Things to do / Travel Guide
Daytona and Jacksonville Driving Directions
The most efficient mode of travel in northeast Florida and the Panhandle is driving. And that's okay because there's a lot to see out the window. The region is relatively large, and its major highways are laid out according to the north-south peninsula and the east-west panhandle area. Here are some directions for the two major interstate highways:
However, it's slower going, and runs through cities and towns.
I-75 traverses the region in a north-south direction, inland and about 60 miles west of I-95 and runs near Gainesville and Ocala.
I-10 runs east-west, from Jacksonville, Tallahassee, through Pensacola, and further west. Along the western Panhandle, the highway is no more than 20 miles north of the Gulf Coast.
Within the cities, Jacksonville for instance, traveling by car your best choice, all things considered, as traffic isn't too bad and parking is plentiful. All of the Emerald Coast cities are located practically on the same road, Route 30. In Daytona Beach, Route 1A traverses the entire barrier island, and on the mainland Riverside Drive and Beach Street contain a good amount of the attractions you'll be looking for. The city is long and narrow, so anything not on these three streets will not be so far to the west of them.
- I-95 traverses the region on the eastern side of Florida's peninsula, running north-south through or close-by Jacksonville, St. Augustine, and Daytona Beach. Route 1, or in many places Route 1A, runs farther east of I-95 and traverses many of the same cities.
Driving Distance between Jacksonville and Daytona, Pensacola and the Panhandle
Here are distances and travel times to the major cities in the region from Jacksonville:
- Driving distance from Jacksonville to Daytona: 90 miles, less than 2 hours
- Driving distance from Jacksonville to Tallahassee: 165 miles, less than 3 hours
- Driving distance from Jacksonville to St. Augustine: 40 miles, less than 1 hour
- Driving distance from Jacksonville to Pensacola: 360 miles, 6 hours
- Driving distance from Jacksonville to Gainesville: 70 miles, 1.5 hours
Daytona and Jacksonville Public Transportation
Public transportation's availability and reliability in the region depends on the city. Jacksonville has a pretty extensive service, the reasonably-priced Jacksonville Transportation Authority. The Authority runs buses to and from most major destinations around the city, and to the Jacksonville Beaches. It also runs a picturesque downtown monorail system called The Skyway, and a free trolley system with stops along downtown's northern shore. The main hub for both the bus system and The Skyway is between East State and Union Streets. In other words, if you're without a car in Jacksonville, you need not worry; the public transportation system will get you to most places you'll want to go.
Daytona Beach's bus and trolley line is called Votran, and it services the larger city area. Aside from Daytona and Jacksonville, the other cities and towns in the region aren't served well by public transportation.
Bus to Jacksonville from Daytona Beach and the Panhandle
There are Greyhound stations in or near all the main destinations in the region and the Florida Panhandle, save for Amelia Island and Cedar Key. The major bussing hub within the region is Jacksonville, and many of the region's stations served are reached as little as only twice a day. A “heavily-trafficked” route, there are around a dozen buses reaching Daytona Beach from Jacksonville each day, the last one pulling in at around 11:00 p.m.
Amelia Island Ferry
Amelia Island, one of the major places in the region, is reachable by ferry. If you have a car, you can bring it along onto the St. Johns River Ferry from Mayport, which connects to Jacksonville via Route 1A from Jacksonville Beach. This ferry will take you to Fort George Island, on which you can continue all the way to Amelia Island. It runs every half-hour from 6:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. If you are without a car, there is a shuttle from Jacksonville International Airport (JAX), for which you must register in advance.
Train to Jacksonville from Pensacola and Tallahassee
Amtrak's Sunset Limited route skirts the southern border of the United States on its route from Orlando to Los Angeles. Unfortunately, Hurricane Katrina damaged tracks between New Orleans and Jacksonville, forcing the suspension of train service in the Florida Panhandle. So, as of now, there is no train to Jacksonville from Pensacola and Tallahassee.
Jacksonville, Destin, Daytona Beach, Pensacola, St. Augustine, Northeast Florida