Driving from Miami to Key West

Old Jul 3rd, 2002, 01:50 PM
  #1  
J Correa
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Driving from Miami to Key West

My husband and I are planning to take a trip to the Florida Keys next year. We would like to fly into Miami, stay a day or 2 in there and then rent a car and drive down to Key West and back to Miami, staying at a couple places along the way. We have 9 days for our trip.

We are both very interested in nature, photography, history, and culture. In Miami we would like to stay in a busy area with lots of nightlife and in the keys we would like to relax on some quiet beaches, swim, learn some of the area's history and experience some of the culture.

Any advice or reccomendations would be appreciated.
 
Old Jul 3rd, 2002, 02:17 PM
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xxx
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Do a search in the Text Search box for Key West, Florida Keys, South Fla and Miami. You will find a lot of good info.
 
Old Jul 5th, 2002, 03:49 PM
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J Correa
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Thanks. I've already read the reviews for hotels, resorts, restaurants, tour companies, and all that.

Does anybody have any 1st hand experience with the area? Resorts they loved? Opinions about what is a must-see/must-do in the area? Tour companies? Restaurants? Etc.
 
Old Jul 5th, 2002, 05:39 PM
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look
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As xxx points out, do the search. Opinions and recommendations run rampant. There's enough biased information and cogent information to satisfy the hungriest Keys junkie....
 
Old Jul 5th, 2002, 06:38 PM
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HereYouGo
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You could also do a web search for South Fla and the Keys. There are many very good sites with information.
 
Old Jul 6th, 2002, 08:22 AM
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t
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ttt
 
Old Jul 6th, 2002, 08:54 AM
  #7  
abc
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The Florida Keys are not a great place for beaches.
 
Old Jul 6th, 2002, 10:27 AM
  #8  
J Correa
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Gee - thanks everybody!
 
Old Jul 6th, 2002, 12:06 PM
  #9  
susan
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J - I wonder if you're mistaking the suggestion to do a search of this board with reading the "rants and raves" section of fodors. If you search this particular board you'll find hundreds of first-hand reviews and suggestions. Just type in Key West at the top of the page, then highlight Florida and then double-click on "search." It's frequently slow, but you'll get more information than you probably want.

In Miami, my husband and I stayed at the Tides...very expensive but right in the thick of South Beach activity. We've stayed at the Cheeca Lodge in Islamorada, which was nice (the Moorings next door looked a little nicer and quieter).

As a previous poster noted, the keys aren't known for beaches. They're all man-made with imported sand, and most are very tiny. Though there are LOTS of great places to stay in Key West, my favorites are: the Ocean Key Resort, the Hyatt Resort and Marina, and the Galleon, which are all on Front Street on the Gulf. Two other places I've never stayed but that get rave reviews are the Marquesa Hotel and the Heron House. All those places have websites.

Floridays (they dock at the Hyatt) is great for sunset sails and for snorkeling. There are so many great restaurants in Key West that I won't even begin mentioning them all. As the other posters said, you'll find them in a search!
 
Old Jul 6th, 2002, 03:54 PM
  #10  
x
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Just another suggestion.......it sounds as if you want people to plan your trip for you. If you were a little more specific with your questions and/or you already had some things planned it might be easier to point you in the right direction. South Florida is a very big place.
 
Old Jul 8th, 2002, 02:13 PM
  #11  
J Correa
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Susan,

Thanks for the response. I checked out the Rants and Raves board for the Keys - lots of good stuff there - thanks.



