Universal Orlando's logo on the globe with the main gate in the background during sunset
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Road trip from Boston to Orlando

Published by Dianne Titos on December 4 2023

World famous for its resorts and iconic theme parks, Orlando is a bucket-list-worthy destination and if you'd like to find out what makes this sunny city so special, this road trip from Boston is the best way to do so. You will get to admire the best Atlantic Coast views or drive on the legendary Blue Ridge Parkway on your way.

The 1,410-mile road trip from Boston to Orlando will take 25 hours to drive. You can visit New York, Philadelphia, Virginia Beach, Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Savannah, Jacksonville, and St Augustine on the coast or Blowing Rock and Asheville further inland.

Discover the most historical, exciting, and beautiful cities and towns in America on this drive of a lifetime. Read on below to learn more about our recommended routes, places to stay, top highlights, and the best seasons to make the drive.

How far is Orlando from Boston, and how long will the road trip take?

Comparison of road trip routes between Boston and Orlando
RouteDistanceDriving Time
Coastal Route1,410 miles25 hours
Blue Ridge Parkway Route1,545 miles27 hours

We have curated two amazing routes that will take you from Boston to Orlando. Each is full of amazing highlights and adventures around every turn. The Coastal Route covers approximately 1,410 miles and takes about 25 hours to complete.

Alternatively, the Blue Ridge Parkway Route spans around 1,545 miles and requires roughly 27 hours of driving without accounting for any further detours.

Although both trips can be completed in a couple of days, you'll want to take a little over 5-6 days. This way, you'll be able to experience all the inspiring destinations, events, and experiences on the way.

Orlando. Located in Lake Eola Park, Orlando, Florida, USA.
Orlando is famous for its theme parks and entertainment venues, but you can also find tranquil moments in its beautiful parks.

Best road trip route from Boston to Orlando

While both the Coastal Route and the Blue Ridge Parkway Route from Boston to Orlando offer a diverse array of sights, the experience and scenery they provide are distinct, catering to different preferences.

The Coastal Route takes you close to the beautiful Atlantic Coast and through some of the most iconic cities of the East Coast. From New Haven, the drive will transition into a stunning coastal journey, especially breathtaking in the fall months.

This route leads past beautiful Atlantic Coast beaches in Virginia Beach and Myrtle Beach, among many others. As you progress, expect to encounter natural landscapes, picturesque beachside towns, and ample opportunities to observe native wildlife.

You will also get to visit the historic cities of Charleston and Savannah and you make your way south to Jacksonville and beautiful St Augustine. You can expect some congestion as you approach the main cities on this route, especially during summer.

The Blue Ridge Parkway Route presents a blend of urban settings, small towns, and some coastal scenery, maintaining an engaging variety. Like the Coastal Route, you will drive through New York and Philadelphia before heading inland to Washington DC.

From here, you will drive through the awe-inspiring Shenandoah National Park on the famous Skyline Drive and then onto the legendary Blue Ridge Parkway as you make your way to Blowing Rock and Asheville.

This route converges with the Coastal Route in Savannah and follows the same path south to Orlando.

How to drive from Boston to Orlando

The map above shows our suggestions for the best road trip routes between Boston and Orlando. Keep reading for detailed descriptions of both routes, where to stay on either, and the best things to do on the way.

Coastal Route

Begin your Coastal Route journey in Boston, Massachusetts, heading south on Interstate 90 (I-90) and then I-95 towards New York City through New Haven. As you reach New York, a visit to Central Park is a must.

After your visit to the Big Apple, continue to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, via I-95, where the Philadelphia Museum of Art awaits you.

You'll then drive through Delaware to the scenic Virginia Beach, Virginia, where the Virginia Beach Boardwalk will be the perfect place for a picturesque oceanfront stroll.

As you head further south, make a stop at the serene Dismal Swamp State Park in North Carolina. The route then winds past Crotoan National Forest and soon, you will be able to make a detour to the breathtaking coastal landscapes of Emerald Isle, a perfect spot for a relaxing break.

Continue on to Myrtle Beach on US-17, where the SkyWheel provides panoramic views of the coastline. Your journey then takes you to the historic Charleston City Market in Charleston, South Carolina, a hub of culture and history.

Next, head to Savannah, Georgia, where you can indulge in a Savannah Riverboat Cruise and stroll through the picturesque Forsyth Park.

