View Full Version : Driving Thru Atlanta,Georgia..What's best way??

09-28-2005, 03:36 PM
Needing advice from some recent travelers or residents from Georgia that have drove thru Atlanta, GA, what route would you recommend? I-75 Downtown or Bypass?? Any comments and advice is much appreciated!!
Getting very excited!! The countdown is on......... :Pinkbounc :wave2: :sunny:

Thanks so much!!

09-28-2005, 03:57 PM
Go straight through and do not take the bypass. Try and time it not to be in metro Atlanta (exit 271 and lower) between 7 and 9 am and 4-6 pm. Otherwise you will be fine. In Macon you will want to take the 475 bypass as it is closer. Also when you are at mile marker 244 in downtown Atlanta you are exactly 500 miles from the port.


09-28-2005, 04:33 PM
I"m south of Ga, and do as the other poster said.... take 75 straight til you get to the 475 bypass towards valdosta... then continue on into florida!
Woohoo...I'll be making that drive in less than 5 months :)

09-28-2005, 04:55 PM
I agree with the above posters. Also as long as you have two people in the car you can use the HOV lane which usually moves better than the regular lanes. This is for carpooling and you must have at least two people in the car to do it.

09-28-2005, 06:35 PM
75 South is the best alternative, however tune into 750 am around Cartersville where they have traffics reports on the 5's. Atlanta is notorius for auto accidents that have slow removal. If there are no accidents on 75 or the 75/85 connector you will be great.

09-28-2005, 06:43 PM
It actually depends on the time and the day. And the weather. And if Jupiter is in line with Mars.

Just the fact that you know there are alternatives are great. The keys for driving through Atlanta is to (1) go to the bathroom before you get to the Metro area (2) always be prepared to slam on your brakes (3) go at least the speed limit when you can (4) don't cuss out the Southern drivers who will slow down to let mergers onto the interstate (well, you can cuss them out but be prepared) (5) - and this is important - have patience. If you get through Atlanta with no problems, have a celebration.

I've lived here four years. Been through just about everything. Today was a two hour commute (normally 50 minutes) because it rained.

09-28-2005, 07:24 PM
Once it was raining and the next time the Braves were playing at home both times seems to take forever!! Didn't know if the bypass is faster or not sounds like straight thru to the Port or Bust!!

Thanks for all the great tips!
Love the people and the state of Georgia!!
Ethelina :cheer2:

09-28-2005, 10:02 PM
I would recommend using *DOT - it is a very handy number to call - It will connect you to the Dept of Transportation and they will be glad to tell you trip times, alt routes etc if there are any problems in then entire state - I live here and use it often to check on the road status as I go out of town. :sunny: I too would agree that if there is no braves game and there is nothing huge wrong on 75/85 that you stay on the connecter and avoid 285 the trucks are a nightmare on the bypass!

09-28-2005, 10:37 PM
We've driven down the past two years straight through 75. Both times going to FL there were no delays and we were able to do the speed limit the whole way through the city. One time was late at night like 11pm and the other was about 6pm I want to say. Come out of FL the first time was no problem without any delays, time was afternoon ish. This most recent time we hit terrible traffic and HOV lane or not it took hours. I do have to say though that it was April 1st and EVERYONE was apparantly leaving FL as we hit traffic almost the entire way it seemed. We were even in a traffic jam at the TN/GA border completely stopped engine off for 1.5 hours. So I don't think that was so much just Atlanta traffic as just "end of spring break lets all go home" traffic. For our next trip we will continue to drive straight through but try to keep that Atlanta later in the day and also not leave to go home on a weekend but rather earlier in the week might help.

09-29-2005, 06:44 AM
You might also want to consult the Georgia DOT's web page at http://www.georgia-navigator.com/index.shtml There is a lot of interesting information there including construction reports for each interstate highway across all of Georgia, and historical trip time data for the segments passing through Atlanta.

The construction map alone is especially interesting: Georgia Construction Zones (http://www.georgia-navigator.com/construction/maps/georgia)

Have a good trip! :earsboy:

09-29-2005, 07:44 AM
I definitely would not recommend using I-285 (the bypass) anytime soon. They are doing construction, and so traffic can really get backed up. I would think you would be okay going straigh though downtown, unless you are going through right at rush hour.

09-29-2005, 08:59 AM
Once it was raining and the next time the Braves were playing at home both times seems to take forever!! Didn't know if the bypass is faster or not sounds like straight thru to the Port or Bust!!
Ethelina :cheer2:

What day are you traveling? Rush hour traffic for Friday starts on Thursday afternoon and goes through to Saturday morning! :earseek: (you can laugh if you want, but those of us that live here, know that its true!)

Seriously though, the "bypass" certainly doesn't bypass traffic. It is part of Metro Atlanta and gets just as backed up as 75 and 85. As another poster suggested, call *DOT on your cell phone when you get about 30 minutes out and inquire about traffic delays on the South bound connector. If it has significant delays, then you may want to try 285. But your best bet is just to go straight through town (unless of course its in the middle of a Braves play off game - in that case, you may want to fly :rolleyes1 )

09-29-2005, 09:18 AM
A lot of excellent advice given by everyone.

