge and drive through Great Smoky Mountain NP to Atlanta. Also there are some old plantations to see in the south.

    Just something to get your thoughts going ;)
    If you can tell us how much time you have and where you're headed to (roughly) we can maybe get you some more input.


  5. Default

    Thank you all so much for the help!
    sorry I realized I was very vague in my post, we will be starting from sussex county to west palm beach atlantic, we have from the end of july (not 100% positive on exactly what day but I would say about july 25/26th) and then we have until august 10th, time isn't the issue because we will be staying in florida so we won't have to take the trip back up for a while so we do want to see what we can take advantage of one the way down. i do love the ideas os the islands and sunset on the beach, that is exactly up my alley of what I would love to do. or lighthouses and things like that, we love hikes and enjoying nature so I will definitely have to write those places down. My boyfriend is a history buff too so do yall know any places that are must sees for history or even any interesting stories?
    I will definitely take a look more at the motels and cheaper places to stay, thank you all so much for taking the time to reply to this- i truly appreciate it

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    When I think the words "history" and "Florida" in the same thought, "St Augustine" jumps out at me for older history, and "Titusville/Kennedy Space Center" for more recent 20th century space history.

    As you get closer to your trip, check these links for hotel coupons online: Hotel Coupons.Com, Travel,, and My Travel Buddy. You can also pick up an app or two for a smartphone, and of course the paper coupon booklets are usually available at state welcome centers and some travel center/truck stops along your route. Just bear in mind that you should not count on these on weekends or if you pull in after the dinner hour -- by then, the coupon rooms are mostly gone.


  7. Default

    thank you so much, I appreciate it!

  8. Default

    Iím new here myself but know the trip from Virginia to Florida well. If you want to avoid traffic, try to avoid going around DC. You can do that by using Rt. 301 south through Maryland and it will take you over a bridge and hook you into Fredericksburg, VA. If he is into Civil War History, there are four battlefields right in that area. If you really want to go off the beaten track and avoid I-95 you can take Rt. 13 south through Maryland all the way down the Eastern shore and cross over the Bay-Bridge tunnel across the Chesapeake Bay. Then you wonít be too far from Williamsburg, another great historical site. These routes wonít be as fast, but it does get you off of I-95 which isnít fun, especially around DC. Further down, Charleston, SC is a really neat town to explore. I also totally agree with checking out St. Augustin, FL.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Hear! hear!!

    I'd have to agree, 301 is a lovely drive. Drove it some years ago, and have never forgotten it.


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