View of Talmadge Memorial Bridge and a tug boat on the river during sunset
Sandi Cullifer/

Road trip from Orlando to Savannah

Published by Dianne Titos on December 20 2023

Savannah is famous for its Spanish-moss-draped avenues, beautiful architecture, lush squares, and charming riverboat cruises. This road trip from Orlando to Savannah will take you to the heart of the American Southeast through historical towns, sun-soaked beaches and charming cities of Florida and Georgia.

The 290-mile road trip from Orlando to Savannah will take 4 hours and 50 minutes to drive. On the way, you can visit Daytona Beach, Fort Matanzas, St Augustine, Jacksonville, Silver Springs State Park, Gainesville, Thomasville and Valdosta.

If you love natural beauty, history, charming coasts and deep forests, then this road trip is for you. Read on below to learn more about our recommended routes, top highlights, places to stay, and the best seasons to travel.

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

Comparison of road trip routes between Orlando and Savannah
RouteDistanceDriving Time
Coastal Route290 miles4 hours 50 minutes
Inland Detour400 miles6 hours 40 minutes

The Coastal Route from Orlando to Savannah is a scenic journey that spans 290 miles and takes around 4 hours and 50 minutes without any detours.

Alternatively, the Inland Detour trades the beach for the forests, covering 400 miles in about 6 hours and 40 minutes.

While you can comfortably drive both routes in a day, the amount of attractions and sights along the way means you'll want over 2-3 days on the road.

Savannah, Georgia, USA at Forsyth Park.
Savannah is a historic city dotted with beautiful architecture and stunning parks like the famous Forsyth Park.
Sean Pavone/

Best road trip route from Orlando to Savannah

While both the Coastal Route and the Inland Detour offer distinct experiences through Florida and Georgia, which one you choose will depend on what type of experiences you want.

The Coastal Route showcases the breathtaking Florida and Georgia coasts. This route takes you through historic cities like St Augustine and Jacksonville. Be ready with your swimsuit and camera for picturesque beach stops along the way.

You also have the option to detour to San Simons Island and Jekyll Island, an island off Georgia that's full of history and nature. However, this route may not offer the inland cultural experiences the detour has.

The Inland Detour winds through the heartlands of Florida and Georgia. This route is ideal for those who enjoy exciting cities and college towns like Gainesville and Valdosta.

An added bonus is the opportunity to detour to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge to see animals and diverse plants. However, this route misses the coastal vistas and historical coastal towns found on the Coastal Route.

How to drive from Orlando to Savannah

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

Coastal Route

Head out of Orlando on Interstate 4 (I-4) towards Daytona Beach. This popular coastal city, known for its hard-packed sands, is home to the iconic Daytona International Speedway and the historic Main Street Pier.

Continuing north on I-95, you'll arrive at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park, a serene stop with picturesque gardens and oak-lined paths. As you journey further, visit the Fort Matanzas National Monument, a symbol of early Spanish colonial history.

Your next major stop is St Augustine, the nation's oldest city, where you can explore the historic Castillo de San Marcos National Monument and relax at St Augustine Beach.

As you proceed north on I-95 to Jacksonville, don't miss out on the city's restaurants and attractions. From here, consider a scenic detour to Jekyll Island and Brunswick.

Nearby St Simons Island and Brunswick, Georgia, offer further coastal charm and rich history. After this detour, hop back on I-95 to reach your destination in Savannah.

Exterior of the historic monument by the water on a sunny day
Fort Matanzas National Monument is a must-visit for any history buff on the Coastal Route.

Inland Detour

Head northwest on I-75 towards Lake Panasoffkee, a tranquil lake perfect for fishing and enjoying Florida's natural beauty. Continue north to visit Silver Springs State Park, famous for its crystal-clear springs and glass-bottom boat tours.

Traveling further north on I-75, you'll reach the Alachua Lake Overlook, offering breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding nature. Nearby, the expansive Osceola National Forest is the perfect place to take a break with its lush trails and peaceful atmosphere.

As you approach Gainesville, home to the University of Florida. Gainesville is a fun university town with a lively cultural scene.

Continuing into Georgia, discover the beauty of Falling Creek Falls and the diverse ecosystems of Twin Rivers State Forest. Visit the historic Big Oak in Thomasville and explore Alligator Lake Park near Lake City for a glimpse of Florida's famous wildlife.

Your journey then leads you to the charming city of Valdosta, Georgia, known for its Southern hospitality and rich history. This route follows the same directions past Brunswick on I-95 to reach Savannah.

Yellow lily patches in the lake in a park with trees in the background
If you are traveling on the Inland Detour from May to October, don't miss out on the Monet-esque sight of yellow pond lilies on Alligator Lake near Lake City.

Best places to stop between Orlando and Savannah

With so much to experience and check out on a drive from Orlando to Savannah, you're going to want to stop and rest along the way. Below are our top destinations to stay the night in that offer incredible highlights nearby.

A historic stop in St Augustine

St Augustine is an ideal stopover on the Coastal Route from Orlando to Savannah, located just about 2 hours into your journey. This city is steeped in Floridian and American history and the earliest European-occupied city in America.

