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Discussion Starter #1
I'll be riding from Raleigh, N.C. to Key West, Florida in a few weeks. I don't know that area at all and google has the best route as I-95 all the way down.

I need to cover about 400 miles a day, but I don't want to take the freeway unless I absolutely have to... Are they any other viable choices where I can make decent time and not be on the super-slab?

Thanks!
 

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I'll be riding from Raleigh, N.C. to Key West, Florida in a few weeks. I don't know that area at all and google has the best route as I-95 all the way down.

I need to cover about 400 miles a day, but I don't want to take the freeway unless I absolutely have to... Are they any other viable choices where I can make decent time and not be on the super-slab?

Thanks!
I've never been farther south than Orlando / Daytona Beach Shores, and it's been a long time since I was in that area of the country, but I remember some nice, marsh-type views, looking westward, from I-95. Somewhere south of Savannah, probably south of Jacksonville. I'm sure plenty of folks here know where that would be. At least for that section, as far as freeways go, I've seen a lot more boring ones, from a scenic perspective. Of course, for me, living in the mountains, marshlands are something unusual. Some of my more memorable freeway sections. Good luck on your trip.
 

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Just an FYI, I live about 50 minutes south of Raleigh, right along US 1. If you run into any problems when you're in my vicinity and need a hand, feel free to get ahold of me. If you want to PM me I'll give you a number where you can reach me.
 

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If you need to do 400 miles a day and do not want to be on 95, you are in for some L-O-N-G days in the saddle.

Taking a route thru Gainesville is WELL out of the way. I mean KRAZY out of the way west.

Just to get from Miami to KW is a long day on it's own. You'll be lucky to average 45 mph despite snowbird season being over.

I live very close to Exit 173 on 95. I went to KW once. That was enough. I-95 traffic from a bit north of West Palm Beach all the way south is horrid.

I suggest you take the highway down and decide if you want to do that on the return trip or take less traveled roads.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Take US 1 to US 601 to US 301....301 will take you all the way to just south of Gainesville. You can pick up US 1 right there in Raleigh.
At least for that section, as far as freeways go, I've seen a lot more boring ones, from a scenic perspective. Of course, for me, living in the mountains, marshlands are something unusual. Some of my more memorable freeway sections. Good luck on your trip.
If you need to do 400 miles a day and do not want to be on 95, you are in for some L-O-N-G days in the saddle.
Good food for thought! Thanks for the replies.

I was worried when I looked at maps that it would be difficult to make time and be scenic at the same time... Obviously I'd much rather take RC's scenic route but time may push me into the super-slab option... I need to be in Panama City 5 days after I leave Chapel Hill...Raleigh area. But the Key West "corner of the US" thing has been on my bucket list for years and I have a chance to cross it off on this trip.

*Sigh*....so many roads...... :confused:
 

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So, you didn't mention the part about from SLC to Raliegh? How long and route?
Sounds like fun
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So, you didn't mention the part about from SLC to Raliegh? How long and route?
Sounds like fun
I'll leave home 13 May....I had a rough route planned that was mostly south of I-70, but I may need to amend that so I can snag the little yella fella from Splank. He is going to be in Quincy, Il around the middle of May.
 

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I need to be in Panama City 5 days after I leave Chapel Hill...Raleigh area. But the Key West "corner of the US" thing has been on my bucket list for years and I have a chance to cross it off on this trip.
Alright...now that you provided more info, take some advice from someone who lives in Fla and has ridden every section of the state; if you MUST do KW, take the slab and get it done!! The roads/areas west of Ocala to Panama City are MUCH better riding than on the east and south sides of the state.

So, if you want to screw off and just cruise along some nice back roads, do it over in that area the day before you have to be in Panama City.
 

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So, if you want to screw off and just cruise along some nice back roads, do it over in that area the day before you have to be in Panama City.
I haven't seen the everglades either other than flying over them a few times so I thought I would leave KW go to Everglades City, then 'kind of' follow the coast to Panama City...
 

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Be mindful of your time and be aware traffic from Naples to north of Tampa/St Pete/Clearwater is horrendous!!! Only thing in your favor is snowbird season is virtually over.

If you want to stop for food at a motorcycle friendly joint in the Glades, this place is an hour or so south of Naples;

https://www.facebook.com/Joanies-Blue-Crab-Cafe-153208014695475/

If you're a "Walking Dead" fan, Norman Reedus and Peter Fonda stopped here for a meal on the season (series?) finale of "Ride with Norman Reedus".

2 other things...make sure you hydrate, hydrate, hydrate and watch out for gators close to the road. They're pretty dumb creatures and not mindful of others.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Be mindful of your time and be aware traffic from Naples to north of Tampa/St Pete/Clearwater is horrendous!!! Only thing in your favor is snowbird season is virtually over.