The final stretch of your trip leads you to Jacksonville, Florida, via I-95. Here, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens offer a delightful experience. You can take a short detour to St Augustine, a charming historical town worth checking out before you reach Orlando.

Charleston City Market in Downtown Charleston, South Carolina, USA.
We recommend planning a stop at the historic Charleston City Market if you are following the Coastal Route.
Kevin Ruck/Shutterstock.com

Blue Ridge Parkway Route

On this route, you will follow the same directions as the Coastal Route until you leave Philadelphia. From here, continue to Washington, DC, along I-95, where landmarks like the Lincoln Memorial, Reflecting Pool, and Washington Monument offer a deep dive into American history.

After soaking in the capital's rich heritage, head south through the beautiful mountains and countryside of Virginia. You will soon find yourself admiring the beautiful landscape of Shenandoah National Forest on Skyline Drive.

Keep driving southeast and start your drive on Blue Ridge Parkway past Roanoke and towards Blowing Rock in North Carolina. This leg of the journey takes you through scenic byways, providing glimpses of the natural beauty of the Appalachian Mountains.

Your next destination is Asheville, a city known for its popular art scene, located near the Blue Ridge Parkway.

As you continue south, divert slightly to Columbia, South Carolina, home to the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, a great family-friendly stop. Your route then leads you back to Savannah, Georgia, where you will follow the same directions as the Coastal Route to arrive in Orlando.

Linn Cove Viaduct bathed in fall color, Blue Ridge Parkway
A drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway alone might be good enough a reason to pick the route that carries this iconic drive's name.
B North Photography/Shutterstock.com

Best places to stop between Boston and Orlando

There are so many world-class destinations along both routes that make the perfect overnight stops. Below are some of our favorites so you can rest well and see the most out of this wonderful area.

Endless ocean views in Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach is an ideal overnight stop on the Coastal Route from Boston to Orlando, approximately 11 hours into the journey. Located where Atlantic Ocean meets the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia Beach boasts the title of the world's longest pleasure beach, according to the Guinness World Records.

Its 35 miles of beaches include Chesapeake Bay Beach, Virginia Beach, and Sandbridge Beach, each offering unique experiences. The city's famous 3-mile boardwalk is a hub of tourist activity throughout the year.

Fishing pier on the beach with golden sands on a sunny day
Spend a day on the beautiful fishing pier of Sandbridge Beach under the sun during your visit to Virginia Beach.
Jay Yuan/Shutterstock.com

Among the must-visit spots in Virginia Beach is First Landing State Park, a natural haven offering outdoor activities and rich historical significance. The Military Aviation Museum, another highlight, presents an extensive collection of military aircraft and artifacts.

For your stay in Virginia Beach, we recommend The Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club Autograph Collection. Since its opening in 1927, the hotel has hosted ten US presidents and numerous celebrities, like Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor.

You can enjoy a range of luxury amenities, including a classic indoor pool, private beach club, world-class dining, and a full-service spa. The hotel itself offers plenty of activities, and the beach is just a short walk away.

Nearby attractions include the Virginia Beach Boardwalk, just a mile from the hotel, perfect for a leisurely stroll or bike ride along the oceanfront. Another nearby attraction is the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, located 2 miles from the hotel, featuring an array of modern art exhibits.

Breathtaking mountain scenery in Asheville

Asheville, nestled in the Appalachian Mountains, is a wonderful stopover on the Blue Ridge Parkway Route, roughly 14 hours and 45 minutes into your journey.

This city is a blend of natural beauty and urban charm, known for its funky and eclectic downtown, over 30 art galleries, a burgeoning culinary scene, and a vibrant live music culture—all set against the awe-inspiring backdrop of the mountains.

A view on the facade of the expansive Biltmore Estate on a misty day
One of our favorite places to visit in Asheville is the gorgeous Biltmore Estate; we particularly like the acres of gardens, miles of walking and hiking trails.
Konstantin L/Shutterstock.com

The city's crown jewel is the Biltmore Estate, a luxurious and historic mansion that stands as one of the most impressive architectural marvels in the USA. Another noteworthy attraction is the Asheville Botanical Gardens, offering a tranquil escape amidst native flora.

