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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    33

    Default Miami to New Orleans

    Hi fellow travellers,

    You helped me a few years ago and I'm hoping you will be able to help me again.

    We are 2 aussie middle aged couples planning our next USA holiday. We have been to the US a few times already and we are filling in the blanks. We plan to arrive in Miami in May.

    We are planning to go from Miami (fly in here and pick up a cruise). After the cruise we are going to get a car and head to New Orleans. We have been up to Savannah Georgia, Charleston, SC along the coast road before from Miami heading inland to Asheville, NC towards Nashville. For reasons mostly to do with the weather we didn't stop at Cape Canavarel and we regret that. I'm in two minds as to whether to try and squish it in somehow but I have a feeling it will be in the too hard basket as it will be on one side of the state and we will be travelling on the other side.

    I am hoping that you can point me to some great places to see along the coast road opposite to the one we have already travelled. We intend to leave Miami and head to Key West. On the way back perhaps see the Everglades, Sarasota for the circus or even Alligator Alley which, if we can see alligators, sounds exciting. We have about 10 days to do this leg. We intend to leave New Orleans, fly to Denver and collect another car but that plan hasn't started yet. We like picturesque and quirky but no hiking please although we are relatively fit and young at heart! ;) We enjoy a good quality wine as well. Getting off the beaten track is good - we can only handle the big highways for a while when they bore us to tears. If you could help me with this itinerary I would be very grateful. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Hi Flossy, and welcome back.

    I can relate to the problem of trying to fit in everything.... but hey! there's the reason for another trip. LOL

    The drive along the Keys is a 2.5 hour drive, and I have done it several times in that time. Last year I decided to take time to actually see the Keys. The Welcome Centre is full of the most wonderful information about the Keys. There is Old Seven, the old bridge, and longest section over water. On Big Pine and No Name Keys you can see the endangered smallest of deer species, Key Deer. Then there is the Wild Bird Centre. You won't see any of that driving the Keys in 2.5 hours. I am sure you will find more to interest you.

    That of course does not include all the attractions on Key West, which in itself is worth spending some time on.

    The Everglades are a wonderland of natural beauty and wildlife. Lots of small hikes and boardwalks. At Flamingo they have a boat ride which is worth taking. When I was there (2009) we saw aligators, crocodiles and numerous waterbirds, some which had been on successful fishing trips.

    Along Aligator Alley, stop off at the view points. We spotted aligators in the water from those platforms.

    Not being a beach person, I can't help you there. But should you decide to go to Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Centre, then you may also like to pass through Fort Pierce to see a mural covering two sides of one building. Spectacular! (You can see more photos of it in my field report, linked above.)

    Heading north from Miami and the Everglades, the road along the east side of Lake Okeechobee is a very pleasant drive with a sprinkling of accommodation along the way.

    Looks like you have a great trip ahead of you. Enjoy the planning.

    Lifey

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    33

    Default

    Hi Lifey! Thank you so much for pointing me in the right direction to read your report - you sure did have a ball! All the things you have mentioned for our trip sound fantastic to me and I'm sure our friends will think the same. We will definitely take our time getting from Miami to Key West so we can see the bird sanctuary, Old Seven Bridge and everything else the trip has to offer. So, once we have left Key West and heading back up, can you please tell me the route you think we should go in order to get in Cape Canaveral as well as the Everglades and Aligator Alley? The deer look so cute and I loved the way you just 'rolled' along in order to get your photos. Very clever! I love the look of the mural as well - I would love to see that! Thank you so much for your help. Every bit - however big or small - is greatly appreciated! Cheers, Flossy :)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default But you may prefer a different route.

    When I have been in that area, I have always stayed in Florida City or Homestead. Both are great jumping off points for the Keys and the Everglades... and that area is not as crowded as the coast. There is really only one way to the Keys, and one way to the Everglades, and it is very well signposted. Both routes go through Florida City - unless you want to take the toll road onto the Keys. Do you still have your maps from last trip?

    There are two scenic roads to Naples, on the west coast. The more southern one is route 41, the other is I-75 aka Aligator Alley. If you plan to go up the west side of Florida - and I am sure someone more familiar with it than I, will be along - then I would take Aligator Alley. If you plan to go up the east coast, I would take 41 to Naples and Aligator Alley back east.

