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Old 12-13-2017, 02:24 PM   #1
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Best route to Florida?

Hi Folks,
need advice on the best/safest/easiest route to central Florida from Niagara Falls area in Ontario. I am leaning towards I90 to I71 and I75. I am a bit concerned about the first stretch because frequent of lake effect blizzards. We are leaving next week.
Thanks for all responses.
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Old 12-13-2017, 04:38 PM   #2
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Lake effect snow will happen until the lake freezes. Only about a 4 hour strech on I-90 from Buffalo to Cleveland.

Before you get into Cleveland on I-90 take I-271 south, it goes around Cleveland and will join back up with I-71 about 25 miles south of Cleveland. You will be out of most of the lake effect snow at that point and will only have to worry about a general snowfall farther south.

Enjoy the Florida weather.
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Old 12-13-2017, 04:47 PM   #3
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Lake effect snow will happen until the lake freezes. Only about a 4 hour strech on I-90 from Buffalo to Cleveland.

Before you get into Cleveland on I-90 take I-271 south, it goes around Cleveland and will join back up with I-71 about 25 miles south of Cleveland. You will be out of most of the lake effect snow at that point and will only have to worry about a general snowfall farther south.

Enjoy the Florida weather.
Thanks, yes, that is the route i am planning to take. I believe it is less mountainous than I79.
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Old 12-13-2017, 05:07 PM   #4
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Enjoy your time in Florida. We live nearby in St. Catharines and will also be travelling soon to Florida. We prefer the I-79 to I-95 route to Florida. We enjoy the views of the mountains and deep gorges of West Virginia. We find that it is quicker to get out of the snow belt taking this route. Once on the back side of the Appalachian mountains there is a significant change in weather. We do the return taking the I-75 route to visit family in Windsor, but do take the dreaded 401 back home.
Happy travels
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Old 12-13-2017, 05:19 PM   #5
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Dank1945
Enjoy your time in Florida. We live nearby in St. Catharines and will also be travelling soon to Florida. We prefer the I-79 to I-95 route to Florida. We enjoy the views of the mountains and deep gorges of West Virginia. We find that it is quicker to get out of the snow belt taking this route. Once on the back side of the Appalachian mountains there is a significant change in weather. We do the return taking the I-75 route to visit family in Windsor, but do take the dreaded 401 back home.
Happy travels
Thanks. We are also in st catharines!
Where in Florida?


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Old 12-13-2017, 05:20 PM   #6
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Greetings 1945. Last week I left Olean, NY and it was snowing along the lake. So I took 219 straight south from Salamanca, to Bradford, Pa, and then picked up I-80 at Dubois, Pa. I-80 west takes you to I-76 in Ohio, which takes you to I-71 west of Akron. From there you can take your pick, and mine is to go down to Louisville, and get I-65 south. It's a little longer, but I despise the hills, the truck traffic, and Atlanta on I-75. Keep your heater on, and enjoy the journey.
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Old 12-13-2017, 05:28 PM   #7
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Greetings 1945. Last week I left Olean, NY and it was snowing along the lake. So I took 219 straight south from Salamanca, to Bradford, Pa, and then picked up I-80 at Dubois, Pa. I-80 west takes you to I-76 in Ohio, which takes you to I-71 west of Akron. From there you can take your pick, and mine is to go down to Louisville, and get I-65 south. It's a little longer, but I despise the hills, the truck traffic, and Atlanta on I-75. Keep your heater on, and enjoy the journey.
Bob
Thanks! That is an interesting thought. I will research that. 219 is very slow, but could be a nice alternative to lake effect snow. I also dislike mountains.


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Old 12-13-2017, 05:34 PM   #8
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Who ever is going to Florida from Windsor,remember south bound lane on I-75 is closed at the River Rouge Bridge for repairs in Detroit
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Old 12-13-2017, 09:36 PM   #9
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Greetings 1945. Last week I left Olean, NY and it was snowing along the lake. So I took 219 straight south from Salamanca, to Bradford, Pa, and then picked up I-80 at Dubois, Pa. I-80 west takes you to I-76 in Ohio, which takes you to I-71 west of Akron. From there you can take your pick, and mine is to go down to Louisville, and get I-65 south. It's a little longer, but I despise the hills, the truck traffic, and Atlanta on I-75. Keep your heater on, and enjoy the journey.

Bob

That is a terribly circuitous route to get to Florida from Olean, NY. All the I-80 and I-76 miles are taking you west, not south. And I-71 runs south west across Ohio. Lots of unnecessary miles there on a very roundabout route that takes you a long way west before you turn south.