For your stay in Asheville, the Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville, Autograph Collection, is an excellent choice. This Tudor-inspired boutique hotel, situated in a picturesque mountain landscape, offers an enchanting high-altitude escape near the historic Biltmore Village and the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The hotel boasts a spa, an art gallery, an ornate European restaurant and bar, and a grand hunting lodge-inspired lounge complete with a stone fireplace. You can enjoy live performances in the Red Stag Lounge, and special jazz and piano nights.

Nearby, a mere 4-minute walk takes you to the Biltmore Gatehouse, an iconic part of the Biltmore Estate experience. Fernihurst Mansion, another local historical gem, is just 2 miles from the hotel, offering a glimpse into Asheville's rich history.

Where to stay when you reach Orlando

Orlando, a city bursting with world-famous theme parks like Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando, offers an array of fabulous shows and thrilling rollercoaster rides. But beyond the theme park excitement are stunning natural areas, beautiful downtown, and charming people.

If you're looking to explore beyond the parks, the Orlando Science Center provides an educational and interactive experience for all ages. Another intriguing visit is the Titanic - The Artifact Exhibition, which offers a poignant journey through the iconic ship's history.

Fireworks and lit up castle in Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World Resort
Walt Disney World Resort brings millions of visitors to Orlando and you are in for a magical experience if you add it to your itinerary!
Donna R. Theimer AIFD/Shutterstock.com

And for a taste of local flavor, there's a citrus farm just west of Walt Disney World where you can pick fresh Florida oranges straight from the tree!

For your stay in Orlando, we recommend the incredible Universal's Hard Rock Hotel a destination where the energy of rock ‘n' roll blends seamlessly with luxurious comfort.

You'll also enjoy exclusive theme park benefits, including free Universal Express Unlimited ride access, early park admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and complimentary transportation to the theme parks and Universal CityWalk.

The hotel itself is a haven of recreation. Dive into the 12,000-square-foot pool, where underwater music sets a unique ambiance and rock and roll memorabilia decorate the surroundings.

For dining, the Palm Restaurant offers sumptuous American fare, while the Velvet Bar serves a selection of appetizers and a full bar.

Things to see on a road trip from Boston to Orlando

There are tons of incredible things to do and see on your way from Boston to Orlando. Below, we've listed our top spots so you can plan the ultimate road trip along the East Coast.

Both routes

  1. Mark Twain House and Museum, Connecticut - This historic home in Hartford, where Mark Twain lived from 1874 to 1891, has been preserved as a museum showcasing the life and works of the famous American author.
  2. Old Sturbridge Village - This living history museum in Massachusetts recreates rural New England during the 1790s through 1830s, featuring costumed historians, antique buildings, and a working farm.
  3. Powder Hill Dinosaur Park - An outdoor museum in Rocky Hill, Connecticut, where visitors can see fossilized dinosaur tracks and learn about prehistoric times.
  4. The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk - This aquarium focuses on the Long Island Sound's ecosystem, offering interactive exhibits, a touch tank, and IMAX theater.
  5. Chrysler Building - An Art Deco masterpiece, this iconic skyscraper in Manhattan is known for its distinctive terraced crown and is a prominent feature of the city's skyline.
  6. Central Park, New York - An iconic urban oasis in the heart of Manhattan, Central Park offers a variety of outdoor activities, scenic landscapes, and cultural attractions across its 843 acres.
  7. Franklin Institute - A leading science museum in Philadelphia, offering interactive exhibits, a planetarium, and the famous giant heart.
  8. Philadelphia Museum of Art - Known for its impressive collection of art from America, Europe, and Asia, this museum in Philadelphia also features the famous "Rocky Steps" leading to its entrance.
  9. Savannah Historic District - A nationally significant historic area known for its cobblestone streets, parks, and well-preserved architecture from the colonial and Victorian eras.
  10. Forsyth Park, Savannah - A large city park that spans over 30 acres and is known for its iconic fountain, walking paths, and beautiful Spanish moss-covered trees.
  11. Pinball Palace - A unique amusement center offering a variety of classic and modern pinball machines, arcade games, and entertainment.
  12. Castillo de San Marcos National Monument - The oldest masonry fort in the continental United States, offering historical exhibits and stunning views of the St. Augustine harbor.
  13. Main Street Pier, Daytona Beach - A famous pier in Daytona Beach offering restaurants, fishing, and panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean.
  14. Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens - This zoo in Jacksonville features a wide variety of animals and gardens, offering educational exhibits and conservation programs.
  15. St. George Street, St Augustine - A historic pedestrian street in St. Augustine lined with quaint shops, restaurants, and historic sites.
New York City Manhattan Central Park panorama in Autumn lake with skyscrapers and colorful trees with reflection.
You can visit New York on both of our recommended routes, and Central Park is a must-visit while in the city.
Songquan Deng/Shutterstock.com

