Best route going north through Atlanta and thru St Louis

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Daisy Dog
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Best route going north through Atlanta and thru St Louis

Post by Daisy Dog » Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:53 am

I'm driving to Kansas City from the Ft Myers Florida area and dread going through Atlanta and St. Louis. Yes, I'll have "Jill" but sometimes her directions aren't as efficient as what the locals know. I'm planning on stopping one or two nights (I'll have a dog with me) and am trying to plan so I avoid rush hour traffic as much as possible.

Any help would be SO appreciated.


Daisy Dog

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Post by LifeIsGood » Sun Jan 23, 2011 10:07 am


I live in Atlanta and the traffic is terrible. Rush hour can start as early as 3:00 p.m. The most direct shot through Atlanta is I-75. This takes you through downtown. At times the traffic moves fairly well and other times it's terrible. There is an HOV lane if you have a passenger (besides Jill).
Your other choice is I-285 which is a circle that runs east or west of the city. If you have to use I-285 east, be sure to exit I-75 at I-675 and take it to I-285. This will save you a considerable amount of time.
If your GPS doesn't have traffic alerts, your best bet is to tune into 750 AM or 95.5 FM for traffic alerts and alter your route depending on conditions. I would tune one of those stations right after passing Macon. They usually broadcast traffic alerts just after the hour and half hour. You can also call *DOT (*368) to get up to date traffic reports.

Good Luck !

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Post by Quasimodo » Sun Jan 23, 2011 10:42 am

It's been awhile since we lived in St. Louis and drove back and forth to Florida on vacation, but I would consider driving north to Interstate 10 in Florida, then west to Interstate 55 then north to highway 60 in SE Missouri, then west to highway 71 in SW Missouri and follow that into KC.

You avoid Atlanta and St Louis altogether with that route, and there is some lovely country along the way. We used to go this way (except for turning off on highway 60) and I liked it better than the more direct route through Atlanta.

Have a safe trip!

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Daisy Dog
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John and Quasimodo

Post by Daisy Dog » Sun Jan 23, 2011 10:51 am

Thank you both so much for GREAT suggestions. (BTW - "Jill" is my GPS - not sure I made that clear. "Missy Girl" is her "Daughter" who resides in our other car - and both of them are very cranky if I make what they consider the wrong move but are overjoyed "(Arriving at Destination!!) when I strictly obey their directions.

I like the idea of avoiding St. Louis AND Atlanta entirely. We used to drive to FL from the lake house we had at the Lake of the Ozarks and went through Birmingham, Jonesboro, etc. up near Springfield, MO. Maybe Quasimodo's suggestion does that too but I don't remember Highway 60. I'll look into it.

And the insider tips about Atlanta are so appreciated. That's the way my husband wants me to go since it's all Interstate.

Both replies are so appreciated.

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Post by fishndoc » Sun Jan 23, 2011 10:58 am

Quasmodo's suggestion to avoid Atlanta altogether sounds like a good idea.

If you decide you have to drive thru Atl, then I would not take the 285 bypass - all thru trucks are diverted onto 285. The HOV lane thru downtown on 75 is the way to go (2+ passengers). Atlanta rush hours run from about 6:30am to 10am, and 3pm to 7:30pm.
You mentioned your dog; if he/she needs a break, Kennesaw Mt Battlefield Park is not far off I75 about 20 miles north of Atl, and is very dog friendly with lots of walking trails, and even a pretty good little museum.
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Post by rainyday1 » Sun Jan 23, 2011 7:45 pm

I second the suggestion to take I-75 and stay off I-285 at all costs. I-75 will keep you on the west side of Atlanta, which is where you will want to be anyway. If you can hit Atlanta between 10-3, you should be fine.

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Post by Watty » Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:05 pm

If you are not traveling on a weekend then to get though the traffic here in Atlanta it would be best to get through town between about 10:00 am and 3:00 pm to avoid the worst of the traffic. In the evening it really doesn't get moving well again until maybe 8:00 pm some nights.

Nashville can also have some traffic at rush hour so if you are going to spend the night near there it would be best to get through town and find a hotel just past Nashville so that you don't hit the morning traffic.


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Post by Kenkat » Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:25 am

Here's a route from Google Maps that shares some of the advice above: ... e=UTF8&z=6

Takes US-231N up to Montgomery, AL, then I-65 and I-22 to Memphis and then US-60/63/65 into KC. Not bad time-wise if you are ok with non-interstate part of the way. Sometimes that can be enjoyable.

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Post by psteinx » Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:48 am

As a resident of St. Louis County, MO, I'm not quite understanding the strong aversion to driving through St. Louis. Rush hour here is not particularly bad.

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Post by femur » Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:10 pm

In my opinion, driving through Arkansas is a painful experience.

If you do go through St. louis, I can tell you that I70 is a great highway to drive.

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