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Road Trip - DC to Miami in 2-3 days - need help

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Dec 5th, 2017, 06:04 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Jul 2005
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Road Trip - DC to Miami in 2-3 days - need help

Hi. We are planning on driving from DC to Miami in late December and only have a few days to make the trip. We are a family of 5, with three teenagers. We will likely be flying back. We thought it might be nice to spend some time in either Charleston or Savannah on the way down. We don't mind driving at night but need some help on how to break up the trip and are a bit time constrained. Below is a first pass at an itinerary.

Dec. 21 - leave DC in evening and stop between DC and Charleston. (Maybe Raleigh-Durham? Roanoke?)
Dec. 22 - Drive to Charleston - overnight in Charleston OR continue driving to Savannah, GA and overnight Savannah
Dec. 23 - Drive from Charleston (or Savannah) to Miami and overnight Miami (relatives in Miami)
Dec. 24 - mid-Afternoon - drive to Key West (knowing it will take about 4 hours)

We're open to any suggestions. Thanks.
ccb213 is offline  
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Dec 5th, 2017, 07:02 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 154
We drove down from just north of Baltimore to the Georgia coast for a number of years with our kids for spring break. So, we were starting maybe 60-90 minutes further north than you. Our typical first day stop-over would be in either Lumberton, NC or Florence, SC, both on I-95. Raleigh-Durham are actually off your route, being on I-85 over more towards the central part of the state. You can also get significantly father south than that on your first day of driving. And by "Roanoke," I assume you meant Roanoke Rapids, NC? It's not that far south of the Virginia state line on I-95. Again, you can easily get much farther south than that on your first day. And you've got about 190 miles of North Carolina to drive through on I-95, most of it not terribly interesting (although perhaps some in your party might enjoy the Airborne or Ranger Museum at Fort Bragg, in Fayetteville).

If you get down to Lumberton or Florence the first day, you could get into Charleston within a couple of hours on Day Two and have some significant time for sightseeing. If you stay overnight there, you would have time to get something of a feel for the city. However, you'd leave yourself with a brutal drive to Miami the next day, I think approximately 100 miles in SC + 100 miles in Georgia + 370 miles in Florida = 550-570 miles.

If you stay in Lumberton, I think it would be around 210 miles to Savannah the next day. If you're in Florence, I think it would be 50-60 miles less. (I do think Florence should be quite doable, given that you're starting from somewhere near D.C.) That would still give you some decent time for exploring Savannah, while putting you significantly further south for your next day's drive. But Charleston has more first-order-of-magnitude attractions than Savannah.

Overall, it seems to me that you won't have more than about 2/3 of a day that you can devote to sightseeing in your entire three-day drive to Miami. If you could take another day or two, that would make a big difference. I'll post a link below to a thread that I posted on a few years back discussing the area between Charleston and St. Augustine in detail; scroll down to my post (February 9, 2013). It hopefully will give you a sense of just how rich and interesting that stretch of coast is between Charleston and St. Augustine.

https://www.fodors.com/community/uni...needs-help.cfm
jeffergray is offline  
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Dec 5th, 2017, 07:43 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
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Since you say you are flying back, I'm guessing this will be with a rental car.
Why not take one of the Silver Service trains (Star or Meteor) to Savannah or maybe Jacksonville?
https://www.amtrak.com/content/dam/p...ule-092017.pdf
The rail fare is probably less than what you would pay for a drop fee.
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Dec 9th, 2017, 07:22 AM
  #4
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Thanks for the helpful advice. The train doesn't work for us.

Jeffergray - we are going to take your suggestions and see if we can't rearrange to have a bit more time. Thanks for the link as well! Very helpful information!
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Dec 9th, 2017, 08:13 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Its 8 hours to Charleston.
I'd try to get a bit south of Florence and have more time in Charleston (as already suggested).
And yes, getting on toward Savannah instead does put you in better position to drive on to Miami.
And the drive between Charleston and Savannah offers a stop in Beaufort.
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