Coastal Route

  1. John Dickinson Plantation - Located near Dover, Delaware, this plantation was the childhood home of John Dickinson, a Founding Father of the United States, and now serves as a museum.
  2. DiscoverSea Shipwreck Museum - This museum in Fenwick Island showcases recovered artifacts from shipwrecks and offers insights into maritime history.
  3. Virginia Beach Boardwalk - A popular destination in Virginia Beach, this 3-mile-long boardwalk features restaurants, entertainment, and scenic views of the Atlantic Ocean.
  4. Dismal Swamp State Park - This unique natural area offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, boating, and wildlife viewing, in one of the largest remaining swamps in the Southeastern United States.
  5. Emerald Isle - A short detour from the route, known for its stunning beaches and tranquil atmosphere, Emerald Isle is a popular destination for beachgoers and nature enthusiasts.
  6. Airlie Gardens - Located in Wilmington, these historic public gardens boast a blend of formal gardens, wildlife, historic structures, and walking trails.
  7. SkyWheel Myrtle Beach - This 187-foot tall Ferris wheel on the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk offers panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding area.
  8. Charleston City Market - A historic market complex in downtown Charleston, offering a wide range of goods, from local crafts to gourmet foods.

Blue Ridge Parkway Route

  1. Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine - The birthplace of the U.S. national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and a key site in the War of 1812.
  2. Washington DC - Lincoln Memorial, Reflecting Pool, and Washington Monument are iconic symbols of American history; these landmarks offer visitors a glimpse into the nation's past and stunning views of the capital.
  3. Frontier Culture Museum - An outdoor museum in Staunton that tells the story of early immigrants and their influence on American culture, featuring reconstructed farms and exhibits.
  4. Cascade Falls - A picturesque waterfall located in the Giles County part of the Jefferson National Forest, offering scenic hiking trails and photo opportunities.
  5. Linville Gorge Wilderness - Known as the "Grand Canyon of the East," this rugged wilderness area offers dramatic scenery, hiking trails, and outdoor adventure.
  6. Riverbanks Zoo and Garden Columbia - A popular family attraction featuring a wide range of animals, botanical gardens, and interactive exhibits.
Sunsire atop Hawksbill Mountain, gazing southward into Linville Gorge, with Table Rock Mountain visible in the far distance.
Linville Gorge Wilderness is a stunning view that you can enjoy on the Blue Ridge Parkway Route.
Serge Skiba/Shutterstock.com

Best time to go on a road trip from Boston to Orlando

The road trip from Boston to Orlando offers a diverse experience throughout the year, with its world-famous theme parks and the natural beauty of Florida. However, your journey will be quite different depending on the season.

In spring, you'll find Orlando's temperatures ranging from a pleasant 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit, ideal for exploring outdoor attractions like the Orlando Science Center and Titanic - The Artifact Exhibition.

Also in spring is the Orlando International Fringe Theater Festival, which is in May. You'll also get to experience wildflower blooms during this season on the inland route.

Lit-up Christmas tree in Lake Eola, surrounded by life-sized nutcrackers
It might not snow in Orlando but it sure does get festive during the Christmas period!

In summer, Orlando becomes humid, with temperatures soaring to 80-95 degrees Fahrenheit. You might want to consider taking the Coastal Route during this season and take advantage of the beaches along the way. This season is perfect for enjoying the Jersey City Jazz Festival in June along the route.

Late summer and early fall are the perfect times for beach lovers to enjoy the Virginia Beach Neptune Festival from September to October.

If you're traveling in fall, Orlando's weather is less humid, with temperatures around 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit, creating a comfortable atmosphere.

The fall foliage along the Blue Ridge Parkway Route will add a picturesque quality to your journey. You can also take part in the Philly Winefest in October if you are taking this route.

Winter in Orlando is mild and dry, with daytime temperatures ranging from 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, making it an ideal time for theme park visits and outdoor activities.

However, driving from Boston, particularly on the Blue Ridge Parkway Route, be cautious of potential road closures due to snow and ice. This route can be quieter in terms of tourist traffic, except in Orlando.