AARoads Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

The forum just turned ten years old! Where has all the time gone?

Author Topic: Upcoming Trip - Hampton Roads to Port St. Joe, FL  (Read 3474 times)

Thing 342

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1216
  • Age: 21
  • Location: NRV / HR, VA
  • Last Login: March 20, 2019, 10:32:50 PM
    • Thing 342's Road Photos
Upcoming Trip - Hampton Roads to Port St. Joe, FL
« on: June 08, 2015, 11:10:39 PM »

In a few weeks I'll be driving down to a family beach trip near Port St. Joe, FL. I'm currently trying to find routes that are fairly quick, but also cover some new territory. Here's the route I'm currently considering:
  • US-58 W to Emporia
  • I-95 S through NC and SC, to just south of Savannah
  • US-17 and GA-196 to US-84
  • US-84 W through Waycross and Valdosta to Thomasville, GA
  • US-319 SW out of Thomasville through Tallahassee to US-98
  • US-98 to Port St Joe
Google says this should be about 853 miles take about 13.5 hours without traffic. I'd like to know if this is a reasonable one-day haul, or if there are any slowdowns (particularly around Valdosta and Tallahassee) that I should avoid.  I've also considered routes through Atlanta (I-85 to I-185 to US-27) and through Jacksonville (I-95 to I-10).
Logged

Mapmikey

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2545
  • www.vahighways.com

  • Age: 49
  • Last Login: Today at 07:14:06 AM
    • Co-curator Virginia Highways Project
Re: Upcoming Trip - Hampton Roads to Port St. Joe, FL
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2015, 07:00:35 AM »

US 319 through Tallahassee will not be a problem unless you are in the heart of rush hour.  It is mostly 6-laned and south of US 27 is still pretty undeveloped. 

I cannot speak to Valdosta as it has been nearly 15 years since I drove US 84 through it.  I can vouch for using GA 31 south from Valdosta to I-10 as a decent alternative to avoid Valdosta.

Mike
Logged
Clinch:
I: 4 8 12 16 17 20 26 27 30 40 59 64 66 68 72 73 ew74 77 78 79 82 83 ew84 85 ew86 e88 97 99
US: 4 6N 9W 11E 11W 13 15 19W 21 44 46 48 58 72 92 113 117 123 130 158 163 176 178 192 206 209 211 219 220 221 222 258 264 276 290 311 319 322 340 360 378 401 ew422 501 521 522 601 701
PriSys: VA, DE

Thing 342

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1216
  • Age: 21
  • Location: NRV / HR, VA
  • Last Login: March 20, 2019, 10:32:50 PM
    • Thing 342's Road Photos
Re: Upcoming Trip - Hampton Roads to Port St. Joe, FL
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2015, 02:30:55 PM »

Thanks. I think I may be leaning more towards the I-85 - US-27 route simply due to the fact that I find 85 to be a much more relaxing drive through the Carolinas as opposed to I-95, even if it is about an hour longer. I also will be able to drive the new portion of I-485 around Charlotte. Here's my new route:

US-58 west to I-85 in South Hill
I-85 through NC, SC and most of GA, using I-485 (northside) and I-285 (southside) around Charlotte and Atlanta, respectively.
I-185 south to US-80 north of Columbus
US-80 into Alabama to US-431
US-431 south to Dothan
US-231 south into Florida to FL-73
FL-73 to FL-71 to Port St. Joe

Maps Link

Google says this route, while longer at 920-ish miles, should take about the same time as the 95-84 route (of course, that's highly dependent on Atlanta traffic)
Logged

US 41

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1784
  • Age: 22
  • Location: Terre Haute, IN
  • Last Login: March 20, 2019, 10:46:58 PM
Re: Upcoming Trip - Hampton Roads to Port St. Joe, FL
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2015, 02:59:25 PM »

I would much rather drive through Valdosta than Atlanta. Everytime I've been through Atlanta it's been a traffic jammed distaster. The Atlanta bypass isn't much better either.
Logged
Places I've drove in North America

