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Getting onto the island on a Saturday in late April

cleveland
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Getting onto the island on a Saturday in late April

We visit AMI twice a year, but always in May and October when traffic is no concern. This year, we're arriving the last Saturday in April (six days after Easter). Dreading traffic.The good news is we're flexible, so here are my questions.

a) What time should we arrive? I'm thinking after 3 p.m....because I'm guessing most of the day trippers will have already arrived and some may be heading home.

b) What route in should we take? Considering the scenic Sarasota path up from St. Armands circle along the water because, at least if we're stuck in traffic, we'll see the water. But Cortez bridge or Bradenton would be fine, too. Whatever works best.

FYI: Our ultimate destination is north end of AMI.

AMI
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1. Re: Getting onto the island on a Saturday in late April

I'd bite the bullet and take Manatee Avenue all the way.

Spring break started here this week and you can really tell the difference. I think there will be a noticeable difference in traffic the last Saturday of April. The locals will be here but a lot of the tourists will be gone. If you check the rental agencies websites, most are booked through April12. April 19, some openings. April 26, lots.

UK
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2. Re: Getting onto the island on a Saturday in late April

I think your biggest problem will the a heaving publix (as the store there is small). If you have a collapsible cooler for your cold stuff, I might shop off island if you know your place will be ready when you get there.

I think the worst of the traffic will be past. After all, Easter is late this year.

As for the route, I guess that is ok, but if you are coming from TPA it is going the long way round. If coming from I75, a little longer so not as bad. And it is a great drive.

Fort Mitchell...
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3. Re: Getting onto the island on a Saturday in late April

What about Saturday April 5th? Staying on longboat. Earliest possible we could arrive is 10am.

Is there a best time of day to beat some of the traffic crossing the bridge?

Peace

cleveland
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4. Re: Getting onto the island on a Saturday in late April

Thanks for suggestions! I think the Manatee bullet may be the one to bite.

But a lot, for us, depends on grocery shopping. We are vegan and Publix doesn't meet all of our needs (although prior to being vegan, we always shopped the island Publix), so we need to stop at a Whole Foods on the way in...we're spending a few days in St. Augustine before arrival....so we can hit Whole Foods in Orlando, Tampa or Sarasota on Saturday before heading in..we have Costco cooler bags to keep things fresh.

Stopped at Tampa Whole Foods (the one closer to downtown) last time around on a Saturday -- it was cra-cra-crazy. Probably won't make a difference, but thought we'd try Whole Foods in Orlando or Sarasota this time around.

Saratoga Springs...
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5. Re: Getting onto the island on a Saturday in late April

There is also a Trader joe's in Sarasota:

www.traderjoes.com/stores/index.asp?q=34231

UK
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6. Re: Getting onto the island on a Saturday in late April

Probably a good decision.

10 am coming in from Longboat shouldn't be too bad, but you might find parking tight at the norther end in AM city and Holmes beach. Coquina should still be easy.

cleveland
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7. Re: Getting onto the island on a Saturday in late April

Ooooh. The Trader Joe's nearly seals it.... Now my husband says Trader Joe's is opening in Tampa, too...

Sarasota, Florida
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8. Re: Getting onto the island on a Saturday in late April

It's quite a trek from AMI to Trader Joes. More convenient to Siesta than to AMI. It's on South Tamiami Trail (U.S. 41).

Re the question on traffic to Longboat: if you're staying about mid Key or further South, come down I75 get off at Fruitville Road (exit 210) and come across via St. Armands. You'll get a little extra traffic around St. Armands and heading onto Longboat but nothing as serious as the traffic heading to the beach on AMI. There's a large Publix on Longboat, though that will be crowded on a Saturday. Alternatively there's a Publix on 10th Street and 41, a couple of blocks north of Fruitville, before you head over to Longboat.

9. Re: Getting onto the island on a Saturday in late April

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