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Drive to Florida from NJ: Ultimate Guide

Do a quick Google search for “Drive to Florida from NJ” or “driving from the East Coast to FL,” and you will find many quick tips and even more people telling you not to do it. 

I wanted to share my journey from NJ to Disney World with you.  The good, the bad, the ugly, and the great.  Here’s what my workspace looked like as I typed this:

The drive from Florida to NJ can be an exciting and memorable experience. As someone who has made the trip several times, I can attest that there are many interesting places to stop along the way.

Whether you’re looking to explore historic sites, relax on a beach, or indulge in delicious cuisine, there’s something for everyone on this road trip.

One of the most popular routes to Florida from New Jersey is via Interstate 95. This highway stretches from Maine to Florida and passes through major cities such as Baltimore, Washington D.C., and Miami.

While the drive can take anywhere 18+ hours, depending on traffic and stops, it’s worth taking the time to appreciate the diverse landscapes and attractions along the way.

If you’re planning a road trip from New Jersey to Florida, it’s important to plan ahead and make sure your vehicle is in good condition. You should also research gas stations, rest areas, and accommodations along your route to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey.

With the right preparation and mindset, driving to Florida can be a fun and rewarding adventure.

Planning Your Route

When planning a road trip from New Jersey to Florida, it’s important to consider the route you will take. There are several options available, but one of the most popular is taking Interstate 95.

This route takes you through several major cities, such as Baltimore, Washington D.C., and Miami, making it a great choice for those who want to experience some of the country’s most iconic landmarks and attractions.

To plan your route, you can use online resources such as Road Trip Planner and Travelmath. These tools allow you to enter your starting location and destination, as well as any stops you want to make along the way.

They will then provide you with a detailed map and trip calculations that take into account factors such as distance, driving time, and fuel costs.

When planning your route

…it’s also important to consider the time of year you will be traveling. During peak travel season, which is typically from May to September, the roads can be more crowded and you may encounter more traffic. This can add time to your journey and may require you to adjust your route accordingly.

In addition to using online resources, you can also consult with local travel agencies or tourism boards for recommendations on the best routes to take. They may have insider knowledge about lesser-known routes or scenic drives that can make your trip even more enjoyable.

Overall, planning your route is an important step in ensuring a successful road trip from New Jersey to Florida. By taking the time to research your options and consider factors such as time of year and local recommendations, you can create a customized itinerary that meets your needs and allows you to make the most of your journey.

What to Expect on the Road

Road Conditions

On the drive to Florida from NJ, you can expect to encounter a variety of road conditions. The highways are generally well-maintained, but you may encounter some construction or traffic delays, particularly in urban areas. It is important to stay alert and aware of your surroundings at all times.

If you are driving a car, SUV, minivan, or other vehicle, make sure it is in good condition before you leave. Check the oil, tires, and brakes, and make sure all of your lights are working properly. This will help ensure a safe and comfortable trip.

Gas Stations and Rest Stops

Gas stations and rest stops are plentiful along the route from New Jersey to Florida. You can expect to find major chains like Petro and others, as well as independent stations. Gas prices may vary, so it is a good idea to check prices before you fill up.

Rest stops are a great place to take a break, stretch your legs, and use the restroom. Most rest stops also have vending machines and other amenities, such as picnic tables and playgrounds. Some rest stops may also have charging stations for electric vehicles.

Hotels and Motels

If you are planning to stay overnight on your trip, there are plenty of hotels and motels along the way. Rates may vary depending on the time of year and location, so it is a good idea to book in advance if possible. Major chains like Holiday Inn, Marriott, and others can be found along the route, as well as independent motels.

When choosing a hotel or motel, consider factors such as location, amenities, and price. Some hotels may offer free breakfast or other perks, while others may have a pool or fitness center. It is also a good idea to read reviews from other travelers to get an idea of the quality of the accommodations.

What to Pack For Your Trip

When embarking on a road trip from New Jersey to Florida, packing the right items can make all the difference. As someone who has made this journey a few times, I have learned what items are essential for a comfortable and enjoyable trip.


