Coming from the Midwest to SoWal

Discussion in 'All About SoWal' started by rockin, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. rockin

    rockin Beach Crab

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    This is our first visit to SoWal. Our destination is High Pointe Resort for the week of 4/4-4/11. We've been to Destin and Orange Beach before. I'm concerned about traffic on the arrival Saturday. We've been caught before in those southbound traffic jams. We're coming from Wisconsin to High Pointe. Any insider tips to avoid traffic and get to the beach ASAP?
    So looking forward to your "neck of the woods".
    Thanks for your help.

    Rockin
     
  2. SHELLY

    SHELLY SoWal Insider

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    Yes...come in October.

    <:D sorry, couldn't resist>

    Drive carefully and safely...you'll get here OK.

    .
     
  3. Miss Kitty

    Miss Kitty Meow

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    Gem of the Day! (and so early!) :clap:
     
  4. beachmouse

    beachmouse Beach Fanatic

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    Because of Air Force control of most of the land between I-10 and the beach in a three county area, there are essentially no alternate routes other than 331 and 85/Mid Bay Bridge unless you want to loop to Panama City Beach and back, which is probably not going to save you any time or gas. I'd say that even though you might want to push through because the end of the trip is in sight, it's a good idea to pit stop and grab some fresh drinks and snax when you exit I-10.
     
  5. DuneLaker

    DuneLaker Beach Fanatic

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    You didn't give your route or travel plans down. It could make a difference. I wouldn't take the toll road in Okaloosa County. That Mid-Bay toll road over the bay certainly isn't the quickest way to most of the Beaches of South Walton. The 331 Bridge over Choctawhatchee Bay in Walton County is free. This past Saturday, we were coming back to SoWal from NoWal about 1 p.m. Took 331 South off I-10 in DeFuniak Springs. Traffic was heavy headed South, but not too much of a backup. Only slowed down as we approached 331 and 98. (there was a fender bender pulled over at Tom Thumb gas station and two sheriff car's, etc.) The traffic on 98 was backed up quite a bit heading west at the 331 and 98 intersection. There is construction. The right hand west bound turn lane normally used to head north on 331 is blocked and this is causing some delay. Surely, this lane will be reopened soon. When you leave SoWal, plan on leaving early in the day or hang around and have a late lunch or early supper before you head out. If you are going to Georgia or east, before you go home to the midwest, I'd go Highway 98, to 79, to 20, to 231 and then hit I-10 or continue on up 231. This travel pattern could change depending which schools are on Spring Break, etc.

    BTW, there is a new 331 by-pass around Freeport. There is one little sign if you are heading south. Be sure to just head straight south on 331 here. Can't tell you how many people I've seen with out-of-state tags pull off the road here and turn around and try to backtrack the old way. Heading back to your home and heading north, when you get to the light at Freeport 331/20 go straight!!! This will save you 5 -10 minutes off your commute. Don't turn left like some of your old directions probably say, unless of course you have a personal reason for going that way.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2009
  6. AAbsolute

    AAbsolute Banned

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    Regardless of the traffic you will be more than glad you've chosen to visit 30A. The first evening stroll on the beach in the area you'll know you are in someplace created in Heaven's image. :wave:
     
  7. Lynnie

    Lynnie SoWal Insider

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    Drive safely and have funn!!
     
  8. FloridaBuckeye

    FloridaBuckeye Beach Lover

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    Traffic

    I live right off of White Point Road which is the road to the Mid Bay Bridge. I would definitely go 331 instead of our road on that weekend because that is the weekend of Easter, which makes it not only backing up with tourists but also the locals get out that weekend! It is better early in the morning on Easter Saturday than mid afternoon, so if you can work out your schedule to get here early, it's much better. From about 3PM on thru early evening, it is usually backed up coming out of Niceville clear to the bridge! Good Luck, be safe, and enjoy when you get here! It's worth the traffic!!
     
  9. Mark Partington

    Mark Partington Beach Lover

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    welcome-
    I think 331-or 79 would work.
    79 & 77(which you'd have to map out to use the SW roads) have some construction-but.....What's season here without a major HWY project?

    You'll like this....I dont go past the hospital -concerning Destin. WoW.
    Have a safe trip.
    m
     
  10. ohmom

    ohmom Beach Lover

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    Rockin...from my limited experience (Sowal in August; Destin in Oct) I def. prefer 331 to MidBay Bridge..both times traveling south from Ohio via Louisville and I 65.
    Compared to traffic around other beaches like Myrtle Beach (omg - 6 lanes of people from somewhere else trying to go someplace they don't know at 50 mph) Sowal is a treat. Even the worst traffic in Sowal is not a big deal to me. Just remember you're going to the beach...and a whole bunch of us wish we were too!
     
  11. Mermaid

    Mermaid picky

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    Rockin, are you planning to do the trip in one go? If you're not, pick up the hotel/motel travel coupons that all the state rest stops have. It's pretty cheap to overnight somewhere close to the highway, and although some of the places are pretty basic, they've all been uniformly clean and safe.
     

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