USA (36)= AL, AZ, AR, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MS, MO, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WV, WI
Canada (5)= NB, NS, ON, PE, QC
Mexico (6)= CH, CO, DG, NL, SI, TM

Thing 342

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1216
  • Age: 21
  • Location: NRV / HR, VA
  • Last Login: March 20, 2019, 10:32:50 PM
    • Thing 342's Road Photos
Re: Upcoming Trip - Hampton Roads to Port St. Joe, FL
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2015, 03:15:31 PM »

I would much rather drive through Valdosta than Atlanta. Everytime I've been through Atlanta it's been a traffic jammed distaster. The Atlanta bypass isn't much better either.
I'm not too particularly worried about traffic around Atlanta. I'm planning on leaving around 5:30 AM on Saturday, and It takes me about 9.5 hours to get there, putting me there at about 3PM. Though I've never actually driven through Atlanta, I've found that 285 traffic isn't particularly bad on the weekends. I'd prefer a few slowdowns around Atlanta to the road rage and backups with no alternatives found on I-95, especially around the Hardeeville area.
Logged

iBallasticwolf2

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 952
  • :/

  • Location: Kenton County, KY
  • Last Login: February 02, 2019, 10:04:30 PM
Re: Upcoming Trip - Hampton Roads to Port St. Joe, FL
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2015, 08:44:20 AM »

Whenever I journeyed through Atlanta on the Downtown Connector ON A SUNDAY IN THE HOV LANE THE WHOLE TIME there was a short traffic backup FOR NO REASON. Typical Atlanta traffic.
Logged
Only two things are infinite in this world, stupidity, and I-75 construction

US 41

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1784
  • Age: 22
  • Location: Terre Haute, IN
  • Last Login: March 20, 2019, 10:46:58 PM
Re: Upcoming Trip - Hampton Roads to Port St. Joe, FL
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2015, 01:54:28 PM »

I would much rather drive through Valdosta than Atlanta. Everytime I've been through Atlanta it's been a traffic jammed distaster. The Atlanta bypass isn't much better either.
I'm not too particularly worried about traffic around Atlanta. I'm planning on leaving around 5:30 AM on Saturday, and It takes me about 9.5 hours to get there, putting me there at about 3PM. Though I've never actually driven through Atlanta, I've found that 285 traffic isn't particularly bad on the weekends. I'd prefer a few slowdowns around Atlanta to the road rage and backups with no alternatives found on I-95, especially around the Hardeeville area.

There isn't much of an alternative in Atlanta either. I'm just curious by the way. How exactly is 85 more relaxing than 95? 95 goes through no major cities along the way except maybe Savannah if you want to be generous, while 85 goes through Durham, Greensboro, Charlotte, and Atlanta. Greensville can also be chaotic at times I've heard. I'd never even heard of Hardeeville before, but I'm sure the traffic there can't possibly be more chaotic than Atlanta. Also US 17 would be a reasonable alternative in the Hardeeville, SC / Savannah, GA area.

The decision is yours of course, but I just wanted to imply that 95 is (should be) a lot more relaxing than 85 where you have to drive through some big city every hour.
Logged
Places I've drove in North America

USA (36)= AL, AZ, AR, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MS, MO, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WV, WI
Canada (5)= NB, NS, ON, PE, QC
Mexico (6)= CH, CO, DG, NL, SI, TM

Thing 342

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1216
  • Age: 21
  • Location: NRV / HR, VA
  • Last Login: March 20, 2019, 10:32:50 PM
    • Thing 342's Road Photos
Re: Upcoming Trip - Hampton Roads to Port St. Joe, FL
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2015, 07:34:47 PM »

I would much rather drive through Valdosta than Atlanta. Everytime I've been through Atlanta it's been a traffic jammed distaster. The Atlanta bypass isn't much better either.
I'm not too particularly worried about traffic around Atlanta. I'm planning on leaving around 5:30 AM on Saturday, and It takes me about 9.5 hours to get there, putting me there at about 3PM. Though I've never actually driven through Atlanta, I've found that 285 traffic isn't particularly bad on the weekends. I'd prefer a few slowdowns around Atlanta to the road rage and backups with no alternatives found on I-95, especially around the Hardeeville area.

