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1 night en route to the keys, FLL or Miami beach?

1 night en route to the keys, FLL or Miami beach?

Mar 15th, 2011, 10:55 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 288
1 night en route to the keys, FLL or Miami beach?

Hi, we are flying into FLL @ 9:15 pm on a wed night.

Plan: Islamorada, mid keys Thurs and fri night (booked)
Sunny isles, sat and sun (conf)
Fly back Monday at 6 pm from FLL

Q: should we pick up car on wed night at FLL and spend night in Miami beach ($83, 3.5 star on hotwire) or just stay in FLL area that night?
We were planning on returning car in miami on sat but it's cheaper to just keep car for whole trip. But concerned about parking costs in sunny isles over the weekend.

Any advice?
suetibu is offline  
Mar 16th, 2011, 03:38 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,168
I would not try to drive to Miami Beach after arriving at FLL that late. It will take you at least half an hour to get your car and on the road, and if your plane is late, you wouldn't get to MB until really late.

I am not familiar with Sunny Isles. Sorry.
Ackislander is offline  
Mar 16th, 2011, 04:05 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,364
FLL has an efficient central rental car parking facility (just used it 2 weeks ago) where you take shuttle bus to central rental windows and pick up garaged car. You could even save a few dollars maybe by staying at airport hotel and picking up car in AM - but may not be worth it. Just pick a cheap hotel close to airport and staart trip in AM - I see nothing to recommend about getting to Miami or Miami Beach at 11PM or later.

Agree not to return car to MIA on weekend - then you would have to get from MIA to FLL which probably would be more expensive than keeping the car.

Never even heard of "Sunny Isles" - sorry.
gail is online now  
Mar 16th, 2011, 06:46 AM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 35,563
Frankly, I'd stay close to the airport and go over and pick up the car the next morning if that saves you m oney and on the way to the KLeys I would drive AROUND Miami entirely.

Yes, Sunny Isles..great place
Dukey1 is offline  
Mar 16th, 2011, 07:19 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,449
There are plusses and minuses to both options. As said, if you're late getting in you'll be closer to a bed in FLL. The option to stay near the airport and pick-up the car the next day has merit, as well.

The benefit of just getting to Miami is the avoidance of traffic heading into Miami on I-95 the next morning.

I would ask why you plan on Miami Beach for a hotel if your intent is to drive to the Keys the next day? If your plan is to enjoy Miami Beach the next day and have a leisurely breakfast, etc than that makes sense.

But, if your plan is to get up and go, you might find something closer to 95 or even South of Miami closer to Coral Gables to be a better spot to avoid traffic.

There are times when I've stayed near the airport and made the trip to our destination the next day. But, I've also done the opposite and just gutted out as much of the drive as possible to make the trip to our destination shorter.

As I said, you might want to consider how tired you'll be and weigh that against avoiding traffic around Miami Thrusday.
Ryan is offline  
Mar 16th, 2011, 09:39 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 288

As always, great help..

We are flying in from NYC. Since we are more "awake" at night, and since we want to be in Islamorada as early as possible (I hav'nt been this excited about visiting a place EVER and I've been fortunate to visit other beautiful destinations), I think we will rent the car and drive down to Coral Gables to avoid traffic in the morning..

And we will keep the car until Monday if I can find any decent rates on public garages near Sunny Isles..

Thank you again.
suetibu is offline  
Mar 16th, 2011, 09:48 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 506
We did this a while back and just went all the way down to Homestead for the hotel. Got in very late. crashed at the hotel and then were right at the beginning of the drive to the keys. worked well.
notbob is offline  
Mar 16th, 2011, 11:18 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 5,511
You have the advantage of being awake at night and being able to avoid the morning rush hour if you drive either to

Key Largo... one hour no traffic, great place to start your morning drive to Islamorada


Drive the 2 hours right to Islamorada and you'll be there with little traffic and you can start the day without the hassle of the rush hour traffic...

either choice is better than getting stuck above the Keys in thursday morning bumper to bumper...
garyt22 is offline  
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