    There are several routes north of Florida City, and most are scenic. Route 27 all the way to Kissemee is popular, but once you are north of Lake Placid, it tends to be mostly suburbia. To get to Fort Pierce, and seeing you have driven the coast road before, check out 27 to South Bay, and then 441 to Okeechobee, from where 70 takes you directly to Fort Pierce. Since highway 1 from there to Cape Canaveral is very busy, you're probably best off on I-95 for that leg.

    Check out your maps and see what you and your travelling companions think. There are other options, these are just the roads I drove last trip. I have on previous trips taken other routes.

    The rest of FL and onto NOLA I will leave up to others. I have not spent a great deal of time on those routes / in those areas.

    Lifey

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    33

    Default

    Thank you so much for taking the time to answer me, Lifey! I so much appreciate it. I still have the maps but they are currently with our friends we will be travelling with (they got the leg from Denver to Seattle to plan) so I can't look at them right now but I have a general idea of what you are describing and Google maps comes in handy! You have certainly given me a good head start. Now all I need is for some others to give me a hand about the west coast of Florida up to NOLA and I'll be laughing (like a kookaburra) LOL

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Kennedy Space Center/Cape Canaveral was very interesting to us, this past summer. We took the bus tour. It drops you off in 2 different places. You can stay as long as you want at each stop and then take another bus (you aren't stuck with the same bus) to the next stop. The first stop is at an observation building where you can get a good look at the VAB (Vehicle Assembly Bldg) and at Launch Pads 39A and 39B. (There are no stops currently in the VAB.) The second stop is at the Apollo building which is a HUGE museum dedicated to the Apollo program. It introduces you to the Mercury and Gemini program, but then goes into Apollo. A Saturn V rocket is on its side the length of the building, with descriptions. There are all kinds of things to see, including the Lunar Module, one of the moon cars, moon rocks, space suits, the van that took the astronauts out to the spacecraft on the launch pad, and so much more. We were in there for several hours and could have spent more if we were not trying to get to JAX for the night. Click here to see my photos from KSC and Cocoa Beach. (Bear in mind that these photos are on a TV show fan website. "I Dream of Jeannie" was set in 1960s Cocoa Beach and at Cape Canaveral/Kennedy Space Center. So the comments with some of the photos may relate to that.)

    We used I-95 from just west of KSC all the way up to SC, and did not find the traffic bad. (Then again, we are used to San Diego and Los Angeles traffic!)

    We used I-10 from southern Mississippi as far as I-75 south. It's typical interstate. The day we drove that, it poured down rain. Our windshield wipers got quite a workout.

    Donna
    Last edited by DonnaR57; 01-05-2013 at 08:17 PM. Reason: added link to photos

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default That's right.... and so much more....

    And Donna did not even mention the movie, really worth watching first. If I call correctly it is in 3D. (It is some years since I was there.)

    There is a reason why the tickets give you two days admission.

    Lifey

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    33

    Default

    Thanks for sharing your photos Donna. I can't say I would make a good astranaut either cuz that Mercury capsule would have done my head in! LOL I really think we should not miss the KSC this time around even if we have to go out of our way a bit. The 3D moving sounds great too. I'm starting to get an idea of things to see and do as well as a route to take. Thanks heaps!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    33

    Default

    Hey guys, I'm back! We are doing this trip in May. Flights booked, etc. Yay! We are leaving New Orleans on 21 May and arriving in Miami on 27 May. This is part of a 7 week trip taking in Italy, Spain, Turkey, a cruise to Western Caribbean and more parts of USA. My question is, what towns do you suggest we park our weary heads on the leg from New Orleans to Miami and why? Much appreciate everything you have done for me.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    33

    Default

    Oh and I should have said we are not going to Cape Canaveral. The route we are taking is Biloxi, Pensacola, Seaside, Panama City Beach, Tallahassee, Manatee Springs, Cedar Key, Crystal River OR Ocala, Anna Maria Island, Longboat Key, Sarasota, Siesta Key, Fort Myers, Sanibel Island, Collier-Seminole State Park, Naples, Florida City, Big Pine Key, Key West and up to Miami. I hope that makes things a little clearer!!

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