What's the Best Driving Route from New York to Florida?

NY to Florida: Ways to drive there

There are various routes from New York State to Florida. Which one is best depends on your reasons for the trip.  

Whether you want to get there fast, see natural beauty along the way or something in between, we’ve mapped out the best suggestions for making the most of the drive. 

Moving? Make memories by turning the move into a road trip.

Family arriving on the Florida beach after completing the driving route from New York to Florida.


What’s the distance from New York to Florida?

New York has a total area of almost 55,000 square miles, making it the 27th-largest U.S. state by land area. Florida is larger and occupies around 66,000 square miles, including land and water. It’s the 22nd-largest state.  

With so much land to cover, the driving distance depends on the origin and destination cities. 

  • Albany to Jacksonville: 1,080 miles 
  • Albany to Orlando 1,220 miles 
  • Albany to Miami: 1,430 miles 
  • Rochester to Jacksonville: 1,100 miles 
  • Rochester to Orlando 1,230 miles 
  • Rochester to Miami: 1,440 miles 
  • NYC to Jacksonville: 940 miles 
  • NYC to Orlando 1,100 miles 
  • NYC to Miami: 1,300 miles 

The quickest route from NYC to Orlando: Interstate 95 (I-95)

If you want the fastest and most direct path from New York to Florida, Interstate 95 is the way to go. It runs parallel to the East Coast, so it’s easy to follow. Please note that there are toll roads along the route. 

Driving from New York City to Orlando is just under 1,100 miles, or around 17 hours of driving. This trip is best done in 2-3 days with 1-2 overnight stops. 

Places to visit on the way to Florida

You’ll need to make some stops while traveling, and the I-95 route has plenty of gas stations, hotels, rest stops and restaurants. 

If you have time for some sightseeing, these cities have much to offer:  

  • Philadelphia, PA: Don’t miss the Independence National Historical Park, which houses the famous Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776.  
  • Baltimore, MD: Visit Fort McHenry to learn more about the War of 1812 and the origins of the national anthem. 
  • Washington D.C.: Our nation’s capital city is full of monuments and museums and is home to the U.S. President. 
  • Richmond, VA: Enjoy the art collection from around the world at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts or tour the tranquil Hollywood Cemetery — the resting place of two U.S. presidents. 
  • Savannah, GA: Pass through the town’s Historic District to check out the unique architecture or enjoy the beauty of Forsyth Park.

A scenic drive from NYC to Miami: Interstate 81 to Interstate 95

For a less congested scenic journey than I-95 when driving from New York City to Miami, take Interstate 81 to Interstate 77. Next, take Interstate 26 before connecting to I-95 for the rest of the drive to the destination. This route also has toll roads. 

This itinerary involves traveling around 1,500 miles, or about a day’s worth of driving. It works well in 3-4 days with 2-3 overnight stops.

Stunning natural beauty

Drive through mountain landscapes, primarily in Virginia and North Carolina, and near ocean views along the coast of Georgia.  

Here’s what you’ll see: 

  • Shenandoah National Park (VA) 
  • Appalachian Mountains (VA) 
  • Blue Ridge Mountains (Asheville, NC) 
  • Atlantic Coast (GA) 

And don’t miss historic Charleston, SC, known for its historical architecture and mix of seafood and Southern cuisine. 

Choose your adventure driving to Florida

If there are some cities you’d like to see between New York and Florida, now’s the time to fit them in. With some minor detours (or more significant ones), it’s easy to check a few places off your bucket list and still reach the Sunshine State. 

Alternative route from Albany to Orlando

Let’s say you’re a racing fan who’s always wanted to visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. But your spouse wants to experience the music scene in “Music City” Nashville. Visiting both cities on the way to Florida is possible with a detour of around 550 miles.  

A journey from Albany to Orlando with stops in Indianapolis and Nashville is around 1,760 miles or 26 hours of driving. This trip starts on Interstate 90 and continues on I-71 and I-70 into Indianapolis. From Indy, follow I-65 S into Nashville. Next, follow I-24 to connect to I-75, which travels into Orlando. Expect to pass toll roads. 

This route also allows for pit stops in or near these cities: 

  • Buffalo, NY 
  • Columbus, OH 
  • Louisville, KY 
  • Atlanta, GA 

Ocean views from NYC to Miami

Keep the ocean within sight by traveling the Atlantic Coast down to Miami — a nearly 1,400-mile drive sure to please beach enthusiasts. Please note that this route, which starts on the Atlantic City Expressway, has toll roads and a ferry. The estimated driving time is 25 hours, which could increase depending on traffic and the ferry schedule. 

Check out one or more of these coastal towns: 

  • Atlantic City, NJ 
  • Ocean City, MD 
  • Virginia Beach, VA 
  • Wilmington, NC 
  • Charleston, South Carolina 
  • Savannah, GA 
  • Palm Coast, FL 

Have something else in mind? Use Google Maps or a trip-advising website to plan a unique adventure.

What else to do when making a drive to Florida

As with all road trips, it's important to ensure your car is in good working order. Consider these things, too, for a smooth ride.

Map the route

Map out a path ahead of time and know the major roads you’ll take (in case GPS stops working).

Plan overnight stays

Make early reservations for any overnight stops. Depending on the time of the year, hotels might be booked for other events, and you don’t want to be without a place to stay.

Check the weather

Keep an eye on the weather since many cities in Florida and other coastal areas are prone to tropical storms. Hurricane season in Florida starts June 1 and lasts through October.

Have cash for tolls and other expenses

Most New York to Florida routes contain toll roads, and some have ferries. Make sure to have some cash and spare change in the car to pay the tolls.

Going to the Sunshine State as part of a move?

If you’re moving out of state, U-Pack® can help! We’re a self-moving service where you handle the packing, loading and unloading. Then, there’s no hassle of hauling stuff long-distance in a moving truck — that’s our job.  

Request a free quote online or call 844-362-5303844-594-3077 to speak to a moving consultant. Let us know if you have any questions about cross-country moving with U-Pack

We hope you have a fantastic drive from NY to Florida!