There really is nothing better than grabbing a bunch of friends and going on an epic road trip. Some of the most memorable times of people’s lives happen while crammed in a car with four other human beings. A road trip down the Eastern side of the continent from Montreal, QC in Canada to Miami, Florida is the perfect route for an incredible, 2-week vacation.
So stock up on snacks, plug your music into the sound system, and hit the open road!
A Few Numbers
Although they’re roughly 2600 km apart and separated by a national border, the trip from Montreal to Miami is only 25 hours long by car on I-95 South. There are alternate routes available through I-81 South until you connect back up with I-95 in either DC or South Carolina, but these routes take the same amount of driving time on average. The best bet is definitely a straight shot down I-95 South. This route will have you driving through some of the most enjoyable cities on the planet, and you’ll have tons of opportunities to snap a gorgeous photo and visit a historic landmark or two. If you’re determined, and your road trip involves more than one licensed driver, you could be down in on the beach in Florida within 36 hours of leaving and have plenty of time to spare before returning. If you want to experience everything along the way, consider spending 4 or 5 days on the road. It may take a little longer, but it’s well worth it.
Since you’re going to be starting off in Montreal, why not grab some gourmet coffee or some delicious breakfast from Downtown? La Crepe 2 Go is down in Ville-marie, but since this is a road trip, you have to do something fun where you begin the trip too. You can stop in for a big breakfast or get something to take with you, and their menu serves up both sweet and savory crepes, so you can something for breakfast and something for dessert.
New York City, New York
Although time isn’t always going to be on your side during your journey, you absolutely cannot drive by NYC without stopping in for a day. Try to get as far as the Statue of Liberty. If you can’t go quite that far, try to book tickets to a Broadway show before you leave on your trip, or visit Central Park for a few hours. Again, you can’t drive right on by when you’re in the presence of such a diverse and world famous city, so this is one place where ‘wasting time’ is completely understandable.
Philadelphia is relatively close to NYC, so you won’t have far to travel once you get through the heavier traffic of the metropolis you’ve just left. If you’re a hockey fan, you could check out the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center. You also have to race your friends to the top of the iconic steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art like Rocky Balboa. It’s just one of those things. Don’t forget to grab a Soft Pretzel or Philly Cheese Steak for the road at Reading Terminal Park, which is only a few blocks from the ‘Rocky Stairs’ and well worth the wait in traffic. Another more obscure but interesting ‘Ball of Twine’ idea is to drive on the I-76, then US-202, and finally, the US-30 until you get to Lancaster, PA, which is also known as Pennsylvania Dutch Country. where you can learn about the infamous Amish in one of the oldest developed areas of the US.
The White House in Washington, DC is another of those things that people should see at least once in their lives. You should also check out the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, or the US Capitol, then grab something to eat in the Georgetown neighborhood.
North and South Carolina
It may be hard to be excited about these two states thanks to all of the bustling cities you’ve been through so far, but why not take this time to get some mileage under your belt? You can also use almost any exit off of I-95 to pick one of the many motels or restaurants to stop at and rest. One place you should go out of your way to visit along this stretch of the Interstate is Myrtle Beach. Continue on I-95 until you have an opportunity to get onto US-501 S. It will take about 2 hours to get there, but the gorgeous shores of the Atlantic Ocean here will remind you of your mission and give you some time to kick back during the long journey. In this case, the white sand and long beaches are worth four hours round trip in drive time.
If you’re into history and southern charm, Savannah, Georgia has exactly what you’re after. The city is almost 300 years old and has some gorgeous plantation-style homes, authentic haunted houses, and numerous historic sites. The Historic District is where all of the tourism happens. Everything is built in a grid-like pattern and the architecture of each building is very unique and traditional with several themes being prominent in the area. One can walk the streets and admire buildings that are hundreds of years old. The St. John the Baptist Cathedral is one of these buildings that has had a storied past that included fire, roof damage from hurricanes, and Papal visits. The cathedral was first erected in the late 1800s and its grandeur is something to marvel while snapping photos of the simple but beautiful architecture both inside and out.
Once you’ve gotten through Jacksonville, check out if Daytona Beach has anything fun going on. Every February, the Daytona 500 holds its races, but you can always skip out on that and relax on the beach with friends before getting back in the car. From Daytona Beach, you can travel down to Orlando for a day of Universal Studios or Disney World, which require little introduction due to their global notoriety. From there, Miami is only a 3 hour drive away on the Florida Turnpike.
You may be a little tired by the time you get there, but traveling from Montreal to Miami is too fun not to try. The major stops along the way are for things that most people have on a bucket list of must-sees, and who would want to drive past all of the fun in order to save time, right?
The drive from Montreal to Miami is long, but it’s so worth it. When you finally reach your destination, you can plop down on a towel at South Beach and soak in sun while listening to the gentle waves crash upon the shore. That’s when the real fun begins anyways, right? Have a safe trip!