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Best route - Keys to Naples and Naples to Miami Apt

Liverpool
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Best route - Keys to Naples and Naples to Miami Apt

Hi Folks. We are looking for the best route to take from the Upper Keys to Naples which will have somewhere to stop and spend a couple of hours in the afternoon. Thinking about an airboat ride or similar in the Everglades.

Also looking for the best/quickest route from Naples to Miami Apt. Need to be there for about 8 am on a Wednesday. How long is it likely to take?

Thanks

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1. Re: Best route - Keys to Naples and Naples to Miami Apt

I would think the best route from the keys to Naples would be the Turnpike North to I-75 North. Naples exits will start at exit 101 there ar 4 exits in all in Naples (101, 105, 107 & 111) so depending on where you are going in Naples you would get off one of these exits. Google maps gives good directions.

An airbort ride in the Everglades would be a good idea. It would take you about 45-50 before Naples. Depending on where in the keys you are coming from it could take between 3 and 4 hours to get to Naples.

It will take a minimum of 2 hours to get to the airport in Miami. Is your flight at 8 am or is that when you plan to check in. If it's your check in time then I'd leave at 5 am. There will likely be no traffic at that hour barring no major accident or brush fires along alligator alley. Maybe you're better off spending the night before your flight in Miami. Maybe South Beach?

Have fun!

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2. Re: Best route - Keys to Naples and Naples to Miami Apt

Personally I prefer the US 41 Tamiami Trail to the I75 - the later is a faster road, especially at night, but the 41 is more interesting if you can afford to take your time.

There are several airboat rides and other attractions along the US41.

I also prefer the US41 for getting to the airport from Naples. The 41 takes you near to the airport. You go through a built up area and take a left on LeJeune Road or one of a number along the route. I assume you will have a rental car to return so the exact approach will depend on which depot your car has to go back to. There are plenty of petrol stations along there if you need to refill the car, but be aware that some attendants only speak Spanish (that shouldn't cause too much of an issue and there is usually an English speaking person around). Allow about 3 1/2 hours for this route.

All that said, the I75, Turnpike and 836 Dolphin expressway may be better at that time in the morning and will save you about 40 mins. Have some change ready for the toll booth on the I75 and get a local map from the car rental company.

Liverpool
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3. Re: Best route - Keys to Naples and Naples to Miami Apt

Thanks folks. Is the airport well signposted coming in from the 75? Our rental car is from Alamo.

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4. Re: Best route - Keys to Naples and Naples to Miami Apt

Yes it is.

Sydney
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5. Re: Best route - Keys to Naples and Naples to Miami Apt

Hi,

Since this post asks similar questions to those I had in mind and has received the kind of info that I am also looking for I thought I'd 'hijack' it. :-)

So what's the best route from Naples all the way down to Key West and how long would it take?

Mapquest advises me to take Road 41 and I'm guess it would take 5.5-6 hours without stops. Is this assumption correct? Is Road 41 the better, more 'scenic, perhaps also less congested, option to I-75?

And where would be a reputable place for my family do take one of those airboat rides? How long would it take? We do not want to rush but on the other hand we do need to get to Kew West same day. Does the Parks Service run/sanction such tours somewhere along 41?

Thanks in Advance for any input,

CP

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6. Re: Best route - Keys to Naples and Naples to Miami Apt

I've done just that several times. The US41 Tamiami Trail is much more scenic that the I75. There's wilderness/swamp either side of the single lane road most of the way usually with plenty of wildlife such as Egrets. It's single lane and note there is a speed restriction at night or if raining. Put your dipped headlights on even in the daytime.

My TomTom GPS says 6 hours 21 minutes Naples to Key West - 244 miles. The I75 would be further, but quicker, with some tolls.

As you approach Miami you have a choice - you can either turn right onto the 997 to Homestead or carry on and head S on the US1. The 997 is a slower road but more scenic. Drive carefully as you get a lot of people trying to overtake etc. Get on the US1 at Florida City and follow that through the Keys to KW. there have been some roadworks meaning people sometimes take CSR (Card Sound Road) at Florida City - more on the KW forum about that - but should be finished soon I believe.

For airboats try;

http://www.epat.cc/ which is closest to Naples. There are plenty of others which are all OK such as Jungle Ervs, Wootens and so on. Some are located in Everglades City which is just off the US41. There are also Native Indian locations that offer shops, restrooms, airboats and other activities along the route. Airboats take about an hour - allow time for booking in. Look out for any discount tokens in maps/leaflets. It's customary/appreciated to give the Captain a tip (particularly if he did a good job). Decide if you want to go through Mangrove tunnels or open 'river of grass'.

Call in at the Tourist Info which is about 25 miles from Naples - near the Sheriffs Office.

Once you get in to the Keys there are Tourist info offices and loads of other attractions to break up the journey.

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7. Re: Best route - Keys to Naples and Naples to Miami Apt

Nixy9 - note that the Alamo depot is located off airport with a transfer bus. I believe all the car rental companies are the same.

There are plenty of signs for the airport. Once you get closer follow signs for 'rental return'. You should eventually see signs for Alamo.

The depot is in an industrial area.

I have one of their maps here which has all the details - you should be able to get one from them when you pick the car up.

Sydney
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8. Re: Best route - Keys to Naples and Naples to Miami Apt

Advice much appreciated.

Regretfully, with so little time to get down to the Keys we may have to give up on the airboat...or take the shorter (35-45min) - and consequently cheaper - tours offered by Coopertown Airboats.

In your experience, is there an appreciable difference between what we're likely to see of the Everglades in the area of Everglades City, Coopertown, or indeed from the car as we travel along Rd. 41?

I realise the Evergaldes is vital ecologically speaking but, when pressed for time, I think a quick glimpse will suffice.

Thabks Again,

CP

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9. Re: Best route - Keys to Naples and Naples to Miami Apt

It's generally the same in any of those locations. A 30 min tour will be fine in your situation.

There are also couple of boardwalks you could take a 15 minute stroll along. Take some mozzie repellent if you do though.

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10. Re: Best route - Keys to Naples and Naples to Miami Apt

I guess most if not all the airboat operators would offer you a shorter tour if you wanted it. It would of course depend on how busy they were.

They are not cheap rides at typically 40 USD per adult (worse if there are 4 of you) but worthwhile for a 'once in a lifetime' treat.

We've been twice but my wife wants to go on one again when we are in FL in a couple of months.....

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