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Ohio to Orlando Drving Help

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OHIO
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Ohio to Orlando Drving Help

My fmaily and I are driving from Columbus, Ohio to Orlando Easter weekend. Any ideas on good places to stop on the way down to let kids play for a bit? Best routes?

Pittsburgh
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1. Re: Ohio to Orlando Drving Help

I drive all of the time from Pittsburgh to Orlando, but I go on i-79 to I-77. According to my Rand McNally route planner, someone going from Columbus should take I-71 to I-75, and then go all the way to Florida on I-75. For anyone driving long distances, I recomment the book "The Next Exit". Although it sounds like something written by Jack Kevorkian, it is actually a list of all motels, restaurants, and gas stations at every exit of every US interstate. I buy mine at Cracker Barrel (it is updated annually), but you can probably get it from Amazon. This book is invaluable when driving in unknown areas.

Winnipeg, Canada
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2. Re: Ohio to Orlando Drving Help

I dont know the route that you drive from Ohio, but we drive from Winnipeg canada everytime (in the winter blah lol) we try and find a Mcdonalds with a playland. They eat then run wild for an hour or so. We then go to a different resturant drive thru for us to eat lol. We also try and make the drive a part of the trip, not just "the drive". We stop at Stone Mountain Georgia, we got a Louisville slugger in Louisville. We stop at restaurants that are on the show Diners, Drive Inn and dives. I dont know how old your kids are, but I always make sure I have new toys and movies for them to have in the car too. Hope that helps some

Pittsburgh
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3. Re: Ohio to Orlando Drving Help

I checked, and you can get The Next Exit on Amazon:

amazon.com/Next-Exit-2011-Interstate-Directo…

OHIO
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4. Re: Ohio to Orlando Drving Help

Thanks for the info, we have a 10month old and 3yr old... planning on doing mostly night driving... any ideas for keeping them busy during the day, we are leaving around 3pm?

Georgia
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5. Re: Ohio to Orlando Drving Help

I'm originally from Ohio and recently made a trip up to pick my niece up for our DW vacation. She's 7, but has made the trip at ages 3, 5, 6, and 7.

We take a portable DVD player with a few movies, her leapster, coloring books and crayons, favorite stuffed animals, lots of snacks and drinks. If you can pick up a movie never seen or a new game. Also get a new coloring book. All of these new items keeps my niece entertained for the 10 hours to my house and the additional 5 from Middle GA to Orlando the next day. I try to put aside a few things so she doesn't go through everything in the first 2 hours. Maybe give your 3 year old the movie first then a coloring book after it's over, then an hour later a game of some sort, etc.

I find coming from the Dayton area that Macon, GA is a great place to stop. We actually are stationed just south of there in Warner Robins so I drive the extra 20 min. to my house. The next day we have about 5 hours of driving left.

Doncaster, S Yorks
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6. Re: Ohio to Orlando Drving Help

If I was driving from Ohio to Florida , I too would need some help with it.

Kissimmee Florida
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7. Re: Ohio to Orlando Drving Help

beagle09,

I haven't driven from Ohio, but I have driven to and from St Louis and much of the route is the same. Depending on what time you get there, Atlanta could be the toughest part of the drive. Nashville could slow you down as could Chattanooga, but they are nothing compared to Atlanta. Timing will be key to not losing time in traffic. I don't remember a lot of places to stop in Tennessee, but once you get into Georgia you will find places to stop. Georgia has some nice rest areas and restaurants are generally fairly close to the highway.

There is a huge shopping mall about mid way between the Georgia - Tennessee border and Atlanta. Depending on what time you get there, that might be an option. There are restaurants in Smyrna GA that are not too far from the highway.

I do not recommend stopping again until you get south of the Atlanta airport. Once you clear the airport, you will find fast food places dotted along the way to Florida. Perry, Cordele and Tifton all have restaurants close to the highway. The last outpost is at Valdosta.

Once you hit the Florida line, however, the landscape changes dramatically. There are long stretches with nothing. There are virtually no places to stop along I-75 from I-10 to Gainesville. There are places to stop in and around Gainseville, but not again until you hit Ocala.

Once you get on the Turnpike you only have the service plazas at Okahumpka and Sand Lake.

The last question is where you are going in Orlando.

If you are going to WDW, Davenport, or the western end of Kissimmee get off the Turnpike at 429 and access the Disney property via Western Way or continue to 192 or to I-4 depending on your eventual destination.

If you are going to the Universal area or north end of I-Drive, get off the Turnpike at I-4.

If you are going to the Sea World, Convention Center or south end of I-drive, stay on the Turnpike to 528 and go west to your final destination.

Or ignore all that and get a good GPS.

CTR

Pittsburgh
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8. Re: Ohio to Orlando Drving Help

The prior post brings up a good point - if you go I-75 you must try to avoid getting stuck in a jam around Atlanta, which is a nightmare. If you go I-79/I-77/I-20/I-95 the biggest cities you encounter are Charlotte and Jacksonville, which aren't nearly so bad in my opinion.

Lima, New York
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9. Re: Ohio to Orlando Drving Help

Hi..we have driven to Florida from upstate NY every year for the past 8 years, either during our February or April break. We started going when my son was 2 and we are going again next Friday for our spring break. We leave after school on Friday. We pack the car the night before so we can get on the road right away. In the back seat we pack a cooler with drinks and water plus snacks like yogurts, cheese sticks, crackers, trail mix, fruit, nuts and pretzels. We also pack some fun size candy bars and M&Ms. We pack the travel DVD player and this weekend we will go to get 3 new movies for him to watch, plus he packs all his favorites. He takes his Nintendo DS and he will get a new game as well. I go to Toys R US and the Doller store and buy a bunch of inexpensive toys and books to stuff in a backpack. He can take out one new thing every couple of hours. Small lego kits, coloring/sticker books etc. He also has his Ipod and headphones. After our dinner stop I have him change into comfy sweat pants and a sweatshirt and he curls up with his pillow and blanket. He sleeps thru the night while hubby and I take turns driving. We get into Florida and stop for a big breakfast and finish the drive. Before we know it we are on the beach or at Disney. Repeat the same thing coming home. When he was little, we made the drive part of the adventure. Tell them your expectations and reward them as you go! They will do great!

10. Re: Ohio to Orlando Drving Help

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