20 Tourist Attractions on the Drive from New York to Florida

Are you thinking of escaping the cold New York winters and heading south to the sunshine state? These tourist attractions on the drive from New York to Florida will make the drive an exciting addition to your vacation.

Planning to drive from Florida to New York can seem like an overwhelming task. It can also be a great option when flight prices are high and driving is the best choice.

Typically we will price the flights, check out this article: Pros and Cons of Flying Frontier Airlines with Kids | Frontier Airline Review, to see if flying or driving will work best for your budget.

During school breaks in the winter, driving tends to be the most affordable option for our family of five.

Driving from New York to Florida can be a great alternative to flying. It can save you money, allow you to discover new places in the United States, as well as create some awesome family memories.

ny to fl road trip itinerary sunset

Family Road Trip to Florida

We love planning a big family road trip and like to plan one a year. When the kids were small our first one was a New York to Myrtle Beach Road Trip.

Through the years we have gone on a Tennessee Road Trip and a Southwest Road Trip.

Each has created some of our favorite family travel memories as a family.

In 2020 road trips became the best way for us to travel as a family. We did a short road trip to Mystic Connecticut.

As we started planning our 2021 trips, we knew we wanted to head south to our favorite family destination: Orlando, Florida.

We are a huge Walt Disney World and Universal family. We visit yearly and decided that driving would be the best way to go.

Once we finalized that we were going to drive we needed to figure out the distance from New York to Florida by car, how many days does it take to drive to Florida from New York, and where do we want to stop from New York to Florida.

How Far is New York from Florida

It takes 17 hours and 47 minutes to drive from New York to Florida, or 1,146 miles. This depends on where in Florida you are going and where in New York State you start.

We drove from Rochester, New York to Florida. If you are leaving from New York City you will take a little different route but some of the tourist attractions along the way will be the same.

Our driving time was 19 hours and 2 minutes or 1,220 miles. There are a few different routes you can take.

From Rochester we went through Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

From NYC you will go through the same states but along the east coast. Your drive will take you through some small towns and major cities.

map for distance from new york to florida

How Many Days Does it Take to Drive from FL to NY

If you have multiple drivers you can drive from NY to FL in one very long day.

This depends on how long you can sit in a car, ages of your kids, and your desire to arrive as quickly as possible.

Typically people take a day and a half to drive to Florida. On our drive we reserved a hotel room for 2 nights on the way down and one on the way back.

We wanted to take our time on the way down and include a few fun pit stops along the way.

Does Driving to Florida from New York Save Money

Driving from Florida to New York can save you money depending on the time of year, how many people are traveling with you, and how long it will take you.

If you have a large group driving will probably save you money. If you have a small group and don’t have enough time or vacation days, you may want to consider flying.

I suggest pricing out flying and driving to see what is best. Be sure to consider meals during the drive, gas prices, and hotel stays.

Stops on a Road Trip from New York to Florida

We enjoy adding new states to our 50 States Challenge, so we start a road trip plan with looking at a map and thinking about where we want to visit.

There are three ways to go when driving from Rochester to Orlando. You can go towards Pittsburgh, Cleveland, or Hershey.

The drive time will vary between 18 and 19 hours but this is dependent on traffic. The difference is very small in real time.

Depending on where you may want to stop on your drive can help you determine which way to go. Once you decide you will need to decide how much you would like to drive each day and where you would like to stop.

If we are driving a full day we will pack snacks and lunch (Read this for ideas: Road Trip Food List for an Awesome Family Road Trip) and then plan an hour stop for dinner at an interesting place.

An hour stop to stretch and eat can recharge everyone, and make it easier to drive a bit longer.

This has gotten easier as our kids have gotten older. When they were younger we needed to plan more bathroom breaks and times to stretch.

road trip food from ny to fl
Packed lunch on the way down to Florida is not glamourous, but it saved time and money on the road.

20 Fun Tourist Attractions on the Drive from New York to Florida

Pennsylvania Pit Stops

Depending on which way you are driving consider visiting one of the many fun stops in Pennsylvania. We have visited Pittsburgh and Hersheypark during our drives.

If you are driving along the east coast consider a stop in Philadelphia for historic sites like the Liberty Bell.

Washington D.C.

If you want to get out and stretch consider stopping in Washington D.C. for lunch and explroing. The White House, Lincoln Memorial, and Washington Mall are all great options to stretch your legs.

Then get back in the car and drive a few more hours for the night. Be aware of timing to avoid rush hour traffic.

Virginian Beach

The Virginia Beach area might work if you are looking for a beach stop. If you plan on stopping for a night or two in this area consider visiting Busch Gardens Williamsburg amusement park or Colonial Williamsburg.

This would require a longer stop on your way to Florida but might be a great addition to your trip.

