Call me Ben :-) Here we go. If you are coming Jan 17, print this out.
The Port is the closest place you can go and still see the pad (for the public); you can get closer by going to the KSC VC, but you will only see it once it has launched and risen above the trees and structures there.
The Visitors Center is approx. six miles from the pad. Port Canaveral is 12.
You can also go to Titusville, but that is 14. From the Port, it will arc from left to right beautifully, whereas in Titusville it will be heading away from you. From the VC it will be somewhat left to right but not as wide.
To sum it up, the best place is the Port. If the sound matters more to you than a nice look and a clean visual, then by all means head to the VC. Stay in the parkling lot and you won't even have to pay!
The best place would normally be Playalinda Beach, at just five miles from pad 41. They were open for every Atlas 5 until MRO, so presumably NASA (who controls the refuge) closes it for their spacecraft; and given the RTG I am quite sure it will be again.
Directions to Port Canaveral:
You will need to get to the Beeline (now called the Beachline), Route 528, from wherever you are staying or driving from. Once on 528, regardless of which way you are coming from, you take the exit that is labeled with the giant *Blue* sign (that's what stands out more than anything!) marked "Terminal A/North Cargo Pier" and which heads off to CCAFS Gate 1.
When you exit it curves around and over the drawbridge. About 1/4 mile later, the road curves sharply to the right and at the same time it goes under an overpass. It is at and just past this curve that the best viewing is located. Pull your car over to the left (water) side of the road under the telephone poles.
Come early, at least two-three hours before, because it fills up for every launch and even more so for this one I'm sure. (Delta 4 Heavy was the most crowded I've ever seen it, both sides of the road were filled up with cars parking).
Do not go all the way to the gate and watch there. For one thing the view is blocked by land, and for another the security folks will chase you away.
The view will be like this:
How loud it will be from 12 miles depends mainly on the wind direction, but it will not be more than a moderately loud rumble at best. If you went to the VC, then it will be loud enough to crackle and rattle your bones to a good degree as long as there are not strong winds as well.
By the way, despite the RTG the safety lines remain the same so far. Press site 39 is the closest at 4 miles due west of the pad; the ASOC is about 4.5 miles away and due South of the pad. They both have nice views. The press usually has the option of travelling over to the South of the pad where there is a view that is across the water rather than the partial tree obscuration from the PS.
Enjoy. I hope that helps those of you coming. Feel free to ask any questions.