 
Old Jul 8th, 2002, 02:34 PM
  #12  
NANCY
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STAY ON SOUTH BEACH IN MIAMI. GREAT SUSHI RESTUARANTS AND A LOT OF NIGHT LIFE. ON YOUR TRIP DOWN TO THE KEYS IF YOU NEED TO PURCHASE FOOD OR SNORKEL STUFF THERE IS A HUGE WALMART SUPERSTORE IN HOMELAND. STOP THERE AND AVOID THE HIGHER KEYS PRICES. IN KEY WEST, DO AN EVENING SAIL AND WATCH THE BEAUTIFUL SUNSETS. DEFINITELY TAKE THE TORTUGA (TURTLE ISLANDS IN ONE DAY) AND DON'T MISS THE SEA AQUARIUM DOWNTOWN AND ALSO THE MUSEUM OF THE ATOCHA. ALSO YOU WILL WANT TO WATCH A SUNSET ON THE PIER AREA ONE NIGHT. THERE IS A LOT OF ENTERTAINMENT THERE. EAT ON THE WATER THERE AT ONE OF THE GREAT OPEN AIR RESTUARANTS-A MUST.
THE OTHER ISLAND I WOULD RECOMMEND FOR SOME BEACH TIME IS ISLAMADORA. IT IS THE LONGEST ISLAND AND HAS SOME FAIRLY GOOD BEACH AREAS.
 
Old Jul 8th, 2002, 07:08 PM
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Flex
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Not much help for Miami other than South Beach is the spot for night life. With this much time you can take in most of the Keys. Starting in Key Largo, I suggest the Kona Kai Resort. It is on the Bay side and as someone said the keys is not a "beach area". Kona Kai does have a small man-made beach with hammocks under palms, kayaks to use and a fabulous pool. Ronnie (she)and Joe will treat you like family, very nice place. While in Key Largo try The Fish House or Jim and Val's Tugboat for dinner, Mrs. Mac's for lunch and breakfast. The Caribbean Club is a funky spot for drinks and watching the sunset. Also Sundowners for the same or dinner. Ronnie and Joe can hook you up with diving or snorkeling if you are interested. As you go south, Islamorada is nice, go to Papa Joe's Tiki Bar. This is a real Key's bar. Good restaurants, Green Turtle, Marker 88, Islamorada Fish Company is good for lunch. Stop at Holiday Isle, super touristy but the Rumrunners at the Tiki Bar are an experience. Seven Mile Bridge is great for seeing a lot of different colors of water on both sides. Big Pine Key is famous for the tiny Key deer. OBEY the speed limit here! Try Underseas for snorkeling and diving. No Name Pub is hard to find but fun and as they say the best pizza in the universe. Parmer's Place just over on Little Torch MM 29 Bayside is nice place. If you want really nice, Little Palm Island Resort just across the highway on the Oceanside is the place. About $300 per night. You take the launch from there to a private island. Reservations must be made in advance. Mangrove Mama's at MM 21 looks like it may fall in any time but is a really good place to eat. Next stop, Key West! Definitely stay in Old Town. Otherwise, it is just like being anywhere else in Florida. If you want NICE, stay at the Reach, Hilton, Pier House or Casa Marina. If you want Key West, try Courtney's Place or Center Court. Good standard motel is the Southernmost listed under Old Town Resorts. All nice, clean, locally owned, very comfortable. Quickest history lesson is on the "Conch Train". Touristy but effective. Then hit the museums, Hemingway House, many art galleries and theatres, the Little White House Museum and Audubon House. Be sure to see Nancy's Secret Garden on Baker off of Simonton. Lush garden and exotic birds kept by a fabulous lady with an amazing story. Restaurants: Blue Heaven on Thomas, Louie's Back Yard (Great little bar to the left as you go in the door), El Siboney on Catherine for Cuban, Mangia!Mangia! for Italian, Pepe's on Caroline and Croissant de France on Duval for breakfast, B.O.'s Fish Wagon on Caroline or the Deli on Simonton for lunch, Rusty Anchor on Stock Island for dinner. So many, so little time. Take a day trip on a boat to the Dry Tortugas. Nighlife: Sloppy Joe's, Hog Breath, Fat Tuesday's, Rick's, Durty Harry's all on Duval. The Bull Bar is on the first floor, Whistle on the second and The Garden of Eden (clothing optional) on top at Duval and Caroline. The Schooner Wharf is a must and the most Keysey place in KW. It is on William St, just go to BO's Fish Wagon on Carline and take a left past the Market or follow the Historic Seaport Harbor Walk. Be sure to ask for Evalena, the owner. She loves to meet everyone! Just lay back and relax, you're on island time! Enjoy!
 
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