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I-75 Florida-Georgia Thanksgiving Sunday

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Nov 18th, 2006, 07:21 PM
  #1
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I-75 Florida-Georgia Thanksgiving Sunday

We are driving from north Georgia to the Tampa area over Thanksgiving to help a seriously ill friend move within the Tampa area. We can drive down on Thanksgiving Day, so I don't expect a problem then.
However, we must be back Sunday evening for my husband to fly out of ATL on Monday morning.

I have heard horror stories of backups on I-75 on holiday weekends. Can someone tell me what it is like on the Sunday after Thanksgiving? I am used to driving north through Tennessee and Kentucky sometimes on the holiday and we were always OK if we left to drive back before noon, with the afternoon steady speed limit traffic unless a major accident occurred. Is this true of I-75 as well or does it become bumper to bumper and slow? I am afraid the family we are helping will insist we all go to church together on Sunday, forcing us to leave Tampa in the afternoon for what should be an 8-hour drive. What would be realistic on this day?

I am looking at US27 and 19 as alternates. Can anyone advise?
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Nov 19th, 2006, 06:52 AM
  #2
 
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We live in Central Florida and when we go north we always avoid I-75 and 95. Being in the Tampa area take the new toll road #589 until you get north of the area and then over to US-19/98, good 4 lane with 65 mph speed limit most of the way, a few blinker lights and a few small towns... Turn right when you get to Capps and stay on US19, thru Monticello to 27. We have been that way many of times thru GA. You did not say where in north GA so from there on you are on your own.
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Nov 19th, 2006, 07:17 AM
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I would leave Tampa as early Sunday morning as possible. The horror stories are true. You will never make it through Atlanta on I-75 if you leave later than noon. Yes, it will be bumper to bumper around the Atlanta area.

Even if you take the alternate routes suggested by other posters, you should leave early Sunday morning with apologies to your hosts. Your husband has a flight Monday morning; they should understand.
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Nov 19th, 2006, 07:45 AM
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Gads...we did 19 once and vowed never, ever to go that way again! To us it was a nightmare drive. Too many little towns with little stops and delays. I'd stick with the interstate but definitely get out of Tampa as early as possible, and very definitely before noon. I'm sure your hosts will understand considering the trip you have in front of you. If they insist on church...be strong. You owe it to yourselves.

Perhaps we've just been lucky, but we've always sailed right along on 75, at least the FL segment, which is all we drive before picking up 10 to head west. I would think your bigger worry would be as you get closer to Atlanta.
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Nov 24th, 2006, 06:20 AM
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Our neighbor, who left yesterday for her house on Hilton Head, SC, reminded us that Sunday is the worst day of the year on that stretch of interstate coming North. I-85 and I-75 merge south of Atlanta through the downtown connector. Leave now or sooner.
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Nov 26th, 2006, 04:02 PM
  #6
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Lucy_d and OO called this one.

Of course the drive down on Thursday after having Thanksgiving lunch with my mother at the nursing home was a piece of cake.

Sorry, Lex1, but driving back on Friday would have defeated the entire purpose of the trip, to move our ill friend's belongings on Friday and Saturday.

My husband was firm, but insistent about our predawn depature on Sunday despite the protestations of the 80-year-old parent telling us he hoped to see us again, but if not....

We decided to take I-75 until we hit traffic, then be prepared to cut over to 19.

So we were out of the motel room by 5am, stopping for breakfast on the road, later a stop at a fruit stand to buy oranges for the nursing home, and lunch at noon. The traffic starting picking up around 11am with an accident southbound and occasional construction northbound, but manageable all the way past Macon. When we reached the Griffin Hwy 16 exit traffic stopped, but we know the state and county roads from there so we just glided off the exit and headed cross country.

Thanks for the help. I hope everyone else's drives over the holiday went as smoothly. Now I just have to get to bed early to make up for the 4am wakeup call.
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