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New Smyrna Beach at Flordia

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  • Aug 18th, 2017 8:13 am
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[OP]
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Jul 20, 2007
429 posts
31 upvotes

New Smyrna Beach at Flordia

Hi there,

I am wondering if anyone has ever visited New Smyrna Beach Florida from Toronto. I recently got interesting in painting Bob Ross paintings and wanted to go there to take a few lessons. However after looking it up, I will need to go to fly to Orlando airport, then travel there 1hr 15 minutes there somehow.

I never rented a car in the US before. The more I thought of how I complicate it is to get there, the more I might avoid the trip all together.

I read another post it is possible to drive down all the way from Toronto but going by myself, driving all the way there seems time consuming so not sure what other options. Anyone have any suggestions. Please do let me know. Thanks.
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Feb 19, 2010
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madamadakun wrote:
Aug 13th, 2017 12:46 pm
Hi there,

I am wondering if anyone has ever visited New Smyrna Beach Florida from Toronto. I recently got interesting in painting Bob Ross paintings and wanted to go there to take a few lessons. However after looking it up, I will need to go to fly to Orlando airport, then travel there 1hr 15 minutes there somehow.

I never rented a car in the US before. The more I thought of how I complicate it is to get there, the more I might avoid the trip all together.

I read another post it is possible to drive down all the way from Toronto but going by myself, driving all the way there seems time consuming so not sure what other options. Anyone have any suggestions. Please do let me know. Thanks.
What is it that you think is so complicated about renting a car and driving a little over an hour? :eek:

My wife and I met an older couple from New Smyrna Beach while on a cruise a few years ago. It sounds idyllic and some place we wouldn't have otherwise known about or considered going to.
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Feb 7, 2017
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New Smyrna Beach is a lovely area... So you should definitely go.

Renting a car in Florida is no more complicated than it is here in Ontario.

Driving in Florida, can be hectic, but again, not much different than our own 400 Highways, and everything is well marked for Tourists (this State LIVES & BREATHES Tourists after all)

You have options... 

OPTION # 1

* You can fly direct to Orlando and drive Northeast up I-4 to Hwy 44, and then east to New Smyrna.
* Or you drive east from the airport on Hwy 528, and then up I-95, or continue farther eastward to US Hwy 1 and drive north up it.

I-95 is a busy Interstate.  As is I-4.  They are MAJOR Connectors in this part of Florida.  If you have the time, I'd take the more scenic routes.

Your estimate of just over 1 hour at any rate seems a little low to me... Especially cause of traffic, or if you opt for the more scenic route.

OPTION # 2

* Fly into Jacksonville (Florida's Capital City) and drive to the I-295 Eastern Bypass around Jacksonville, then the I-95 South to New Smyrna.
* Or after making your way to the I-295 Eastern Bypass take one of the exits that lead east to the Atlantic Coastline (Atlantic Blvd - Beach Blvd - J Turner Butler Blvd) and then head south on US Hwy 1 or A1A (the latter is a sub of Hwy 1, and follows directly along the coast wherever possible). 

A1A is one of the most scenic drives in Florida... Even if you don't take it to get to New Smyrna, you need to make some time to drive it in the part of Florida you'll be visiting.

In my above example it goes thru:  Atlantic Beach - Neptune Beach - Jacksonville Beach - Ponte Vedra - Seaside - and Vilano Beach.  Then connects with US Hwy 1 into St Augustine (America's oldest city --- Spanish founded) before picking up again in St Augustine Beach, and following along the coast to Butler Beach - Crescent Beach - Palm Coast - Flagler Beach - Ormond by the Sea - Ormond Beach - Daytona Beach - and Daytona Beach Shores.  Then head inland again to US 1 at Port Orange, which is just a short bit above New Smyrna Beach.

The first choice above (all Interstate) is about 2 Hours driving time, depending on traffic.  The "scenic route" would be longer.

OPTION # 3

Ok to fly, but a nervous to drive in unknown territory ?

* Fly into Daytona Airport.  You'll have to no doubt take more flights to get there from Toronto, but you'll be less than 30 Minutes from New Smyrna Beach.

You can then either cab it to your Destination.

Or get a rental car and enjoy driving the area without the Interstates (refer to maps for info).

