The Best Road Trip from Indianapolis to Florida

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Start in the midwest before sauntering around the south and into Florida, seeing metropolitan and countryside America in the process.
An Indianapolis to Florida road trip breezes through different landscapes, covering rolling fields, sun-soaked beaches, and dramatic peaks. For those who want to truly explore the US, this eight-day epic is the way to do so.
Oh… and you end up at Disney!
With the help of car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry, here’s an itinerary that will get you from Indianapolis to Walt Disney World in eight days! From where to eat and sleep to what to do, Jerry’s got you covered.
And part of that coverage is great roadside assistance! There’s nothing worse than being stuck in the middle of nowhere with a flat tire, cracked windshield, or an empty tank. For just $6.99, Jerry offers an excellent program to give you peace of mind as you hit the road.
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Indianapolis to Lexington

Driving time: 3 hours
Start your road trip off quickly by exploring some of Indianapolis’s sights. The city is a cultural center in its own right and serves as an ideal springboard into Kentucky and southern America. We hope you like horses…
The Indianapolis Salesforce Tower stands tall among the city's buildings. A cloudy sky hangs above the river.
Indianapolis, Indiana

Eat

Eat breakfast at Cafe Patachou in Indianapolis for fresh, cool eats. Dubbed a “student union for adults,” the cafe offers made-to-order omelets and acai bowls.
Make lunch quick at Il Panino before you hit the road. The unassuming stand in Indianapolis City Market makes big, delicious sandwiches at a tasty price point.
Once you arrive in Lexington, check out Corto Lima for dinner. They serve interesting Latin dishes, highlighted by sugar cane shrimp.

Do

Have a stroll around Newfields, Indianapolis’s acclaimed museum of art, in the morning. The Lume, an immersive art project, debuts in August and is well worth a look.
After lunch, hit the road to Kentucky. The drive to Lexington should take you about 3 hours through Louisville—and lots of farmland. Once you get there, head straight to the Kentucky Horse Park to learn about one of Lexington’s most sacred traditions.
Louisville skyscraper lights send streaks of bright reflections onto the Ohio River at sundown.
Louisville, Kentucky

Sleep

If you need to spend the night in Indianapolis before leaving, bed in at Ironworks Hotel, an industrial, cool-looking spot just outside the city.
Lexington has a few good hotels and a rich Airbnb scene. But the best accommodation in the city is 21c Museum Hotel Lexington. Located atop a contemporary art museum, the 88-room structure is both trendy and comfy.

Lexington to Nashville

Driving time: 3 hours
Your journey starts to pick up momentum as you leave Lexington and head into one of the south’s great cultural centers—with some time for a national park along the way! Remember to bring some comfy shoes and an open mind for country music.
Fluorescent business signs jut out over the sidewalk of a commercial center in Nashville.
Nashville, Tennessee

Eat

Treat yourself to breakfast at Wild Eggs in Lexington, a midwestern chain specializing in hearty American food.
For lunch, eat at Spelunkers Cafe in Mammoth Cave National Park. Don’t expect fancy food, but after a walk, a hotdog or quick sandwich might just hit the spot!
You’re spoiled for food choices in Nashville. Most might go for some southern fair—and who could blame them? For another option, look into Folk, an upmarket pizza spot that serves specialty toppings.

Do

For history buffs, a stop into Henry Clay’s historic home near Lexington is well worth it. The Kentucky politician was influential in developing American politics in the early 1800s and his museum tells a compelling story.
After that, it’s an hour’s drive to Mammoth Cave National Park. At more than 412 miles, it’s the largest known cave system in the world! Grab lunch from there before heading to Nashville.
Once you reach Music City, have a stroll around Broadway, Nashville’s iconic cultural center. There are lots of good opportunities for shopping and snacking!
A concrete staircase leads into the darkness of a mossy cave at Mammoth Cave National Park.
Mammoth Cave National Park

Sleep

The Russell is a converted church with funky rooms and stained glass windows—a fun pick for your two nights in Nashville. A portion of your nightly rate will be donated to local nonprofits fighting homelessness.

Nashville to Knoxville

Driving time: about 3 hours
Make the most of your day in the city, taking in some essential sights before heading towards Knoxville and into the stunning Great Smoky Mountains.
The blue-tinted Great Smoky Mountains roll into the distance for miles with a few clouds overhead.
Great Smoky Mountains

Eat

You have to try iconic Biscuit Love for breakfast. Get the bonuts to share—you definitely won’t be disappointed!
For something a little lighter, stop for lunch at Cafe Roze to enjoy fresh salads and healthy sandwiches.
A vibrant college town and cultural center, Knoxville has a lot of food on offer. An intriguing option is acclaimed Greek spot Kefi where the fried artichokes are a hit!

