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Old 12-20-2010, 06:11 AM   #1
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Jersey to Key West

I'm heading south to Key West in a week and have my route all planned out by way of Rt. 95 dead south. Now I'm wondering if this in fact the best choice albeit the most direct.

Looking at having to dodge traffic and tunnels around Baltimore and DC I'm wondering if heading out to Rt. 81 to get south and then Rt. 77 back over to Rt. 95 might be an option.

I'll be pulling a toad if that makes any difference.
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Old 12-20-2010, 07:02 AM   #2
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I do that drive from western NJ (I-78) to Sugarloaf Key 1-2 times a year for the past 4 years. (and will be driving that route on April 15, 2011!)

I take 78 West to I-81 South to I-66 East. I then get on Virginia RT. 17 and take that back to I-95 in Fredricksburg. That way you bypass the mess of Philly, tolls in Delaware and Maryland, the Baltimore tunnel bypass and the mess around DC.

Rt. 17 is a great country road that has plenty of room for MH travel. Only thing to watch is stay in the left lane approaching Opal, VA as you'll have to make a left turn at the traffic light.

VA usually has relatively cheaper fuel prices so I usually fill up at the Flying J on Exit 323/I-81 in VA (first exit in VA) and then fill again at Exit 104/I-95.

Safe travels!
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Old 12-20-2010, 07:29 AM   #3
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Once you get into Florida, I-95 is good, most of the way. However, I wouldn't want to drive through West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale or the Miami traffic. You can by-pass all that, if you switch over to the Florida Turnpike, at Jupiter or Palm Beach Gardens. Follow the turnpike South, to Hwy. 821, in the Miramar area and swing West. 821 is a toll road and will take you out, away from most of the South Miami traffic and lead you straight to Homestead, FL and the the Keys. That's the way I would go.
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:18 AM   #4
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When I left jersey I would take 287 to 78 out to 81 to 77 . I would take 77 to 26 in south carolina and get on 95 south. All good roads.
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:22 AM   #5
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We took 81 to 77 to 95 to Orlando FL in September, and did not have any problems. Good luck and be safe.
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:27 AM   #6
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Seems I'm really glad I asked this question. I was just taking the most direct and what I thought was the most logical path.

Thank you all for your insight, I'll be reworking my plan to rev B
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:26 AM   #7
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Another reminder is to buy gas/diesel before you get to Florida City and definitely before you get to the Keys.

Florida City has some tight squeeze gas stations so I usually fill up at the last station on the FL Turnpike which I think is about milemarket 20. Prices jump when you get to Key Largo.
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:37 AM   #8
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I wasn't aware of that either. Thanks for the tip.
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:50 AM   #9
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Don, Cindy, and...Murphy!!

So where ya going to be staying in the Keys? We love it there and have always enjoyed our visits.

Steve & Lynette
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Old 12-20-2010, 09:53 AM   #10
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I can't comment on the NE routing but I live in Fort Lauderdale and can offer some advice on this area.

Avoid the metro traffic in South Florida. Get off 95 at exit 129 - Fort Pierce and take the TurnPike south to exit 71. At Exit 71, get on the SawGrass Expressway to I-75 South then get back on the TurnPike at I-75 exit #5, Turnpike mile 39. The Turnpike signs will actually direct you along this route to Key West but the exit onto the SawGrass at mile 71 is easy to miss if you aren't paying attention. The Sawgrass runs you over to the west side of town, along the Everglades and avoids the vast majority of the metro traffic. I'd still try and move through this area outside of rush hour.

Don't forget to sign up for SunPass so you can cruise through all the tolls without stopping!

Good luck.
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Old 12-20-2010, 03:34 PM   #11
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I drove this just a few weeks ago going to Key West. I'd get on the Florida Turnpike and stay on it all the way to Florida City/Homestead. It will dump you off right on Highway 1 south to the Keys.

There are service facilities about every 35-40 miles for fuel and food...easy in and out.

The tip about the pass is a good one, otherwise you'll have to stop several times to pay toll. Have forgotten the total toll cost...$25-30 I think.
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Old 12-20-2010, 03:37 PM   #12
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Forgot to mention. I stayed at Bluewater RV, at mile marker 14.5. Beautiful place. Not cheap but very, very nice.
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Old 12-20-2010, 03:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahobgood View Post
The tip about the pass is a good one, otherwise you'll have to stop several times to pay toll. Have forgotten the total toll cost...$25-30 I think.
I looked into it but I doubt I'd get it in time for the trip. Perhaps a Flying J will have them when I get down that way.

This is all very informative, thank you for helping me out with this.
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Old 12-20-2010, 03:42 PM   #14
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They sell them in the service areas once you get on the turnpike.
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