One of the most important things to pack for a road trip is snacks. I always make sure to pack a variety of snacks that will keep me energized and satisfied throughout the trip. Some of my favorites include:

  • Trail mix
  • Caffeine
  • Granola bars
  • Beef jerky
  • Caffeine
  • Fresh fruit
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Water
  • Caffeine

It’s also important to pack plenty of water and other beverages to stay hydrated.


When packing clothing for a road trip from New Jersey to Florida, it’s important to consider the weather. Florida can be quite hot and humid, so lightweight and breathable clothing is a must. I always pack:

  • Shorts
  • T-shirts
  • Tank tops
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses

It’s also a good idea to pack a light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings.

Other Essentials

In addition to snacks and clothing, there are a few other items that I always pack for a road trip to Florida:

  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Beach towels
  • Swimsuit
  • Comfortable shoes for walking and exploring

It’s also important to pack any necessary medications and toiletries, as well as a first aid kit.

Driving To Florida from NJ

What’s nice is we will also use this food to feed ourselves during the trip.

Overall, packing for a road trip from New Jersey to Florida requires careful consideration of the weather and activities planned. By packing the right items, you can ensure a comfortable and enjoyable journey.

Step-by-Step Itinerary: Drive to Florida from NJ

Day 1:

– Start early in the morning (around 6:00 AM) to avoid traffic and make the most of the daylight hours.

– Take the NJ Turnpike South and continue onto I-95 South.

– Stop for lunch at a rest area or a fast food restaurant around noon.

– Continue driving and aim to reach Richmond, VA by evening (around 6:00 PM).

– Check into a hotel/motel for the night, have dinner and get a good night’s rest.

Day 2:

– Start driving South around 7:00 AM after breakfast.

– Take I-95 South and stop for lunch around noon.

– Continue driving and aim to reach Savannah, GA by evening (around 6:00 PM).

– Check into a hotel/motel for the night, have dinner and get a good night’s rest.

Day 3:

– Start driving South around 7:00 AM and take I-95 South.

– Stop for breakfast around 9:00 AM.

We also brought pillows and blankets for the back seat and passenger seat, Cards Against Humanity (game), napkins, and a bag for garbage. 

– Continue driving and aim to reach Orlando, FL by evening (around 5:00 PM).

– Check into a hotel/motel for the night, have dinner and get a good night’s rest.

If your destination is further south, Day 4:

– Start driving towards your final destination, such as Miami or Key West.

– Take the appropriate highways and roads to reach your destination.

– Plan for stops along the way, such as for lunch or to take in some sights.

– Arrive at your destination and check into your accommodation for the night.

Ultimate Stops for Driving To Florida from NJ

New Jersey to Florida road trip is a long but exciting journey. Along the way, you’ll find many interesting spots to visit and explore. Here are some of the best road trip spots that you should definitely consider:

  1. Cape May, New Jersey: This charming seaside town is a great place to stop and spend a day or two. Visit the historic lighthouse, stroll along the promenade, and indulge in some delicious seafood.
  2. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia: This beautiful park offers breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Take a scenic drive on the Skyline Drive and hike some of the park’s many trails.
  3. Savannah, Georgia: Known for its picturesque squares, charming architecture, and delicious food, Savannah is a must-visit destination on your road trip.
  4. St. Augustine, Florida: This historic city is the oldest continuously occupied European settlement in the United States. Explore the Castillo de San Marcos, stroll down St. George Street, and enjoy the beautiful beaches.
  5. Charleston, South Carolina: A charming destination that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Visitors can explore the city’s historic district, which is home to beautifully preserved architecture, museums, and galleries. In addition, the city is surrounded by beaches, parks, and plantations that make for great day trips.

These are just a few of the many road trip spots you can explore on your journey from New Jersey to Florida. Enjoy the ride!

