Driving from Hilton Head SC to Orlando, anything in between?
January 7, 2016 9:41 PM   Subscribe

This May we'll be driving from Hilton Head, SC to Disney World. Yay! With a 3-year old and a 9-month old. Uhoh! Where should we stop around mid-way to break up the trip?

Ideally, we'd be looking for someplace close to the highway where we could get out of the car and stretch our legs for a bit, let the 3-year-old burn off some energy, maybe get something to eat. I figure we'd only want to stop for an hour, maybe two at most. Any suggestions from the hive-mind?
posted by Guernsey Halleck to Travel & Transportation around Orlando, FL (9 answers total)
Jacksonville seems like a natural midpoint, but I know nothing about the place. Someone here ought to, though....
posted by Sunburnt at 10:50 PM on January 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

St. Augustine is past halfway, more like 3+ hours into your 4+ hour drive. That would be my choice, though! I've always enjoyed walking around and seeing some cool history there. And it's not far off of I-95, only about 10-15 minutes or so to get into downtown and the Castillo.
posted by Old Man McKay at 12:38 AM on January 8, 2016 [2 favorites]

Avoid the interstate, hug the coast. Not far south of the Florida line, turn left (to the east) on Route A1A. It goes east for a bit until it reaches the coast, then turns south and runs along the coast. You could stay on it all the way south to Cocoa Beach/Cape Canaveral and then head inland for the straight, quick, drive to Orlando.

Advantage: Avoids Jacksonville, which is big and very, very sprawly. You catch a river ferry east of Jacskonville. The Atlantic is just off to your left. You'll drive through St Augustine and every other beach town. Shouldn't have a problem finding a place to stop when the kids need to stop.

Disadvantage: You'll drive through every beach town. A million stop lights and all that.

This is an all-day trip, maybe more depending on what you stop and see.

The only other alternatives are going down I-95 or meandering down surface roads inland.
posted by justcorbly at 2:52 AM on January 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

Check out Fernandina Beach or St. Mary's, both of which are just a few miles off 95. Be prepared for massive traffic jams around Jacksonville and in Orlando.
posted by mareli at 5:33 AM on January 8, 2016

Jacksonville would work for a stopping point if you're taking 95 the whole way. Riverside/Five Points is a good choice, as there are lots of local food places and parks not far off the highway, and the Five Points area (Park Street exit) has quirky little shops that are fun to walk around in. Check out Moon River Pizza!
posted by jet_pack_in_a_can at 5:40 AM on January 8, 2016

We did DC to Orlando with two young kids (not quite as young as yours) in a straight shot. 4 hours is nothing :)

Seriously, 4 hours is 2 Disney DVDs on the tablets or DVD player. Watch one, take a break wherever you are, watch the second, arrive in Orlando. I wouldn't worry about trying to plan it out for the kids sake. If there is something you want to see on the way that is different.
posted by COD at 6:25 AM on January 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

+1 to stopping in jacksonville, as @jet_pack_in_a_can mentions

whenever i go back (my mom and brother live there), we love to stop at european street cafe, especially the san marco location.

for you, it is right off the highway. there is also a park with a playground a block south of the place. you can also walk a block west for some green space on the river as well.
posted by osi at 6:55 AM on January 8, 2016

Ooh, if you do go to European Street Cafe (which I recommend, as well), be sure to try the Shakti cakes! They are raw, organic, vegan, and amazing!
posted by jet_pack_in_a_can at 7:18 AM on January 8, 2016

Jekyll Island is about halfway, and is pretty.
posted by smackfu at 7:32 AM on January 8, 2016

« Older New Mexico Driving Advice re: Tomorrow's "Storm"?   |   Help me find a way "in" to classical music. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.