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Jun 4, 2013 02:36 AM

Anything to eat along Alligator Alley?

Driving to Miami Airport from Sarasota on Thursday. Any restaurant recommendations along this route? Having driven it before, it looks like no much available. But there may be a hidden gem???

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  1. there's plenty to choose from until you get to Naples -- after that, there's a convenience store in the middle of the state on the Miccosukee reservation, and then absolutely nothing til you hit the outer reaches of Miami.

    But there is absolutely nothing -- no exits, no rest stops, no buildings of any kind --- other than that -- you're driving through Everglades National Park. Make sure you've got enough fuel to get across the state (there's fuel at the reservation, but it's as expensive as you'd expect -- when you're the only option, you get to set the price!)

    Do keep your eyes open for Florida panthers (sightings are rare of this extremely endangered big cat) and alligators (a dime a dozen in the canals that line the highway)

    1 Reply
    1. re: sunshine842

      As I expected! I will fill up the gas, bring sandwiches and water, and be on the lookout. Tx.

    2. Skip The Alley and drive Old 41. Much better drive and more to look at. You'll actually see alligators too! I had some interesting seafood in a little restaurant in Chokoloskee. There's a few little places along the road with some very local eats.

      4 Replies
      1. re: retloctt

        Hmmmm. Normally, I might try it, but given the weather, I think I-75 may be a better bet this time. I'll keep it in mind for the future. Thanks.

        1. re: retloctt

          my son decided he was going to count the alligators he saw in the ditches along 75.

          He gave up after 25 minutes, having already reached double-digits -- Mom, it's just not a challenge.

          You'll see gators, especially when the water's high, like it is thanks to TS Andrea

          1. re: sunshine842

            Sunshine, e-mail me (see profile) if you get a chance!

          2. re: retloctt

            Agreed, this route is old Florida and allows you to feel much more connected to the Everglades. They have great spots to pull off to enjoy a picnic, at least one has a boardwalk through the trees where you will be mere feet from gators and other wildlife. I-75 is quick, convenient and though you will spot flashes of gators as you speed by at 80, it's not nearly as intimate or scenic.

          3. I can't recall the name, but there's a good restaurant in Everglades City.

            1 Reply
            1. re: aynrandgirl

              Aynrandgirl, is it "The Rod and Gun Club"? I have not been there in years but friends tell me that it is still going strong.

            2. Alligator Alley is for getting across the state as fast as you can. Boring as hell

              The speed limit is not bad on US 41 and there is so much more to look at and cool places to stop

              2 Replies
              1. re: scubadoo97

                Set your cruise control to 79. The Florida state troopers are usually out in masse.

                1. re: lovespinach

                  Definitely. I've never NOT seen cops heading across.