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Tampa FL to Savannah GA (maybe Jacksonville)

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Hiya Hounds!

My wife and I are traveling from Tampa FL to Savannah GA next week.

We will probably take I-75 north to US-301 north, to I-10 east, to I-295 north, to I-95 north, to GA-204 east.

Monday will be in the evening, maybe late evening, and I am guessing we will want to stop for dinner in or near Jacksonville. We of course would like to eat at a non-chain, but preferably one that does not take us too off route.

Wednesday, on our way back, we have a little more flexibility, but still would prefer something somewhat close to our route. It will be for lunch in the afternoon.

Suggestions? All genres of food welcome. Cheaper is better, but good food takes precendence. =)

~Matthew
matthew.david@mac.com

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  1. I make that trip at least twice each month. You won't pass by many interesting places. There are a couple of places in Ocala that intrigue me, Luna's (which is quite close to I 75) and Fox and Hounds, but I haven't been to either. You may consider taking 75 as far north as Gainesville and looking for some place there. The time and distance are practically the same.

    I have heard of an interesting place somewhere just a little north of Ocala just off of 301, The Yearling in Hawthorne. Other than that, there is little to choose from between Ocala and Jax. Not much between Jax and Sav either except a couple of upscale places in Brunswick, Ocean Cargo and Christies.

    The Hyde Park area in Jax has some interesting spots and is not too far out of the way. AIX is pretty interesting.

    3 Replies
    1. re: sarge

      AIX looks good, though I wonder if it will be too nice for us in our travel schlocky clothes...

      1. re: sarge

        These are the Urban Spoon areas associated with Jacksonville. Which one is closest to Hyde Park?

        West Side? Orange Park?

        Jacksonville
        * Arlington (266)
        * Callahan (25)
        * Glen St Mary (3)
        * Hilliard (11)
        * Macclenny (39)
        * Northside (89)
        * Riverside (57)
        * Southside (472)
        * Urban Core (272)
        * Westside (212)

        Greater Jacksonville
        * Atlantic Beach (56)
        * Baldwin (7)
        * Fernandina Beach (91)
        * Green Cove Springs (28)
        * Jacksonville Beach (134)
        * Lawtey (4)
        * Mayport Ns (6)
        * Middleburg (35)
        * NW St Johns (48)
        * Neptune Beach (25)
        * Orange Park (245)
        * Ponte Vedra Beach (45)

        1. re: sarge

          I'm late to the party but a strong second to The Yearling. Quite ignored over in Cross Creek (close to the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings homestead) but a truly authentic piece of pioneer Florida. Only open 4 (maybe 5) days a week. Authentic southern menu (gator, sometimes cooter) with live blues guitar entertainment. Well worth the 15 minute detour off 441 or 301 (it's between the two).

          If looking for eclectic diner food, Rocky's Villa on 441 in Orange Lake is Mexican-Italian.

        2. I have driven between those areas for years. I've never found much off of 301. The last few years I have started to take 17 between Jax and Deland, then I-4 to Tampa. There a a number of interesting places on 17, but my favorite stop is in Crescent City.

          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/622291

          If you take this route, investigate fish camps too!

          3 Replies
          1. re: meatn3

            Got the address for El Amigo, but no phone # to confirm it will be open...

            1. re: MatthewDavid

              I think I came across a number while searching for the address - it showed up on a business license or something....

              Their sign said 7 days/week until 8. I feel pretty certain you can count on that, everyone I encountered there seemed pretty dedicated.

              If you go and like the sweet tamales, buy extra - they freeze and reheat well!

              1. re: MatthewDavid

                Before you go the I 4 route, check mapquest for the distance diffferential and factor in potentially bad traffic through Orlando. You can certainly go that way, but I would not even consider it for what it's worth

            2. In Jax eat at Bistro AIX, it's pretty solid. Also if you're traveling in non-rush hour traffic, take I-4, it's faster. I make this drive every month or two.