Jekyll Island

This was a perfect place to stretch our legs and get outside. Jekyll Island is off the highway and will take a few hours out of your day but it is worth the visit. It is one of the best places we have ever visited!

St. Augustine, Florida

St. Augustine Florida has an awesome historic district in their downtown area. Walk the cobblestone streets and check out the quaint shops or the pirate & treasure museum.

There is also a Bucc-ee’s location right off the 95. If this is your first time near a Bucc-ee’s you have to at least stop to check it out.

Kennedy Space Center

If you are driving to Key West Florida you may want to make your next stop be the Kennedy Space Center. Here you can explore all things space and it is a great stop before finishing the drive through the state of Florida.

Depending on the route you want to take you can add a visit to Atlanta, Savannah, Charleston, and Myrtle Beach. If you go through Ohio consider stopping at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame or the American Sign Museum.

We have also done unique stops like the Original KFC during a Tennessee road trip. My best advice is to think outside the box and include a few unique stops to your road trip.

NY to FL Road Trip Itinerary

The great thing about this NY to FL road trip itinerary is you can do it both ways. If you are traveling on a Florida to New York road trip you can use our itinerary too.

This is an example of what we did for our drive to Florida from Rochester, New York.

Road Trip Itinerary from New York to Florida

  • Day 1: Rochester, NY to Chambersburg, PA (5 Hours and 9 minutes)
  • Day 2: Chambersburg, PA to Brunswick, GA (10 hours and 19 minutes)
  • Day 3: Brunswick, GA to Orlando, Florida (3 hours and 17 Minutes)

These times are from google maps but plan on adding time for stops. We have become very efficient in our stops and usually pack most of our meals.

Our stops are to refuel and use the restroom and then we keep moving.

Road Trip Itinerary from Florida to New York

On the way home we took less time. I didn’t love where we stayed but it was fine for one night. As much as I love adding stops, our goal was to get home and it was a lot of driving.

  • Day 1: Orlando, Florida to Fredericksburg, VA (11 Hours and 26 Minutes)
  • Day 2: Fredericksburg, VA to Rochester, NY ( 7 Hours and 14 Minutes)

Our Road Trip Itinerary from Rochester, NY to Orlando, FL

Day 1: We decided to leave Tuesday afternoon and start our drive down to Orlando, Florida. We packed the car with sub sandwiches for dinner and made the 5 hour drive to Chambersburg, PA.

Around 8:45pm we checked in to the Springhill Suites for the night. If you take this route and are looking for clean gas stations with decent food options check out Sheetz.

Sheetz has grab and go options like fruit and veggie trays as well as fast food options.

Day 2: Day 2 was going to be our longest driving day but I was really excited for our stop at Driftwood Beach in Georgia. We stayed in Brunswick, GA, ate dinner at Willie Jewels BBQ, and drove to Jekyll Island.

Jekyll Island is a little under an hour drive and the last thing we wanted to do was get back in the car but I had heard so many amazing things about Driftwood Beach and we were so close.

We had to make a point to visit.

I am so happy we did because walking about the beach and watching the sunset was a great way to end the day. After our visit we headed to the Fairfield Inn for the night. It was a great place to rest our heads for the night.

Day 3: We slept in until 7:00am and then started our drive to our final destination: Orlando, Florida! We wanted to stop at Buc-ees and arrive at Universal Studios for lunch.

Our first stop was Buc-ees. Buc-ees is a gas station/food stop but if you have visited one you know it is so much more. There are locations in St. Augustine and Daytona Beach, as well as other places in the southern USA.

They have food options, merchandise, and very clean bathrooms making it a great stop during a road trip.

I suggest trying the Beaver Nuggets and give yourself a bit of time to explore the store. There are a lot of fun options here.

bucees new york to florida road trip

After Buc-ees we drove the rest of the way to check in at the Hard Rock Hotel Orlando. This hotel is within walking distance to the Universal Orlando theme parks. Read our Review: Hard Rock Hotel Orlando Review

Day 4-10: We spent the next week at Universal. Check out this article about the Best Things to Do at Universal Orlando Resort. We also checked into Universal’s Endless Summer Resort: Dockside for most of our stay after our 2 night stay at Hard Rock.

Day 11: Our drive home started very early with a 4:15am wake up call. We were on the road by 4:50am and started our long day of driving to Fredericksburg, VA. This was a really long day in the car and the traffic and weather were not great.

We were very happy to arrive at our hotel. We stayed at the Hampton Inn. It was fine for the night but it was in need of an update.

Day 12: On our last day we had a little over 7 hours to drive. We grabbed breakfast at the hotel and started our drive. After a long trip we were ready to get home.

Driving from New York to Florida is a great option to consider when flying is not an option. It is a relatively easy drive and allows you to see some great places along the way.

Read Next: 10 Family Road Trip Essentials for an Amazing Trip

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