All You Need to Know About I-4

I-4 cuts right across central Florida, connecting Tampa Bay to Daytona Beach.
Written by Mary Alice Morris
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Mar 23, 2023
Interstate 4 (I-4) is a short 132-mile trek that reaches diagonally across Florida from Tampa to Daytona Beach. It’s oddly designated as an interstate highway, despite only existing in one state.
If you’re planning a trip from
Tampa Bay
Daytona Beach
, or the other way around, I-4 is the best route. There are only a few major interchanges along the way, but there are lots of sights to see and restaurants to try on I-4.
If you’ll be driving on I-4, be sure to check out this helpful guide!
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What is an interstate highway?

An interstate highway is a part of what’s officially called the Interstate Highway System, initiated in the 1950s under President Dwight D. Eisenhower. This initiative enabled the development of a cross-country highway system that met uniform federal infrastructure guidelines and had a nationally-adopted numbering system. 
Most interstates pass through different states, but some, like I-4 in Florida, only run through one state. These highways are still designated as part of the Interstate Highway System because they were established and funded under the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, and they meet the criteria to be considered an interstate. 
When it comes to how the interstates are numbered, there’s an easy system to remember. North-south interstates have odd numbers, with the lowest highway numbers starting the furthest west. East-west interstates have even numbers, with the lowest highway numbers starting in the south. 

Major interchanges on I-4

Even though it only runs across Florida, you’ll still run into a few major interchanges. In Tampa, right at the base of I-4 is an intersection with I-275 south, a branch of I-75. East of Tampa, I-4 intersects with the stretch of I-75 that runs between Ocala and Naples. After passing through
and on its approach to Daytona Beach, I-4 finally intersects with the I-95/US 92 stretch of highway between

Best places to eat along I-4

There is so much great food to find in Florida—and yes, there are options if you don’t like seafood. The only problem with finding a restaurant on I-4 is that you have too many excellent options for a 132-mile drive! Still, we’ve narrowed down a good list of potential stops for you to grab a bite:
  • Carmine’s Restaurant & Ybor
    (Tampa, FL): Florida has a rich, multi-ethnic heritage, and Carmine’s reflects that in its food. You’ll find traditional old-world flavors from Italy and Spain mixed with new-world foods from Cuba. 
  • BENTO Downtown Orlando
    (Orlando, FL): In the mood for Asian fusion? BENTO Downtown Orlando offers dine-in and take-out service. The extensive menu includes bento boxes, boba teas, poke bowls, and sushi, so there ought to be something to make everyone on your trip happy. 
  • Thai Cafe
    (Orlando, FL): If you’ve got a curry craving, stop in at Thai Cafe for some bold flavors. Their menu features red curry duck, lots of seafood, and a few beef options. 
  • Cracker Barrel Old Country Store
    (Daytona Beach, FL): Sometimes, you just want what’s familiar, and that’s Cracker Barrel’s specialty. Stop in for their all-day breakfast menu, burgers, or family meals. After your meal, you can take a stroll around the general store and try out one of their famous rocking chairs. 
  • Bahama Breeze
    (Daytona Beach, FL): Check out the Caribbean-style foods and island twists of old favorites like burgers and fries at Bahama Breeze. You can stop in during happy hour for half-priced appetizers Monday through Fridays, and if you happen to go for dinner, you’ll hear live music every night. 
Pro Tip Before settling on a place to eat, plan ahead and make sure the restaurant you want to try will be open when you arrive. Pandemic restrictions, supply issues, and staffing shortages can cause restaurants to suddenly change their hours. 

What is there to do on I-4?

There’s obviously no shortage of things to do in Florida, but if you’d like to find some convenient attractions to visit along your route on I-4, start with these:

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