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View Full Version : Is Tampa to Cocoa Beach really 2.5 hours?


mermaidwannabe
03-10-2012, 12:04 PM
I'm thinking about flying into Tampa instead of Orlando from Bozeman since it's cheaper, but more importantly, the flight times and dates are better. I used google maps to see how long it would take to drive to Cocoa Beach, and it says 2 hours 15 minutes. Has anyone done something similar? Is it truly that long? Would you risk traffic and the drive on the departure day? Our Tampa flight leaves at 6:05PM on Saturday 6/23, so if I left Cocoa Beach by 11:00AM, would it leave plenty of time to drive, return our car and be there a few hours before our flight?

Thank you for any opinions!

goofy4tink
03-10-2012, 12:51 PM
I have made the drive to Tampa, from WDW, many times, as well as the drive from WDW to port many times.
And once?? From Cocoa Beach (port area) to Tampa, just past Tampa International.
So...from Tampa International to the WDW area is about 70 mins, at less busy times of day. Busier time?? Add 15 or so mins. Then, from WDW area to port area, is about 70 mins as well...depending on speed.
The one time we drove from port right to Tampa, it took 2 hrs. 25 mins. It was on a Thursday morning, around 8am. There was moderate traffic once we got close to Orlando, and it got heavier the closer we got to Tampa.

So yeah, I would figure on 2.5 hrs, and if it takes less time, terrific.

goof4ever
03-10-2012, 12:58 PM
I lived in Titusville and it took 45 minutes from my house to Disney. I went to see Wicked in Tampa and it took more than 2 hours to get there. If you leave early and add in extra time for traffic and unexpected delays you could to it, but I would be too afraid to try it.

mermaidwannabe
03-10-2012, 01:47 PM
Yes, travelling across the state scares me a little, but what if I allowed 4 hours? Here if there is an accident, the interstate can get closed for hours. I just assume there are enough lanes or highways there that that wouldn't be a problem, but I don't know. If the flight leaves around 6PM, would getting to the aiport by 3:30 be fine including returning rental car?
Or I could plan on leaving Cocoa Beach by 10AM. But you wouldn't risk it and you live there, so....?

DOOM1001
03-10-2012, 11:34 PM
I've gotten from the Disney area to the Tampa area around the I-4/I-75 interchange in under 1 hour on a night with zero traffic.I went from Busch Gardens to Disney last month and there was an accident about 2 miles east of that interchange going east towards Disney and that 60-75 minute trip became almost 2 hours.Then heading home to Miami I was going to take the turnpike south from the Osceola Parkway and the Turnpike just south of 192 was totally shut down,luckily I got to 192 before the traffic stacked up further away and was able to take 192 to I-95 south.And coming up I took US 27 and the fog was insane, worse than I've ever seen it before and in some places mixed with bugs.Not the kind of zero traffic road trips that I hope for,there were issues on every leg of the trip.Getting back to your question,your trip will be about 135-140 miles total,about 80 from the airport to the Beachline (528) and then another 55 miles or so,so right there if you average 65-70 miles an hour you're at the 2 hour mark,so 2:15 sound about right as long as you don't hit any slow downs.

mermaidwannabe
03-11-2012, 12:35 PM
I've gotten from the Disney area to the Tampa area around the I-4/I-75 interchange in under 1 hour on a night with zero traffic.I went from Busch Gardens to Disney last month and there was an accident about 2 miles east of that interchange going east towards Disney and that 60-75 minute trip became almost 2 hours.Then heading home to Miami I was going to take the turnpike south from the Osceola Parkway and the Turnpike just south of 192 was totally shut down,luckily I got to 192 before the traffic stacked up further away and was able to take 192 to I-95 south.And coming up I took US 27 and the fog was insane, worse than I've ever seen it before and in some places mixed with bugs.Not the kind of zero traffic road trips that I hope for,there were issues on every leg of the trip.Getting back to your question,your trip will be about 135-140 miles total,about 80 from the airport to the Beachline (528) and then another 55 miles or so,so right there if you average 65-70 miles an hour you're at the 2 hour mark,so 2:15 sound about right as long as you don't hit any slow downs.

What a nightmare! I guess prepare for the worst, right? So I think I would allow 4-5 hours to get where I need to be, and if I get there early, I can find something to do near the airport. Of course, Delta is once again messing with their flights (times, # of flights AND prices) so we will see. Thank you!

nacho113
03-11-2012, 09:20 PM
I'm thinking about flying into Tampa instead of Orlando from Bozeman since it's cheaper, but more importantly, the flight times and dates are better. I used google maps to see how long it would take to drive to Cocoa Beach, and it says 2 hours 15 minutes. Has anyone done something similar? Is it truly that long? Would you risk traffic and the drive on the departure day? Our Tampa flight leaves at 6:05PM on Saturday 6/23, so if I left Cocoa Beach by 11:00AM, would it leave plenty of time to drive, return our car and be there a few hours before our flight?

Thank you for any opinions!

We've driven the route a few times and yes it's usually 2.5 hours and can take up to 3 hours. Traffic can get a little heavy sometimes but it generally moves along pretty well.
If you are worried about the drive, may I suggest an overnight stay in Tampa on your last night. Check out some of the attractions in Tampa or the beach or pier at St Pete's. You'll already been in Tampa on the day of your return flight and won't have the stress of the drive back from Cocoa Beach.

mermaidwannabe
03-11-2012, 11:16 PM
We've driven the route a few times and yes it's usually 2.5 hours and can take up to 3 hours. Traffic can get a little heavy sometimes but it generally moves along pretty well.
If you are worried about the drive, may I suggest an overnight stay in Tampa on your last night. Check out some of the attractions in Tampa or the beach or pier at St Pete's. You'll already been in Tampa on the day of your return flight and won't have the stress of the drive back from Cocoa Beach.

I was thinking about trying to do this if we do a Sat-Tues time period. It's cheaper to fly Wed or Thurs-Sat, and our condo is Sat-Sat, so I suppose we could leave the night before to get a place in Tampa; I just didn't want to pay for a night when I had one paid for. But it would probably save some stress. Good thinking. Last time we went to FL, we stayed near Clearwater and went to Pier 60 for a fun night, so that would be a great option. I wish Delta would just lower their prices already, so I can book things!! :)

sunkissed4
03-12-2012, 08:03 AM
Tampa resident here :) On a Saturday, traffic obviously isn't as bad a Monday morning rush hour, but there still will be a lot of people out, especially on I-4. Traffic will be heavy once you reach Orlando, but unless there's an accident you'll be fine. If you get here too early, there's a great mall called International Plaza right on the way to TIA.. I'm assuming that's the airport you're using.

mermaidwannabe
03-12-2012, 10:02 AM
Tampa resident here :) On a Saturday, traffic obviously isn't as bad a Monday morning rush hour, but there still will be a lot of people out, especially on I-4. Traffic will be heavy once you reach Orlando, but unless there's an accident you'll be fine. If you get here too early, there's a great mall called International Plaza right on the way to TIA.. I'm assuming that's the airport you're using.

Thank you for your info and especially for letting me know there is a mall nearby. I think I'll shoot for really early assuming we go on a Saturday and then kill time shopping. Not sure my husband will like that plan, lol, but it will work for my 3 girls and me. :) If we have a Tuesday am flight out (my other option depending on prices) we will then probably stay in Clearwater Beach the night before. Thank you!