Interstate 75, USA Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

Interstate 75, USA

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Watch out for Snowbirds...

Perhaps the longest continuous North - South route in the United States, Interstate 75 runs from Sault (pronounced 'Soo') St Marie in northern Michigan to Fort Lauderdale in southern Florida, an expanse of about 1,775 miles. The highway runs through Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Georgia, and is considered by some to be the best way to get from Canada, or the northeastern United States, to the sunny state of Florida, for the following reasons:

  • Being a simple route means you follow one highway the entire time.

  • Fair weather means you're shielded from the cold eastern seaboard.

  • Cheap hotels are plentiful and the competition drives the prices down.

  • There are many rest stops and restaurants of all sorts.

For travellers from southern Ontario and eastern Canada, the best way to use I-75 to go to Florida is to take Highway 401 to Windsor, cross the border into Detroit, and follow I-75 all the way down. From western Canada, cross at Sault St Marie. From the USA, take the closest even-numbered Interstate Highway.

The entire route to Florida is on freeways, but the following should be considered:

  • I-75 joins up with several other interstates at various points along its length. Keep an eye on the overhead signs.

  • While most states and Canadian provinces put their exits from major highways on the right hand side with the left hand lanes for fast traffic, some states, notably Ohio, put exits on the left side. Watch out for these exits.

  • The trip from Detroit to Florida should take about three days easily if you obey the posted speed limits. Otherwise, the trip takes about two days, but has a rather expensive toll associated with it. State Highway Patrol officers will be all too happy to collect this toll from you whenever you pass them.

  • When I-75 reaches Naples, Florida, it turns East, and becomes a Toll Road called 'Alligator Alley,' which crosses the state to reach Fort Lauderdale.

  • If your destination is Orlando, Florida, you can take I-75 to Tampa and change onto I-4 East, but a far faster way is to take the Florida Turnpike just south of Ocala. The toll for this journey is about $3.

With this in mind, happy driving.

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