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Sep 25th, 2005, 07:17 PM
  #1  
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FL

My husband and I (mid 30s) will be in Fort Lauderdale late Oct./early Nov and were planning to take some extra days and drive to Key West for a mini-vacation. But we just found out that's the time of Key West's Fantasy Fest, which we'd like to avoid. We want a relaxing (not crowded), warm place to visit with good restaurants and beaches. Any ideas on other places within a day's drive from Fort Lauderdale? Thanks.
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Sep 25th, 2005, 11:48 PM
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You could still go down to the Keys but not go as far as Key West. What about Key Largo or Marathon? One thing you have to know about anywhere in the Keys is that you won't find good beaches. If you are picturing the Keys to look like a Caribbean island with soft sand, you'll be mighty disappointed. It is a fun place to go but the Keys aren't known for their beaches.

If I remember correctly, Fantasy Fest is Halloween w/e--a bunch of my friends and I went one year...have to say I saw the most interesting of costumes!

Naples is only a couple hours drive across the state...that would be another option.
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Sep 25th, 2005, 11:48 PM
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You could still go down to the Keys but not go as far as Key West. What about Key Largo or Marathon? One thing you have to know about anywhere in the Keys is that you won't find good beaches. If you are picturing the Keys to look like a Caribbean island with soft sand, you'll be mighty disappointed.

If I remember correctly, Fantasy Fest is Halloween w/e--a bunch of my friends and I went one year...have to say I saw the most interesting of costumes!

Naples is only a couple hours drive across the state...that would be another option.
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Sep 25th, 2005, 11:49 PM
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oops...tried editing but hit post too soon. Sorry.
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Sep 26th, 2005, 04:57 AM
  #5  
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Go down to Islamorada and stay at Cheeca Lodge, The Moorings, Pines and Palms, Casa Morada, or the Hampton Inn and just veg. Great place to be.
 
Sep 26th, 2005, 07:07 AM
  #6  
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Are the beaches better in these other places?
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Sep 26th, 2005, 07:25 AM
  #7  
GoTravel
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kiki, the only true *beach in the keys is in Bahia Honda State Park. There aren't beaches in the keys like other parts of Florida.

Key West has a few (Smathers) and that is about it.

People have referred to Anne's Beach but it is more like Anne's sand pile.

The Florida Keys are all about being out on a boat over the water. If you can, rent a boat. Amazing.
 
Sep 26th, 2005, 07:30 AM
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You could go over to the West Coast in stay in Naples or Marco Island. Great beaches and much more laid back than Lauderdale plus it's a little over two hour drive!
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Sep 26th, 2005, 08:19 PM
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I'd also recommend The Hyatt in Bonita Springs. I believe it's the Coconut resort or something. Great spa and beautiful pools. Check it out on the Hyatt website.
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Sep 29th, 2005, 05:19 PM
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Thanks everybody for your great advice!
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Sep 29th, 2005, 06:36 PM
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Naples is charming and upscale. Old Naples has a shopping/gallery/restaurant area only a couple blocks stroll from the Gulf beach. A delightful, charming little B&B right at the edge of this area is "Inn by the Sea." Only a couple hours straight shot from FLL.
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Sep 29th, 2005, 07:06 PM
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South Beach is a must see at least once... the beaches are not overly crowded because they're so big... the Dining is excellent, and there is a great feel of energy in the area... We love the Royal Palms Crowne Plaza for price and location, but there are dozens of great hotels at all prices...
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Oct 10th, 2005, 05:30 PM
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The International Boat Show is in Ft Lauderdale around this same time. Unless you like sitting in long lines of traffic going nowhere, steer clear of FLL during that weekend. I am currently between homes and staying at the Bahia Mar on Lauderdale beach and they started setting up for the Boat Show today and it's already a mess. I'm curious what dates you'll be here and at what hotel.

If I were you, I'd head over to the west coast to Sanibel Island or some of the other locations mentioned. The beaches aren't as pretty as the east coast, but are much better for shelling, especially on Sanibel.

Whatever you decide, I hope you enjoy your stay!
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Oct 11th, 2005, 03:37 PM
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Thanks for everybody's great tips. I will be in Fort Lauderdale's airport hotel for a conference on Nov 4-5. I hope the boat show is over by then! We're hen driving to South Beach for a few days. I will look into the hotels mentioned here. So far I am thinking of the National.
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Oct 11th, 2005, 03:44 PM
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heartburn is right, boat show time is crazy unless you are going to see the boats. it ends by nov 1 so don't worry. I love Marco Island, Naples, Marathon and mentioned already is Cheeca Lodge- awesome that poster is correct. lovey area, and there is beach/fishing/etc. i am wondering though if this time of year you will find better weather cheeca/key west marathon area - don't have to go all the way to key west, but marco can be cool in november.
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Oct 11th, 2005, 03:55 PM
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I definitely want to go where I am likely to get the nicest and warmest weather. That is why I was thinking South Beach. Key West would be great, but I only have 3 nights and don't want to spend too much of it in the car. Is Miami the next best choice weather-wise?
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Oct 11th, 2005, 05:21 PM
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I don't know if anyone can promise you great sunny weather anywhere in fla in november, but south beach is fun anytime - great to walk the beach, the stores, many fine restaurants to choose from, and I don't know if the Samba Room is still there, b/c it was probably at least 3 yrs ago I was last there, but it was a fun place, not on the strip but close by. Many nice places to eat outside also on the strip but I can't remember any of the names of the ones we ate at !! there was a great italian one - maybe now that you've decided on south beach, post anotehr with title South Beach experts and you'll probably get tons of suggestions.
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Oct 11th, 2005, 05:53 PM
  #18  
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Thanks. Good idea!
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