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Keys, reasonable accomidation?

Old Dec 10th, 2003, 07:54 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2003
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Keys, reasonable accomidation?

Hi all
I'm considering a trip to the Florida Keys this winter to escape the northeastern winter for a week or 2 with my wife and our 1 year old, but we are on a pretty tight budget. We would probably drive down from Ft Lauderdale and make a side trip to the Everglades, so I'm looking for recommendations on accomidation in that general area. We will then head out to the keys for a week or so, any suggestions on reasonably priced accomidations would be very welcome. It doesn't have to be Key West, which seems very expensive for rooms.
soboyle is offline  
Old Dec 10th, 2003, 09:30 AM
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I'm not sure where to tell you to look but if you google for bed and breakfasts in Key West, you'll find a ton of them, some very reasonable -- there are no bad areas of town, although some areas are more convenient to tourist destinations.

My neighbors stay in Marathon every year for a week, which they like -- unfortunately, I've never stayed there to tell you how it is. I've driven through -- it is not funky like Key West but there is plenty of boating and snorkeling. And you're close enough to Key West to drive in for sunset.
Tandoori_Girl is offline  
Old Dec 10th, 2003, 12:25 PM
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We stayed at the Lime Tree Bay Resort last March, which is on Long Key, about halfway down the keys. We loved it there, inexpensive and laid back. It's got a great central location. Check out the trip report I wrote:

Also, here's another thread with a little more info:

turn_it_on is offline  
Old Dec 10th, 2003, 12:37 PM
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Looking for cheapo motels in the Keys 10 years ago, we were shown a few that only had shared bathrooms between the rooms. Eech. We decided instead to camp at Bahia Honda State Park.
wsoxrebel is offline  
Old Dec 10th, 2003, 01:09 PM
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One other suggestion:
Big Pine Key Fishing Lodge Inc 
 33000 Overseas Hwy 
(305) 872-2351

I stayed there once so that we could catch a boat to Looe Key (the most unbelievable snorkling trip that you'll ever go on). We camped but they also had the lodge. This is a very funky "old florida" sort of place -- the tiny "key deer" romps through the grounds in great numbers, it's a real treat. It is very natural and unspoiled. The camping is also great if you'd consider that. Unfortunately, they are so "low-key" (is it possible that's where the phrase came from?) that they don't have a web site -- best bet is to give them a call and maybe they will fax you a photo of their accomodations. This is like Key West before it became Key West -- very Low Key!!!
Tandoori_Girl is offline  
Old Dec 10th, 2003, 01:29 PM
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Each of the larger Keys towns has a welcome center. It's generally, if not always, affiliated with the local Chamber of Commerce.

Each of those welcome centers has information about local lodging. They can help you with information, contacts, and often, discounts. Other than Key West, I've never had a problem finding a decent, inexpensive room, via those centers, on a walk-in basis. Even in Jan. and Feb. Wouldn't try it during spring break, though.

Try for openers. A couple of places I've used: Hidden Harbor in Marathon, about 65/night, and watch them feed the turtles, at the adjacent Turtle Hospital. Can't see it if you don't stay there. Sunset Cove in Kay Largo, about same price. Last year, had a bagpiper staying there at the same time. He played, on the end of the wharf, at sundown...

Got some pictures in the Keys albums at
bookhall is offline  
Old Dec 10th, 2003, 04:25 PM
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Last year we stayed at the Old Wooden Bridge Fishing Camp, on Big Pine Key. It would be a good bet if you want a kitchen and don't mind that it's pretty drab. It's very quiet as it's way off Rte 1. They do have a website.

There are plenty of inexpensive motels in Marathon but I didn't see any of them from the inside. Many are right on Rte 1 so you might hear traffic.

In Key Largo we stayed at Sunset Cove (mentioned above by bookhall) three years ago. Again, it's right on Rte 1 so you need to reserve a room down by the beach, away from the road. The beach was small but pleasant. A manatee visited the dock every day with her calf! You might not get that, or a bagpiper either, but the grounds are full of big fiberglass animals, which would amuse your child.