There isn't much of an alternative in Atlanta either. I'm just curious by the way. How exactly is 85 more relaxing than 95? 95 goes through no major cities along the way except maybe Savannah if you want to be generous, while 85 goes through Durham, Greensboro, Charlotte, and Atlanta. Greensville can also be chaotic at times I've heard. I'd never even heard of Hardeeville before, but I'm sure the traffic there can't possibly be more chaotic than Atlanta. Also US 17 would be a reasonable alternative in the Hardeeville, SC / Savannah, GA area.

The decision is yours of course, but I just wanted to imply that 95 is (should be) a lot more relaxing than 85 where you have to drive through some big city every hour.

I pref 85 because 95 between Petersburg and Savannah is almost entirely two lanes and often packed with vacationers from the north on the weekends, whereas 85 has been widened throughout much of the Carolinas. I also wanted to take the Atlanta route so that I could clinch the new portion of 485 in Charlotte.

However, since I now have to pick up a relative in Columbia, SC, I'll have to leave on Friday and spend the night there. Here's my new planned route:

DAY 1:
US-58 W to I-85
I-85 south to I-485 NE of Charlotte
I-485 CCW to I-77 S of Charlotte
I-77 & SC-277 south to Columbia
457 mi - 6 hr 50 min

DAY 2:
I-20 west to Augusta
Fall Line Fwy from Augusta to Macon (using GA-24 and US-441 to bridge the gap at Milledgeville)
I-75 from Macon to GA-300 at Cordele
GA-300 from Cordele to GA-311 at Flint
GA-311 from Flint to GA-97 at Bainbridge
GA-97 to US-90 to FL-286 at Sneads
FL/CR 286 south to FL-69
FL-69 and FL-71 south to Port St. Joe
478 mi - 8 hr 11 min

This route will allow me to clinch my remaining undriven portions of I-485 and SC-277, as well as add a bunch of new counties in central Georgia.
Route: https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Columbia,+SC/29.8121245,-85.3030544/@29.7837909,-85.3064327,13z/data=!4m24!4m23!1m20!1m1!1s0x88f8a5697931d1e3:0xf32808f4b379fa96!2m2!1d-81.0348144!2d34.0007104!3m4!1m2!1d-82.9874696!2d32.9603929!3s0x88f6d40f7ae5aa41:0x2e151f08c7e9cb57!3m4!1m2!1d-83.2490821!2d33.0683469!3s0x88f6b7e241d37afd:0x737ec74e712282e7!3m4!1m2!1d-83.2381262!2d32.9569288!3s0x88f6ca70372fd8b9:0x91c995c973160118!1m0!3e0
Logged

1995hoo

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 9728
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Fairfax County, Virginia
  • Last Login: Today at 07:28:47 AM
Re: Upcoming Trip - Hampton Roads to Port St. Joe, FL
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2015, 08:35:10 PM »

Just to make sure you know, the Fall Line "Freeway" is misnamed. It's not a "freeway." It's four lanes with some at-grade intersections and a 65-mph speed limit. But it is a great way to go. Mapmikey recommended it to me and I used it last summer on a Saturday in early June (whatever day the Belmont was run last year, as we were listening to it on XM). Nobody else on the road, and I mean NOBODY. Thank God for cruise control, which allowed me to avoid going way too fast.

