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From the north along I-95 to Tampa Bay/ SW Florida

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roadman65:
Many people over the years have avoided Orlando to get from points north of Jacksonville to Tampa, St. Pete, or further south along Gulf Coast.

Instead of using I-95 to I-4 (that is the easiest by being direct on plot points), many exit on SR 200 and use it to Waldo and cut over to I-75 at Gainesville or exit on I-295 to I-10 West to either 301 (SR 200) or remain on I-10 to I-75.


All of this to avoid the I-4 travesty that came along with the “Hey let’s move to Florida purge” that clogged what was once a free flowing interstate to a traffic nightmare.  The worst is between US 192 and US 27 making it a bad drive from where I live now to anywhere in East Central Florida.

Even using CR 545 in Osceola don’t work as it became clogged thanks to Davenport becoming a bedroom community to downtown Orlando and Disney. Forget US 17 & 92 as that sucks as well as US 27 with all the once 55 plus trailer parks are more bedroom communities with houses for Central Florida commuters clogging once 65 mph posted US 27.


How do most of you deal with bypassing Orlando and I-4?

VTGoose:

--- Quote from: roadman65 on May 12, 2021, 08:12:37 AM ---Many people over the years have avoided Orlando to get from points north of Jacksonville to Tampa, St. Pete, or further south along Gulf Coast.

Instead of using I-95 to I-4 (that is the easiest by being direct on plot points), many exit on SR 200 and use it to Waldo and cut over to I-75 at Gainesville or exit on I-295 to I-10 West to either 301 (SR 200) or remain on I-10 to I-75.


All of this to avoid the I-4 travesty that came along with the “Hey let’s move to Florida purge” that clogged what was once a free flowing interstate to a traffic nightmare.  The worst is between US 192 and US 27 making it a bad drive from where I live now to anywhere in East Central Florida.

How do most of you deal with bypassing Orlando and I-4?

--- End quote ---

Our son and daughter-in-law moved to Apollo Beach 6 years ago so our DIL could complete her residency and fellowship (they moved to Baton Rouge back in July). The standard route from Southwest Virginia is/was I-81/I-77/I-26/I-95* and then variations from Jacksonville. We did the I-4 thing once or twice (going south we would hit there in late evening so traffic wasn't terrible). Then we shifted to the I-295/I-10 jog to U.S. 301 and took that south to Zuber and I-75. On a whim returning home one trip, we kept going north on 301 at Baldwin and never looked back. Why none of the routing programs picked that route was baffling -- other than Starke and one or two other wide spot burgs, it was a near-empty 4-lane highway that was a more direct link to I-95 than the Jacksonville routing. We did get to enjoy the Starke bypass but just missed out on the Baldwin bypass.

A year ago we were in Apollo Beach for several weeks, quarantined for the impending birth of our first grandchild, born March 30. We left for home on Sunday, April 6, not far into the pandemic lockdown. Given that there was no traffic because everyone was staying home, I opted to take I-4 for a change. It was almost deserted and we blew through Orlando without a hitch (other than being slowed by all the construction). The entire trip was like that and we made it to Blacksburg in about 11 hours (normally the trip took anywhere from 12 [if we were lucky] to upwards of 15 hours).

*I DO NOT miss traveling I-26 and I-95 in South Carolina. Those roads were the reason for some of the 15-hour trips due to bad timing and over capacity for the two lanes. While it takes a little longer to drive to Baton Rouge that trip is much less stressful than our trips to Florida, mainly because large parts of it are in the middle of nowhere Alabama and Mississippi (Knoxville and Chattanooga are abominations on the interstate system though).

Bruce in Blacksburg

Max Rockatansky:
FL 50, FL 19 and US 17.

1995hoo:
For me, it depends on where we're coming from (including whether we take the Auto Train), where we're headed in Florida, and whether we stop to visit our friend who lives southwest of Jacksonville at Lake Asbury.

If we take the Auto Train, which drops you in Sanford, we use either of the tolled beltways around Orlando. I've become partial to the western side (FL-429).

If we drive the whole way and we aren't going to stop near Jacksonville, I sometimes head across to I-75 further north. A few years ago Mapmikey suggested using Georgia's Fall Line Expressway from Augusta to Macon. It was a good route (and it is substantially more complete now than it was then), so I've been thinking about going that way again. We connect to Augusta via either I-77 or I-95 to I-20.

If we do stop near Jacksonville, we use the new FL-23 toll road down to Lake Asbury and then I'll usually use some combination of FL-16 and FL-21 to US-301. Then it's just a case of how close I'm willing to get to Ocala before getting back on the Interstate.

A couple of years ago, I used US-17 south from Green Cove Springs to DeLand, then cut southwest on FL-44 down to near the end of FL-429. That route was good as far as Palatka. It was fairly slow south of there and I doubt I'll go that way again. From Palatka, FL-100 and US-1 across to I-95 are a good way to go and I would do that again.

For our upcoming trip south, which will include a stop near Jacksonville, I am considering using FL-19 from Palatka to the Mount Dora area, as Max Rockatansky suggested in another thread, but I'm undecided because it's a long stretch on two-lane roads and I'm not sure whether my wife will stand for it. We're heading to Weston, so I may cut west via US-301 to I-75 and then just take the Turnpike. (Yes, I know I-95 is faster, but I want to avoid the Space Coast area for emotional reasons: My wife's sister lived just off I-95 in Viera, but she died last year, my wife took it extremely hard, and I'm not sure I want to subject her to passing that close to where her sister lived.)

BTW, in the Jacksonville area we normally use I-295 if we want to connect to I-10, FL-23, etc. west of town. Reason: The exit for JAX Airport is right around 690 miles from home, so that's an ideal distance to drive in a single day and we usually stop for the night there if we're taking I-95 south.

GaryV:
Google Maps from Savannah GA to Tampa FL uses I-10 and US-301 to get from Jacksonville to Ocala and I-75.  It doesn't even suggest going through Daytona and Orlando.  Forcing a route through Orlando only adds about 15 minutes.

An option given is US-82,  US-84 and US-441 through GA, but that's over an hour longer.

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