Driving from Miami to NYC

Dec 12th, 2009, 04:46 PM
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Driving from Miami to NYC

I'm taking the long drive from Miami to NYC beginning Saturday, December 19 - because I have to, not because I want to.

That said, I don't have it in me to drive 10 hours at a stretch, and was thinking to make 2 or three stops: Savannah, Raleigh and maybe if I feel I need to, Washington, DC.

If you've made the trip, and and done it in three days like I will be doing, can you make suggestions for stops to make?...or if you agree with what I'm thinking, what about hotels - on the cheaper side - but not near the airport.

Thanks everyone.

Love the Fodor's gang.
ThatGirl2 is offline  
Dec 12th, 2009, 06:47 PM
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Are you alone? Since it's only a week away and you don't have a specific plan, I'd bid Priceline and probably do better than any other way pricewise. What have you got to lose on a single nighter? I'd start with Savannah in the historic district. It's worth the drive over there and a great place to spend your first night. Priceline might work well in the other two as well, but I don't know much about either or what to suggest.
But I might consider staying downtown Baltimore (inner Harbor) rather than DC the last night. Again, I bet you'd do well with Priceline.
NeoPatrick is online now  
Dec 12th, 2009, 07:50 PM
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This is a pretty good resource: http://www.i95exitguide.com/index.php
Orlando_Vic is offline  
Dec 13th, 2009, 03:43 AM
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I assume you'll be driving I-95, if so you should know that route hasd literally 1,000's of the typical chain motels that cater to the traveler. You'll find them at almost every major exit along the entire route. - usually there are anywhere from 4 to 10 motels within a half mile or so of the exit. In your case, since you are planning to stop at a major city you should have no difficulty finding suitable lodging in your price range, everything from Motel 6 to some upscale chains.

Use the website recommended by Orlando_Vic to familiarize yourself with what motels are at the exits in the towns/cities you think you might be when you want to stop. As you near your intended destination you'll also see plenty of roadside billboards advertising the motels in the area.

We've made the trip numerous times and never worried about accomodations regardless of whether we stopped early or late in the day. We simply drove till we started to get tired, checked to see how far we were from the next town/city where it made sense to stop and then began to read the billboards to figure which motel(s) we might want to stay at for the night. We take the appropriate exit and check in at one of the motels.

Simple, really.
RoamsAround is online now  
Dec 13th, 2009, 06:43 AM
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I did the roundtrip once back in 2004 and got a lot of good advice right here. http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...-ny-to-fla.cfm

Here's the trip report with where we stayed and what I learned. http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...rip-report.cfm While the report centers on the issues of driving with my dog, I think many of the issues/recos will be helpful for you. The biggest decision I think you have is whether to prebook hotels or play it by ear. There are obvious pros and cons to both, but give the timing of your trip, right before Xmas, I'd book if I were you. Don't forget books on tape, even if you have to get them from Waffle House (I think they're the ones). I also notice there's a book about driving I 95 written by a husband and wife who do it regularly. http://www.intrepidtraveler.com/travels/drivei95.html
mclaurie is offline  
Dec 13th, 2009, 08:34 AM
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go to my favorite freetrip.com and check off hotels in your price range. The site will not only show you milage and hours to go and already driven, but also hotels along the entire route.
ronkala is offline  
Dec 13th, 2009, 09:50 AM
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You might want to check on the Auto Train. Takes you from Sanford (N of Orlando) to Lorton (just S of DC,) in 17 hours. I believe it runs about 850 miles.
bookhall is offline  
Dec 13th, 2009, 11:37 AM
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Stay a little off the highway. It's busy and attracts every kind of person imaginable. The cheaper, the dicier.
suewoo is offline  
Dec 13th, 2009, 02:34 PM
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Thanks everyone...excellent tips. Since I will be making the trip alone, I was thinking to pre-book so I'd know for sure where I'll be spending the night. If I were traveling with someone else, I probably would do as RoamsAround did, and just drive until getting tired, and start looking for a place.

Love the books on tape suggestion McLaurie...excellent.

And everything else from each of you have been great.

A million thanks.
ThatGirl2 is offline  
Dec 13th, 2009, 02:35 PM
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Oh suewoo...you're right...thanks for the reminder though.
ThatGirl2 is offline  
Dec 13th, 2009, 04:59 PM
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I stayed at the Days Inn in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. The room was great. I was alone and the doorman was very nice and checked in on me when I went in and out which made me feel safer. The room was under $100. From Baltimore to NYC shouldn't take you more than 4-5 hours depending on how fast you drive. Staying in DC isn't so easy. Its very congested and I found it to be confusing. I stayed a little out of DC last time I was there in Falls Church I think its called, but I'd still say Baltimore.
writealiving is offline  
Dec 13th, 2009, 06:23 PM
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Just so you know, Raleigh is pretty far out of your way--it is 'way west. If you stop in Savannah, you'll be ready to stop a bit further north--nearer Virginia, I'd think.
Gretchen is offline  
Dec 13th, 2009, 06:34 PM
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I would definitely recommend booking ahead during Christmas week. While I generally prefer to wing it, I had one bad experience on that route during the Christmas holidays where I got off at every exit on I-95 for hours and every single room was taken. I hadn't started looking for a room till around 9pm, and then it was too late. Not good. I think I had to drive through 2 more states to find a room and I even had the chain hotels calling ahead to help me out.

