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Advice for Visiting UK Traveler?
Hi - I will be visiting from the UK and driving down from Charleston, SC to Titusville, FL to Kennedy Space Center. I've read about speeding but are limits now up to 75 or is that just talk? Any advice re safety, places to stop or avoid, for food or services? Is gas more expensive on the road or am I better to fill up in Charleston? Any suggestions for a newbie to your country, staying safe and enjoying the ride as well.
Speed limits in the SC-to-FL corridor top out at 70 MPH.
From Charleston, you have the option of taking I-26 to I-95, or taking US 17. My mom has made the trip coming from the south numerous times and greatly prefers the I-26 path; she swears it's faster. So, there's an opinion. I have none in that realm.
When you're in SC, you can pretty much let the billboards guide you with regard to where the most options are for services and food; chances are you'll take your first stop/gas/restroom break at about Walterboro, exit 57. (I'm not sure if you know this, so I'll point out that the exit numbers on the Interstate highways are also mile markers. They count down going north-to-south. Exit numbering re-sets as you cross the state lines.)
The next big opportunity is roughly an hour south, in Savannah, GA (Exit 94). Then comes Brunswick, but that's a relatively short hop. Many people stop at Exit 3 in Kingsland, GA. Personally I prefer not to, because it's rather sprawled out and very congested, since it's the first major exit for people leaving Florida. There's a certain psychological line that comes with crossing that state border, I think because Florida is bigger than people suspect. So when they finally get over that invisible line into Georgia, they just have to take a breather of some kind. Anyway, that's the only reason I avoid Kingsland, not because of safety concerns.
Once you're into Florida, your next best opportunity for a stopover is in Jacksonville, exit 341. From there it's another hundred miles or so to KSC.
Many people tell you to avoid the highway rest areas, but they're actually rather well-kept and most of them have a state trooper patrolling. At the ones in Georgia and Florida (which are usually pretty busy, especially in FL), I've seen a couple of con artists trying to work their hustles, but the bottom line is: don't give anyone money.