Choosing the Best Route from Florida to California

When you are traveling from Florida to California it’s difficult to choose the best route. But it’s doable if you focus on every detail of the routes. For example, Miami to San Diago will take a longer time than Jacksonville to Los Angeles.

So, what can be the  best route from Florida to California?

Distance-wise I-40 W is the shortest and the best route from Florida to California. But, if you prefer a long and scenic ride take I-75 N and I-40 W. This combined route will take you through the Appalachian mountain and several national forests. Moreover, your starting and destination point also plays a vital role here. 

So let’s take a deep look at which route will be perfect according to your starting and destination points.

Jacksonville to Los Angele or Miami to San Diago: Why Compare?

Jacksonville Florida to Los Angeles California is the most popular route while traveling from Florida to California. The total distance is 2669 miles on I-10 W. This route passes through 8 different states. 

Another way is taking I-10 W and I-20 W with a bit longer distance. The other way is from Miami, Florida to San Diago California through I-10 W. The total distance of this road will be 3072 miles.

Now, let’s take an in-depth look at how you can enjoy your I-10 road trip from Florida to California.

Jacksonville to Los Angeles or Miami to San Diego: Head to Head

Let’s check out what are the key differences between these routes.

Comparison FactorsJacksonville to Los AngeleMiami to San Diago
Distance 2,669 miles3072 miles.
No of Place to Visit14-15 places 18-20 places
Travel Time40-42 hours45-46 hours.

Before planning a cross-country trip don’t forget to compare the I-10 and I-40 routes

A Detailed Comparison of the Two Routes

Lot of things depends when choosing the best route for travel. Here are some factors that play a huge while deciding between the two routes: 

Vehicle Type (Jeep or SUV or Sedan, Electric or Gas)

Both of these routes are great for driving in any weather condition. Roads are scenic and well-maintained. So, you can take your sedan, SUV, or jeep on the trip. Even when you are planning for a road trip from southern California to Florida.

Time to travel

When you are preparing for a road trip you should keep in mind the total time to travel. It will definitely depend on how many hours you are driving a day. And of course how much time you are spending at each stop. Generally, it will take 40-45 hours on average.

Total Distance

If you want to travel from Jacksonville to Los Angele taking the I-10 road will cover approx 2669 miles. The direct time for the whole journey will be around 40-42 hours in normal traffic.


Then again if you are planning to take the Miami to San Diago route it will be 3072 miles. And the total drive time will be 45-46 hours.


I-10 is one of the most popular roads for people who love southern road trips. You won’t have to face too much traffic at a regular time.

The traffic on the Miami to San Diago route is also not that heavy too. But as you have to cover more cities through this route you might have to stop frequently.


I-10 W passes under the George Wallace Tunnel beneath the Mobile River. Which is one of Alabama’s few highway tunnels that pass under any mountain or river.

You have to pay tolls while going through both of these routes. 

Also, remember that the I-10 W route oftentimes gets blocked due to dirt and debris from the surrounding environment. 

Weather(Snow/ Dry/Rain)

Rain will be the only hurdle that you may have to face while traveling from Jacksonville to Los Angeles or Miami to San Diego. Due to the higher temperature and humidity, you don’t have to worry about snow on those routes.

So, the best time of year to drive from California to Florida is in the spring season the months of October, November, or December will also be good.


Now let’s dig into all the nitty-gritty amenities for more information!

Places to Stay from Jacksonville to Los Angeles

There are plenty of places to stay along the I-10 road. As it is one of the most popular roads among travelers. 

Let’s get to know some beautiful places to stay on the I-10 route.

  • Memorial park – Jacksonville
  • Henderson beach state park – Destin
  • The other end – Destin
  • USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park – Mobile
  • The Kate Shepard House Bed and Breakfast – Mobile
  • Beachbum Berrys Latitude 29 – New Orleans
  • Ashton’s Bed and Breakfast – New Orleans
  • Saras Bed and Breakfast Inn – Houston
  • Casa De Suenos – Santa Teresa

You can find your comfortable one according to your budget.

Places to Stay from Miami to San Diago

You can also find plenty of places to stay during your Miami to San Diago tour. The best places are

  • Lake Buena Vista – Orlando
  • I-Drive – Orlando
  • Kissimmee – Orlando
  • Downtown Orlando – Orlando
  • Holiday Inn Express – Pensacola Beach
  • Portofino Island Resort – Pensacola Beach
  • Lajitas Golf Resort – Texas
  • Hampton Inn Alamogordo – New Mexico
  • White Sands Motel – New Mexico
  • Hampton Inn & Suites Marana – Arizona
  • Hampton Inn & Suites Tech Park – Arizona

You may choose the one that is most comfortable for you based on your budget.

Gas Station Frequency

While using the I-10 route from Jacksonville to Los Angele you will get frequent gas stations. But while traveling through San Antonio to El Paso is the most concerned area in this case. In this part of the route, you’ll get the least gas stations.