SamR gave a great link at: http://www.georgia-navigator.com/index.shtml . You can see any of the cameras, electronic signs, construction sites, accident sites, maps, exit numbers, and much more.

I would definitely drive straight through Atlanta.

Except, if during traffic caused by going to work or leaving work for home, a large wreck closing almost all lanes, a huge Atlanta convention or multiple conventions causing the many visitors to tour the sites and use all of the roads, and during the driving period before or after a Braves baseball game, or Falcons football game.

And be very conservative when driving in rain in Atlanta and watch out for those drivers from everywhere that switch lanes and speed.

Keep these telephone numbers at 404-635-8000 or 1-888-635-8287 or "*DOT" on your cell phone or PDA to report or request information on traffic conditions or incidents.

Georgia has cameras facing the many areas of interstate and electronic signs on the interstates everywhere so that you can see the construction activity or traffic on your computer before you leave at: http://www.georgia-navigator.com/maps . You can even look it up while travelling or put it on your pda or cell phone.

To see the construction sites on a Georgia map click on this link: http://www.georgia-navigator.com/construction/maps/georgia?range=3 . Atlanta and I-285 seems to be covered with construction. You could check this map before you leave on vacation for construcition.

Or more specifically, the fifteen construciton sites for today around I-285, click here: http://www.georgia-navigator.com/construction/lists/285 . Of course, this will change from day to day.

For over a decade, eighteen wheel trucks are not supposed to drive through Atlanta using I-75, I-85, or I-20 unless that have direct business in Atlanta. They are supposed to use the loop around Atlanta known as I-285.

For the past several months, there has been an enormous amount of construction over the entire I-285 for removing the entire depth of old concrete from not only the road but from the bridges along I-285.

Many friends at work have had to find alternate routes to work bypassing I-285. People still use I-285, but when you are used to getting to work in a certain amount of time, and you can't be late because you work in a hospital, people chose alternate routes off of I-285 and around the I-285 construction.

If I was not in a hurry on my day off work or driving home from work, I would probably use I-285, sometimes.

The traffic can be terrible at times.

Many times you will see warnings on the overhead electronic GDOT/DOT signs warning you of the construction on I-285 and that you chose another route. But usually the traffic is already backed up by this point because the lanes were reduced by four or five lanes to one or two lanes.

Can you say, uuuugggghhhhh.

So go straight through I-85/I-75 into Atlanta.

Try not to go doing times people go to work and come home from work.

And if there is a wreck, there goes your lanes down from five or six lanes to three to none depending on the wreck.

And rain always seems to cause some wreck with those people that switching lanes and speeding or whatever.

When I leave for Florida, I like to leave early in the morning before 6:00 A.M., so that I get to WDW about check-in time.

Good luck for clear skies, no traffic, no construction and definitely, no accidents.

Sincerely, Ray

09-29-2005, 10:36 AM
This thread has gotten the message out there. My office overlooks I-75 and the I-75 interchange w/ I-285 (Cumberland -Galleria area, northwest corner of town) so I witness the northbound stoppages in the afternoon. Yes, dont hit ATL between 7-9 am, or 4-6 pm, later if there is a Braves home game (our stadium is one exit south of the interchange between I-20 and I-75/I-85).

Definitions--I-285 "The perimeter"; in the "downtown" (locals will understand that I am including midtown but trying to keep this simple for tourists) portion of ATL, I-75 and I-85 are merged, so there is a slowing where they merge (again, look for HOV lanes to the left with 2 or more in the car) and the merged portion of highway is "the connector". The two interstates split again south of the stadium, just north of the airport.

Don't be in the right two lanes through downtown, as these lanes become exit only onto I-20, and you would then need to merge left into faster moving traffic.

And if you're not from this part of the country, and want an alternative to the golden arches during your stops, take the time to sit down and eat at Cracker Barrel--veggies available alongside the cholesterol inducing dishes. I pass that along to my fellow Yankees (moved south in '89 personally) who might not be familiar with the chain.

Cruella de mom
09-29-2005, 01:21 PM
And if you're not from this part of the country, and want an alternative to the golden arches during your stops, take the time to sit down and eat at Cracker Barrel--veggies available alongside the cholesterol inducing dishes

We love Cracker Barrel! It wouldn't be a road trip if we didn't eat there. We always stop to eat there and as long as you can get seated fairly quickly , the stop can be quicker than fast food. Of course we only get the vegtable plates so maybe thats why we get our food so fast.... Plus they have great travel toys and a couple new (cheap) toys can be just the thing to keep the kids entertained through Atlanta.

If you can time your drive through Atlanta for late evening or early morning you will be fine! Our traffic isn't any worse than any other major city its just that everyone is in a hurry to get to Florida and we are in the way.

