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Favorite Stopovers and Places to Avoid on the I-95 Road to Florida

dioxide45

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Except for the Atlanta area (horrendous traffic) I 75 is the way to go
Yeah, Atlanta can be bad, but we also learned not to take any bypass around it. Just go straight through.
 

dago

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Yeah, Atlanta can be bad, but we also learned not to take any bypass around it. Just go straight through.
Yeah some time those bypasses aren't the best choice. Whenever I am going from Northeast Ohio down to Kentucky I rarely if ever take the loops around Columbus and Cincinnati and just stay on I71 the entire way.
 

dioxide45

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Yeah some time those bypasses aren't the best choice. Whenever I am going from Northeast Ohio down to Kentucky I rarely if ever take the loops around Columbus and Cincinnati and just stay on I71 the entire way.
For some reason we always thought we should avoid driving through the downtown core. Then when you are there, you realize not many other people are there either. Best to go through on a weekend if possible.
 

beejaybeeohio

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I77 is a better way to go from the midwest, but driving thru WVA in the winter on I77 can be a challenge
We took the I64/I77 drive once from Ohio down to Florida. It took only one time, never again. Far too hilly and mountainous. The drive down 75 is much smoother with only one real big climb over Jellico.
Agree about the hills on the WVA turnpike part of I-77! And the tolls equate to @$16, though with EZPass don't keep exact track.
Back in the day, girlfriends and I would often spend a week at a condo on HHI, leaving Ohio late at night and reaching that part of I-77 in the wee hours. At that time, there were tunnels on that stretch of the highway; you can still see the entrance to one as you travel northbound.
I did end up driving that mountainous section in January because DH was sound asleep and I didn't want to wake him to take the wheel for that part of the journey. With light traffic and most vehicles obey the posted speed limit it was not as stressful as usual, when even as a passenger I am white-knuckled!
 

dago

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Agree about the hills on the WVA turnpike part of I-77! And the tolls equate to @$16, though with EZPass don't keep exact track.
Back in the day, girlfriends and I would often spend a week at a condo on HHI, leaving Ohio late at night and reaching that part of I-77 in the wee hours. At that time, there were tunnels on that stretch of the highway; you can still see the entrance to one as you travel northbound.
I did end up driving that mountainous section in January because DH was sound asleep and I didn't want to wake him to take the wheel for that part of the journey. With light traffic and most vehicles obey the posted speed limit it was not as stressful as usual, when even as a passenger I am white-knuckled!
Talk about white-knuckled. Ever drive the road to the peak of Mt Killington in Vermont. Coming down is an adventure. Gravel road with no guard rails. That was 40 years ago. Road may be better now. I was OKAY but DW was an emotional wreck. As a passenger it seems worse than it really is. Had to ride the brake all the way down. By the time I got to the bottom brakes were smoking. Cars now a days are built better, so my ride down from MT Rose in Nevada and Beartooth HWY was much less stressful. LOL
UPDATE - Haven't been on I77 in years. I thought the tunnels were still there.
 

moonstone

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UPDATE - Haven't been on I77 in years. I thought the tunnels were still there.
Yes, there are 2 tunnels, one near Wytheville, VA (Big Walker Mountain) and the other at Bluefield, WV called East River Mountain Tunnel. When our kids were little going through those tunnels were the highlights of our annual drive to Florida for them and we had strict instructions that if any of them had fallen asleep we were to wake them up before going through the tunnel. We love the scenery from the high elevations on I-77 and luckily in the over 45 yrs of driving it we have not encountered any poor road conditions due to ice or snow.


~Diane
 

beejaybeeohio

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Talk about white-knuckled. Ever drive the road to the peak of Mt Killington in Vermont. Coming down is an adventure. Gravel road with no guard rails. That was 40 years ago. Road may be better now. I was OKAY but DW was an emotional wreck. As a passenger it seems worse than it really is. Had to ride the brake all the way down. By the time I got to the bottom brakes were smoking. Cars now a days are built better, so my ride down from MT Rose in Nevada and Beartooth HWY was much less stressful. LOL
UPDATE - Haven't been on I77 in years. I thought the tunnels were still there.
We have been to Killington but reached the peak via a ski lift! We did drive in NV by Mt. Rose, but never did travel the Beartooth. You might want to take the toll road to Mt. Washington NH. We had to stop our minivan to let my friend out on our way up because she had a panic attack looking at the dropoff. It took a lot of persuasion to get her back in the vehicle on our way down. Conversely, she did fine scrambling down the ladder trail at Acadia the following week, but I was the one too paralyzed to attempt it!

Yes, there are 2 tunnels, one near Wytheville, VA (Big Walker Mountain) and the other at Bluefield, WV called East River Mountain Tunnel. When our kids were little going through those tunnels were the highlights of our annual drive to Florida for them and we had strict instructions that if any of them had fallen asleep we were to wake them up before going through the tunnel. We love the scenery from the high elevations on I-77 and luckily in the over 45 yrs of driving it we have not encountered any poor road conditions due to ice or snow.
~Diane
Those tunnels still exist and are two lanes in each direction and not scary to drive. The older ones were wholly in WV with one lane southbound and one northbound in the same narrow tunnel. The Pennsylvania Turnpike had many of those tiny tunnels: Alleghany, Tuscarora, Kittatinny and Blue Mountain that have hopefully been redone with two lanes going east and two lanes heading west.
 

