Miami & KeyWest

Apr 2nd, 2006, 03:30 PM
  #1  
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Miami & KeyWest

Foodies, my Friends,

I have my reservations done for Miami and Keywest between 1st July to 5th July. I basically have 2 days at each point.

We are two couples, one with a 3 year old kid and the other with a lil' 6 month old infant.

Based on your experiences, I'd appreciate if you could let me know what would be -

1) The best things to do or see at both places
2) Any restuarant not worth missing

I heard about the "parrot jungle", maybe that's one down

I guess with kids there might not be a whole lot worth doing.

BTW, we plan on driving between Miami and KeyWest and returning back to Miami to take on our return flight. Hope that's a good idea?


Greatly appreciate your help.

Thanks,

Dodz.
luvdodo is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2006, 03:42 PM
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Give us the location of your hotel in Miami as you won't need to travel far for fun activities. Are you on a beach for Miami? If so, I would just enjoy that for the 2 Miami days. On the drive to Key West, stop at Everglades National Park. You'll go in the entrance at Florida City (right before the beginning of the Keys). There's a boadwalk at Anhinga Trail that is very stroller friendly. Lots of alligators, birds and other critters. There's no food concession in the park so you should pack a cooler. It will be hot! Sunscreen,hats and bugspray a must! Also a must is a stop at the Robert is Here fruit stand for fresh milkshakes. Make a stop at Robbies on the drive down (mile marker 77 bayside) and feed the wild tarpon.
keymom is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2006, 07:07 PM
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Thanks Keymom - thats great info.

I am not sure yet on the hotel as I am still hunting for a good hotel deal at Miami and Keywest.

My flight and car rental have been booked

Thanks,

Dodz..
luvdodo is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2006, 07:09 PM
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Sorry Keymom forgot to reply back to the other question...

Yes we are in Miami to face a beach for a bit bot not 100% because we are from Virginia and have beaches here as well but surely not as good as Miami.

But yes, we'll hit the beach to an extent and maybe take a whale/dolphin watching trip into the sea....
luvdodo is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2006, 07:32 PM
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With kids that young and only four days, why don't you skip Key West and spend your time in Miami.
BarbaraS is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2006, 04:22 AM
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I suspect you'll end up on Miami Beach although Key Biscayne is also an option. I assume you want places that have something to interest the adults, will occupy the 3 yo and is stroller friendly. Some thoughts on that. If you end up on Miami Beach, spend one evening walking and eating on Lincoln Road. During the day, there's Parrot Jungle. Across the street from that is a new Children's Museum that will delight the 3 yo. Not sure what you mean by whale/dolphin watching. That's not a Miami experience. Some "eco-tours" in the Keys will have the chance to see wild dolphins but it is not a guaranteed thing. We are out in a boat in the Keys often and see dolphin about 5% of the trips. If you are interested in a boating experience (fishing, sightseeing, or snorkelling) I would do that in Key West. Either one adult should forgo the trip and stay with the kids or you should do 2 trips w/ 2 adults each. I would not include the kids on a boat trip. One option would be for some or all of the adults to go on a snorkel trip out of John Pennekamp State Park (Key Largo). The other adults and kids would very happily pass the time at Jacobs Aquatic Center. They have a zero grade entry pool that is very shallow and has a pirate ship and play ground in it. jacobsaquaticcenter.org
keymom is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2006, 07:55 AM
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Neopolitan
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Reading between the lines of what it seems you're looking for, my suggestion would probably be to bypass Miami itself and spend the full four days in the Keys, stopping at Largo or Islamorada and at Key West.

Be aware that traffic through the keys that whole period around the Fourth is going to be a bit of a nightmare anyway, and you need motel reservations pronto!
 
