Florida’s Interstate Driving Routes
Touring Florida from behind the wheel? Check out this guide and find out what major interstate highways you’re likely to be hitting when in Florida…
Florida roads consist of over 18,000 kms of highway, of which over 2,000 is part of the interstate highway system.
Florida’s Interstate routes
The main interstates of Florida include:
The I-4 which starts in Tampa on the west coast, cuts east through Lakeland City, Orlando and ends near Daytona Beach on the east coast. The I-4 intersects the I-75 outside of Tampa and the I-95 near to Daytona Beach. This is the main route you will use if you are travelling between Orlando and Tampa, both of which are the locations of world class theme parks such as Disney World and Busch Gardens. This interstate is the busiest in the state, so take your time and drive carefully.
The I-10 runs across the north of the state of Florida. This interstate continues from the I-10 from Alabama and starts in Florida at Pensacola, runs through the Florida Panhandle, through Tallahassee, into Northern Florida and Lake City (where it intersects the I-75), before ending in Jacksonville (where it also meets the I-95).
The I-75 is Florida’s longest interstate. It starts in Miami and travels west through the Everglades (aka Alligator Alley) until it reaches the city of Naples on the west coast. This section between Miami and Naples is a toll road. From here it travels north along the coast, past Fort Myers, Tampa (where it intersects the I-4), Ocala, Gainesville, Lake City (where it intersects the I-10) and north into Georgia.
The I-95 runs the length of Florida’s Atlantic coast. Starting from Miami, this interstate heads north through Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Cocoa (close to Cape Canaveral), Titusville, Daytona Beach (where it meets the I-4), through Jacksonville (where it meets the I-10), and north into Georgia.
Other major routes
The historic U.S. Highway 1 first started in the 1920′s, and at 3,825 km is the longest North-South highway in the USA! It starts in Key West in the Florida Keys, runs up the whole east coast of Florida and the eastern seaboard of America all the way up to Canada. It covers much of the same area as the newer and wider I-95, but the route extends to the end of the Florida Keys.
The part of the U.S. Highway 1 that extends from mainland Florida out along the Florida Keys is called the Overseas Highway. This is a remarkable journey to make and Key West (Continental USA’s most southern city) is a great spot to visit.
US 98 comes in from Alabama, passes through Pensacola and follows a beautiful scenic route southeast along the coast to Panama City.
The US 41 starts in Miami, and then takes an alternate, more scenic, route through the Everglades than the previously mentioned I-75.
Some Travel Advice
In addition to being called the ‘Theme Park Capital of the World’, Orlando has also been called the ‘Car Rental Capital of the World’. This is with good reason.
Orlando’s central location means you have easy access to the rest of Florida. However this also means it can be very crowded (both the city and its roads) during the summer. So with this in mind if you are travelling during the height of the season it is recommended to base yourself outside of the city and in somewhere like Kissimmee which is actually closer to Disney World and Orlando Airport.
If you’re thinking of discovering Florida by car then check out our Car Hire Florida page.
Have you experienced Florida’s roads? Why not let other readers know how you got on. Any hints, advice or stories are welcome in the comment box below.