More Florida Questions

Jan 2nd, 2012, 05:55 AM
  #1  
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More Florida Questions

We have finalized our dates and places for an upcoming trip to Florida, so now I am hoping to get some advice on how to spend the time there in terms of sightseeing, etc. DH and I don't know Florida well at all and don't get there too often given that we are mostly based on the West coast. I have visited South beach and I have made the drive up and back to Orlando to get there. We have also visited Epcot and Disney-so the whole Orlando area won't be a destination for this trip.

Here are our dates and places:

Land in Miami next Thursday January 12th (we will be coming to Europe and land in the afternoon, so I am kind of considering this day a wash-just pick up the car go to the hotel, visit a bit of South beach where we will be staying and crash)

Miami-Friday, the 13th (staying in South Beach)
Miami-Saturday, the 14th Miami
Drive to Sarasota Sunday the 15th
Drive back to Miami to catch an afternoon flight on Monday the 23rd of January

These dates and places are fixed and we do need to fly in and out of Miami given the rules of our frequent flyer tickets, so no changes there.

So here are the questions:

It would be great to take a slow more scenic route up to Sarasota and a faster route back to Miami given that we have a 3PM flight and will have a car to return. We are staying near Siesta Key once we get to the Sarasota area. Is there a slow scenic route anyone can suggest. I am guessing the fast way back will just be the major freeway that google maps routes us, 93/I-75

Another question is about visiting Everglades National Park. Is that something we should think of doing on the way up to Sarasota or maybe as a day trip from Miami, and is there one of the Park centers that makes a better visiting base than the others?

We haven't explored the Atlantic coast at all. Is it worth taking one of our Miami days to do this and if so, where would it make sense to visit? Are there any particularly cute must see places on this coast within good reach of Miami, or are we better just to spend our time in Miami itself?

Thanks for the help-since we don't get to this area very often it is tempting to try to do too much. We do like to drive though. Last year we did a 7000 mile trip around the US, so we do know about long driving trips! That said, we like a relaxed pace and just like to try good little ethnic places to eat in places we are visiting, and just enjoy the community ambiance in general, window shop, stroll around, etc. All our friends say the Sarasota is one of their favorite places in Florida, so we decided to spend a week in that area so we could see as much as possible there.

Of course, any food or visit tips for Miami and Sarasota are also welcome-but I can at least do some research more easily on those kind of things
jpie is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2012, 09:33 AM
  #2  
 
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Stop at Yodor's Restaurant in Sarasota for some Pie. It's excellent....http://yodersrestaurant.com/Restaurant.html

In Coconut Grove, try Le Bouchon. An excellent little French restaurant. http://lebouchondugrove.com/

St. Armands Circle has excellent food and shopping while in Sarasota: http://www.starmandscircleassoc.com/
globalgirl6324 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2012, 01:27 AM
  #3  
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Thanks global girl-Yoder's was on my list already for sure-especially for the chicken I will add the others.

Any other thoughts on whether to visit the everglades and further up the Atlantic coast anybody?
jpie is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2012, 05:55 AM
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Take Florida SR 27 from Miami until you hit SR 70 West. In Arcadia veer off to SR 72 which will take you directly to Sarasota (Clark Rd). Clark Rd will take you directly to the south bridge of Siesta Key. You will pass through small towns and get to see Lake Okeechobee. You will get a chance to see some of the inner Florida. For the most part it's a 2 lane hwy with little traffic. You will have to deal with some traffic lights and speed reductions going through towns.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2012, 08:18 AM
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I would return via US 41, perhaps taking a couple of days for the trip, perhaps making a stop in Ft Myers to see the how modestly the ultra-rich used to live at the Ford (Henry) and Edison (Thomas A) estates. You could then stop in Naples to see how differentl many of them live today.

41 takes you right across the northern edge of the Everglades -- lots of alligators to be seen -- and runs right next to MIA.

AAfrequentflyer, I did not know about SR 27. It sounds very intriguing.
Ackislander is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2012, 09:46 AM
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If you have not visited the Keys, you might consider the option on Saturday the 14th. You'll have a couple of hours down and back, but the Overseas Highway from Tavernier west is spectacular.

As a day trip you'll be stopping to walk the bridges, have lunch, hit the shops. If you decide to do, visit the Key West forums for a list of destinations.
stumpworks73 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2012, 10:30 AM
  #7  
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Thanks guys-I will take a look and consider it all. I am not hearing any advice to explore the Atlantic north towards Boca-is worth thinking about that whole area north of Miami. We won't try to do all of the above, but just wondering.
jpie is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2012, 10:43 AM
  #8  
 
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AAfrequentflyer, I did not know about SR 27. It sounds very intriguing.

It's a nice drive and actually it doesn't take much more time than the Alligator Alley/I-75 Route.

Just make sure you stay with 27 even though there will be other numbers (can't remember what the other numbers are), just trust your instincts and stay with 27 until you hit 70. Go west on 70 until you pass Arcadia and only then veer off to 72. It will take you directly to south Sarasota and straight to Siesta Key south bridge.

The best way to see the route is to go to www.Google.com, click on maps, ask for directions, and put in Miami, Florida to Gulf Gate Estates, Sarasota, Florida, then click on options, click on Avoid Hwys and toll roads, and GO.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2012, 10:37 PM
  #9  
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AAfreq-thanks for the detailed directions on how to get the route to show up-that is always the hardest thing with google maps!
jpie is offline  
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