CanuckTravlr

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We normally head to the south-east of the US via Erie, PA and down I-79 and US19 to Beckley, WV and then connect with I-77 south. I love driving through the Appalachians from Beckley to the Virginia/NC border. Great vistas and the roads are in good shape. I have no problem with the tunnels and the downhill slopes are not the worst we have experienced. They are relatively easy to drive, IMO, in good weather.

We keep an eye on the weather before we leave Toronto and are prepared to adjust our leaving date, or to sit tight en route if necessary, if the weather will be unusually bad. Most of the time we have been lucky and the weather has been fine. One time we ran into a sudden blizzard as we hit US19 and it was bad, with blowing snow and poor visibility all the way to Beckley, where we decided to stop for the night.

We have also done the Beartooth Pass on our way from Yellowstone to Billings, MT. It was in August, in temperatures of 110 F, so no snow issues. Glad we did it from west to east. Going up the multiple hairpin turns on the way up was fun, but taxed the AC in the car. Glad I wasn't doing it in one of the RVs we passed! The downhill segment was steep and continuous, but good wide highway. It did tax the brakes, though! The route and scenery are amazing, but it took much longer than we predicted (pre-Google Maps days)! Glad we did it.
 

dago

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We have been to Killington but reached the peak via a ski lift! We did drive in NV by Mt. Rose, but never did travel the Beartooth. You might want to take the toll road to Mt. Washington NH. We had to stop our minivan to let my friend out on our way up because she had a panic attack looking at the dropoff. It took a lot of persuasion to get her back in the vehicle on our way down. Conversely, she did fine scrambling down the ladder trail at Acadia the following week, but I was the one too paralyzed to attempt it!



Those tunnels still exist and are two lanes in each direction and not scary to drive. The older ones were wholly in WV with one lane southbound and one northbound in the same narrow tunnel. The Pennsylvania Turnpike had many of those tiny tunnels: Alleghany, Tuscarora, Kittatinny and Blue Mountain that have hopefully been redone with two lanes going east and two lanes heading west.
The tunnels really scare me. The mountain roads at high altitude with all the switchbacks and stuff is an adrenalin rush for me. Tunnels are a different story. When I lived in MA I dreaded driving to Logan airport. You have to go through a tunnel to get there and I hated it. For some reason I felt cramped in there and I always worried about being stuck in there because of an accident or a breakdown and the heavy traffic. I must be claustrophobic. I was a basket case when I went to the gateway arch in St Louis. I couldn't wait to get out of that small confined space with hundreds of people in there and no way out of there. Tough place to observe social distancing lol. I guess that's why I rarely get on an airplane.
 

dago

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We normally head to the south-east of the US via Erie, PA and down I-79 and US19 to Beckley, WV and then connect with I-77 south. I love driving through the Appalachians from Beckley to the Virginia/NC border. Great vistas and the roads are in good shape. I have no problem with the tunnels and the downhill slopes are not the worst we have experienced. They are relatively easy to drive, IMO, in good weather.

We keep an eye on the weather before we leave Toronto and are prepared to adjust our leaving date, or to sit tight en route if necessary, if the weather will be unusually bad. Most of the time we have been lucky and the weather has been fine. One time we ran into a sudden blizzard as we hit US19 and it was bad, with blowing snow and poor visibility all the way to Beckley, where we decided to stop for the night.

We have also done the Beartooth Pass on our way from Yellowstone to Billings, MT. It was in August, in temperatures of 110 F, so no snow issues. Glad we did it from west to east. Going up the multiple hairpin turns on the way up was fun, but taxed the AC in the car. Glad I wasn't doing it in one of the RVs we passed! The downhill segment was steep and continuous, but good wide highway. It did tax the brakes, though! The route and scenery are amazing, but it took much longer than we predicted (pre-Google Maps days)! Glad we did it.
I did Beartooth East to West from Red Lodge in Sep. Temps in the 80's but when we got to Beartooth pass at >10000 feet the temp was in the 60's. It's a great ride. Beautiful scenery and exhilarating.
 

rjwehr

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Unfortunately, I often can't stop my inner Clark Griswold when planning a trip. I use the Roadside America website (https://www.roadsideamerica.com/location/) to find the most unusual roadside attractions along the route. Things like the World's Largest Wooden Rocking Chair (Gulfport, MS) or a giant metal statue commemorating the Frog Capital of the World (Rayne, LA). It breaks up the trip and the kids never know where we're going to stop next for a photo op. However, I think I may have taken it too far on the trip home when my 5-year-old daughter refused to get out of the car for a picture with a bikini-wearing elephant in Cookeville, TN. She then declared: "DAD, IT'S A WASTE OF TIME!"

Ah, Good times. :)
 
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