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Old 09-25-2015, 04:37 PM   #1
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Route Suggestions: Jacksonville to FL Keys

Hi All,

I've spent a couple of hours on irv2 and didn't find exactly what I'm looking for. We will be traveling from Virginia to Bluewater Key early in December. My route will take me through Jacksonville, FL (taking the loop around town to the east per irv2) and then south toward the Keys on I-95. Looking at the map, it seems to me that this could be a traffic nightmare, especially the farther we get into South Florida. I'd greatly appreciate any route advice from Jacksonville south that would minimize the headaches of getting into the Keys. We'll be in a 43 foot MH with a toad.

Many thanks!
Matt
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Old 09-25-2015, 05:14 PM   #2
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In my last 3 southbound trips, I bit the bullet and take the Florida's Turnpike toll road at exit 102, off of " I 95 ".

The tolls aren't too bad. Some booths and high speed tolls, are by plate # only.

If you don't have a Sunpass, they send you the tolls in the mail, with a small surcharge, from your plate #.

" I 95 " thru Miami is heavily traveled and drops off into a highway with traffic lights, every block, right in the heart of the city.

Florida's Tpk. runs past all of that and ends in Homestead. From there it's a few lights to the 20 mile stretch, to Key Largo.

Once you hit Key Largo, if there's traffic, you sit in it. It's the only game in town.

Sat for 4 hours when there was a head on, on the only draw bridge.

The only other traffic I remember is up in Jacksonville.
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Old 09-25-2015, 05:25 PM   #3
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Hi All,



I've spent a couple of hours on irv2 and didn't find exactly what I'm looking for. We will be traveling from Virginia to Bluewater Key early in December. My route will take me through Jacksonville, FL (taking the loop around town to the east per irv2) and then south toward the Keys on I-95. Looking at the map, it seems to me that this could be a traffic nightmare, especially the farther we get into South Florida. I'd greatly appreciate any route advice from Jacksonville south that would minimize the headaches of getting into the Keys. We'll be in a 43 foot MH with a toad.



Many thanks!

Matt

I pick up the Florida Turnpike at Fort Pierce and take that all the way to it's terminus at Florida City. There is a Flying J handy to the Fort Pierce end.

Since you have time, order a SunPass and set up an account on line.


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Old 09-25-2015, 06:29 PM   #4
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Many thanks to you all.

Steve, looking at Google maps, it would seem to me that at some point north of Miami, I'd go to the west and then south on the Ronald Reagan Turnpike, which ends in Florida City. Just making sure I have the correct understanding. Looks like a great to me.

Thanks again.

Matt
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Old 09-25-2015, 06:51 PM   #5
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Here is a map of the system. If you pick it up around Ft Pierce,you will be on the "main line". It generally parallels I95, usually to the west. If you just follow the turnpike south toward Florida City, it will be a fairly pleasant experience.

http://www.floridasturnpike.com/about_system.cfm#1




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Old 09-25-2015, 07:03 PM   #6
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It seem that they call the southern stretch "Ronald Reagan Turnpike" on Maps.
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Old 09-25-2015, 07:42 PM   #7
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It seem that they call the southern stretch "Ronald Reagan Turnpike" on Maps.
Thanks, Twinboat and Steve. Looks like a really good route. Fingers crossed that traffic won't be horrible! I've wanted to see the Keys since I was about 10 years old, so I'm beyond excited about the trip.

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Old 09-25-2015, 08:00 PM   #8
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Thanks, Twinboat and Steve. Looks like a really good route. Fingers crossed that traffic won't be horrible! I've wanted to see the Keys since I was about 10 years old, so I'm beyond excited about the trip.



Matt

Matt,

I hope you have a great time down here. We have been here just south of Marathon since Sept 1st. Will be here through Oct.

There is a casino at the intersection of US41 and Fl 997 that is a great dry camping spot for overnight.


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Old 09-25-2015, 08:16 PM   #9
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Stop in Homestead just for overnight. two reasons: 1. The drive down is stunning, especially the first time. You definitely want to do it during the day. 2. If there is traffic, you have all day to do it, and it might be bumper to bumper but you won't care cause the drive itself is short and you won't be stressed to get there. JMO mark
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Old 09-25-2015, 08:22 PM   #10
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We've spent the last 4 winters on the moorings, in Marathon, on our 35 ft Trawler. We love it.

If you want a great day trip, check out the Dry Tortugas ferry.

Enjoy the Keys
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Old 09-25-2015, 10:00 PM   #11
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Mark and Twinboat,

Thanks for the tips!

Matt
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Old 09-27-2015, 08:28 PM   #12
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Turnpike at Ft Pierce and register online for the toll by plate or SunPass. I use SunPass and tow a bike trailer with no problems every year from Jax to the Keys.
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Old 09-28-2015, 08:15 AM   #13
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X10 on the Sunpass for the Turnpike - we have an account and I can go in and add money to our account prior to a trip with my VISA or MCARD. Nice - just sail right through knowing they will debit your account. We have found in three winters heading from Savannah to Key West that the Turnpike is the only way to go! Happy Trails to you..
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Old 09-28-2015, 09:25 AM   #14
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I have mine setup to automatically add $25 when the account drops to $10. That makes it so easy I don't have to remember to add anything to the account.
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