Florida is served by two major Interstate highways that originate outside the state – I-75 and I-95 – and one that traverses the state, I-4. I-75 runs the length of Florida's west coast, and I-275 connects I-75 with the St. Pete/Clearwater area.
Driving directions are as follows:
From the East Coast
From points north of Daytona Beach take I-95 South, then I-4 West to I-275 South.
From points south of Fort Pierce, take I-95 North, then Florida’s Turnpike North to I-4 West. Take I-4 West to I-275 South.
From points south of Fort Lauderdale, take I-95 North to I-75 North.
From Points West
From I-10 East, take I-75 South to I-275 South.
From the Midwest and South
From I-75 South, take I-275 South.
From I-75 North, take I-275 North.
Driving Distances to St. Petersburg/Clearwater
Atlanta 470 miles/756 kilometers
Boston 1,361 miles/2,190 kilometers
Chicago 1,160 miles/1,867 kilometers
Cleveland 1,116 miles/1,796 kilometers
Detroit 1,184 miles/1,905 kilometers
Montreal 1,518 miles/2,443 kilometers
New Orleans 636 miles/1,024 kilometers
New York City 1,154 miles/1,857 kilometers
Pittsburgh 1,041 miles/1,675 kilometers
Toronto 1,398 miles/2,250 kilometers
Driving Times and Distances within Florida
Fort Lauderdale 249 miles/401 kilometers
About 3 hours, 45 minutes
Fort Myers 118 miles/190 kilometers
About 1 hour, 50 minutes
Miami 269 miles/433 kilometers
About 4 hours, 10 minutes
Orlando 107 miles/172 kilometers
About 90 minutes
Tampa 24 miles/39 kilometers
About 30 minutes
Alamo Rent A Car
Avis Rent A Car
Budget Car Rental
Dollar Rent A Car
Enterprise Rent A Car
Hertz Rent A Car
Thrifty Car Rental
The St. Petersburg/Clearwater area is one of the safest places in Florida. However, there are a number of common-sense safety tips that all visitors are urged to practice. To ensure a pleasant, safe trip, please consider the following tips:
Rules of the Road
Emergency Vehicles – When a police or rescue vehicle is stopped in the roadway or in the shoulder, you must move over to the far lane if you are able to do so safely. Failure to do so may result in a ticket.
Driving Age – Drivers must be 16 years of age with a valid driver license and have auto insurance (especially Personal Liability Insurance) to drive a vehicle.
Drinking and Driving – Florida law provides stiff penalties for driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Most local nightclubs offer complimentary service back to the hotel, or will call a taxi for you.
Seat Belts – All passengers must wear seat belts. Children under 4 years of age must be in an approved car seat; most rental companies can provide one.
Speed Limits – The speed limit on residential streets is 25 mph. On thoroughfares, the limits range from 35 to 65 mph. Interstate highways are usually 55 mph in highly populated areas and 70 mph in rural areas. School zones are 15 mph.
Traffic Signs – Generally, rectangular green signs provide directions and information; yellow signs indicate safety information; white signs give speed limits and other operational information. Also, unless expressly forbidden, you may turn right on a red light after stopping and checking for traffic. Drivers must yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
Wet Roads – It is a law in Florida that auto vehicles must operate with their headlights on when it is raining hard enough to use windshield wipers.
Safety and Emergencies
If an emergency arises, dial 9-1-1 from the nearest telephone or cell phone.
If lost, drive to the nearest well-lit public business and ask for directions.
Always lock your vehicle. Lock valuables in trunk or glove compartment.
If you see someone who needs help, drive to the nearest well-lit public area and use a phone to call 9-1-1.
If your car breaks down, stay with it until help arrives. To attract attention, either raise the hood or tie a white cloth to the door handle.
Avoid riding with strangers.
International visitors, remember to drive on the right side of the road.
BATS Taxi Co.
Blue Star Cab
Clearwater Yellow Cab Co.
Independent Taxi Service
St. Petersburg Yellow Cab Co. (Clearwater)
Local Public Transportation
Jolley Trolley, Clearwater
Looper, St. Petersburg
The Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA)
Suncoast Beach Trolley
Escot Bus Lines
Florida Destinations & Incentives
His and Hers Limousine - Airport Limo of Tampa Bay
Martz Group – First Class Coach
Paradise Worldwide Transportation
Van rentals (without driver)
Wheelchair Transport Service
Van rentals (with driver)
With 38 miles of coastline on the Gulf of Mexico and easy access to and from the Intracoastal Waterway, there's no problem accessing the area by boat. Once here, you'll find more than 350 miles of shoreline to explore, including Tampa Bay, Lake Seminole and Lake Tarpon. More than 60 marinas line the waterways, many of which are public or offer transient overnight docking. Many harbors also allow offshore mooring. Dock for the night or afternoon and walk to restaurants, attractions, shops and resorts. Several state park marinas are also gateways to the nation's top-rated beaches.
Before you go
www.VisitStPeteClearwater.com/experiences/beaches-boating (articles, videos and boating ideas)
www.pinellascounty.org/park/ (boat ramps and marina information)
www.noaa.gov (weather updates/nautical conditions)
Emergency – Dial 911 or call the local U.S. Coast Guard station at 727-824-7506. Use VHF Channel 16 for distress and safety calls.
If you're looking for a comfortable and affordable alternative to driving, why not take the train? Amtrak offers service into nearby Tampa and other surrounding areas; some services even allow you to bring your car with you. For information, visit www.amtrak.com or call (800) USA-RAIL.
Greyhound will get you here for a great price. For information, visit www.greyhound.com or call (800) 229-9424.