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Best route driving from Michigan to Florida , advice wanted....

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Hi, my husband and two small children are taking a road trip to Florida and Hilton Head Island at the beginning of April and would like some advice/opinions from the great fodorites out there. We love this site and have gotten tons of great advice recently. Here is the deal: we are leaving on Wednesday, March 30th afternoon from Michigan for New Smyrna Beach, FL and we do not have to arrive there, to meet our friends until Friday around 2 or 3 p.m. My original plan after checking out routes and distances etc. on Mapquest and other maps was to take 1-75 down to Knoxville area to I-40 over to I-26 thru Spartanburg area over to I-95 down. On Mapquest, this was their quickest route, not necessarily shortest but quickest route, which is what I want for this trip with two kids under four. I know tell me I'm crazy for not flying but we chose to drive this trip for various reasons, our first time driving down, we usually fly. So, we have tentatively booked near Knoxville for the first night off of I-40, and the second night in Brunswick, GA off of I-95, I got a cheap Priceline deal in Brunswick for the second night so this one I will have to keep. The first one I can cancel though. My question is, is this the best route to take or should we take the I-77 route down like some people are suggesting I do?? I guess it would be I-75 to I-80 over to I-77 thru the Virginia's and thru Charlotte over to I-26 to I-95?? Any opinions on this are appreciated...I want the shortest route, the least time for the kids to be in the car. I have heard that the truck traffic heading down I-75 can be real bad sometimes, especially at night. The first day will be a good chunk of night driving as we are trying to make it to Knoxville that first afternoon/evening. By the way, we are doing Hilton Head for four days the following week on our way back home to Michigan. Thanks so much for your help and for reading my long post!!!

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