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Best route from NY to Orlando

Syracuse, NY
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Best route from NY to Orlando

any seasoned travelers out there that can give me any tips on driving from Upstate NY (not NYC) to Orlando?

I will be starting out on 81 south....is it better to stay on 81 thru Virginia and avoid the Washington beltway?? Last time we spent hours in a huge traffic backup near Richmond....(really...HOURS)

Washington DC...
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1. Re: Best route from NY to Orlando

Unfortunately, the most efficient way to get from NY or Orlando is probably by going down I-95. Traffic around Washington is terrible (I unfortunately drive it everyday from my home in MD to work in Northern VA), so they key is to try and get to the Beltway after 9am and then take the bypass road around Richmond.

If you take I-81 through VA (which is not a bad option), you are still going to have to get to either I-95 or I-85 at some point. If you get to I-85, you can take that South to Atlanta and then pick up I-75 and take that through North Florida and then take the Florida Turnpike (toll road) to Orlando.

I have only ever driven this down I-95, but I used to live off of I-75 in North Florida and have done the road from Atlanta to Orlando before as well (just not all in one trip). Let me know if I can help you further.

2. Re: Best route from NY to Orlando

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Washington DC...
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3. Re: Best route from NY to Orlando

I don't think it's a lot more time. Not sure how long it will take you to get to Atlanta, but once you are in/near Atlanta it is about a 5 or 5.5 hour drive to Gainesville, FL (where I used to live). From Gainesville (going down I-75 and then on the FL Turnpike) it is about 2 or 2.5 hours to I-4 in Orlando.

I hope this helps!

Ottawa,Ontario
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4. Re: Best route from NY to Orlando

we always take 81 to 17 (Winchester) to 66 then back on 17 to Warrenton(?) and Fredricksburg. It avoids Washington and is quite easy to follow. We have never tried the other way, going all the way down and going through Atlanta, but have other friends who swear by that way.

dallas, tx.
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5. Re: Best route from NY to Orlando

My preffered route would be to drive to Rochester and fly to Orlando. Airtran happens to be offering nonstop flights for the 1st of June ROC-MCO for $99 a person. I've found the drive from Orlando to upstate New York more trouble than it's worth but I wish you good luck in your journey.

Syracuse, NY
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6. Re: Best route from NY to Orlando

ok...this is my new route...I am leaving syracuse on friday evening and driving to my brother-in-laws place near Philly...on saturday morning we are leaving philly and driving to my brothers house in Charleston SC...my concern is still hitting Washington....but it will be on Saturday morning probably between 9-10 am....how is the beltway around that time??

dwg
Northern Virginia
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7. Re: Best route from NY to Orlando

The western portion of the beltway coming from 95 south shouldn't be bad on Saturday mornings. However, the interchange with the Beltway and 95 south on the southern portion can be very unpredictable due to the long term construction project. Not sure if that helps. Also, you want to avoid coming north towards DC/Beltway on Sunday afternoons.

Syracuse, NY
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8. Re: Best route from NY to Orlando

thanks....I will be coming back north the following saturday hitting that area late afternoon, early evening....