Do

You can’t go to Nashville without checking out the Country Music Hall of Fame. Whether you’re into the twang or not, the museum traces the musical history of some of America’s most iconic artists.
After, head over to the Parthenon, a near-full-size replica of the famous Athenian building that shows the city’s art and culture.
In the afternoon, it’s time for a 3-hour drive east to Knoxville. Have a shop and stroll around central hub Market Square once you arrive!
Posters of famous Country singers hang on a yellow wall at the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Country Music Hall of Fame

Sleep

Spend the night at The Olive Hotel. It’s an example of classic southern architecture not far from the University of Tennessee—meaning it’s right in the center of things.
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Knoxville to Asheville

Driving time: About 2 hours
Spend the day in a funky southern town before you head off into the mountains to get off the grid. Be prepared for quaint towns and breathtaking views!
The sun shines down through dark clouds over Asheville, North Carolina.
Asheville, North Carolina

Eat

Make sure to drop into OliBea for a southern breakfast. It’s a great spot for a quick bite and the walls are adorned with local art.
Grab lunch from the French Market Creperie. It may seem naughty to have pancakes for lunch, but this food court spot nails savory crepes with the ham and swiss cheese standing out.
For dinner, Chiesa in Asheville is a good option with great pasta dishes on the menu.

Do

Go to the Knoxville Zoo in the morning. The family-friendly destination features a fascinating and educational red panda exhibit, among many other things.
After lunch, drive into the mountains and take in the amazing scenery! Check out the Biltmore estate once you arrive in Asheville, the home of tycoon George Vanderbilt.
A child poses with an umbrella at the end of a garden walkway at the Biltmore estate.
Biltmore estate, Asheville

Sleep

Catch some rest at the Princess Anne Hotel, a historic building that opened in 1924 and offers good rates. If you want something fancier—and a little more expensive—opt for the Omni Grove Park Inn.

Asheville to Atlanta

Driving time: 3 hours
Enjoy another change of scenery as you exchange mountains for another big city center. But you’re not getting out of Appalachia without having a walk first!
A blue and pink sunset over a cluster of Atlanta skyscrapers and a nearby highway.
Atlanta, Georgia

Eat

Eat breakfast at Early Girl Eatery in Asheville for a wide variety of options. The yam scram is a local favorite!
Look to eat a late lunch at Folk Art in Atlanta for hearty southern food—the chicken sandwich is too good to pass up!
Change things up for dinner, as you might be sick of southern cooking. Instead, head to Ticonderoga for great seafood.

Do

It’s time to stretch your legs! Get up early and hike the Catawba Falls Trail. It’s about 2 miles of easy walking round trip, but you’ll be rewarded with an amazing view!
Afterward, drive to Atlanta and rest your legs on the way. It’s a major change in landscape as you drive out of jagged mountains and into a massive city. Visit the Coca-Cola factory in the afternoon if you have time, and stroll around Piedmont Park after sampling far too much sugar.

Sleep

Spend the night at Epicurean Hotel Atlanta. It’s trendy and pretty, and centrally located so you can see as much of the city as possible!

Atlanta to Savannah

Driving time: About 3 hours
Drive from a major metropolitan center to an emerging young hub. Be prepared for a lot of food and a lot of casual strolling! Savannah needs to be absorbed and walked around—so have your shoes ready.

Eat

Chow down a big breakfast at Atlanta Breakfast Club for modern spins on diner food. The café dubs itself “food paradise” and the massive, delicious waffles set out to prove that assertion.
You might have to wait a bit for lunch after a long drive, but The Collins Quarter in Forsyth park makes it more than worth it. The Aussie-inspired cafe offers filling sandwiches and fresh salads.
For dinner, drop into the Olde Pink House. The Colonial Home has been turned into a museum with a restaurant—in cool underground digs. And, if you somehow still have room, finish the day with Leopold’s ice cream for dessert!

Do

Hit the road to Savannah after breakfast, driving straight east towards the coast—it should take you about 3 hours. Once you get there, head to Forsyth Park, one of the city’s best attractions. Find stalls and vendors surrounding their famous fountain and grab some food.
If you fancy it, take a Savannah Riverboat cruise through the city to cap off your afternoon.
Sprawling trees line a Savannah street; its branches form a natural roof over the dirt road.
Savannah, Georgia

Sleep

Get some rest at the River Street Inn. It’s a converted cotton factory that overlooks the Savannah River with affordable riverview rates!
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Savannah to Fernandina Beach

Driving time: About 2 hours
It’s time for your first flash of the Atlantic Ocean! Fernandina Beach is the first major beach in northern Florida and has the luxury of a bit of quiet. Get your beach vibes going and chill!
Waves roll onto the shore of Fernandina Beach at dusk. A pier is in the distance.
Fernandina Beach, Florida

Eat

Enjoy your last excursion with southern comfort food before you hit the road, snagging breakfast from Maple Street Biscuit Company.
Change it up for lunch with Surcheros Fresh Mix. The Savannah hotspot offers build-your-own burritos and tacos and a popular selection of tasty hot sauces.
Fernandina Beach offers a wealth of seafood places—and it would be rude not to tap into some of them! The best is Salty Pelican Bar and Grill, which serves massive portions of food at standout prices. Try the shrimp plate!

