American road trip from amazing Niagara Falls to beachy Florida

The open roads are ready to be explored and what’s more exciting than a mind-blowing American road trip? Start at the Niagara Falls in the north and drive through the country all the way down south to the Sunshine State. This itinerary takes you from the mighty Niagara Falls through Amish settlements, the longest cave system in the world, wild nature and commercialism at its best on your way south to the pristine Florida beaches.

The driving distance for this trip is 1564 miles (2517 km). It means a pure driving time of 26 hours. Make sure that you add enough time for everything there is to see along the way.

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This American road trip itinerary finishes in Pensacola Beach which has some of the best beaches in the US. However, at the end of this page you can simply jump over to another itinerary and continue south to Orlando, Miami and Key West.

A. The magnificent Niagara Falls, New York/Ontario

The Niagara Falls is the perfect start to any American road trip. This stunning wonder of the world is located on the border between the US and Canada and can be experienced from both sides. Every minute unthinkable amounts of water passes through the falls. You can watch it from the many viewing points, take a boat tour to approach it or even visit Cave of the Winds to get as close as to the action as you possibly can. If you choose the latter just prepare to get wet.

Maid of the Mist in front of Horseshoe Falls
The all famous Maid of the Mist up close to the Horseshoe Falls.

Read more: The powerful experience of Niagara Falls, New York >>

From Niagara Falls take the route either through Detroit or Cleveland to get to the next stop on the itinerary. Here you will be able to experience genuine Amish life on your road trip to Florida.

B. A step back in time in Shipshewana, Indiana

  • Driving time: 6.5 h
  • Distance: 689 miles (1108 km)

The second stop of the Niagara Falls to Florida road trip is Shipshewana. You have probably heard of or seen about the Amish on TV. It’s a religious group that is known to advocate simple lives without much usage of modern technology. And there is a large Amish community in Shipshewana. Take a tour or explore on your own. Just turn your smartphone on flight mode and experience the old way of life for a while.

Cars and horse wagon side by side.
In Shipshewana horse wagons are common sights.

Read more: Amish life in Shipshewana, Indiana >>

Next up on the road trip to Florida iis the longest cave system in the world. From Shipshewana the fastest route goes through Indianapolis and Louisville, which are both two good places to take breaks from life on the road.

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C. The endless cave experience of Mammoth Cave, Kentucky

  • Driving time: 6 h
  • Distance: 374 miles (601 km)

The third destination of the road trip from Niagara Falls to Florida is Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. In the Mammoth Cave you find the longest known cave system in the world. It has more than 400 miles (about 640 km) of passageways. And there is a large variety of guided tours to show you the cave. Just remember to sign up well in advance during peak season to not miss out on the goodies.

The Bridal Alter in Mammoth Cave
The beautiful cave formation called the Bridal Alter.

Read more: The huge Mammoth Cave, Kentucky >>

Drive southeast from Mammoth Cave to experience a bit more of what nature has to offer. If you´re eager for some city life make a small loop and go through Nashville.

D. Experience the Great Smoky Mountains from Gatlinburg, Tennessee

  • Driving time: 4.5 h
  • Distance: 236 miles (379 km)

Gatlinburg is located at the entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, also just called the Smokies. The name origins from the natural and mysterious fog that often appears over the tree tops in the area. In Gatlinburg you’re right at the edge of wild nature. But you’re there with the comfort that a wide selection of hotels, restaurants and things to do a rainy day brings.

View over Gatlinburg, Tennessee
The Smokies and Gatlinburg.

Read more: Spectacular surroundings in Gatlinburg, Tennessee >>

After spending some high quality time in the nature it’s time to head further south to experience some commercial city life on our last stop of the Niagara Falls to Florida itinerary. Welcome to the home of Coke.

E. Enjoy the home of Coca-Cola in Atlanta, Georgia

  • Driving time: 4 h
  • Distance: 196 miles (315 km)

The major metropolitan area in Georgia offers great dining, fine cultural experiences and buzzing nightlife. But Atlanta’s biggest mark on the world so far probably comes from being the birth place of Coca-Cola. Visit World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta and learn more about the famous drink and taste products from all over the world. Maybe you will find a new favorite?

Road trip stop at World of Coca-Cola
When you visit World of Coca-Cola you get to taste many new and interesting flavors.

Read more: Enjoy the world of Coca-Cola in Atlanta, Georgia >>

After a long trip it feels good to soon be able to finish off an amazing American road trip from Niagara Falls to Florida with a relaxing beach vacation. Continue on your southern route and cross Alabama to reach the white beaches of the Florida Panhandle.

F. Finish the road trip with amazing beaches in Pensacola Beach, Florida

  • Driving time: 5 h
  • Distance: 332 miles (534 km)

You made it all the way from Niagara Falls to the white beaches of Florida! Northwest Florida has some of the best beaches in the country. And Pensacola Beach is one of the greatest.

A huge advantage Pensacola Beach has is that the beach itself is huge. Stay near bars and restaurants if you want that, or drive until there is no one else but you, the white sandy beach and the clear water. That is the perfect end to the perfect American road trip.

Pensacola Beach house
Pensacola Beach

Read more: Sugar-white beaches in Pensacola Beach, Florida >>

Continue the road trip through Florida to Orlando, Miami and Key West

If you feel that the trip has ended too soon then continue on the New York to Miami route from either Savannah or Orlando. This itinerary takes you to Miami along the east coast of Florida.

Continue reading: The legendary road trip from New York to Miami >>

Or you can continue from Orlando on the west coast of Florida all the way down to Key West.

Continue reading: The Florida road trip from Orlando to Key West >>

American road trip from Niagara Falls to Florida FAQ

Here you find the answers to some frequently asked questions about the American road trip from Niagara Falls to the white beaches of Florida.

How long time do you need to make the American road trip from Niagara Falls to Florida? 

To fully enjoy the trip you should have at least two weeks to make it. With two weeks you would have about 2 h driving per day on average.

How was the driving time calculated?

The estimation was calculated with Google Maps by taking the shortest amount of time from point A to point B and rounding upwards to the closest half hour. No stops are included in the driving time.

Should you make the road trip from Niagara Falls to Florida or from Florida to Niagara Falls?

It doesn’t matter if you decide to drive north to south or south to north. So you can use this itinerary for your Florida to Niagara Falls road trip too. However, be smart and check prices for borth options. Also, if you start in early summer it could be smart to go from Florida to Niagara Falls to avoid the sometimes extreme summer heat down south.

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