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Miami to Sanibel, best route?

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montana
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200 posts
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Miami to Sanibel, best route?

We are driving from the Port of Miami to Sanibel Island after our cruise. It will be a Monday morning, around 9:00 when we get off the ship. We will be renting a car. Any advice on avoiding traffic, sight seeing, and finding the best route. Map quest has us taking the interstates up to Ft. Lauderdale and then across Alligator Alley, but I was wondering if it was easier to go south and then across through the everglades. Which is better? Will we see alligators??

Liverpool, England
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for St. Pete Beach
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1. Re: Miami to Sanibel, best route?

Your best bet is to head up on the route you mention, the best chance of seeing alligators is on Alligator Alley, the Interstate is always busy but you are heading out of Miami so it shouldn't be as bad as the other way. At the end of Alligator Alley head north and you will easily find Sanibel.

PS Don't pick up any hitchhikers with very long noses!

Miami, FL
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for Miami, Miami Beach
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2. Re: Miami to Sanibel, best route?

The route you were given (I-75) is certainly faster, but as boring as white bread.

Slower, but way more interesting is US-41 (The Tamiami Trail). Especially if you take the time to sightsee a bit. You pass through the Miccosukee Indian Reservation. You can visit Shark Valley in the National Park; take Route 29 just a short distance to Everglades City (Have lunch on the veranda of the century old Rod & Gun Club) & Chokoloskee; visit Naples. You will likely see gators if you drive slowly & look for them in the canals, esp. where there are signs marking "strands" or "sloughs," or where you see birders or people with cameras on the road side.

South Florida...
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for Miami, Key Largo
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3. Re: Miami to Sanibel, best route?

I agree with MattFL - you are going to have to pick between speed and scene. Another fun stop on US 41 is the Clyde Butcher photo gallery. There is usually a gator somewhere around his property. The black & white photos he takes are amazing.

4. Re: Miami to Sanibel, best route?

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