Looking for a great stop along I-95? Driving to Florida from North Carolina or other Southern states almost always involves driving on I-95. If you want to find an inexpensive, easy, and fun overnight stop along I95, then Pooler, Georgia near Savannah is the place to pull over for the night.
Pooler, GA is a two-exit destination that has more than enough to keep the whole family entertained during an overnight stopover. Driving from Orlando to Asheville, NC, Pooler is roughly half way between both destinations.
Located about an hour and a half from the Florida-Georgia state line, Pooler has four main draws to make it a fantastic overnight destination on I-95:
- Tanger Outlets
- Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum
- Great Hotels
- Lots of Shopping
It’s an easy on-off exit (there are actually two exits, depending on which attractions you want to see) and trying to find your hotel or destination won’t be hard. Here’s what to see – and where to stay – for a convenient and easy stop along I-95.
Tanger Outlets Savannah is indeed actually located in Pooler. The Exit 104 location has late hours so that you can sneak in some shopping after driving all day. Nearly 100 stores (there are more stores coming with a new addition….) makes this a destination that will suit anyone’s tastes. It’s more like a large outdoor mall, with rambling avenues lined with outlet stores promising cheap prices. There’s plenty of covered seating, lounge chairs, fountains and even an impressive playground area for the kids.
Not just shopping, but there are some fun dining locations, too, including Johnny Rocket’s. It’s definitely an I-95 exit destination that has something for everyone, whether you just want a convenient place to walk around and stretch your legs, or let the kids burn off some steam on the playground and get a hearty meal.
National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force
Perhaps you’ve seen the large aircraft (a B-47 Stratojet) on the side of I-95 while driving? They belong to the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, a convenient stop right off of exit 102.
This sprawling complex is way more than I had hoped for or imagined. After visiting, I can’t imagine driving by and not taking the opportunity to stop. Dedicated to the bravery of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, this museum seems to transcend the battles of one contingent fighting in World War II and opens a new generation’s eyes to the hefty challenge it took from all armed forces to fight for freedom against Hitler’s army.
Inside, you’ll find large aircraft on the ground and suspended from the ceiling, all massive testaments to the flying machines that fought for freedom. Walk around these pieces of history to get a full appreciation of the scope and scale of the war.
Definitely take time for The Mission Experience. Staffed by volunteers, the three-part immersion has you getting ready for a pre-flight briefing in a Nissen Hut, a domed building that would have been the office for the Air Force pilots during WWII. Then it’s on to the Flight Line, where you’ll see videos of what it was like for the ground crews to get the Air Force planes ready each and every day. Finally, take to the air with real archival footage of an 8th Air Force bombing mission, and see what it was like in the sky during a battle.
The Chapel of the Fallen Eagles is a surprise – and unlike anything that you’ve ever seen. The stone chapel was designed to resemble an English chapel, and inside is a collection of stained glass windows that pay homage to the pilots and members of the Air Force who were seeking divine protection while fighting against evil.
Hymns are played continuously, and benches allow for quiet reflection and prayer in the chapel.
Equally moving, and impressive, the Memorial Gardens are a quiet place to reflect and get a glimpse of how many men and women died fighting for freedom. You’ll see the traffic of I95 just beyond the memorials, yet somehow it doesn’t intrude on the tranquility of the Memorial Gardens.
The English theme continues (the 8th Air Force were based in England) with a recreated English pub named Miss Sophie’s Marketplace, where lunch is served daily (11 am – 2 pm). Stop in for a hearty meal, either a southern style buffet or order off of the menu, with affordable prices and friendly staff.
Even if you don’t pay the admission to get into the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum, it’s worth a stop. Outside, two ancient planes (F-4 Phantom and MIG-17A) are perfect for photo ops. Lots of picnic benches line the grassy areas ideal for stretching your legs. A great gift shop is located just inside the building, and you can eat in the pub without entering the museum.
See our video:
Best Western Plus
One of the best places to stay is the Best Western Plus Savannah Airport. Located adjacent to the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum in Pooler, the name is a little misleading, but don’t worry. It’s located just off of the I-95 exit and is quietly tucked away without much noise or traffic.
See my video room tour:
I researched a lot of hotels in Pooler – on both of the exits – and found the Best Western Plus Inn and Suites to be the best value (and one of the most affordable). This all-suites hotel gives its guests the luxury of suite living without an elevated price.
The 100% Non Smoking hotel (such a relief for people that are allergic to cigarette smoke, like me!) has large, spacious guest rooms equipped with modern amenities, including a microwave and refrigerator.
With luxury firm Euro pillow top mattresses, I slept so good that even I was amazed!
The bright and colorful lobby area (it even has a water wall feature) is spacious all day and offers up a complimentary Deluxe Hot Breakfast each morning. For other meals, there is a Cracker Barrel within walking distance (just about one parking lot away). The Free WiFi worked great, too! Plenty of oomph and speed for social media posting.
A saltwater indoor pool, fitness center and sauna round out the features of the Best Western Plus. If you were flying out – there is a complimentary shuttle service to the airport.
It’s just a short drive to the Tanger Outlets and shopping area (you don’t have to hop on I-95 again – there is a back way), where the more expensive room rates will be. Stay in a suite for less at the Best Western Plus and get more for your money.
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If you’re looking for some retail therapy, Pooler offers much more than just Tanger Outlets. The main road, Pooler Parkway, also has shops such as Ross, Home Depot, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Publix, Michaels, T.J. Maxx, Hibbett Sports and PetSmart.