If you want to stop for food at a motorcycle friendly joint in the Glades, this place is an hour or so south of Naples;

https://www.facebook.com/Joanies-Blue-Crab-Cafe-153208014695475/

If you're a "Walking Dead" fan, Norman Reedus and Peter Fonda stopped here for a meal on the season (series?) finale of "Ride with Norman Reedus".

2 other things...make sure you hydrate, hydrate, hydrate and watch out for gators close to the road. They're pretty dumb creatures and not mindful of others.
The Crabshack looks fun. I've never seen 'Walking Dead" except for where I used to work...
I'll watch for gators, I'm excited to see one.... from a healthy distance!

I've been told the bridge to St. Petersburg (I-275) is a must see, after that it looks like US 98 would be the way to go...?
 

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Greetings from Miami,
As Far as Florida goes if you're coming down the east coast you can pick up A1A around Jacksonville Beach (Take 295 around Jville, get off 202 toward Ponta Vedra Beach) it's a beautiful ride, but very slow going, don't expect more than 35mph. Once you hit Daytona Beach you will have to get back on US1 or 95 for while to get to Port Canaveral (A1A keeps going but dead ends in Canaveral National Seashore). From there you can get back on A1A which continues down the coast reconnecting with US1 every so often. As I said, It's a beautiful ride but definitely the long way. I95 from Daytona to Jupiter is not bad, just a long stretch of pavement, south of Jupiter it gets ugly, the Florida Turnpike is nearby and parallel and generally better traffic wise. The turnpike will also take you down to Homestead, FL where you can pick up US1 toward Key Largo. This avoids taking US1 through Miami and South Miami, which is advisable. I live in Miami and when I go to the keys I go straight west till I pick up the turnpike south. I prefer to stay off the slab as well, but with the way people drive in South Florida it's better to get out and away from it is as quickly as possible. If you don't mind a small toll take the Card Sound Bridge to get to Key Largo, it doesn't take much longer and it takes you through a little more scenic route through north Key Largo, worth the 15 minutes.
Happy Trails,
Mongooseknight
 

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I second the Card Sound route, very nice and relaxing most of the time. Do not go south from Miami or North from KW on a weekend, you will regret it. I95 or the Turnpike from West Palm Beach to Miami during either rush HOURS are brutal. Plan your ride accordingly & personally I hate the stinking turnpike at any hour....I just hate paying the Troll.
 

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I live in Charleston South Carolina and been going to Daytona Beach every year since 1983. It is a long haul to Key West and if you want to make 300-400 miles daily you will have to hit I95 for long treks. I am not sure how long you have to make the trip but here is what I would do.
I would take I40 to I95 then I95 to Savannah, that's about 320 miles. All interstate. Spend the night in Savannah, downtown and have a nice meal and check it out a little. Ga is only 112 miles across the state by I95. The next leg will be slow but very scenic.

Hit I95 s and exit to Yulee Fl. You can catch A1A there. Take A1A through Amelia Island and stay on A1A until Daytona Beach . There used to be a Ferry to Mayport ,but I'm not sure if it's still going. If so take it. This takes you to Atlantic Beach, St Augustine and many small towns to Daytona. Very slow going but worth the trek. I would stay the night in Daytona or south. This would probably only be 230 miles but A1A is slow going.

From here I would take 195 and catch the Fla Turnpike to Homestead Fl./plant City FL. Spend the night down there. This would probably be The trip from there is about 320 miles. Traffic is heavy all the way down there. The turnpike is better and faster.

Keywest is another 100 miles south and slow going. I normally stay in Marathon and ride over to Keywest. 7 mile bridge is spectacular. Keywest is a tourist trap that all must go to at least once. We typically go there for lunch but there are better places to eat on the way down.

If you have the time, you could always go more of the trek on A1A. Have a good time.
 

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"I need to be in Panama City 5 days after I leave Chapel Hill...Raleigh area"

Unfortunately, to see KW, this is gonna require a ton of "slab". I'd turn and burn for KW, once there re-evaluate and you might be able to get across Alligator Alley off of I75 and tour the panhandle to Panama....maybe.

*** I will add that I hate the slab and try my best to take secondary roads. The reason I like them is that they are time consuming...as in you can relax and drift. But, if you are on a timetable, those secondary roads are your enemy. ***
 

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Great opportunity to knock of an Ironbutt from Raleigh to Key West! 15 hours if you don't get caught up in traffic (which you more than likely will)!
I grew up riding down here and the drivers are incredibly distracted, drugged up or just stupid, so be mindful!
Have a safe trip and hope you get that corner off your bucket list!
 
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