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Tampa or Sarasota for arrival to LBK

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Tampa or Sarasota for arrival to LBK

I am planning to travel to LBK for the first time with my family in August, and I am trying to determine if it is best to fly into Sarasota or Tampa. I understand that Sarasota is closer, however there is a significant savings in flight prices when flying into Tampa. Any thoughts from travlers for the differences? How much travel time is there between Tampa and Longboat? I appreciate any information!

Tampa, Florida
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1. Re: Tampa or Sarasota for arrival to LBK

Tampa airport to LBK will be about 1 hr 15 min depending on traffic. And it is a straightforward drive.

Sarasota, Florida
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for Sarasota, Longboat Key
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2. Re: Tampa or Sarasota for arrival to LBK

When I drive to Tampa it takes me 1 hour 20 minutes on a good day and maybe 1 hour 35 if I hit some traffic. It is about 75 miles, depending on where you go on Longboat. Much of the way is 65 mph or 70 mph interstate, however when you get to the Sarasota area the last 15 miles will be city streets with a speed limit of 35 to 45 or 50 mph. Don't forget to add in time to get your rental car in Tampa too; it's in a separate building or offsite.

The Sarasota airport is obviously much closer and will save you at least an hour or more each way in travel time. From the Sarasota airport to mid-Key on Longboat is only 10 miles and should take you 20 minutes, probably less. Also, in Sarasota the rental cars are directly outside the baggage claim exit; no lengthy wait or walk. And since Sarasota is a small airport -- there are only thirteen gates -- security lines tend to be very, very short; that makes your departure a breeze.

We fly out of SRQ whenever we can and definitely if the flight time is an early morning departure or if arrival or departure is during a rush hour in Tampa.

Edited: 04 June 2013, 21:21
Louisville, KY.
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3. Re: Tampa or Sarasota for arrival to LBK

I always go into Sarasota. It's fast and you don't have the hassle of a large airport like Tampa. Easy in and out.

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4. Re: Tampa or Sarasota for arrival to LBK

We were just in Sarasota over Memorial Day Weekend and decided to fly into TPA because we like the times and it was cheaper--easy drive it only took us 1 hour and no traffic Friday night or Monday evening (holiday weekend). Also, TPA airport is very easy the car rentals are across from the baggage claim very quick and easy on the return also (we use Enterprise) we are going back over July 4 weekend and doing the same thing!

Memphis, Tennessee
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5. Re: Tampa or Sarasota for arrival to LBK

Thanks for all of the helpful information. We haven't booked our flights yet and continue to watch the prices, so we may go the Tampa route given it will offer several hundred dollars in savings. This will be our first time in the area so we are looking forward to it!

Tampa, Florida
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6. Re: Tampa or Sarasota for arrival to LBK

lovebeach99, have you considered driving? It is less than 800 miles to Tampa which you could do in one go or take a more leisurely drive and stop somewhere for one night. It will certainly be much less expensive than flying and you would not have to rent a car if you drive yourself.

The route is very easy via Birmingham, Columbus and Tifton where you will pick up I-75 to Tampa.

7. Re: Tampa or Sarasota for arrival to LBK

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