For RVers in the Northern US, once the leaves start falling, it’s time to migrate south for the winter. Florida is one of the most popular choices for snowbirds because of its abundant sunshine and tropical weather.
But RVers know a trip isn’t only about the destination. Wherever you start, the drive to Florida will bring you through a spectacular diversity of landscapes and attractions. We are highlighting the top three north-south highways on the East Coast for an fun-filled trek to Florida.
These routes are packed with state parks, National Forests, museums, interesting towns and cities and more. We recommend RV snowbirds take it slow and explore all the incredible sites along the way.
I-75: Michigan to Miami
Interstate 75 extends almost 1,800 miles from the top of Michigan to the suburbs of Miami. It crosses through six states before winding down Florida’s Gulf Coast.
Beginning on the Canadian border in Ste. Sault Marie, Mich., I-75 descends through the woods of Northern Michigan to Detroit and then follows the coast of Lake Erie into Ohio.
The road travels along the western side of the state through Cincinnati then to Kentucky and Tennessee. During this stretch, RVers can take a short side trip to Cumberland Falls or the Great Smoky Mountains before crossing into Georgia and heading towards Atlanta.
Once in Florida, the route moves through the center of the state before turning left toward Tampa. There, it connects to popular snowbird destinations like Sarasota, Fort Myers and Naples before cutting across Big Cypress National Forest to the edge of Miami’s suburbs.
The Henry Ford, Dearborn, Mich.: Learn about American innovation, industry and transportation in this sprawling museum complex.
Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens, Cincinnati, Ohio: Visit with tigers, gorillas, giraffes and more animals from all around the world.
Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, Ky.: Watch majestic horses perform in shows and learn about the history of the animal.
Lookout Mountain, Tenn. and Ga. border: See gorgeous views of the landscape and explore underground caves and waterfalls.
I-77: Appalachian Adventure
Interstate 77 doesn’t extend all the way into Florida, but the 613-mile road traverses the heart of Appalachia before heading into the Carolinas and connecting with I-95.
The route starts in Cleveland, Ohio on the shores of Lake Erie. From there, it travels through the state’s Appalachian foothills, which feature abundant state parks. After crossing into West Virginia, it winds through the quaint Mid-Ohio Valley and enters the state’s capital of Charleston.
Then, I-77 travels towards the mountainous Virginia border and meanders through a stretch of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest. After leaving Virginia, it runs through the Piedmont region of North Carolina to the city of Charlotte, and then into the history-packed Olde English District of South Carolina to its terminus in the capital city of Columbia.
The Wilds, Cumberland, Ohio: Open range safari featuring rhinos, giraffes, cheetahs and more.
Tamarack, Beckley, W.V.: A large hub for locally made arts and crafts, as well as freshly prepared cuisine.
Mount Airy, N.C.: The quaint North Carolina town that served as the inspiration for the Andy Griffith Show’s Mayberry.
Carowinds, Charlotte, N.C.: 400-acre amusement park on the border of North and South Carolina.
I-95: All the Way Down the East Coast
Interstate 95 is the longest north-south route in the U.S., and it travels the entire Eastern Seaboard.
Starting at the Canadian border in Maine, I-95 touches 15 states as it makes it way to Florida. In its northern section, it passes near almost every major Northeast metro area, including Boston, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
As it enters Virginia, it turns inland and heads towards Richmond, and then down through the coastal plains of North and South Carolina. It travels back towards the ocean as it enters Georgia near the historic city of Savannah.
In Florida, I-95 follows the Atlantic coastline down to Miami and passes by top snowbird destinations like Vero Beach, Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale.
The Breakers, Newport, R.I.: Tour a historic mansion built by the Vanderbilts at the turn of the 20th century.
Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Penn.: Over 1,000-acre garden filled with gorgeous displays of flowers and plants.
Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, Fredericksburg, Va.: Visit the sites of some of the Civil War’s most important battles.
Tybee Island, Ga.: Beautiful beach city with an iconic lighthouse just east of Savannah.
For more ideas on adding some fun to your trip, check out our blog, 4 Last-Minute Ideas to Step Up Your Snowbird Journey. Still deciding where to stay? Read our picks for the Top 5 Snowbird Destinations in Florida.
Want to save some money for detours on your trip? To make the most of your budget, download our free infographic, 7 Tips for Affordable Snowbird Adventures.