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Old 04-09-2008, 05:16 PM
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Id like to start around Pensacola and follow the coastline all the way around to Jacksonville area . It is possible to do this considering the everglades ? Have you done this ? How long did you take to do it ? Did you find it enjoyable ? And, what tips can u give me ? Thanks. I want to do it in the month of Feb.
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Old 04-09-2008, 08:21 PM
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
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We did a similar thing--I'd never been to the West Coast of Fl., so we drove from Jacksonville across to I-75--but we didn't get on the interstate. We took a secondary road (40?? I can't remember!) and travelled down the coast! Stopped in Clearwater, spent the night, had dinner and drinks and music on a pier and then started driving the next morning! Just ambled on, until we hit the Sarasota area, where we stumbled onto Lido Key! We never went any farther on that trip! Great lovely place!
Later, we did make to to Punta Gorda (pre-hurricane), but went no further south.
Just take your time and enjoy! There are worse places to be in February!!!!
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Old 04-10-2008, 12:26 PM
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That's one long drive, some of it skippable, taking maybe 4 days of long driving going on local state routes if you skip the interstates. Is your intention to get relaxed scenic drives? You don't really get any coastal routes between, say directly south of Tallahasse to Port Richey as its all swampy....and again you have the everglade swamps in the southern tip, and not many roads. Also, some of the sections on A1A, the eastern coast route, are very busy, through tacky towns with T-shirt shops, and you don't see the beach the whole route as they are hidden by dunes (at best) or look alike-condo's (at the worst) almost the entire route.

There are some memorable routes - sections from Ormand Beach north to St. Augustine, stretches south of Palm Bay south to Jupiter, and of course the highway going out to Key West. Gulf coast routes are skippable as well.
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Old 04-12-2008, 12:39 PM
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I want to do this for at least 4 weeks and up to 8 if need be. I wont be any rush at all. Id imagine 4-8 weeks would allow me to take everything in along the way around Florida. Whats the deal on Miami ?? Im hearing its a place to stay away from due to crime. I dont want to appear on C.S.I. in thier morgue ! Lastly, is it worth doing the Keys all the way to the end ? The sort of things im into are : Photography, Sight seeing, para-sailing, beaches, caribbean music, fine seafood restaurants .. buffets in particular, astronomy, pistol shooting, biking, and classic car shows. Thanks.
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Old 04-13-2008, 07:04 AM
Location: Sunny Naples Florida :)
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Well coming down the west coast of Florida, Naples is the end of the line as far as driving the coast its the last town on the west coast of Fla, I75 stops in Naples and you must then drive across the state through the everglades on Alligator Alley. That will then bring you over to Ft. Lauderdale where you can turn north and head back up to Jacksonville. You'll miss the Keys and some of the East coast unless you want to drive down. Miami is the about 30mins south of Ft. Lauderdale. From Miami its Its about 3 hours south , in horrific traffic, to the Keys..
Key West can practically be done in a day, its 2 mile x 4 miles big. Its going to be hard to even get around Key West in a car because the streets are so narrow and filled with people so if you plan on staying more than a day either walk around or rent a moped. Driving will be difficult to say the least.. IMO Its not worth the drive to go down to Key West, then come back up to Miami again.. That will be the only way to do it.
Miami is nothing special either. Its filled with Illegals and gangs.. Stay away from downtown Miami. .Stick more to South Beach and out of the city. I would dread any time we'd have to drive to Miami for anything. The traffic in Miami is going to be horrendous also, but with as much time as you are saying you're going to take you'll be okay.

.. As far as driving.. Well from Pensacola to Naples its 9 hours... From Naples to Miami its 3 hours , From Miami to Jacksonville its 5 hours. Thats nonstop and they're doing major construction on I-75 the entire way down, particularly at night time, and they'll have it down to one lane (its only a 2 lane highway anyways) .Although it follows the coast line its quite inland and it'll be a drive to actually see the coast , the drive will mostly just be flat swamp land and, fields of nothing or trees for hours.. What towns are you planning on stopping in? I-75 isn't even attainable to drive on till about Tampa where it parallels the coast inland..
I believe 41 is the only other major highway on the west coast that paralles the coast and its not actually a highways. It'll have stop lights the entire way and runs straight through towns... (its also known as Tamiami Trl.)

Last edited by Tarastomsgirl; 04-13-2008 at 07:21 AM..
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Old 04-14-2008, 06:24 PM
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I disagree and feel that a trip down to Key West is worth it. I just drove from Miami to Key West 2 weeks ago and although it was long it was well worth it. The traffic was not that bad but it is probably best to avoid the area from late Feb through the month of March because of the spring breakers. If you go you should definitely go as early in Feb as possible.

The views along the way are breathtaking(I have never seen such beautiful water) and I love the architecture of Key West. It has a very tropical bohemian feel and I love cruising the neighborhoods to look at the houses.

If you love Caribbean food than you should not avoid Miami. It has a great dining scene with plenty of seafood and Caribbean restaurants. There are definitely areas you should avoid but I stayed downtown in the design district and never felt in danger. Brickell, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, and Bal Harbor are all very nice areas.

Good luck with your trip and enjoy!
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