The best way is to travel from Miami to Orlando to take the FL-91N, which is Ronald Reagan Turnpike or Florida Turnpike. There are three different routes and depending on how your GPS is configured, it may suggest one of these options.
Although on the Google map it says that the difference between one road and another is just over 10 minutes, in practice, the time you leave Miami can greatly influence your total travel time. That’s because one of the options is to take I-95, which is the road from Miami to New York. And unless you want to stop by the coast beaches like West Palm Beach and Vero Beach, you won’t want to go by it, because that’s where everyone who goes up to the East Coast will be. That is, depending on the schedule, huge traffic jams.
The best way is to take the FL-91N, which is Ronald Reagan Turnpike or Florida Turnpike. It’s a little over 370 Km or 230 miles, on wonderful, wide tracks and as the crowd that travels in this area is the one that goes specifically to central Florida, the chance of traffic jams is much lower. We did the full course in less than three and a half hours.
The highway has tolls and the first two tolls, leaving Miami, cost 1.25 each. If you have rented a car with Sun Pass, which pays for the tolls, just enter the appropriate lines where it says “PREPAID TOLLS ONLY SUN PASS”. If you don’t have the SUN PASS, keep the right, which is usually where the booths are for payment.
At the third tollbooth, you pick up a ticket that will only be paid for when you leave the Turnpike and the amount will vary according to your exit. Our exit, which was to take the I-4, cost around US$15.00. So the total is around US$17.50, but I repeat, it’s worth it. One very important detail: they don’t accept credit cards, so you need to have money to make the payment.
Turnpike has several stops along the way, with Petrol Stations, Cash Drawing Machines (ATM), bathrooms and areas with Fast Food restaurants. They are about every 45 miles along the way and the exits are to the left. Here some of the stops and the corresponding MM(Mile Markers). Planning the stops according to the restaurants can be a good order if you have left Miami early and beat hunger on the way. I recommend the Earl of Sandwich at Port Saint Lucie and Fort Drum, or Nature Creek at Canoe Creek but the latter is very close to Orlando.
Stops on the way from Miami to Orlando
Snaper Creek – Mile Marker 19
Pompano Beach – Mile Marker 65 – Fast Food Restaurants: Dunkin Donuts, Pizza Hut and Wendy’s
West Palm Beach – Mile Marker 94 – Fast Food Restaurants:Nathan’s
Port Saint Lucie – Mile Marker 144 – Fast Food Restaurants: Dunkin Donuts, Villa Pizza, Frozen Treats, Wendy’s , Earl of Sandwich
Fort Drum – Mile Marker 184 – Fast Food Restaurants: Cheeburger Cheeburger, Dunkin Donuts, Earl Of Sandwich, KFC, Villa Pizza
Canoe Creek – Mile Marker 229 – Fast Food Restaurants: Dunkin Donuts, Nature Table (for those who want more natural foods)
One last tip, ideally you should fill up your car before entering Turnpike, because prices at service stations are usually more expensive. And one thing I’ve noticed is that the first service stations are cheaper and they raise the price and then go down again when you’re getting close to Orlando.
And you? Have you made this trip? Which way do you prefer? Do you have any tips to add?