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need help planning trip across route 41

Dublin, Ohio
posts: 4
need help planning trip across route 41

we will be driving from ohio and driving down the gulf side starting our trip in sanibel. we will be spending a day on sanibel to visit ding darling and the beaches. then head to visit cork screw swamp and fakahatchee strand preserve state park. should we stay in the naples area or is there a better area in between the 2? then we will be driving across 41 to homestead to visit coral castle. is there a part of the everglades in that area that's a must see and should we stay in homestead or florida city? since we have never been, it's hard to plan how much time we will need and where is the best places to stay so we are not spending so much time driving between places. from here we will be driving up the atlantic side back to ohio. i should mention we are photographers and will be doing a lot of photography so if anyone has advise and areas (walking) to see a lot of wildlife that would be helpful. we are also bring one of our dogs, she is only 8 lbs and most likely i will have her in a backpack carrier. thank you for all the help and tips, i appreciate it......

Knoxville
posts: 1,989
reviews: 7
1. Re: need help planning trip across route 41

I would recommend staying at Port of the Islands Resort on Tamiami Trail (41), instead of Naples and Homestead or Florida City. That way, you will be right on the western edge of the Everglades, and will easily get the experiences you are looking for! You can stop at Oasis Visitor Center, but should DEFINITELY plan to stop at Shark Valley. Shark Valley is a 16-mile loop through the Everglades in which you can rent a bike and ride, take a tram tour, or just walk around some. There are TONS of alligators and exotic birds . . . GREAT way to see the Glades!!

http://poiresort.com

nps.gov/ever/planyourvisit/svdirections.htm

Dublin, Ohio
posts: 4
2. Re: need help planning trip across route 41

thanks for your reply. i was thinking shark valley sounded fun. i just made up an itinerary, let me know your thoughts if this can be done..... we are early risers and like to get out and see and do as much as we can.

drive to florida

2 days in sanibel

1 day at corkscrew swamp and fakahatchee strand, staying at port of the islands resort

1 day driving across 41 to homestead and doing coral castle, stay in homestead

1 day at shark valley and anhinga trail, stay in homestead

drive to wellington to stay with a friend

drive back to ohio

thanks again for the help.....

Fort Lauderdale...
posts: 4,895
reviews: 110
3. Re: need help planning trip across route 41

What are your travel dates ? If you're going to see the Coral Castle you should also plan time to see the Anhinga Trail at the South entrance of ENP. Shark Valley is excellent but does not lend itself to walking the entire trail. you'll also want to save some time and stop in Clyde Butchers gallery, its easy on/off from 41 and just south of the Oasis visitors center.

Tampa, Florida
posts: 6,306
4. Re: need help planning trip across route 41

On your way across 41 and a little after Shark Valley there's the Clyde Butcher art gallery. He's known for his black and white photos of Everglades scenes and wildlife.

Not much to choose between Homestead and Florida City. They're not exactly what I would call tourist cities. But the eastern entrance to the Everglades is near Florida City and many visitors like to walk the Anhinga Trail. Stop at the visitor center for details and for other things to see in this part of the E.

Naples, Fl
posts: 637
reviews: 2
5. Re: need help planning trip across route 41

Just after Oasis visitor center in the Big Cypress is Clyde Butcher's studio ( it is about 1 mi on the right - south) sometimes he is actually in, regardless talk to the studio people there as they may have some more photo spots in the everglades. http://clydebutcher.com/

Actually I think they have a cottage to rent, which would be way cooler than Port of the islands

Edited: 8:26 am, May 01, 2013
Knoxville
posts: 1,989
reviews: 7
6. Re: need help planning trip across route 41

It would be kind of neat to rent a cottage at Clyde Butchers, but depending on what you want in accomodations, it might not fit the bill. Keep in mind, it won't have the amenities that POI has. We love the huge pool, game room, internet access, etc. that POI offers. If that stuff is important to you, then be aware of what you will/will not get when choosing accomodations.

Your agenda looks pretty good, but if it were me, I would cancel out the stay in Homestead for a longer time elsewhere. I don't like to pack up and move often, so that is why I make that suggestion. Homestead is kind of cool to drive through, but I wouldn't necessarily book a night there (not needed).

Edited: 11:45 am, May 01, 2013
Fort Lauderdale...
posts: 4,895
reviews: 110
7. Re: need help planning trip across route 41

Your plans seam to include some back tracking to me. Id do Shark Valley on my way to Homestead, then followup the next day with an early morning stop at the Anhinga Trail and an afternoon at the Coral Castle. Be sure to grab a tropical shake at Robert is Here, you'll pass it on the way to/from Anhinga Trail.

What time of the year are you visiting ?

Dublin, Ohio
posts: 4
8. Re: need help planning trip across route 41

we are going the first week of november. i picked homestead to stay since coral castle is near by as well as the anhinga trail. we could stop at shark valley but we will have our dog with us so i thought about renting bikes and she would be in a dog backpack. not sure if shark valley is worth the stop or spend time along 41 and do anhinga trail and coral castle. i wish we had more time, but will spend 4 days of vacation in driving to and from florida so i'm trying to have everything make sense and plan the best route to fit it all in....

thank you so much for all the tips and help, i appreciate it.

Fort Lauderdale...
posts: 4,895
reviews: 110
9. Re: need help planning trip across route 41

If you're doing Shark Valley please do try and get there early, during the season there can be wait times to get in the park, rent bikes etc. Also keep in mind you dont need to do the loop if you bike it. Most of the wildlife is found in an around the canal side of the trail, we bike down and back the same side. If you're just after pictures, the area close to the entrance is great, usually plenty of gators, birds etc.

Dublin, Ohio
posts: 4
10. Re: need help planning trip across route 41

i just called POI and they don't allow pets and we will have our dog with us. since we will be doing 2 days in sanibel and 1 day at corkscrew swamp and fakahatchee strand, and ideas of a general location between all 3 to look for hotels so we are not spending all of our time driving back and forth?

again thanks for the help, we travel to florida all the time, but this is a first doing a road trip and doing the everglades.