How Long Does It Take To Drive To New York?

As an iconic global destination, New York attracts visitors from across the United States who are eager to take in the sights and sounds of the Big Apple. For drivers, a key question is: how long does it take to drive to New York?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Drive times to New York City from other major U.S. cities typically range from 10 to 48 hours depending on your starting point.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide sample drive times from various locations, route recommendations, tips for managing traffic, and top places to stop along the way as you embark on a road trip to New York.

Drive Times to New York City

From Washington, D.C.

Driving from Washington, D.C. to New York City can take anywhere from 4 to 6 hours, depending on traffic conditions and the route taken. The distance between the two cities is approximately 225 miles. The most common route is to take Interstate 95, which can get quite busy during peak travel times.

It is recommended to plan your trip accordingly and consider leaving early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid heavy traffic.

From Chicago

Driving from Chicago to New York City is a long journey, spanning approximately 800 miles. The estimated driving time is around 12 to 14 hours, depending on the route taken and the traffic conditions. The most direct route is to take Interstate 80 East, which will take you through several states including Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania before reaching New York.

It is important to plan for rest stops and overnight accommodations to ensure a safe and comfortable trip.

From Miami

If you are driving from Miami to New York City, be prepared for a long drive of approximately 1,280 miles. The estimated driving time is around 20 to 22 hours, depending on traffic conditions and the route taken.

The most common route is to take Interstate 95 North, which will take you through several states including Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and finally New York.

It is advisable to plan for frequent breaks and overnight stays to ensure a well-rested journey.

From Los Angeles

Driving from Los Angeles to New York City is an epic cross-country adventure, covering a distance of approximately 2,800 miles. The estimated driving time is around 40 to 45 hours, depending on the route taken and the driving conditions.

The most direct route is to take Interstate 40 East, which will take you through several states including California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, and finally New York. It is highly recommended to plan for multiple rest stops, overnight stays, and to share the driving responsibilities if possible.

For more information on the best routes and current traffic conditions, check out the official website of the Federal Highway Administration or use reliable navigation apps such as Google Maps or Waze to plan your journey and get real-time updates on travel times.

Route Options and Directions

When it comes to driving to New York, there are several route options and directions you can take depending on your starting point and preferences. Here are some popular routes to consider:

Taking the Interstate Highway System

One of the most common ways to drive to New York is by utilizing the Interstate Highway System. The Interstate 95 (I-95) is the main north-south highway that runs along the East Coast, connecting major cities from Miami to Maine.

If you are traveling from the southern states, you can take I-95 all the way up to New York City. This route offers convenience and efficiency, with well-maintained roads and plenty of rest stops along the way.

Driving the East Coast

If you prefer a scenic drive along the coast, you can opt to drive the East Coast and enjoy breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. Starting from Florida, you can take Interstate 75 (I-75) to connect with I-95, which will lead you through several states including Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia.

From there, you can choose to continue on I-95 or take alternative routes such as the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway or the picturesque Route 1.

Combining Interstates and State Highways

Another option is to combine the use of interstates and state highways to reach New York. This allows you to explore different areas and take detours to visit attractions along the way. For example, if you are coming from the Midwest, you can take Interstate 80 (I-80) to reach the East Coast and then connect with state highways such as Route 30 or Route 22 to continue your journey towards New York.

This option provides a mix of highway driving and the opportunity to experience smaller towns and scenic routes.

It’s important to plan your route in advance and consider factors such as traffic conditions and rest stops. Online mapping services like Google Maps or GPS navigation systems can provide real-time traffic updates and suggest the most efficient routes based on current conditions.

It’s also a good idea to have a backup plan in case of road closures or unexpected delays.

For more information on routes and directions, you can visit websites such as or to get detailed driving directions, estimated travel times, and even user reviews of different routes.

