Help! Bad beaches in Florida Keys?

May 13th, 2001, 12:47 PM
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Help! Bad beaches in Florida Keys?

I have reservations at the Cheeca Lodge on Islamorada in June. I've been doing some reading, which I know I should have done before (no lectures please), and have seen comments that the beaches are not that great down there. From what I've seen it sounds like people don't even go in the water much. Can this be true? What I would like is a nice, clean beach without any Spring Break type action, where you can actually go in and enjoy the water. Some gentle waves would be nice.

I fly into Miami. Should I keep my reservations at Cheeca, stay in Miami instead, or try to get a flight to the Bahamas? (I'm using AAdvantage miles so the first two options wouldn't cost me anything more, but going to the Bahamas would be a bit of money and trouble.) I would appreciate any advice, especially any reassurance that the beach on Islamorada is okay. Thanks!
May 13th, 2001, 01:43 PM
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Cheeca Lodge has a nice (but small) beach. Most of the keys have coral rock and not sand so there are no long, sandy beaches. The water is beautiful and people go in there all the time. Cheeca Lodge has jet skis and snorkel trips available. It's nice....and the waiters bring drinks to you in the sand.
May 13th, 2001, 03:36 PM
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The Keys are not known for good beaches; most of them are man-made. Bahia Honda Key State Park is supposed to have a nice beach, though.

The Keys are supposed to have excellent snorkelling, diving and fishing and there are other water-sports widely available.

There have been some problems with E. Coli in the water, though and hopefully someone else can further elaborate on and clarify this issue.
May 13th, 2001, 03:52 PM
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Since the keys are coral, ALL the beaches are man-made with imported sand.
If a true "beach" experience is what you're looking for you're apt to be disappointed with the keys. Having said that, I've stayed at Cheeca Lodge and liked it a lot. Its beach is as good as it gets in the keys, though as the previous poster mentions, it's small.
May 13th, 2001, 05:45 PM
Owen O'Neill
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If I recall correctly, the E. Coli problem was confined to Key West, not the other keys. It may be temporarily better in KW from time to time but will likely continue to reappear until they have a sewage treatment facility that can handle the large number of people. The density of visitors and residents elsewhere in the keys is far lower.
May 14th, 2001, 04:32 AM
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11 years of going to Islamorada, and I've never heard of closed beaches (that is confined to Key West). There will be no gentle waves on keys beaches, but if going in the water is what you want, going in the water is what you'll get. But since Lia says she's done a search on the subject, she's heard my opinion.
May 14th, 2001, 03:22 PM
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Fort Lauderdale beaches are great! Miami is also Ok...Keys beaches are not very good but snorkeling and diving from boats is wonderful.
May 14th, 2001, 03:51 PM
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The keys is a great vacation for being layed back and fishing,etc....not laying on the beach. Another suggestion might be Marco Island. The Marriot has a great beachfront hotel,with all the water sports you want.
May 14th, 2001, 07:52 PM
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Thanks everybody for your input. I only wish I'd asked sooner! Next time . . .
May 15th, 2001, 05:51 PM
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Hi Lia! We went down to Islamorada in December 2000. I was debating between Cheeca and the Chesapeake Resort before we left. I picked the Chesapeake and was real pleased that I did. A beautiful, smaller place with a larger beach, nice lagoon and 80% of rooms are waterfront (I posted here in January listing the best rooms IMHO) I checked out Cheeca too and 80% of the rooms there were NOT waterfront- in fact some were quite a good distance from the water- you could walk though or they probably have a shuttle. So if you're going to stay at Cheeca, definitely request oceanfront.

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