Florida Keyes info?

Old Dec 23rd, 2007, 12:23 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
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Florida Keyes info?

We are two couples who plan to take a four-day drive trip from Palm Beach to the Florida Keyes and back in early May. We seek suggestions and advice on itinerary, places to stay (or not), places to see, things to do, etc. This is a new venue for all of us, so any suggestions would be appreciated. Many thanks in advance!
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Old Dec 23rd, 2007, 01:17 PM
Join Date: May 2007
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We stayed at the Marquesa in Key West and loved it - very nice and close enough to walk to Duval, but not noisy - pretty pool area also. We rode the Conch train, watched the sunset at Mallory Square, toured the Hemingway house, went to the Mel Fischer museum, went snorkeling offshore, and ate a great dinner at Mangoes.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2007, 05:56 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
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From Palm Beach I guess you folks have already visited the Everglades. Given that, I would suggest that you travel into the Keys with a first stop in Islamorada. It isn't far so you'll still have part of a day to explore the area.

The next day travel to the Marathon/Key Colony Beach area. It is another short trip so you will once again have time to explore the area. Of particular interest is the walk which goes part way on the original Seven Mile Bridge.

The third day travel on to Key West and consider lodging at the Gardens Hotel which consistently receives raves on the site. You can explore Key West in the PM and for as much time as you have available.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2007, 06:29 PM
Join Date: May 2003
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Alot depends on what kind of activities you want to do.
For instance, Key Largo-the first island you arrive at after the 18 mile stretch had John Pennecamp State Park. At Pennecamp, you can rent glass bottom kayaks and kayak thru the mangroves or go on a snorkel excursion. On the way to Islamorada,at about MM91, there is a Taverier Bird Rescue Center.The next island,Islamorada(my favorate) and the place I would stay for at least one night has great restaurants-Morada Bay, The Island Grill, Lazy Days, Pierres, Islamorada Fish CO. to name a few...and motels/resorts:Hampton Inn, Cheeca Lodge, The Moorings, Casa Morada, Holiday Inn.Just depends on your budget. Things to do in Islamorada-Robby's Feed the Tarpon, Ferry to Lignamvaite(?spelling),Indian Key,Renting kayaks and exploring the mangroves,Worldwide Sportsman.
Heading south, you can stop at Bahia Honda State Park or in Big Pine Key, there is a Key Deer Preserve. Key West deserves a night or two also. Things to see and do. in Key West..Mallory Square at sunset,Fort Zachary Taylor, the southernmost point,Hemmingway House,Mel Fishers Museum.The Conch Train is a great way to see the major attractions of Key West. If the weathers good, you could take the 2 hour ferry ride to Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas(day trip). Places to eat in Key West-Blue Heaven,
A&B Seafood,Antonio's,Henriettas. I have stayed at the Casa Marina and The Duval Inn. Both were nice.. The one thing there always is to do is have a cocktail and watch the sunset.. Enjoy.
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Old Dec 24th, 2007, 07:23 PM
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Four days? Drive straight to Key West. There are lots of water sports and tourist options, and tons of nightlife and restaurant choices.
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Old Dec 25th, 2007, 05:22 AM
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I am more on board with freespirit. The middle keys offer activities not available in KW. I would divide your trip between Islamorada or Marathon and KW. If you intend to pick up activity on your drive to or from, you'll miss having the local hotel between adventures.
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Old Dec 25th, 2007, 05:52 AM
Join Date: Dec 2007
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May is a great time of year for a fishing trip.The seas are generally calm and the fishing is at its peak for many different species.It is also a great way to see some sights from a different perspective especially down in key west
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Old Dec 26th, 2007, 10:21 AM
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Thank you all for these great (and very helpful) suggestions. We'll start makaing reservations today!

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Old Dec 26th, 2007, 12:09 PM
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Just spent 5 days in Key West, and feel it should have been longer to truly enjoy the area. Stayed at Sheraton on Smathers Beach which is great for being quiet and helpful staff, but it is not the best location withiout a car for getting to early departure tourist boat trips since their shuttle starts at 10 and most bost trips start at 8. It is about $13 taxi fare to the various harbors or downtown. Would recommend Yankee Freedom's trip to Dry Tortugas National Park if you like history or just a beautiful quiet beach with good snorkeling. The trip can be rough so it is not for those who get seasick easily. There are many other water attractions offered, and the hotel offered information, suggestions as well as ticketing. Would also suggest the City Trolley tour ride since that offers on/off stops compared to the Conch Train tour. Sunset at Mallory Square is a must for the sunset as well as just the experience, Hemingway house offers an interesting tour, and the Butterfly museum offers 1200-1500 butterflies and various birds in a beautiful tropical setting. There are many restaurants, more bars, and many, many tourist venue shops. There was a mix of ages from young people enjoying the bar scene to senior cuise ship people shopping and enjoying the sunshine, but there is a lot to offer to every age.
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Old Dec 27th, 2007, 08:21 AM
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FWIW, Key West 101...


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