Managing New York City Traffic

Driving in New York City can be a daunting experience, with its crowded streets and busy highways. However, with some careful planning and knowledge of the city’s traffic patterns, you can navigate the city more efficiently. Here are some tips for managing New York City traffic:

Avoiding Rush Hour

Rush hour in New York City can be a nightmare, with bumper-to-bumper traffic that can significantly slow down your commute. To avoid the worst of the congestion, it’s best to plan your travel outside of peak commuting hours.

Rush hour in New York City typically occurs between 7:00 AM and 10:00 AM in the mornings, and between 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM in the evenings. By adjusting your travel times, you can save yourself from getting stuck in traffic and reach your destination more quickly.

Using Public Transportation

One of the best ways to avoid the hassle of driving in New York City is to utilize the city’s extensive public transportation system. The subway and bus networks are not only convenient but also offer a faster and more reliable way to get around the city, especially during peak hours.

With multiple subway lines and bus routes covering all parts of the city, you can easily reach your destination without the stress of dealing with traffic and finding parking. Plus, using public transportation is often more cost-effective than driving and parking in the city.

Parking and Tolls

If you do decide to drive in New York City, it’s important to plan ahead for parking and tolls. Finding parking in the city can be a challenge, especially in popular areas like Manhattan. It’s advisable to research parking garages or lots in advance and consider using mobile apps that can help you find available parking spaces.

Additionally, be prepared for tolls when driving on bridges and tunnels in and out of the city. It’s a good idea to have cash on hand or use electronic payment methods like E-ZPass to avoid delays at toll booths.

For more information on managing New York City traffic, you can visit the NYC Department of Transportation website. They provide up-to-date traffic information, including current road conditions, construction updates, and real-time traffic cameras, which can help you plan your route more effectively.

Road Trip Pit Stops

Embarking on a road trip to New York is an exciting adventure, but it’s important to plan some pit stops along the way to make the journey even more enjoyable. Here are some interesting places to visit and things to do during your road trip.

Washington, D.C. Attractions

If you’re passing through or near Washington, D.C., make sure to take advantage of the many attractions the city has to offer. Visit the iconic landmarks such as the White House and the Capitol Building.

Take a stroll along the National Mall and admire the memorials dedicated to great leaders like Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson. Don’t forget to explore the world-class museums, including the Smithsonian Institution and the National Gallery of Art.

Washington, D.C. is a city rich in history and culture, and it’s definitely worth a stop on your road trip.

Philadelphia Food Scene

As you make your way towards New York, consider making a pit stop in Philadelphia to indulge in its vibrant food scene. Known for its famous Philly cheesesteaks, the city offers a variety of culinary delights that will satisfy every palate.

From the historic Reading Terminal Market, where you can sample local delicacies, to the trendy restaurants in East Passyunk and Fishtown, Philadelphia has something for everyone. Don’t miss out on trying the soft pretzels, hoagies, and of course, the iconic cheesesteaks that the city is known for.

Casinos in Atlantic City

If you’re feeling lucky, why not make a detour to Atlantic City? This bustling seaside resort town is renowned for its vibrant casino scene. Test your luck at one of the many world-class casinos, take in a show, or simply enjoy a stroll along the famous boardwalk.

With its exciting nightlife, fine dining options, and thrilling entertainment, Atlantic City offers a fun and memorable experience for those looking to add a little excitement to their road trip.

Remember, the duration of your road trip to New York will depend on various factors such as the starting point, traffic conditions, and the route you choose. It’s always a good idea to plan for some pit stops along the way to break up the journey and explore new places.

Make the most of your road trip and create lasting memories by taking the time to discover the unique attractions and experiences that each destination has to offer.


A road trip to New York City is a classic American adventure. With strategic planning and an allotment of 10-48 hours driving time depending on your starting point, you’ll be gears up for an epic drive. Enjoy incredible pit stops and soon the New York City skyline will be welcoming you!

Drive safely as you embark on your road trip to the iconic and electric Big Apple.

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