Edited to add: I looked at the map link. We took GA-49 from Milledgeville to Macon simply because it was more direct and because we just wanted to get to a hotel and get out of the car, as by that point we'd been on the road for around 12 hours (including stops).
« Last Edit: June 17, 2015, 08:37:50 PM by 1995hoo »
Logged
"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

Thing 342

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1216
  • Age: 21
  • Location: NRV / HR, VA
  • Last Login: March 20, 2019, 10:32:50 PM
    • Thing 342's Road Photos
Re: Upcoming Trip - Hampton Roads to Port St. Joe, FL
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2015, 10:22:45 PM »

Just to make sure you know, the Fall Line "Freeway" is misnamed. It's not a "freeway." It's four lanes with some at-grade intersections and a 65-mph speed limit. But it is a great way to go. Mapmikey recommended it to me and I used it last summer on a Saturday in early June (whatever day the Belmont was run last year, as we were listening to it on XM). Nobody else on the road, and I mean NOBODY. Thank God for cruise control, which allowed me to avoid going way too fast.

Edited to add: I looked at the map link. We took GA-49 from Milledgeville to Macon simply because it was more direct and because we just wanted to get to a hotel and get out of the car, as by that point we'd been on the road for around 12 hours (including stops).

Yeah, I know. I've driven the portion from Macon to Gordon in the past and wanted to finish the rest.

Logged

1995hoo

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 9728
  • Age: 45
  • Location: Fairfax County, Virginia
  • Last Login: Today at 07:28:47 AM
Re: Upcoming Trip - Hampton Roads to Port St. Joe, FL
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2015, 07:27:07 AM »

Sounds good. Just wanted to make sure you weren't expecting an Interstate look-alike or similar.
Logged
"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

Thing 342

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1216
  • Age: 21
  • Location: NRV / HR, VA
  • Last Login: March 20, 2019, 10:32:50 PM
    • Thing 342's Road Photos
Re: Hampton Roads to Port St. Joe, FL
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2015, 09:33:43 PM »

Well, after nine days, I'm finally back from my beach trip. I took two days to get there (both ways), spending two nights in Columbia, SC to pick up and drop off a relative.

Friday, Day 1: Newport News, VA to Columbia, SC:
Route taken: US-58 from I-664 to Danville; US-29 from Danville south to I-85 BUS in Greensboro; I-85 BUS and I-85 to Charlotte; I-485 CCW around Charlotte to I-77 S; I-77 south to Columbia. (472 miles)
Thoughts: This was mostly a positioning day along a mostly familiar route, however, it did give me the chance to clinch as few new counties in NC along US-29 and clinch future 785 and I-485. US-29 north of Greensboro is a pretty solid route, with the freeway north of Reidsville being pretty close to Interstate status. I noticed that exit numbers were starting to go up on this stretch (in US-29 mileage), so the upgrade to an actual Future Interstate (as opposed to a Future Corridor) may be in the works. Merging on to the O'Henry Blvd section of the US-29 freeway in Greensboro will definitely put some hair on your chest, however. The two-lane section of I-85 near Kannapolis cannot be widened fast enough, as an accident on that stretch delayed me by a whole hour. The new section of I-485 is a nice ride around Charlotte, and will likely become part of my preferred route to Atlanta (as a Charlotte bypass).

Saturday, Day 2: Columbia, SC to Port St. Joe, FL:
Route taken: I-20 to Augusta; I-520 to the Fall Line Freeway; Fall Line Fwy to GA-24 near Sandersville, GA; GA-24 south to Tennille, GA; GA-68, GA-57, some unnumbered roads, GA-112, and US-129 ALT to Hawkinsville; GA-257 to I-75 at Cordele; I-75 and GA-300 to Albany; US-19 from Albany to Flint; River Rd and GA-311 to Bainbridge; GA-97 to US-90 near Chattahoochee, FL; US-90 to FL-286 to FL-69 to Blountstown; FL-71 from Blountstown to Port St. Joe; US-98, FL-30A, and FL-30E to Cape San Blas (452 mi)
Thoughts: We got off to a late start that morning, so we were forced to take the quickest route shown by Google Maps. This route followed a bunch of busy two-lanes, meaning that we frequently got stuck behind slow-moving trucks. The four-lane portions (Fall Line Fwy, I-75, GA-300, and US-19) were much more enjoyable to drive. It also required a bunch of annoying turns, meaning that you could never really 'settle in' to a route, as you had to watch for the turn coming up in ten or so miles.     I did get to clinch a bunch of counties in south-central Georgia, however.