If you want a nice beach, you can visit Bahia Honda from Big Pine or Marathon. Sombrero Beach in Marathon is OK, too.
CarolB is offline  
Old Dec 10th, 2003, 05:27 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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If you want to go to the Everglades, I would suggest staying at a motel in Florida City, which is very close to Everglades National Park. The rates in Florida City (just south of Homestead) are very reasonable & they have a number of chain motels.
As far as the Keys, yes, Key West in the winter in very expensive. If you want to go to Key West, you can stay in Summerland Key, which is very close to Key West....also Marathon is in the exact center of the Keys, so you can stay in Marathon & either go to Key West, which is about 25 minutes away or stay on another Key farther north. I personally like Islamorada...My husband & I live near Ft. Lauderdale & we go to Islamorada for week-end getaways quite often. It depends what you like to do...snorkeling, relaxing, shopping, etc. Let me know what you are interested in & I can recommend some places to stay & also some places to eat. Enjoy Florida!
Marcia is offline  
Old Dec 11th, 2003, 05:11 AM
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Soboyle I've stayed in Islamorada numerous times at a mom & pop motel that is very nice, laid back and right on the ocean side. You may want to look it over at the site below......
Charlie is offline  
Old Dec 16th, 2003, 04:36 PM
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We stayed at Hidden Harbor Motel and my husband got very ill either from the Air Conditioner in the room or the turtle tank water he may have aspirated while looking in the turtle tanks during the turtle feeding tour.
I made a courtesy call to tell them about the sick A.C. and the woman was indignant. It has been 5 months and my husband is still sick with no voice. I wonder if it is a virus because the antibiotics haven't fixed it. We have had 3 different drs'. The latest diagnosis is Bronchitis.
vwmack is offline  
Old Dec 16th, 2003, 07:57 PM
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There is nothing that your husband could have aspirated in a turtle tank except for salt water. I would judge from the time of your trip that your husband had a reaction to something that was blooming. Florida is full of things that will create havoc with respiratory systems. Try some strong antihistamines -- NOT sinus meds that make him not allergic to things that he might be allergic to (like Claritin or Allegra), but rather something that will dry him up. My son had a chronic problem once for months and that was the only cure. I went to a few doctors who diagnosed asthma -- but it was just really really bad nasal drip.

Good luck.
Tandoori_Girl is offline  
Old Dec 17th, 2003, 05:59 AM
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There are no accommodations in Summerland Key other than private homes that have to be rented at a minimum of 28 days. Were you perhaps thinking of Sugarloaf Key?
highbay is offline  
Old Dec 17th, 2003, 06:49 AM
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Marathon is about a hour away from Key West.
SuzieQ is offline  
Old Dec 17th, 2003, 10:46 AM
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Islamorada is my favorite place in the keys also. Keep in mind that unless you are in Key West, the keys are very laid back with not a lot of nightlife. Bars open early in the morning. If you stay in Islamorda, you must get out on the water to appreciate its beauty.
Old Dec 22nd, 2003, 05:34 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Have you made any decision on your trip to the Keys. Another possibility would be Priceline. Check out It is a pretty comprehensive website devoted to helping people make informed bidding decisions for hotels, rental cars and airline tickets. Depending on the time you are planning your trip, you might get a decent price for a hotel via a Priceline bid. Who knows, it might be worth checking out if you haven't made other arrangements.
highbay is offline  
Old Dec 23rd, 2003, 06:10 AM
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Surprised no one mentioned Parmer's Place. Another place friends stay at is Vahalla Point near Marathon.
buckeyemom is offline  
Old Dec 23rd, 2003, 07:32 AM
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We stayed at the Treetop Inn
It was very nice - ate breakfast outside by the pool every morning.

I believe I chose it because it was reasonbly priced - and it was a little further away from Duval, but still walking distance.

A couple was spending their honeymoon there also.

Schnooks is offline  
Old Jan 16th, 2004, 03:02 AM
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Topping for budget queen....
bookhall is offline  
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