Lay-over/overnight stops from Westchester County, New York to Gainesville, FL area

I’m planning to winter in Gainesville area and am looking for some recommendations for wonderful layover barns with outdoor places (round pens, walk-outs of stalls, small paddocks, etc.) for my horses to stay along the way. Ideally the place would have room for my husband, and me (and my dog) at the facility or somewhere very close by. We will probably make 2 or 3 layover stops along the way, so recommendations along the way in Maryland, VA, NC, SC, and even northernmost FL are welcome.

Additionally, I’d love thoughts/experiences on the route to take: 81 or 95? Or, any other routes?

Thank you!

There “used” to be a horse “motel” just i exit north of Lumberton, NC. (can’t remember the town - maybe St. Paul, NC) on #95. Try Google. #95 is the straightest route.

Start by Googling “horse motels.” Your first hit will be It’s usually pretty accurate. Always call and talk to the place first. That will give you a “first look” at the place and their approach.

As to routing, I-95 is flat, has lots of cities on it, is incredibly busy, and not a pleasant drive. I-81 is more rural, mountainous, but much less traffic. I’ve not looked at places to overnight. That may determine your route.

For a winter drive the advantage might be to 95 due to the mountainous terrain of of 81.


This place is great. We’ve stayed there a few times-many eventers heading south from New England stay with them. They’re in Fredericksburg, VA. There is a KOA camp ground with cabins right next door or plenty of hotels, restaurants, malls a couple of miles down the road. Big airy stalls, an attached paddock to one of the stalls I always use. Really nice people, good horsemen.

I’d go 95 any time after Christmas bc 81 is so steeeeeep but I do know plenty of people who use 81 in the wintertime! If you go 81, a great spot to stay is It may be too close to home for your trip south but could be perfect for your last stop on the way home.

Be safe.

Mt. Carmel Farm in Walterboro, SC is less than 10 minutes off I-95. Her name is Mo and it’s an awesome bed & breakfast. She has stalls that open to a small paddock and you don’t even have to un-hook your trailer. She makes way too much delicious food and makes you take all the leftovers, which come in handy on the final stretch of driving. She is dog friendly too. My current trainer does Aiken instead of Florida and I think I miss getting to stop at Mo’s the most! You should be able to find contact info if you Google it.

I don’t hate I-95, but I only have to do MD to Florida. I-81 can feel a lot more tiring to me to drive because of all the hills and big rigs…and there’s no Mo :slight_smile:

Safe travels!