You might have bigger problems getting from Knoxville to Chattanooga though so check get their DOT information as well. They had a lot of construction through there when we were there a few weeks ago. Hopefully its done by now.

Also, I noticed that people are telling you to call before you get into the city - that means Cartersville and Allatoona at the latest (although by then it might be too late) There are Cracker Barrels at almost every other exit until you get close to the city. If traffic is going to get rough, stop and play checkers on the porch for a while. On the way back start checking traffic at Macon or Perry.

Have a great trip!

09-29-2005, 01:57 PM
I love Cracker barrel, too.

I always stop by to have coffee and breakfast.

The Cracker Barrel's Country Boy Breakfast

Just loosen your belt and enjoy your choice of Country Ham, Pork Chops or Steak grilled to order,
Three Eggs cooked to order, Fried Apples, Hashbrown Casserole, Grits, Sawmill Gravy, Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits, real Butter and the best Preserves, Jam n' Apple Butter (on request) we could find.

Just a small breakfast...lol.

But I also rent one of there scifi or mystery CD books to listen to on my way down to WDW. It's a nice break from the music. And you can return them in Orlando or where ever there is another Cracker Barrel Store/Restaurant.

Sincerely, Ray :)

09-29-2005, 02:10 PM
This thread has gotten the message out there. My office overlooks I-75 and the I-75 interchange w/ I-285 (Cumberland -Galleria area, northwest corner of town) so I witness the northbound stoppages in the afternoon. .

I work in the same area that you do :cool1:

Cruella de mom
09-29-2005, 02:31 PM
Ray -

Do you think that Country boy breakfast is helping or hurting your diet? I love their hash brown casserole but I have to settle for a bite from DH's plate because it sticks right to my thighs. Dh has the metabolism of a 16 year old boy (he isn't 16) so he gets to eat those big breakfasts with the biscuits and the gravy etc etc. I get to watch.

I love their boiled cabbage though and get two helpings with some carrots and greenbeans - I live dangerously.

09-29-2005, 05:03 PM
We have our Cracker Barrel gift cards ready and waiting to be used!! We think the southern states are better than the ones we have around here! Great detailed info and helpful tips on this thread....love this board!

Now can someone do something about gas prices....today $3.09 here in Illinois just seems wrong like some are taking advantage of us?? :confused3

Thanks Again,

09-29-2005, 06:22 PM
I forgot another rule when driving through Atlanta. If you are stuck in horrible traffic, pull off, have a good meal and wait an hour or so. Or pull off, go to one of the zillion Waffle Houses (some exits actually have two because we wouldn't want anyone to have to drive 100 more yards) and wait it out.

Cruella de mom
09-30-2005, 09:11 AM
go to one of the zillion Waffle Houses (some exits actually have two because we wouldn't want anyone to have to drive 100 more yards) and wait it out.

LOL, they have two because its too hard to make a left turn so they have one on either side of the street! Our Waffle House is great because it over looks the Ferrari and Masserati dealerships so you watch the guys washing the cars all afternoon. :earseek:

09-30-2005, 04:35 PM
Are you referring to the Pharr Road at Piedmont location for Waffle House?

Okay--now to change the direction of this thread slightly from comfort food faves....

Do y'all go straight through on 75 through central FLA and Orlando then go east to the Port, or does anyone else do like we do and cut over on I-10 to Jax and then go south on 95 to the bee-line. the mileage is very close either way...just tends to suit our needs for friday nights after work to drive down before a saturday embarkation, we can get about as far as Jax before calling it a night, and there are plenty of hotel options there, whereas a comparable stopping time toward orlando...leaves us in the middle of nowheresville.

as Linda Richman would say, "discuss"

09-30-2005, 07:17 PM
I think on the way down we will do the I-10 thing to get to the port. On the way back, we'll go through Kissimmee since I just talked the husband into a one night visit to Disney World. That wasn't that hard to do. Choices - spending your Saturday night with your parents at Cocoa Beach (definitely low thrills) or going to Disney World with your Annual Passport and your lovely wife? Hope it was the lovely wife part that got him.

Cruella de mom
10-01-2005, 04:45 PM
I was refering to the Waffle House on Highway 9 in Either Roswell or Alpharetta (not sure where the city limits are there) Does this mean we have TWO Ferrari dealers in town? wow. I musta missed the gravy train when it came to town.

As for traveling - we go through Jacksonville as well. We usually try to tie our trips to WDW with a quick visit to old friends in Jacksonville. And usually the traffic is much more sane on that route. Do you go straight thru JAcsonville or take the by pass around? By pass used to be quicker druing the day but I am not so sure now - and the city is too pretty to miss especially at night.

We are flying for our cruise though. DH wants it to be a "real" vacation for himself so we are taking Marta to the airport and a limo to the port. Thinking about 3 kids and suitcases on Marta makes me think we might take a limo to the airport as well, but I think the kids would love the train ride (they have never been downtown since we moved back - Scottish RIte is as far south as any of them have been and she was in the back of an ambulance at the time)