View Full Version : Best Route from Cold North in Winter to Warm South

05-15-2005, 08:56 AM
We are going to be driving down from Montreal to sunny WDW leaving Dec. 29th. Have driven down in the summer and used I-87, then went over to I-81 then over to I-95 the rest of the way. Concerned about weather conditions and if there is a "safer" route.

So, if anyone has any experience making the drive in winter- please share :wave:

Thanking in advance,

05-15-2005, 10:15 AM
Since I live about 10 minutes from where I-81 meets I-90 (the Thruway) I would tell you in general to avoid driving between Albany and Syracuse in the winter. As you hit the Syracuse area we often get walloped with lake-effect snow off Lake Ontario and it can be sketchy for people who aren't used to it since the squalls come suddenly and heavily. As bad as the traffic may bet it's probably safer with weather to take I-87 into the NYC area and head over to I-95.

HOWEVER, if you check the weather reports before you leave and you see that a big storm is coming up the coast toward the NYC area, I WOULD recommend going toward Syracuse and getting on 81. We rarely get snow from the Nor'easters; however, the area between Albany and NYC usually gets dumped on by one of these storms.

Did I make you more confused? :confused3

05-15-2005, 10:49 AM
I think you're best route in general is I 87 to I 88 (you have to take I 90 below Albany west a few miles to hit 88) to I 81 to US 17 at Winchester Va to I 95. That route avoids the worst traffic and the worst snow, usually, but as advised above, watch the weather. Also, the further south you get, the worse the roads will be in snow, due to unfamiliar drivers and road crews.

05-15-2005, 03:20 PM
I can tell you that you'll get many different suggestions...all very good for their own reasons.

We live just south of you in Burlington, Vermont and here's what we learned on our first and only drive to Florida last winter (we’ll use it again in February 2006): AAA recommends taking the eastern route in winter, bad weather can cause travel problems on the more westerly routes. We took 87 south to Albany, then to the Garden State Parkway, New Jersey Turnpike, then 95 all the way to Daytona where we picked up 4 to Lake Buena Vista.

We timed our trip so we hit the Garden State just after rush hour...about 10:00am...and sailed right through with no problems at all. We arrived at the Washington beltway at about 2:15pm and found no traffic problems there either. We also took the highway around Richmond, VA which is just a couple of miles longer than going straight through and very lightly traveled.

Have a great trip!!

05-16-2005, 07:33 PM
Thanks for all the replies!! :flower: