Friday, July 12, 2013

Your Favorite Interstate Exits: I-75 in Florida

English: Beach at Wulfert, Sanibel Island, Flo...
English: Beach at Wulfert, Sanibel Island, Florida, looking north towards Captiva Island (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Although it had a long trek through Georgia, Interstate 75 spends much more time in Florida, where the highway ends its journey south. Along its 470 miles, I-75 links Lake City, Gainsville, Ocala, Tampa, Bradenton, Port Charlotte, Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Naples and Hialeah. Attractions near this interstate include the Gulf Beaches, Silver Springs, Weeki Wachee, Sanibel Island, Captiva Island, Marco Island, Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, Ichetucknee Springs State Park, the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, and the Atlantic Ocean beaches near Fort Lauderdale. In addition, Orlando and its many activities including Universal Studios and Walt Disney World is just a short drive away from I-75. The southern section of this interstate travels across the state and does have a toll in some areas.

Many times when I am leaving the Tampa area to return to Ohio, I leave at 4:00 in the morning so I can complete the trip in one day. The fog can be quite thick along this interstate, so be careful. Also rain storms along this road can be quite intense especially in the summer. Drivers who find themselves unable to continue driving in a heavy downpour should be cautious when pulling over to the side of the road. Florida interstates frequently have canals or large ditches running along the outside of the road.

Please share with other drivers your experiences as to which exits are best for single travelers or anyone for that matter. Reasons for the choice may include the safety of the surrounding area, the availability of good hotels and restaurants or proximity to the interstate. Please make sure to give the exit number or a description of the location. For example, when I discuss I-40, I would recommend Exit 145 in Oklahoma City. Many hotels and restaurants were located at this exit and I felt safe in the area. This exit was very convenient for easily continuing west without the hassle of dealing with early morning rush hour traffic.

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