Part 1 of our journey takes us 600 miles north to Durham, NC, home of Duke University. We'll mostly follow US 301 to Orangeburg, SC and then US 601, US 1, and US 501 with about 20 miles on I-85 near Durham. See the Google map.
In Florida, you can pickup US 301 anywhere north of Tampa. You'll have a few smaller cities, like Wildwood, Ocala, and Starke, to deal with traffic lights. There's also a lot of open space in between. In Baldwin, near I-10, you can stay on 301 or follow our route via FL 121 before connecting again with 301.
If you're familiar with US 1 along the Florida east coast, you'll be surprised to find it inland in North Carolina. You'll pass the former Nascar track, Rockingham Speedway, which is now up for auction.
Further north, Southern Pines is a quaint little town in the heart of golf country. Nearby Pinehurst is world famous. "Pinehurst No. 2, the centerpiece of Pinehurst Resort, remains one of the world’s most celebrated golf courses. It has served as the site of more single golf championships than any course in America and, in 2014, hosted 14 days of championship play with back to back U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open Championships for the first time in their history." http://www.pinehurst.com/golf/courses/no-2/
If you have the time to spend, this 600 mile ride is much more enjoyable than I-95. Leaving Durham, we're taking US 15 north thru Virginia and Maryland, into Pennsylvania. Click the button below.