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Driving from Northern California to Orlando Florida

Palo Alto...
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Driving from Northern California to Orlando Florida

Hi all, just wondering if anyone here has done this drive and important things to watch for. A family member is going to be enrolled at the University of Central Florida in 2 weeks and we're considering making a cross country drive to here from the SF Bay Area.

Has anyone done the trip already? Now we have a rough idea about the distance and the amount of time driving, but I was wondering are there any sections to avoid? Things like road conditions, steep areas, good towns to stop in for the night, any other tips I haven't mentioned.

If any one has done this trip already please tell me what route you took and how your trip went. Thanks.

Berkshire, England
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1. Re: Driving from Northern California to Orlando Florida

I think you will get more help if you post this on the Road Trip forum.

Kelso, United...
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2. Re: Driving from Northern California to Orlando Florida

I agree you should head over to the road trip forum

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3. Re: Driving from Northern California to Orlando Florida

All I can say is good luck wwe2 drove 2500 miles around cala and nv and we were wrecked. Stop along the way and enjoy key spots. More to the USA than Florida. ... but we do love it....

Vero Beach, Florida
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4. Re: Driving from Northern California to Orlando Florida

It's very much a Road Trip item.

Having done a similar drive, both ways, I'd note that Los Angeles and Houston are the two big Urban Problems. I expect that you'll be able to find California navigation guidance easily enough. Houston has good roads (apparently part of I-10 was recently rebuilt at huge expense, and now has lots and lots of lanes). BTW, Houston does have several fine art museums, the Rothko Chapel if you like that modern artist, and even an elite college, Rice. Apparently it's the nation's second-biggest market for live theater, after NYC. I'm hinting that, little as I know about the place, it might possibly be more rewarding than certain other cities.

New Mexico and Texas have excellent roads.

The direct route is via I-10, but a more northerly route might be more entertaining. Stop by Flagstaff and your UCF enrollee might decide to arrange a transfer. If you do the southerly route, Las Cruces, also a college town, is a practical stopover point before crossing the Great Barren between El Paso and San Antonio (though you could do a side trip to Alpine and the little art town of Marfa).

If you have time, the hill country above San Antonio is nice, and the city itself (including the string of Spanish missions along the San Antonio River) is worth a stopover.

If you stay in San Antonio, you can realistically drive past Mobile, Alabama the next day. Florida from there to the Tallahassee area has a bunch of impressive natural areas, from beaches to springs and forests, if you incline that way. Check the Florida State Parks website. Torreya State Park and Florida Caverns State Park show off the region's incredible diversity of trees, the highest diversity in the continental US (Puerto Rico should be higher).

Interstate 10 from Louisiana through western Florida has a history of bad pavement. I don't know what measures have been taken in recent years to improve it. Ask. BTW, you might find a public radio station out of Lafayette, La., carrying a bit of French-language programming.

On I-75, Gainesville, home of the University of Florida, has the fine Florida Museum of Natural History with its live butterfly exhibit. I-75 was rebuilt in recent years. The only serious disaster in recent years was at Paynes Prairie, a big marshy area just south of Gainesville. A fire combined with fog and inadequate warning led to multiple collisions and serious loss of life. Law Enforcement is now a lot more careful.

Northern peninsular Florida has more springs to visit, some spectacular (though I'd put Wakulla Spring south of Tallahassee at the top of the list).

Orlando has about 2 million people, UCF some 60,000 students who mostly have to come and go by car. Endless suburbia with very high tolls on the toll road system. The Oviedo area is relatively nice.

Interstate 4 through downtown Orlando seems to be an unsolvable problem. A relatively short stretch of the road should be demolished and replaced, but for whatever reason, that seems impossible, so it comes with low speed limits and lots of congestion. Most of the rest of the road system is in good shape.

5. Re: Driving from Northern California to Orlando Florida

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