The route from Miami to San Diago also gives you the same gas station frequency. So, you don’t need to worry about that as well.

Travel Expense

At current petrol rates, Florida to California road trip cost (one-way) is $537.25. You can count this amount for Jacksonville to Los Angele route. Miami to San Diago route will cost $ 50 more for the extra 300 miles. 

Jacksonville to Los Angele travel will take 3-4 days on average. If you count the minimum expense for food and shelter as $25. Then the whole expense will be around $100.

Miami to San Diago route should be covered in 4-5 days. So the whole expense will be around $125. 

Now there can be some other expenses as per your choice.    

Route Aesthetics

In both Jacksonville to Los Angele and Miami to San Diego, you will get to see some amazing views. Both of the roads will pass you through some beautiful cities and landmarks. 


Let’s see which road will give you the most spectacle pleasure.

Scenic and Urban View Through Jacksonville to Los Angeles

 8 different states from Jacksonville to Los Angele route will give you different iconic views. Which makes the route one of the best scenic routes from Florida to California.

  • Jacksonville zoo and cummer museum of art and gardens in Florida
  • Port St. Joe, Panama City Beach, Gulf Breeze, and Pensacola beaches in Florida. 
  • Many picturesque inlets and bays dot Alabama’s coastline and lighthouses in Alabama. 
  • Gulf Coasts,  magnificent beaches, and restaurants in Mississippi. 
  • Densely constructed cities to huge plantations and marshes in Louisiana.
  • Texas offers the Chihuahuan Desert as you reach the mountainous El Paso region. 
  • Carlsbad Caverns: New Mexico’s underground national park is a place worth visiting. The Grand Circle has an abundance of national parks. You will get to see 11 different national parks here all of them are amazing.
  • Beautiful Los Angeles is full of mesmerizing beaches.

So, if you are willing to see and visit these beautiful places just take the Jacksonville to Los Angele route.

Scenic and Urban View Through Miami to San Diago

Miami to San Diago route are also great if you are planning for a long road trip. By this route, you can cover so many amazing places. 

  • Miami has fantastic beaches and all the amenities great for a night out. Little Havana, is famed for its Cuban heritage.
  • Orlando has some amazing theme parks including Disneyland and Pensacola beaches.
  • New Orleans offers you some beautiful antique architecture. 
  • When visiting Houston, the Johnson Space Center is a must-see. 
  • San Antonio is an excellent destination to go sightseeing. The river walk of San Antonio is a must.
  • Southern Texas has some amazing deserts to visit and of course, Big Bend National Park. 
  • Carlsbad Caverns and Tularosa Basin are the best places in New Mexico.
  • Now lets the step to Arizona which offers Saguaro national park.
  • San Diego is full of amazing beaches. Coronado Beach and Balboa Park can’t be missed.   

This route is definitely not going to make your journey boring. 

On both routes, you will get plenty of places to take mesmerizing pictures. There are beaches and beautiful landscapes all along the way.

But if you are a fan of antique architecture then New Orleans is a must place to visit. For that reason, you can take the  Miami to San Diago route. 

Otherwise, as both the ways cover the southern route you will almost get the same social media vibes. 

If Something Goes Wrong!

Both of these southern roads have connected some major cities on the way. And also these are connected to small towns. 

So, if there are any issues or medical emergencies you will get full support. And as most of the time you need to travel through the I-10 you should be in a safe situation. 

You know some simple family road trip hacks can make your trip better. Here are some products which are necessary for your road trip.

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All these products can be really helpful in emergency and normal situations. 

Final Verdict – Which Route to Choose? 

As we are talking about the best route from Florida to California the main focus should be on I-10. The routes we have talked about are Jacksonville to Los Angeles and Miami to San Diago. And both are connected by I-10.

Jacksonville to Los Angeles is the main I-10 road which will cover less distance than Miami to San Diago. So, if you have less time in hand but want to have a nice compact road trip this route is perfect. 

And if you have plenty of time in hand then you should definitely go for Miami to San Diago route. 

But need to remember Miami to San Diago route will be more expensive than Jacksonville to Los Angeles.


What is the safest route to drive across America?

San Francisco to Teaneck, New Jersey via Interstate 80. For an east-to-west road trip, route 66 may be the most iconic route. However, the I-80, which passes through 11 states is the finest interstate travel route.

Is it cheaper to drive to Florida or fly?

When It Comes to Driving, Saving Money. For you, driving may be the most cost-effective alternative. Even driving great distances takes longer than flying. But petrol and accommodation might be less expensive than aircraft travel. 

Is Route 66 still drivable?

Over 85 percent of U.S. Route 66’s original alignments are still drivable today. Because many sections of the route are two-lane highways. You should drive carefully and pay attention to the traffic signs.

Closing Words

This is everything you need to know if you’re choosing the best route from Florida to California. All this information will be a great aid if you’re having confusion.

Make sure to always plan your road trips ahead. Some routes are often blocked due to various reasons. So research all the possible routes and then head out. 

Happy Tripping!

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