what is the best way to go from ft. payne, ala., to palatka, fla, & avoid Atlanta, ga.?
by highway, you have no choice without adding hours and hours to your trip.
It's no big deal -- big and busy, yes, but take the beltway around, not through, the city, and plan your trip so you're not driving through Atlanta at rush hour.
If you look at mapquest you can take a back road from Rome, Ga (Rt 27) which turns to Rt 16 and will bypass Atlanta. Don't know if there will be an access right there to get on to I-75 tho. As sunshine stated it will add time to your trip as it will be a slow moving speed limit, traffic lights and no telling what shape those roads may be in. Its really not that bad even going thru midtown Atlanta as long as you avoid rush hour.
Going out of the way is not the solution timing the drive through and getting traffic up dates is much better when the roads are moving it is possible to be North and on your way quickly.