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Scenic southward route

Boston...
Level Contributor
5,524 posts
47 reviews
Scenic southward route

Twice a year for the past seventeen years my family has driven down to Ft. Lauderdale from our home in Chattanooga to visit family. We always take major highways: I-75 south to middle Florida and the Turnpike south from there. We have usually taken two days for the trip, though we have lately noticed that the long, boring drive is somewhat more bearable if we jam it all in one day.

I have often looked off the side of the Interstate over cotton fields, through groves of pine trees or orange bushes, or into a mystical swamp and have always felt like I was looking into some forgotten, separate world. I think it's time to go there.

I figure this winter we should take the scenic route, whatever that entails. We can take two full days for the trip, so it's not like a proper road trip but will hopefully provide just enough time to get a little off the beaten path. Mostly I think we're looking for some scenic off-Interstate routes, though spending some time on major highways is definitely fine. (And it'd be great if we could find some of those off the beaten path highways that also offer attractive driving speeds.) And, if time allows, maybe we can throw in a an activity or two, too. Doesn't have to be anything fancy; I would be much impressed by a walk around a tranquil lake.

There are a few spots that have caught my interest: Savannah, Okefenokee Swamp, Flannery O'Conner's home in Millegeville, the Ocala area, and the Indian mounds park near Macon.

So, what kind of a route do you recommend?

Boston...
Level Contributor
5,524 posts
47 reviews
1. Re: Scenic southward route

By the way, here's a link to this same topic posted on the Florida Forum:

tripadvisor.com/…22716422

Ellijay
Level Contributor
70 posts
3 reviews
2. Re: Scenic southward route

I can hear what you are saying, however, you are just going to have to realize that you are just going to have to take two days to travel from Choo-choo to Lauderdale and take the time to make it a relaxing enjoyable trip. You cannot be occupied with spending time on major highways or finding an off beat road that offers attractive driving speeds. It is 760 miles to Fort Lauderdale, it will take 15 hours to drive it. Take the off beaten path, don't worry about what is down that road, just go and let anticipation decide what you do. If you wind up just being able to take a different route just for scenic, look at going down hwy 1 in Florida or as you leave Atlanta on the south side get on US 19 and go all theway down to Alligator alley and cut across. I can't tell you what you may see and find as I don't know what you want to see and find, but I can say it will most likely be different from what you have seen for the last 17 years.

Savannah, Ga
Destination Expert
for Cherokee, Tybee Island
Level Contributor
1,488 posts
18 reviews
3. Re: Scenic southward route

I am in Savannah And one day I plan on taking old highway 17 from Savannah to Florida. From there pick up A1A north of Jacksonville and go all the way to Key West on A1A and US1. I have drove sections of this route a many of times.

John

Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
454 posts
25 reviews
4. Re: Scenic southward route

In winter, I would second the Savannah/coastal route. Lots of pretty scenery and you can keep an eye out for items to note for future trips. I love taking A1A down from St. Augustine to Daytona Beach; there are places south of St. Augustine where you can just pull your car over and go look at the beach.

I usually leave the coast around Daytona Beach to pick up I-4 to return home to Central Florida, but I've done stretches of the lower coastal area and it's quite nice. (Don't know if it would save you any time to take I-4 thru O-town to the turnpike, but if you do this, just don't plan to be in downtown Orlando at rush hour.)

Boston...
Level Contributor
5,524 posts
47 reviews
5. Re: Scenic southward route

John & Almost,

Thanks for the tip on Highway 17! I checked it out on streetview and picked out what seems like the most scenic portion:

http://tinyurl.com/ycy7j39

I'll look into the various sections of A1A, too, and see if there are any bits that look fun enough for a detour.

Savannah, Ga
Destination Expert
for Cherokee, Tybee Island
Level Contributor
1,488 posts
18 reviews
6. Re: Scenic southward route

Blue,

One of the neat things about A1A is at Jacksonville /Mayport you cross the river by ferry. I know they use to have the ferry and assume it is still there. Also like said above St. Augustine to Daytona is a great ride. At times you have the river on one side the road and the ocean on the other. Also in this area of A1A you have one of Florida's first tourist stops Marineland. They where making changes to it the last time I went by.

I like to travel the backroads and off the beaten path as much as possible and always take different routes. So much to see on these raods when time allows.

John

7. Re: Scenic southward route

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