Florida is full of water bodies with “catchy” names –
Ichetucknee, Caloosahatchee, Withlacoochee, Apalachicola, Okeechobee, Loxahatchee, Suwannee … the list goes on.
Does the same apply to Florida’s roadways?
Promoters dubbed it so, with its lyrical ring, to “sell” the crazy idea of building the “first ever” road from Tampa to Miami – south Florida’s two major population hubs in the 1900s – through the impenetrable swamp land that lay between.
As good as it “sounded” back then – and yes, 13 years later the road opened for business – nobody in “sound” mind today uses the Tamiami Trail to travel between those two points:
They take the modern-day Alligator Alley instead.
Alligator Alley is the east-west running southernmost stretch of the I-75 interstate, which lays overtop the “original” Alligator Alley, Trail-sized Route 84.
Today’s super-sized alley swings north on the outskirts of Naples and from there runs 1700 miles clear up to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan on the rocky shores of the St. Marys River.
Or in layman terms, about halfway to the Arctic Circle.
By way of Alligator Alley, a drive from Tampa to Miami will take you 5 hours.
Plan on twice that if you take the Trail!
Between Naples and Miami it’s actually the way to go.
It’s a snap of the fingers two hour drive, baring midway stops to watch the alligators, getting stuck behind a Winnebago or a Tractor Trailer (it’s single lanes each way) … not to mention the motorcycle cavalcades on weekends and watching for panthers at night.
The scenery is delightful: conservation lands straddle the Trial on either side … Everglades and Big Cypress as far as the eye can see.
How about the “Namiami” or Tamiami “Parkway” instead?