Do

Hit the road and get to Fernandina Beach! From there, it’s towels, sunglasses, surf, and sand. Enjoy some relaxation after five days of driving.

Stay

It might be worth looking into some vacation rentals in Fernandina Beach if you want to extend your stay. But if you’re in town for the one night, bed in at Sea Cottages of Amelia, an interesting luxury motel for a night’s stay.

Fernandina Beach to Orlando

Driving time: About 3 hours

Eat

Dig into Amelia Island Coffee for a light breakfast and local java—a good pre-beach meal! For lunch, there are loads of restaurants along the beach. Give Timoti’s Seafood Shak a go and try the lobster roll.
Orlando isn’t exactly lacking in meal options, either. A good one is the Stubborn Mule, a swanky cocktail-American spot that pays tribute to the Moscow mule with loads of different cocktails and great food.

Do

Enjoy a morning at the beach, taking advantage of the rays and getting a swim in before the afternoon rush to the sand. Then hit the road to Orlando, having a walk around Bok Gardens when you arrive.
People walk down a commercial street lined with Spanish-style buildings in Orlando.
Orlando, Florida

Sleep

Tuck in for the night at Castle Hotel Florida, where you’ll find fancy architecture and pretty views. It’s also close to Disney World!

A day at Disney

Your trip concludes with a day at the happiest place on Earth. Make the most of it by trying the food, taking pictures, and getting on as many rides as possible!
Mickey Mouse waves from a hot air balloon in front of Disney World's Cinderella Castle.
Disney World, Orlando

Eat

Try and get as many meals in at Disney as possible. It may be pricey, but it’s all part of the experience. That might mean saying yes to branded food and drinks, so make sure you’re into the spirit of things!
If you’re inclined to go somewhere for dinner, try out The Strand. A highly rated bistro, it’s a delicious fancy meal to finish off your marathon road trip.

Why you need roadside assistance

Unfortunately, breakdowns happen. Whether you run out of gas, collide with another car, or pop a tire, it’s possible that you might need help to keep your road trip going.
For those situations, Jerry has a comprehensive roadside assistance package. It features up to 10 miles of towing plus jump starts, tire changes, fuel deliveries, and more.
The package also comes with some exclusive benefits, including car advice, key replacement, and Uber credits—and it only costs $6.99 for one car!
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The fast route back

The speediest way to Indianapolis is a 980-mile slog straight north. With good traffic, it will take around 14 hours.
The smart way of doing things is to stop for a night in Chattanooga, or even Atlanta, to break things up into two 7-hour drives.

The scenic route back

Not wanting to go home is entirely understandable. Extending your trip by a few days is a possibility with a coastal road trip up to South Carolina—a good way of doing a proper loop around the southeastern US.
Head north from Orlando to Daytona Beach. Stay for a night there and stick to roads along the coast to Myrtle Beach. Stop where you please, but look out for the various pretty beaches along the South Carolina coast. Isle of Palms, for example, is worth a stop!
Once you get to Myrtle Beach, cut west and head through Virginia along the famous Blue Ridge Parkway. Stop for a night in Appalachia, if you fancy it! From there, saunter home back to Indianapolis.
Pro Tip An extra few days will allow you to see more beaches, and drive on one of America’s best roads!

Finding great car insurance

Regardless of where you are or how far you’re going, having the right car insurance is a must. For the best insurance at the best price, try Jerry.
A licensed broker, Jerry does all the hard work of finding the cheapest quotes from the top insurance companies and finalizing your new car insurance. Jerry will even cancel your old policy for you.
And to ensure you always have the lowest rate, Jerry will send you new quotes every time your policy comes up for renewal, so you’re always getting the coverage you want at the best price. This level of service is why Jerry earned a 4.6/5 rating on the App Store and made it the top insurance app in the country.
“I made the switch. Better coverage, lower price, and questions are still just a phone call or text away. You can’t afford not to try. What do you have to lose? Oh yeah, money in your pocket!” —Jerry user

FAQs

Are there any must-try foods on my road trip?

Yes! We’ve covered some of the classics, but there are always more you have to hit, especially if you’ve never been in the area before.
In Tennessee, it’s all about barbecue and southern sides. Look for smoked meats, lots of barbecue sauce, and as many good sides as possible. For breakfast, be prepared for a lot of pancakes, biscuits, and big, sugary foods.
And when you’re by the ocean, try some fish! Florida has tons of good whitefish, which make for awesome fish tacos!

What equipment do I need to bring?

That depends on how long you’re planning to spend on the road! Jerry has put together some road trip essentials for you.
For this one, be prepared for the outdoors. While the hiking might not be too strenuous, definitely bring some good shoes, lots of water, and beach gear.

What happens if I break down?

Even with diligence, it’s always possible that your car could break down. Remember that for any drive you should have your car fueled up and properly serviced. But if something goes wrong, ensure that you’re signed up for Jerry’s excellent roadside assistance program—it’s just $6.99 per month!
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