Tuesday, Day 5: Port St. Joe to Tyndall AFB and back:
Route followed: FL-30E, FL-30A, and US-98
Thoughts: We took a mini-trip up US-98 to Tyndall AFB to see the F22s fly. However, the weather turned sour and the flights were scratched, so we headed back.

Thursday, Day 7: Port St. Joe to Tallahassee and back:
Route followed: FL-30E, CR-30, and US-98 to Medart; US-319 north to Tallahassee; I-10 to FL-267 near Quincy; FL-267 south to FL-20; FL-20 west to FL-65 at Hosford; FL-65 south to US-98; US-98, CR-30, and FL-30E back to Cape San Blas (245 mi)
Thoughts: US-98 along the coast is a really pretty drive, but can easily be gummed up by a particularly slow tourist. US-319 between US-98 and Tallahassee was quite busy and should be widened. The US-319 portion of the Capitol Circle (at least the part I drove that day) seems to be a pretty lousy bypass, having become another suburban strip. The US-90 light must be particularly bad during rush hour. FL-65 is a pretty boring road, with endless miles of pine trees on the portion south of Hosford.

Saturday, Day 9: Port St. Joe, FL to Columbia, SC:
Route taken: FL-30E to CR-30 to US-98 to US-319 near Lanark Village; US-319 north to I-75 at Tifton, GA; I-75 and I-16 to the Fall Line Freeway in Macon; Fall Line Freeway from Macon to I-520 at Augusta (using US-441 and GA-24 through Milledgeville); I-520 CCW to I-20 in North Augusta, SC; I-20 to Columbia (512 mi)
Thoughts: Attempted to stick to the four-lanes on the way back, as I was not interested in being stuck behind a slow-moving eighteen-wheeler. US-98 was pretty smooth for a beach turnover day, but US-319 was still quite busy south of Tallahassee. I still think that the Capitol Circle is a crap bypass of Tallahassee, as I waited through three cycles at the US-90 light just to go straight. US-319 in Georgia was alright, although the bypass of Moultrie is no longer really a bypass. I-75 seemed really busy; I cannot imagine driving that stretch when it was still two lanes each way. The Fall Line Freeway was a nice drive, through is probably not the fastest route to anywhere with the current gap in Milledgeville. The speed limits on I-520 are ridiculous (55 mph on a two-lane tree-lined stretch? Really?).

Sunday, Day 10: Columbia, SC to Newport News, VA
Route taken: I-20 to Camden; US-1 from Camden, SC to I-85 at Henderson, NC; I-85 north to Petersburg, VA; I-95, VA-895, and I-295 to I-64; I-64 back home (428 mi)
Thoughts: US-1 is a decent route in NC, not so much in SC. It's pretty poorly maintained and has numerous speed traps (Bethune, with its completely unwarned drop from 55 to 25 is the worst offender), and has few places to pass. The part through Sand Hills State Forest is quite scenic, though. The four-lane portions in NC are pretty nice, with the button copy on the freeway north of Sanford being a nice surprise. Didn't get any pictures, however :no:.

New routes clinched: I-485, SC-277, I-520, FL-286, FL-30A (Port St. Joe), FL-30E
New state clinches: US-319 (FL), US-1 (NC)
New counties: NC: Rockingham, Richmond, Moore, Lee, Chatham; GA: Jefferson, Washington, Johnson, Baldwin, Jones, Bleckley, Pulaski, Wilcox, Lee, Worth, Dougherty, Baker, Mitchell, Grady, Decatur, Seminole; FL: Jackson, Gadsen, Liberty, Calhoun, Bay, Gulf
 
Logged

 


Opinions expressed here on belong solely to the poster and do not represent or reflect the opinions or beliefs of AARoads, its creators and/or associates.