Actual driving times in western Florida

Old Jun 13th, 2004, 11:23 AM
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Actual driving times in western Florida

Later this month we will fly to Florida to look for a home. A cousin of ours said we could stay at her apt. in Naples. My question is, not knowing the actual traffic patterns I don't know if the info. we got from mapquest is correct as to how long it will take to go to certain cities from Naples and then return to sleep there. Are these cities doable in one day or should we book hotels?
Punta Gorda? Sarasota?
Tampa? Citrus Hills? New Port Richey? Thanks. We will be driving both weekdays and weekends if that makes a difference.
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Old Jun 13th, 2004, 12:13 PM
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Go to mapquest.com Click on "driving directions". You can then put in your from and to destinations, and you don't need all the info they ask for. Just city and town will suffice. They will then give you distance, driving directions, maps, etc. for where you're going to.
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Old Jun 13th, 2004, 12:23 PM
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I DID do the mapquest search. My question is for people who are familiar with the traffic patterns, would they suggest driving back and forth from Naples each day?
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Old Jun 13th, 2004, 12:37 PM
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This time of year the traffic is a little less hectic but still heavy on I 75, etc. but day trips are easy to Punta Gorda (about 1 hr or more if there iare heavy thunderstorms which can delay) Sarasota will be 1.5 hrs to 2 hrs. depending on I-75.

A tampa day trip is a stretch. I'd book a couple of nights up in the Tampa area. Traffic there seems always to be heavy. More trucks on I 75 during the week. Consider that I-75 is main corridor from the midwest and west to Miami and you will understand the traffic flow better. Lots of trucks.

I live in Fort Myers about 45 min to 1 hr. north of Naples. LMF
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Old Jun 13th, 2004, 12:39 PM
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It will take awhile to get from Naples to these places (I don't know Citrus Hills) and back. I suggest you go to Punta Gorda and Sarasota in one day, and stay in Sarasota for a night. Then next day head into St. Petersburg/Tampa for a tour, then up to New Port Richey. If you don't mind night driving then head back that evening to Naples. If you think you'd like to see more of one city then stay overnight wherever that may be. You will be traveling during the low season in Florida and will be able to find reasonable accomodations virtually anywhere.

It is about 2.25 hrs. from Naples to Tampa, with no traffic, on the interstate. Traffic is awful during the winter but you should have no problems in June or July. Do not take Hwy. 19 north from Clearwater to New Port Richey. That road is stop and go with lots of traffic. Instead take the Veterans Expressway from Tampa and head west. Consult a map for best directions.
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Old Jun 13th, 2004, 03:51 PM
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Thanks LilMsFodie and Tandoori Girl. Your responses were exactly what I was hoping to get from the locals. Especially with the price of gas we didn't want to be idleing for hours in traffic.
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Old Jun 13th, 2004, 04:14 PM
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traffic is lighter in the summer but slowed by construction projects and thunderstorms. Just include extra time and you will be fine.

Are your retiring from teaching or looking for work as well. Most systems are hiring. LMF
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Old Jun 13th, 2004, 05:11 PM
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Since I still have 4 more days to teach I can't say that I'm already planning to go back into a high school after teaching for 34 years!! However, I may look into a community college job if my license is accepted by Florida.
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Old Jun 13th, 2004, 06:58 PM
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LN
 
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Hi

If you are considering going back to teaching on a part time gbasis you might look at the Sarasota area. University of South Florida is there as well as the Ringling College and there's communities colleges there as well. There's a tremendous amount of interesting things going on in Sarasota all the time and yet it maintains its smaller city atmosphere. The barrier island beaches (Anna Maria, Longboat Key, and Siesta Key are about the nicest beaches you'll find anywhere. HOmes are still fairly reasonable (in comparison to other cities) and I believe it ranked quite high as one of the best cities to live in.

Punta Gorda is a lovely place; we were planning to move there once - but we found that we liked the Longboat Key/Sarasota area much better and we sold our property in Punta Gorda and we've been much happier.
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