A much much more direct route would be:
I-86 west to I-79
I-79 south to US 19
US 19 south to I-77
I-77 south to I-26 in Columbia, SC
I-26 south to I-95
I-95 south to the east coast of Florida.

I've driven this route from the Pittsburgh area many times, and it's a nice drive.

If you're headed for the Gulf coast, take I-10 west out of JAX or US 301 or some other route across northern Florida.
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Old 12-13-2017, 09:56 PM   #10
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Hello,

We live just outside of Milton, ON in Campbellville and will be heading to Florida for our 8th year this January.
We always take the 401 to Windsor and then I-75 all the way south.
The roads are in decent condition and with the exception of construction that you will find everywhere we find it to be a great route.
Driving through Atlanta is busy. so you just need to pick your times 10:00 am-2:00 pm is best.
There are some mountains in the Kentucky / Tennessee area but nothing like that along I-95.
We did once several years ago before the RV'ing.
We also have our regular overnight places along I-75, so it has become a routine now.
If this is your first year to be RV'ing in Florida, and depending on your destination, you may want to consider making reservations now.
Hurricane Irma wiped out several RV Parks in the Keys and that is putting increased demands on other parks to handle the tourists.
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Old 12-13-2017, 10:07 PM   #11
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Lived in Ohio ( snowbelt east of Cleveland ) for 55 years, snowbird from 1979 - 1999, moved to SW Florida in 2000. Have made this trip between 75-80 times since 1979 in car, coach, both mini up to a 43 ' DP towing. Gone every way possible, ...shortest way by mileage is I 90 to I 271 to I 77 south thru S. Ohio, W Va, VA, NC, to Columbia SC, east on
I 26 to I 95 to just north of Jacksonville. west on I 295 to I 10, exit @ Baldwin to US 301....a few towns, mostly divided 4 lane. WATCH YOUR SPEED thru Lawtey, FL and Waldo, FL. 301 to FL 326 west 2 miles to I 75, just north of Ocala...If your going to Orlando area split off @ FL Turnpike, toward Tampa stay on I 75.
It is 75 miles shorter than I 75, and NO Columbus, Cincinnati, Knoxville, and Especially Atlanta!!!! Charlotte is a pain, where a pill can't reach, and there will be construction on both corridors ( not like summer ).
But check the weather....Lake effect snow USUALLY is not south of SE Cleveland suburbs, and not in Akron/Canton. That snow comes from SW to NE.
Safe travels, whatever route you take...Merry Christmas and enjoy Sunny FL.
Temps in SW Florida will be back to high 70's by Friday, and then low 80's hi, mid 60's low thru Christmas...Central FL usually 5-7 degrees cooler than we are in the winter. If there is snow, worry about I 90 ( NY, PA and Eastern OHIO ) and the top part of I 271.
One way to bypass lake effect ( even though it seems strange ) is I 90 to downtown Cleveland, then south on I 77 where it starts. Lake effect is ALWAYS eat of downtown and usually about 15 miles south of Erie south it is south of I 90. 2nsman
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Old 12-14-2017, 09:35 AM   #12
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Greetings 2nsman,
I am mostly worried about steep climbs and lake effect. I will research your route.
Thanks,
Dan
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Old 12-15-2017, 07:51 AM   #13
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I agree with 2nsman & A Traveler. Look for your weather window so there are no big storms coming thru like the one last week out of Texas that ran across to the coast.
I am planning on leaving this Thursday the 21st, from Pittsburgh down I-79 to Rt 19, to I-77 to I-26 to I-95, then 301 across the state to I-75 south. Done this route several times. Its an easy drive, plenty of truck stops for fuel, rest areas & just a general easy route with the roads marked well.
Yes there are some hills or some call mountains, but its not like crossing the Rockies. There are no hard pulls that any modern motorhome, or pick up with a 5er or travel trailer can not handle with ease. I pull a 40' 5er with a Dodge Ram w/ 6 speed manual transmission. I think there is only one or 2 pulls that I have to shift into 5th gear. I can make it into South Carolina the first day. Its right around 500 miles but it basically gets you out of any snow belt. So if you are coming from Buffalo or Niagara Falls, that would be another 3 or 4 hours and 200 more miles. But you could stay in maybe Statesville, NC or near Charlotte, NC. That will basically get you over the hills or mountains of West Virginia, Virginia and Northern North Carolina.
Have a nice trip regardless of which way you choose......
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Old 12-15-2017, 11:40 AM   #14
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You are going to love 95 and 10 in FL. Probably the best interstates we have traveled on in over 100,000 miles. Most of the road to bridge transitions are really smooth.
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