Known for its Spanish colonial architecture and scenic beaches like Crescent Beach and Anastasia State Park, St Augustine offers a blend of history and natural beauty.

St. Augustine, Florida, USA town square.
St Augustine is a beautiful and historic coastal city, and you will have plenty to keep you busy here from beaches to lighthouses and national monuments.
Sean Pavone/

Highlights include the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, the oldest masonry fort in the continental US, and the St Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum, offering stunning views and rich maritime history.

For your stay, the highly rated Victorian House Bed and Breakfast in the historic district of St Augustine's “Old Towne” is a perfect choice. Nestled between the nation's two oldest streets, this charming Inn is just minutes from the city center.

You'll be transported back in time with its old-fashioned decor and charm. Also, the surrounding grounds are full of beautiful nature and small gardens.

Each morning at the Victorian House, you'll be treated to a complimentary hot breakfast, setting you up perfectly for a day of exploration. The variety of rooms and suites here offer amenities like private balconies, whirlpool bathtubs, walk-in showers, and even fireplaces in select rooms.

Nearby, the Castillo de San Marcos is just a 10-minute walk from the inn, offering a glimpse into the city's rich history. For golf enthusiasts, the World Golf Village is a mere 25-minute drive away.

Explore the beautiful "Azalea City", Valdosta

Valdosta, a charming small city in southern Georgia, is an excellent choice for an overnight stop on the Inland Detour, approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes into the journey. Known as the Azalea City, Valdosta is celebrated for its beautiful azalea blooms and hosts an annual Azalea Festival every March.

Famous for the Wild Adventures Theme Park and the serene boardwalk over the wetlands of Grand Bay Wildlife Management Area, Valdosta offers a mix of thrilling entertainment and natural beauty. The city is also home to the Dedo Maranville Fine Arts Gallery, showcasing local artistic talent.

Front gates of the university, palm lined pathway towards a building
Valdosta is home to the Valdosta State University, which has a beautiful campus to walk around.
Rob Hainer/

For your stay, consider the modern Drury Inn & Suites Valdosta, a well-regarded hotel conveniently located near I-75. It's an ideal base for travelers heading between Orlando and Atlanta, offering proximity to Valdosta State University, Wild Adventures Theme Park, and Moody Air Force Base.

You'll enjoy a complimentary hot breakfast and a unique evening Kickback service, which includes both hot food and cold beverages. Additionally, the hotel boasts an on-site indoor and outdoor pool and a hot tub, perfect for relaxing after a day of exploring.

Near the hotel, the Kinderlou Forest Golf Club is just an 11-minute drive away, offering a top-tier golfing experience. For a dose of local history, the Lowndes County Historical Society and Museum is only a 10-minute drive away.

Where to stay when you reach Savannah

Savannah, Georgia, captivates visitors with its blend of Southern charm and rich history, being the state's oldest city. Renowned for its manicured parks, horse-drawn carriages, and stunning antebellum architecture, the city's allure is accentuated by its cobblestone squares and majestic oak trees.

Key attractions include the Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist, a symbol of Savannah's historical and architectural grandeur. Another must-visit is Forsyth Park, the city's largest and most famous park, offering picturesque walking paths and the iconic fountain.

White-colored church with two towers, trees in the background on a sunny day
Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist is housed in a beautiful building that is worth visiting while in Savannah.

Savannah's status as America's First Planned City, founded in 1733, adds a unique historical dimension to its character. On top of its history, is it's world-famous cuisine, restaurants, and bars.

For your stay in Savannah, the Eliza Thompson House, built in 1847, is a perfect choice. Located on the picturesque Jones Street, this bed and breakfast features a historic setting, a serene koi pond and an original Ivan Bailey fountain to admire.

Just a two-minute walk from the Eliza Thompson House, you'll find Forsyth Park, a cornerstone of Savannah's scenic beauty. If you walk a little further north west, you'll reach some of the old town's most popular sights.

The bed and breakfast also offers a nightly parlor reception featuring hors d'oeuvres, wine, dessert, and coffee, ensuring a delightful culinary experience throughout your stay, including the best breakfast in the city each morning.

Things to see on a road trip from Orlando to Savannah

There's a lot to see and do on this relative short road trip from Orlando to Savannah. To help you plan out your ultimate road adventure, we've listed our favorite stops below.