Baltimore Inner Harbor is a great place for 3rd night. Raleigh to DC is only about 5 hours, Balt will be around 6. Try to go around DC beltway (495) between 10 am and 2pm; before or after you will hit MAJOR traffic. So if you leave Raleigh by 8-9am, you should be good.

Miami to Savannah is by far your longest drive. As much as I love Savannah, you might stay around St. Augustine or Jacksonville instead to make the drives a bit more equal, unless you really want to push on that first day.
tmagyari is offline  
Dec 14th, 2009, 05:19 AM
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So now I'm thinking 3 days/2 nights for the ride. First stop Savannah (yeah, pushing it for the first day as I'll probably have more stamina) and the second has come by way on invite from a friend who lives in Anapolis. I'll probably stop in St. Augustine for lunch/coffee which I understand is really nice.

So my only question now is about a place to stay in Savannah. The Marshall House looks nice, but $150 is a little pricey. Any other suggestions?...not in 95 though.
ThatGirl2 is offline  
Dec 14th, 2009, 05:44 AM
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Haven't checked the location but if you want to see Savannah, the Holiday Inn Express historic district gets very good reviews and is only $102/night. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Rev...-Savannah_Geor
mclaurie is offline  
Dec 14th, 2009, 06:03 AM
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ThatGirl2, I have never been a big fan of Priceline, but I've been changing my mind for things just like you are doing -- a one night stay where the exact hotel doesn't really make a lot of difference if it is in the right loacation. Bidding for Travel is filled with wins of bids in Savannah Historic District for $58 to a top of $80 for 3.5 star hotels. These are all really nice hotels in a super location. Even though a couple have parking charges added, it is still a great deal. Getting the Hyatt right on the river, for example for $80 (you can likely get it for less than that) seems way better than staying in a cheap motel for more than that!
NeoPatrick is online now  
Dec 14th, 2009, 03:46 PM
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NeoPatrick...that is a great idea. As much as I've traveled, I've never used Priceline...I think I've been hesitant as I understand you don't know the name of the hotel you're bidding on. But perhaps you're right...it really doesn't matter in this case as it's only for one night and as long as it's in the historic district. Going to check right now. A million thanks for the tip!
ThatGirl2 is offline  
Dec 14th, 2009, 03:55 PM
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most gas stations along the way will have a stack of coupon books for motels along I 95. We've made this drive numerous times as far north as Baltimore and to NYC a few times. Our first stop is usually around Savannah - there is a Comfort Inn just off of one of the Savannah exits that is very nice - recently renovated and serves a good included breakfast. Further north, I would probably push on to past Richmond, VA and find a place near the Kings Dominion Amusement park.
basingstoke2 is online now  
Dec 14th, 2009, 05:12 PM
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The trip is about 1300 miles. I would do it this way - First night in Savannah. As said above, lots of chain hotels - when you search you want "midtown" area - which is not mid or town, but right off I95 - strip malls, chain restaurants, safe and inexpensive. Perfect for your purpose - Historic District is lovely, but it will be dark while you are there and your schedule will not allow you to do or see anything. Also, a little more off-route. This will be about 480 miles driving the first day - and I consider about 500 miles to be absolute max for solo driving.

Second night - Richmond, VA area. Also lots of hotels right off highway. About 460 miles on day 2.

That leaves you under 400 miles for final day - but that last day is takes you thru Washington metro area and then thru NJ - and when we drive this trip we always hit some sort of incident along NJ Turnpike that slows you down. And you will just want to finish the trip after 3 days on the road.
gail is offline  
Dec 14th, 2009, 08:11 PM
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One thing I have a different take on than gail. I drive from Naples to Savannah in a day (about the same actually probably longer than from Miami to Savannah). I leave about 8 AM and get there about 3:30 -- maybe 4. Staying in a strip mall motel atmosphere is so depressing to me. That's a nice time to arrive in the historic district. Do a nice walk to get the kinks out of your legs. Do a little shopping or window shopping. Have a drink somewhere. Have a much nicer dinner than at a fast food joint out by the highway. To me this makes for a much more exciting trip. Now if I were doing the trip in two days with just one late stop for one night, a quick stop at an interstate hotel would be fine.
NeoPatrick is online now  

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