Small Towns, Scenic Routes, and Offbeat Attractions From NJ to Florida

Along the way, you’ll come across some charming small towns, breathtaking scenic routes, and unique offbeat attractions that are worth a stop.

Some of the small towns you can consider visiting are Staunton in Virginia, Chapel Hill in North Carolina, and Savannah in Georgia. These towns offer a glimpse into the local culture and history of the region.

As for scenic routes, the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia and North Carolina is a must-see, offering stunning views of the mountains. .

When it comes to offbeat attractions, you should definitely make a stop at the World’s Largest Peanut Monument in Ashburn, Georgia, and the Dinosaur World in Plant City, Florida. These quirky attractions are sure to add some fun to your trip.

Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Travel When Driving to Florida from NJ

Sustainable and eco-friendly travel is becoming increasingly popular among travelers who are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and protect the planet while exploring new destinations. If you’re interested in sustainable travel, there are several things you can do to ensure that your trip is as eco-friendly as possible.

One of the most important things you can do is to choose eco-friendly accommodation. Look for hotels and resorts that have implemented sustainable practices such as using renewable energy, reducing waste, and conserving water. Some hotels even offer eco-friendly amenities like organic toiletries and locally sourced food. (IHG and Hilton both have sustainability programs)

When it comes to activities and tours, look for eco-friendly options that are respectful of the environment and local communities. This may include hiking, bird-watching, or volunteering with local conservation organizations.

Finally, be mindful of your waste. Bring a reusable water bottle and shopping bag, avoid using single-use plastics, and dispose of your trash properly.

By making these small changes, you can make a big impact on the environment and help ensure that future generations can enjoy the beauty of the world’s natural wonders.

Pros to Driving

  • Cheaper
  • Bonding Experience
  • Mental Challenge
  • You get to pack whatever your heart desires
  • Possible sightseeing opportunity

Cons to Driving

  • Long
  • Tiring
  • Car wear and tare

The ride home was tough as you don’t have the motivation of Disney ahead of you.  Instead, if you are anything like me, you have your day job ahead. 

It’s time to decide whether driving to Disney is for you or not.  If you haven’t taken the drive before and have a fair number of adults on the trip, I would try it. 

You can never disqualify something you aren’t familiar with.  As someone who has done the drive many times, I know it comes down to flight prices, allotted time, and mental capacity. 

If flights are under $100 each way, I am most likely driving as we are a family of two right now.  That might change in the future.

If you decide to drive, make sure to get one of these!

Driving To Florida from NJ


In conclusion, driving to Florida from NJ can be a long but enjoyable journey. With careful planning and preparation, it can be a memorable experience that you will cherish for years to come.

Before hitting the road, it is important to decide on the best route for your trip. Consider factors such as distance, time, and the sights you want to see along the way. The search results provide some great options and tips to help you plan your trip.

During the trip, make sure to take breaks every few hours to stretch your legs and stay alert. Plan your stops ahead of time, and don’t be afraid to take detours to explore new places.

It is also important to be prepared for any emergencies that may arise. Make sure to have a fully stocked emergency kit and a reliable car. Check your car’s oil, brakes, and tires before embarking on the journey.

Lastly, don’t forget to have fun! Driving to Florida can be a great opportunity to bond with family or friends and create new memories. Take advantage of the journey and enjoy the ride.

Happy planning and safe driving!

Driving To Florida from NJ

Ann Bacciaglia

Monday 24th of October 2016

It sounds like such a long drive. It would be worth it to save some money. I would do it as long as we had a few drivers to alternate.


Sunday 23rd of October 2016

We drove from WI to FL last year and loved it! I can't wait until we do it again :)

Amer Phils

Friday 21st of October 2016

Oh my dear heaven I can't believe your patience for long drive. 5 hours max is my limit for long drives.

Azlin Bloor

Friday 21st of October 2016

Driving trips are always such good fun! Even when they are the means to an end.

Miranda (Anosa)

Friday 21st of October 2016

That is such a long drive but glad you arrived even with the fatigue.

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