Wisconsin to Marathon, FL

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Jim @ Fran

Well-known member
Nov 9, 2011
Neenah, Wisconsin
Driving from Wisconsin to Marathon, Fl in January....am avoiding Chicago by going through Madison, Wi but looking for a way around Atlanta, Ga....Horror stories about delays and getting caught up in traffic in the Atlanta area....Any good ideas on what route to take to bypass without adding too many miles on the trip???

Many thanks
Go thru ATL during non-rush hours and you shouldn't have too much of a problem. Alternatively, you could take I-65 out of Nashville to Montgomery and then thru Dothan to I-10 to I-75.
BruceinFL said:
Go thru ATL during non-rush hours and you shouldn't have too much of a problem. Alternatively, you could take I-65 out of Nashville to Montgomery and then thru Dothan to I-10 to I-75.

If the weather is bad, the I-65 route has the added advantage of pretty much avoiding all of the mountains.

I travel to Florida from central Indiana and I checked the mileage both going through Atlanta and going through Alabama (Dothan). It's about a hundred miles further going through Alabama, but you do avoid the hills around Chattanooga and northern Georgia. I agree with others that you can avoid the mess in Atlanta by avoiding the rush hours. I've had pretty fair luck. Good luck and safe travels!
If you are coming down I-75, take the Marco Island exit in Naples, FL and drive south to US-41 and take US-41 across alligator alley to 969. Take 969 south till you come into US-1. You will see some beautiful scenery and bypass Miami besides saving about 22 miles. You may encounter some construction on the east end of US-41 but there hasn't been any delays so far.
Regarding gwcowgill's post, his suggested route is worth doing. I would like to clarify it a little bit. Alligator Alley is the term commonly used to describe the stretch of I-75 (tolls) between Naples and Miami. The suggested alternate route avoids this stretch by exiting I-75 at exit #101 and going south on Rt.951 which takes you to Rt. 41, also known as Tamiami Trail. This route does shave off some miles but not any time, since it is a more scenic two lane road. A short detour that could be worth taking is to Everglades City, maybe good for lunch or to stretch out and walk around a little. As you make your way east on Rt.41 you will pass the Miccosukee (probably spelled wrong) Indian village which could also be worth a stop. Just east of there is where you will turn south on Rt.997 through Homestead and on to the Keys.
Thanks to all for input....scenic is good...we have no time frame so an extra day or two or three doesnt matter.....DW just retired in July and I have been retired for 5 years....highly recommend retirement for anyone who is able...

Best holiday wishes to all....and be safe
Been thru the Atlanta area a few times with the 5'er and never really had any terrible experiences. Heavier traffic, but not so bad as to wish I took another route. For me the worst part of the trip from Michigan to Florida is Dayton Ohio. Been stuck in traffic there more times than I can remember. As for the trip thru the Everglades, last March we went down to the Keys by way of I-75. First time I realized it was a toll road. Then into the outskirts of Miami---more toll roads---and down until finally hitting 1. All during a terribly large rainstorm. On the way back we took the US 41 route, which was way more better. Better scenery, better drive, and nice places to stop. Never paid any tolls on the way down. Was told that they would 'take a picture of my plate' and bill me. Well, luck must be on my side as 9 months later and still nothing.  ;D
You were lucky on the tolls..They charge an administrative charge for each toll you go through which makes a .75 toll about $6.00/ They have had some problems with the cameras not being able to read some of the plates. If you must use the tollways down here get a Sun Pass. US-41 is much more scenic than I-75 and you avoid all the Miami traffic.

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