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Tamiami Trail - from Miami (Intl Airport) to Ft Myers

London, United...
posts: 14
reviews: 70
Tamiami Trail - from Miami (Intl Airport) to Ft Myers

Hello,

I am going to drive towards Fort Myers from Miami Intl. Airport in late September and would like to take some stops enroute. My current plan is to pick up a hire car at the airport on Saturday night, stay overnight close to the airport and set off early on Sunday morning. My first stop would be at Shark Valley, where I'd like to hire a bike for an hour or so. Then I would carry on to Big Cypress Gallery, Oasis Visitor Centre and maybe take a look at Big Cypress National Preserve before carrying on towards Fort Myers.

Is this doable in one day or is it just too ambitious? I travel on my own, so don't have to consider bored children/spouse. I will end up in St Pete Beach eventually and would like to stay overnight close to Sanibel Island on Sunday night, hence my plan to stay overnight close to Fort Myers (as I can't afford accommodation on the island itself). An alternative would be to stay overnight in Naples and head to Sanibel early on Monday morning - this may give me more time to spend in the various attractions on the road and maybe would be a better option?

Thanks very much for any advice local travellers can give me.

Fort Lauderdale...
posts: 6,513
reviews: 131
1. Re: Tamiami Trail - from Miami (Intl Airport) to Ft Myers

Id wait and grab your hire car early Sunday Morning. Why pay to park a rental car thats just going to sit over night ? You will most likely be awake very early on Sunday anyway, just get a good nights rest and save yourself the days rental/parking fees.

England
posts: 1,604
reviews: 40
2. Re: Tamiami Trail - from Miami (Intl Airport) to Ft Myers

Should be easily doable in the day. Try for an early start to get the most out of your planned visit to Shark valley and be sure to check out some of the roadside stops on US 41. HP Williams roadside park is a good place to see alligators but go a little further up Turner river road and chances are yoy will see more.

Places to stop off Sanibel would be either La Quina Inn and Suites or Hampton Inn BUT you are travelling in September so the prices on Sanibel will be at there lowest and you may well be able to afford a night there. Oceans reach condos are having a face lift (repainting) and cutting rates quite sharply, and they do nightly too. Most likely other places will be happy for your business at reduced rate - make them an offer.

Ipswich, United...
Destination Expert
for Malta
posts: 3,769
reviews: 82
3. Re: Tamiami Trail - from Miami (Intl Airport) to Ft Myers

Doable in a day. They are good places to stop.

Post 1 is a good point but it depends on several factors - how much cheaper a days less rental would be, cost of getting to the hotel and back to a car rental garage etc. (unless the hotel has a shuttle). Also by getting the car straight away you will be all set and won't have to mess around going to get/sort out the car which could take a couple of hours? Having the car already you can set off nice and early, though as said, you will probably be up at 4 or 5 anyway as you will still be on UK time...

London, United...
posts: 14
reviews: 70
4. Re: Tamiami Trail - from Miami (Intl Airport) to Ft Myers

Thank you very much for some good advice - I agree with g0akc about being all ready and set up - it doesn't make a difference to the cost of the hire car if I pick it up in the evening or the morning because of my drop-off time and when I hired a car at MIA before, I had to queue for an hour at the counter - I just don't want to do that at the start of what is going to be a very long day regardless of how early I'll be up.

Dewsburyman, thank you very much for the tips - I'll have a look out for HP Williams and Turner River Road. I'm glad to hear it can be all done in a day - that was my main concern, I would hate to rush through the day trying to pack in too much.. Thanks also for the good tips on Sanibel - I will definitely look into this closer to the time - I suspect that it's better to get a good rate if I wait until the last minute and if nothing is available on Sanibel, I should still be able to get accommodation at some of the chains along the way.

Ipswich, United...
Destination Expert
for Malta
posts: 3,769
reviews: 82
5. Re: Tamiami Trail - from Miami (Intl Airport) to Ft Myers

Getting the car the night before will also allow you to pop to the shops for groceries - I usually go and get a pack of bottled water and some fridge packs of coke etc. from Publix, Walmart etc. straight away - it saves a fortune compared to buying individual bottles from hotels or convenience stores.

We've had mixed sucess with getting accommodation along the way - it can use up a lot of time walking into motels to see if they have vaccancies. I usually take a copy of the Choice Hotels directory along (covers Comfort, Quality Inn, Econolodge etc. and you can pick up copies of accommodation brochures that will allow you to ring round a few places. If you call Choice (or other chains) they can at least advise on rates/availability in the area and you are not going to be stuck for somewhere to sleep. You can order a copy of the Choice directory now and have it delivered to your house in the UK - leave it in the US when finished with it.

6. Re: Tamiami Trail - from Miami (Intl Airport) to Ft Myers

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