Driving to Key West

Jun 10th, 2006, 08:46 AM
  #1  
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Driving to Key West

Dear All,
We are planning on a short trip (2-day) to MIA on 30th June and 1st July. Flying in to MIA around 10am and planning to drive the scenic roads to Key West and want to be back in MIA the same evening (say around 9-10pm).
Questions:
What are the best scenic spots that we absolutely should not miss.
I hear the traffic can be un-predictable, so we might be flexible and instead of coming back to MIA, may stay somewhere in middle. What place would u suggest.. looking for a regular holiday-inn, marriot sorta places.

Saturday - thinking of everglades national park... would u recommend?
Thanks, have to absolutely fly back Sunday early morning.

cheers


zirconia is offline  
Jun 10th, 2006, 10:07 AM
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Oh dear. You'd be driving down to Key West on the Friday before a major holiday weekend. There is one road through the Keys, it will be packed, and traffic has to stop when the drawbridges go up to let boats go through - best be prepared for some serious traffic congestion.

And as for the Everglades, it will be hot, humid, and filled with mosquitos. I wouldn't recommend it.

I don't like being a wet blanket, so could I suggest staying in Miami? The beaches are great, there are wonderful sites to see, and it can be a lot of fun.
dsquared is offline  
Jun 10th, 2006, 11:46 AM
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Ditto. Go to a beach in the Miami area. Only 1 road going through the Keys and it will be packed during a holiday weekend. You'll just see the bumper of the car(s) ahead of you for a day full of driving.
starrsville is offline  
Jun 10th, 2006, 11:46 AM
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Also doubt you can get a one night rental on a holiday weekend (in the keys)
starrsville is offline  
Jun 10th, 2006, 01:40 PM
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I agree with everything that's been said. The trip between Miami and Key West under the best circumstances is 4 hours. On a holiday weekend it can be a nightmare.

But drawbridges? I've driven that route many times and don't remember a drawbridge.
SusanCS is offline  
Jun 10th, 2006, 01:56 PM
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Susan, the travel gods must smile on you ;-) I think we hit the drawbridge near Islamorada every time!
dsquared is offline  
Jun 10th, 2006, 02:04 PM
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GoTravel
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Agree with all the above. You'll end up spending your weekend miserable in a car.

Highly agree to spend you time on a beach in Miami.

Key Biscayne would be excellent for a day at the beach. While it is technically a Florida Key (the first one in the chain), it is still part of Miami.
 
Jun 10th, 2006, 05:23 PM
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This would make a good day trip out of Miami. Thake the glassbottom boat ride.

http://www.pennekamppark.com/

A 12 hour round trip drive to Key West would be no fum whatsoever.

The Everglades NP is a nice trip anytime of year, in the summer things are just different. The humidity and mosquitos are king. You will have the place all to yourself with them. If you don't mind staying in your car then it would be an ok trip.

RedRock is offline  
Jun 10th, 2006, 07:43 PM
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If the point of the trip is to see Key West, consider changing your airplane destination to the Key West airport. Otherwise, I agree with the other posters that a one day trip to Key West is more driving than fun. You could combine a trip to the Everglades (Florida City entrance) with a snorkel or glass bottom boat ride at John Pennekamp state park in Key Largo. Throw in milk shakes at Robert is Here fruit stand and lunch at the Fish House and this will be a nice day. Search anhinga trail on this board for more info on the Everglades. It will be buggy and hot so take bug spray, hats and water. But you'll see amazing things!
keymom is offline  
Jun 11th, 2006, 05:35 AM
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I too think a day trip to KW is just too much, but not soo much because of holiday traffic. You are just getting too late a start from Miami. About the traffic thing...I live in Key Largo and work in Miami, so I have done this Friday drive for years. Most people in s Florida don't get on the road until after work, even those who will get out of work a little early will be coming down in the middle of the afternoon, not at 10 am. Actually, the big traffic snarl on a long holiday weekend
Larry1 is offline  
Jun 11th, 2006, 05:40 AM
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opps...continuing...the big southbound traffic snarl usually occurs Saturday (late morning/early afternoon) rather than Friday afternoon/evening. And there are two drawbidges in the Keys; one at Jewfish Creek just before Key Largo, and one at Snake Creek, just before Windley Key in Islamorada.
Larry1 is offline  
Jun 11th, 2006, 06:41 AM
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Thanks everybody. I never realized the traffic can be this big a deterrent and even more suprising was the fdbk about everglades. Wow.. i need to re-work my itinerary then...
zirconia is offline  
Jun 11th, 2006, 06:55 AM
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e e a c

Thanks. Those letters were just feeling a little left out.
starrsville is offline  
Jun 11th, 2006, 08:11 AM
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Star - u lost me.

APart from musquitoes, is evergladesNP worth visiting for a day? We were planning for Saturday - in morning and out by eve.
Basic aim is to drive (car) around the park, catch some scenic spots, small hikes/trails to view the animals and birds (have a 2yr old).. nothing fancy.

Would appreciate if u can recommend any other scenic drives in and around Miami.
zirconia is offline  
Jun 11th, 2006, 08:48 AM
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About those drawbridges - All I can say is that I must be too excited on the way down to notice and too distraught on the way back to care
SusanCS is offline  
Jun 11th, 2006, 12:03 PM
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Okay - now that I know about the 2 year old, here's my suggestion. Drive from Miami airport to Florida City. As the turnpike ends, there's a traffic light. you'll see a big Shell gas station on the far right corner. Turn right and follow the signs for the Everglades National Park. When you get to Robert is Here fruit stand, stop and have milkshakes. There are some animals in the back that the 2 yo will enjoy. Back in the car for another 15-20 min and you'll be in Everglades National Park. You can't really appreciate the ENP from a car. Stop at the first visitor center to get the lay of the land. Then head to the Royal Palm Visitor Center and walk the Anhinga Trail. Take your stroller, the entire thing is a boardwalk path. You'll see fish, birds and tons of alligators. From there, turn around and head back to Florida City. Turn right and head for Key Largo or Islamorada (depending on your hotel choice). There's a Hampton Inn that gets rave reviews in Islamorada. You might like Ocean Pointe. These are one bedroom condos so you can stay up while your child goes to sleep. I'm guessing it will be 4:00 or so by the time you get to the hotel. Spend a bit of time at the pool and then have dinner at an outdoor place where you can watch the sunset as you eat dinner. The next morning, one of you should go on a snorkel trip and the other should take your child to the Jacobs Aquatic Center in Key Largo. Everyone meets back up for lunch (maybe Islamorada Fish Company; be sure to see the World Wide Sportsman store). Then drive to mile marker 77 to feed the wild tarpon. Depending on time, you could have an early dinner at the Fish House on your way back to Miami. Or head back to Miami and eat there. You would have fun in Coconut Grove - they have rickshaw rides that would be great for your child. Head to a hotel near the airport and head back to civilization.
keymom is offline  
Jun 11th, 2006, 09:23 PM
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Don't be afraid of the mosquitos and humidity... the Anhinga Trail (at Royal Palm Visitor Center) is incredible. You will see so many alligators that you will lose track of how many you've seen. IMO this is a fun spot that just shouldn't be missed if you are in the area.
npurpleh2 is offline  
Jun 12th, 2006, 05:17 AM
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As an adult I wouldn't be troubled too much by the skeeters at ENP during the summer (nothing that liberal doses of OFF won't take care of); but unless you like smearing your 2-year old's skin with DEET, or bundling them up in 85+ degree heat, that could be a concern.
Larry1 is offline  
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