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Driving from Atlanta to Orlando With kids resting stops

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Please need suggestions for resting stops ( along I-75)that have good bathrooms and food services kid friendly ( clean). Suggestions of where not to stop are also appreciated.

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    Assume you don't mean "rest stops" on the Interstate since those don't have food service other than vending machines. Also assume, since you didn't say that, you're not looking for places to stop and do something for a couple of hours. (If you are, the natural history museum in Gainesville is pretty good and kids would enjoy it.) Over the last 25 years we've made that trip maybe 10 times and I recall nothing notable in terms of food or bathrooms. Many exits have the typical chains (many times listed on the exit signs) and some local restaurants that have been okay but nothing to write home about. If just looking for food and bathrooms, you're likely to find the same - most okay, nothing spectacular. Seem to recall that towns/places to eat are a bit sparse north of Gainesville to Lake City, then again from Lake City to GA.

    However, there is one somewhat interesting highway rest stop south of Gainesivlle at mm 382. As you pull in, you will see signs saying to beware of poisonous snakes, though we've never seen one on numerous stops. You may also notice a high stone wall behind the building and if you look south, you will see that it has a head - a snake head - and the north end of the wall tapers to a tail. The stop abuts Payne's Prairie and there is a walkway out back with an overlook. You might get lucky and see an alligator in the retention pond.

    If you definitely want to see gators and have a couple of hours or more, stop by Payne's Prairie State Park just off I-75 at the Micanopy exit (day use fee, either $6 or $8 per car, I can't recall) and ask the ranger which of the short hikes are most likely to have plenty of them - La Chua trail is usually good and if you are lucky, you may also see the - or some of the - small herd of bison.

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