Coastal Route

  1. Daytona Beach - Known for its iconic beach where driving is permitted, Daytona Beach offers sun-soaked stretches of sand and a lively boardwalk atmosphere.
  2. Daytona International Speedway - This world-renowned speedway hosts the Daytona 500 and offers visitors a glimpse into the thrilling world of motorsports.
  3. Main Street Pier, Daytona Beach - Stretching into the Atlantic, this historic pier offers spectacular ocean views, fishing, and dining options.
  4. Ormond Beach - A quieter neighbor to Daytona, Ormond Beach boasts pristine beaches and a charming small-town feel.
  5. Washington Oaks Gardens State Park - This park features unique coquina rock formations along the beach and a serene formal garden with majestic oak trees.
  6. Fort Matanzas National Monument - A well-preserved Spanish fort, this monument stands as a testament to Florida's colonial past and offers ferry rides and stunning views.
  7. St Augustine Beach - Known for its wide, sandy beaches and a beautiful fishing pier, this beach is a perfect spot for relaxation and water activities.
  8. Anastasia State Park - This state park offers unspoiled beaches, tidal marshes, and a variety of wildlife, ideal for outdoor enthusiasts.
  9. Castillo de San Marcos National Monument - The oldest masonry fort in the continental U.S., this monument showcases the history of St. Augustine with its imposing structure.
  10. Jacksonville - A major metropolitan area in Florida, Jacksonville offers a mix of urban excitement and natural beauty, with extensive park systems and cultural attractions.
  11. Jekyll Island - A serene coastal retreat, Jekyll Island is a short detour and features historic landmarks, unspoiled natural beauty, and famous driftwood-scattered beaches.
  12. Driftwood Beach - Located on Jekyll Island, this beach is renowned for its surreal landscape of weathered driftwood, creating a picturesque and serene environment.
  13. St Simons Island - This charming island is a short detour off the route and offers rich history, beautiful beaches, and an array of outdoor activities, making it a perfect coastal getaway.
  14. Brunswick - A historic port city, Brunswick is known for its Victorian-era Old Town, scenic parks, and a network of beautiful marshes.
Jekyll Island, GA, USA with stunning clouds cover the sky during sunset at Jekyll Island, GA showing the beautiful beach stones.
Jekyll Island might be a detour from the Coastal Route, but we promise that it will be worth the extra mileage!

Inland Detour

  1. Lake Panasoffkee - A freshwater lake in Florida, it's a haven for anglers and nature lovers, with abundant wildlife and serene natural surroundings.
  2. Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing - This museum in Ocala celebrates the history of drag racing, with a vast collection of racing cars and memorabilia.
  3. Silver Springs State Park - Famous for its crystal-clear springs and glass-bottom boat tours, this park offers a window into Florida's underwater world.
  4. The Canyons Zip Line and Adventure Park - Offering zip-lining adventures over canyons and lakes, this park provides thrilling experiences amidst Florida's natural landscapes.
  5. Fort King National Historic Landmark - This site in Ocala marks a pivotal location in the Seminole Wars, offering historical insights into Florida's past.
  6. Gainesville - Home to the University of Florida, Gainesville is a lively city with a rich cultural scene, historic sites, and beautiful natural areas.
  7. Alachua Lake Overlook - A scenic spot offering panoramic views of Alachua Lake and its surrounding wetlands and wildlife.
  8. Osceola National Forest - A vast expanse of pine flatwoods and cypress swamps, offering hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing opportunities.
  9. Falling Creek Falls - A picturesque waterfall in Florida, providing a serene and scenic spot for nature lovers and photographers.
  10. Twin Rivers State Forest - This forest features diverse ecosystems, hiking trails, and river access, ideal for outdoor recreation and wildlife observation.
  11. The Big Oak - A historic and massive oak tree in Thomasville, Georgia, renowned for its age and size, symbolizing the deep-rooted heritage of the region.
  12. Alligator Lake Park - Known for its namesake lake and abundant alligator population, this park offers a true Florida wetland experience.
  13. Okefenokee Swamp Park - A gateway to the vast Okefenokee Swamp, this park provides unique opportunities to explore a diverse and mysterious wetland habitat.
  14. Valdosta - A vibrant city in southern Georgia, Valdosta is known for its historic charm, cultural attractions, and as the gateway to the Wild Adventures Theme Park.
Wooden path into the lush green foliage in the swamp
Take a break at Okefenokee Swamp Park to stretch your legs and take a scenic stroll on the Inland Detour.
Vadim 777/

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

Savannah, with its enchanting Southern charm, is a great destination any time of the year. However, your experience can vary significantly depending on the season of your road trip.

Spring in Savannah is delightful, with average daytime temperatures ranging between 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit. This season is perfect for exploring the city's lush parks and historic architecture.

The Savannah Music Festival in March and April is a highlight, where you'll see incredible musical performances. On the Coastal Route, the St Augustine Lions Seafood Festival in April is a fantastic occasion to plan your trip around.

If you're taking the Inland Detour, the Valdosta-Lowndes Azalea Festival in March celebrates the city's floral beauty. On both routes, you'll see beautiful wildflowers and fruit tree blooms in spring.

Summer brings temperatures ranging from 80-95 degrees Fahrenheit, and the city buzzes with energy. Though it can be humid, Savannah's historical sites and nightlife remain as busy as ever.

You should be aware of the hurricane season from June to November, which can affect both the Coastal Route and Inland Detour with sudden weather changes.

Fall in Savannah sees temperatures between 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit, making it an ideal time for those who prefer milder weather.

Winter offers cooler but still pleasant weather on both routes, with temperatures ranging from 40-60 degrees Fahrenheit. Driving conditions during this season are generally good, with little risk of severe winter weather.

Nights of Lights event in St Augustine adds a festive touch to the Coastal Route. Cities and towns along both routes are full of amazing holiday celebrations, including Savannah's exciting New Year's celebrations.