This means you'd still be able to enjoy the quieter residential coastal A1A as well as also get yourself up to Historic St Augustine on a day trip.
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Sep 7, 2004
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Flying down to Orlando Airport and renting a car is easy and straight-forward. I've done this for a cruise (from Port Canaveral) and would do it again.
It's not complicated as you might think.
😎
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Nov 24, 2013
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OP, do you have a driver's license and drive in Toronto?

Driving in the US is barely at all different from driving in Canada. In fact, where you're going is much easier than Toronto (which is comparable to Chicago, NYC, LA, Miami). The roads are flat (FL has hardly any elevation changes), lanes are wide, night driving is easy (it rains a lot so there's big reflectors demarcating the lanes), and there's hardly any potholes (no freeze/thaw). All the signs are in English too. The Orlando airport has an abundance of cheap rental cars right at the airport terminal, just down from the baggage claim. Make sure you have $1s and quarters for road tolls (there's a few around the airport area and where you'll be going) and you won't have any problems at all.
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Dec 3, 2006
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Take Allegiant Air from Niagara Falls, NY to Sanford, Fl. Reserve a rental car in Sanford Airport via Costco.com.
Quiet 45 min drive from Sanford to New Smyrna Beach.
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Mike15 wrote:
Aug 17th, 2017 4:29 pm
OP, do you have a driver's license and drive in Toronto?

Driving in the US is barely at all different from driving in Canada. In fact, where you're going is much easier than Toronto (which is comparable to Chicago, NYC, LA, Miami). The roads are flat (FL has hardly any elevation changes), lanes are wide, night driving is easy (it rains a lot so there's big reflectors demarcating the lanes), and there's hardly any potholes (no freeze/thaw). All the signs are in English too. The Orlando airport has an abundance of cheap rental cars right at the airport terminal, just down from the baggage claim. Make sure you have $1s and quarters for road tolls (there's a few around the airport area and where you'll be going) and you won't have any problems at all.
I've barely driven in Toronto but I would disagree that driving in US is much easier. It's not terrible but driving in Florida is not great. There's tons of traffic, night driving is often pretty terrible as most streets are not very well illuminated (although the reflectors in the streets do help quite a bit) and many of the streets have speed limits that are higher than what Canadian Drivers are use to.

I can see that some drivers would be intimidated driving there. FWIW, in the past Florida had the most traffic deaths per capita despite, no snow, no ice, no hills, etc (not sure if it's still like that)
[OP]
Member
Jul 20, 2007
429 posts
31 upvotes
Mike15 wrote:
Aug 17th, 2017 4:29 pm
OP, do you have a driver's license and drive in Toronto?

Driving in the US is barely at all different from driving in Canada. In fact, where you're going is much easier than Toronto (which is comparable to Chicago, NYC, LA, Miami). The roads are flat (FL has hardly any elevation changes), lanes are wide, night driving is easy (it rains a lot so there's big reflectors demarcating the lanes), and there's hardly any potholes (no freeze/thaw). All the signs are in English too. The Orlando airport has an abundance of cheap rental cars right at the airport terminal, just down from the baggage claim. Make sure you have $1s and quarters for road tolls (there's a few around the airport area and where you'll be going) and you won't have any problems at all.
Thanks. I do drive a lot in Toronto. (Having said that, sometimes I do fall asleep if I drive long distances, say 2-3 hrs, but I don't think I will drive that much, which is also why I didn't want to drive all the way down from Toronto). Ya I heard about the tolls and the coins and all, so I'll get some change.

Thanks for the others for your comments and all. I think I will just fly to the airport and rent a car. I have rented a car at NS and drove around Cape Breton. I recall the renter asks a lot of stuffs, like do I need roadside service, GPS, add this and that etc. I think my credit card covers car rental insurance so it should be sufficient.
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I've rented at Orlando a few times now and thankfully they've rarely gone through the high pressure upgrade spiel for insurance, add-ons, etc.. I think they're just high volume enough that they're more about moving people through the line. GPS charges are something like $7-$10/day, so if you're staying a week you're probably better off buying a cheap GPS unit to "try out" and returning it when you get back.

Basically every rental car there has a SunPass toll transponder, and they'll let you know about it at the counter. I never bother since the rental company charges a fee for using it; it's a convenience feature. Just make sure once you get the car that the on/off switch on the transponder is off if you don't want to use it. I almost got bit last time.

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