We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Rush Hour Interstate 75 South

Which Atlanta hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Toronto, Canada
posts: 370
reviews: 14
Rush Hour Interstate 75 South

We have a concern driving southbound using I -75 through Atlanta as we head to Orlando from Toronto. With a one night stopover in Sweetwater Tennessee. To get a pick of the rooms for our 5 day stay, we wish to arrive in Orlando around 3 pm. As young seniors that always works for us stress free. We are travelling on May 7 & 8.

The math... 9 hour drive Sweetwater to Orlando. Under ordinary conditions to arrive at 3 pm we must leave Sweetwater at 7 am, to arrive at the North end of Atlanta (junction Hwy 285 called "The Perimeter") at 9:30 am. We wish to stay on I-75 south through the downtown connector. Unless an alternate route is guaranteed to be achieve our two concerns below.

(1) Loss of travel time resulting in arriving past 3 pm in Orlando

(2) Avoiding stress caused by extreme stop and go, for us and our 2002 Buick Regal.

Can an experienced driver down this route kindly provide us the advice as to whether arriving at 10:00 am instead of 9:30 am at "The Perimeter) would be better for the two reasons above and meeting our objective of arriving around 3 pm in Orlando.

Thank you kindly for your first hand experienced advice and any tips. We do not have a mobile phone or access to the internet while driving, but we have a GPS without traffic info.

ATL
posts: 116
reviews: 21
1. Re: Rush Hour Interstate 75 South

K. First, traffic should be gone by then, barring a wreck which can happen anytime. Your plan should be fine.

However, i really think Orlando is more like a 6-7 hour drive from ATL than a 5 hour one as you are projecting.

WDW should be very quiet that week, so i am not sure you have to get there by 3PM to get the room of your choosing. It is between school spring break and end of school year. I think it is one of the lowest attendance times of the year.

Decatur, GA
Destination Expert
for Atlanta
posts: 3,187
reviews: 79
2. Re: Rush Hour Interstate 75 South

To avoid I-75 through Atlanta, use I-285 on the west side of the city. It will loop you around.

atlanta ga
Destination Expert
for Atlanta
posts: 3,160
reviews: 17
3. Re: Rush Hour Interstate 75 South

No need to change your plans. On most normal days I-75 straight through is not a problem after about 8:30-9:00am, unless some major incident has occurred. You can tune your car radio to 95.5FM as you approach Atlanta, and there are informational signs on I-75 that tell you approximate travel speeds to various points of Atlanta before you get to I-285. If for some reason, I-75 is a mess, taking I-285 West/South towards Birmingham will be your next best solution (traffic flows opposite direction in the morning on I285).

I would allow a good 8 hours for Orlando, you can probably do it in 6-7, but you will have to stop for fuel and meals along the way. The toll booths heading into Orlando slow you down a bit also. It always took me about 8, but my first hour was back roads to the interstate (we live in the country) and I had kids slowing me down.

atlanta,ga
Destination Expert
for Atlanta, St. George Island
posts: 2,596
reviews: 69
4. Re: Rush Hour Interstate 75 South

you can diall 511 for traffic updates--or if you have a smart phone go to georgianavigator.com for live updates as you drive--the droid also has an incredible nav sysytem as well if you need an alternate if you hit traffic anywhere

Tennessee
posts: 1,428
reviews: 116
5. Re: Rush Hour Interstate 75 South

I really hate driving through Atlanta, but usually after rush hour the HOV lane of I-75 will get you through the city quickly and easily--you can use it since there will be more than one person in the car. Coming from the north, the HOV lane is the first exit (left) after you pass the I-285 (perimeter) exits. Be alert for an area where the HOV lane swings away from the other lanes; it's easy to mistake this point for an exit from the interstate. Usually the HOV lane will be much less stressful than the regular lanes and I-285. The last time I came through Atlanta, traffic was backed up even in the HOV lane due to an accident near the central part of the city, but this is the only time I've had that experience--and the flow resumed much more quickly than in the regular lanes.

Toronto, Canada
posts: 370
reviews: 14
6. Re: Rush Hour Interstate 75 South

Wow!...just what I was looking for, thank you all so much. Google maps had 2.5 hours for the 171 miles to Sweetwater then 6. 3 hours for the 443 miles from Atlanta to Orlando

Total Google Maps 8 hours and 50 minutes.

We will take your advice on the rush hour and the extra time to get to Orlando. We will plan for 10 hours

(1) We can leave Sweetwater TN at 6 am and be approaching the North Atlanta, Hwy 285 junction around 8:30 AM (2.5 hrs.)

(2) We will give ourselves 7.5 hours plus a bit and get to our Orlando hotel near Sand Lake and John Young Parkway; hopefully between 3:30 and 4:30 PM.

We do not us mobile phones. We are retired living in a mid town Toronto condo which has a 98% rating for walk to everything! For these driving excursions, we were hoping to buy a prepaid phone from Best Buy or Walmart on the way down or when we get to Orlando. We would like to use this with a local SIM card when we return to Toronto (no plan of course). I know the network technology used here by Bell (I am a pensioner and get 35% off) I'll need to talk to someone at the store that has the phone with the technology options that work in the US and Canada. I emailed the GM of Best Buy in Dayton Ohio; no response. I guess I'm not a good prospect! (Picked them on good customer service reviews!)

Thanks again

Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
posts: 18,729
reviews: 296
7. Re: Rush Hour Interstate 75 South

Try to come thru Atlanta about 9:30 instead of 8:30 and you will avoid the major traffic headaches.

Toronto, Canada
posts: 370
reviews: 14
8. Re: Rush Hour Interstate 75 South

Thank you again' such kindness....

Here I am it's almost 9 am. I have been on Google Traffic watching the greater are of Atlanta from the North Perimetr (Cumberland @junction HWY 285 all the way to the south Perimiter well past the junction between I 75 and Hwy 285 to Hyw 331. I did this yesterday Tue16 Apr (as Mon was a holiday) as well.

Unless Google maps has excessive delays in reporting traffic, I could not find any slow segments (except at one entry ramp to I-75 South near the northern Perimeter. All the "slow or red" areas were in the inner city area and near the southern Perimeter (hwy 285) only on I -75 North bound. I got left with the impression the entire length of I-75 is OK starting at 8:30 am at the northern perimeter.

What am I missing?

Thanks again.

Decatur, GA
Destination Expert
for Atlanta
posts: 3,187
reviews: 79
9. Re: Rush Hour Interstate 75 South

What you're missing is that one accident or stall can totally hose up traffic on any given day. It's totally unpredictable.

Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Atlanta
posts: 9,560
reviews: 76
10. Re: Rush Hour Interstate 75 South

If there are delays, we're talking 15-30 minutes, not catastrophic all-day delays. You're investing more time in worrying about potential delays than you'd lose if you experienced a delay. Just build in an extra half hour if you're really worried about it and relax. This is a vacation.