Apr 3rd, 2006, 12:16 PM
  #8  
 
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When we went to Key West a couple years ago, I searched and found the best hotel deal at Days Inn at the entrance into Key West (next to Waffle House). It is a little bit of a drive into town, but we had a rental and drove in each day without any problems. Having Waffle House adjacent was convenient and cheap, then we splurged on dinners in town. Suggest you have Blond Giraffe's key lime pie
http://www.blondgiraffe.com/
offlady is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2006, 12:23 PM
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Actually it probably isn't a good idea...for the kids,why not try Key Largo perhaps, otherwise you will spend a lot of time driving. Or, fly into Miami, out of Key West. There is another thread on here about driving v. flying that you may find helpful.
SAnParis is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2006, 12:53 PM
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Keep in mind the drive to or from the Keys is likely to be a long one, with just one lane of traffic in both directions and passing prohibited for most of the travel. When I traveled there on the 4th, it took well over 3 hours to traverse the 110 miles.
budget4me is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2006, 04:27 PM
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The kids will enjoy the trolly tour ride in Key West, and there's the southernmost point of the continental USA.

We drove to Key West from Miami and it was a long and boring ride for the kids both ways. On our return to Miami, we left Key West very early in the morning (before dawn), made a couple stops along the way, including one at IHOP for breakfast. If you are planning to drive back that 4th of July weekend, you should try to get an early headstart back to Miami and let the kids get more sleep in the car.
offlady is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2006, 07:11 PM
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Keymom, BarbaraS, Neopolitan, offlady, SAnParis and Budget4me,

Thanks so much, really appreciate your advise and will work with the other couple to make sure we plan of iternary well.

I also heard there might be a "fireworks" thing in Miami during the long weekend. So we plan on visiting Keywest first (1-3 July) and then returning to Miami for the rest of the stay.

I had another important question to ask and it's about food. Who doesn't love food . My wife is a true vegetarian and loves stuff like grilled vegetables and sizzlers. The rest of us love sea food and meat (except beef). I'd be glad to hear from you on your experiences in terms of dining out (w/noisy kids around), heh.

Once again, appreciate your inputs.

Regards,

Dodz.
luvdodo is offline  
Apr 4th, 2006, 08:02 AM
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There is a Thai restaurant on IIRC Greene Street that serves several veggie dishes. Blue Heaven on the corner of Thomas & Petronia has one veggie platter that is enough for a meal and they also have meat & seafood. And if you go over to Wall Street, El Meson de Pepe serves veggie appitizers. Try the "wet" plantains and steamed yucca. They also serve meat and seafood. Try the masitos.

Pjk
Peter_krynicki is offline  
Apr 4th, 2006, 05:22 PM
  #14  
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Thanks Peter...appreciate it.
luvdodo is offline  
Apr 4th, 2006, 05:23 PM
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There a many firework events in Miami on the 4th. If you are staying on Key Biscayne, there is a parade down the main street and fireworks at night on the village green. If you aren't staying on the Key, don't plan to go there - -traffic is a nightmare. Coral Gables opens for picnics on the golf course at the Biltmore Hotel and fireworks after. I'm sure there are also fireworks on Miami Beach. Here's more info on the Biltmore: 4th of July Carnival and Fireworks
Monday, July 4, 2004, 5 - 10:30 p.m., at the Biltmore Golf Course, 1210 Anastasia Ave. Join the City of Coral Gables on the 4th of July for a good old-fashioned community celebration! Carnival festivities kick off at 5 p.m, followed by live music at 7:30 p.m. and a spectacular fireworks show at 9 p.m. Visit the food booths provided by local restaurants or bring you own picnic. Please: no glass, pets, or fireworks are allowed. Limited parking is available. Free parking and shuttle bus rides are available from the Coral Gables Youth Center, 405 University Dr., from 4:30 - 10:30 p.m. For more information call the Parks and Recreation Department at 305-460-5600.
keymom is offline  
Apr 6th, 2006, 02:58 PM
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Coral Gables is a very nice area, and if you have time, a trip to the Venetian Pool (formed from lime quarry) would be awesome for you and the kids. As for fireworks, all I'll say is do NOT attend the ones near the Bayside Marketplace downtown. We made that mistake one year. The "fireworks" lasted a grand total of 4 minutes!
budget4me is offline  
Apr 8th, 2006, 05:34 AM
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The Venentian Pool is certainly an out of the ordinary experience, but they are very strict on letting little kids in the pool - The baby won't make it in the door. The three year old must be at leat 38 inches tall and 3 years old or provide a birth certificate proof of 36 months of age to enter facility and the pool. This is because the pool is not chlorinated. Instead, it is drained daily and refilled from natural spring aquifer. (Per the website, the water is filtered and returned to the aquifer.) www.venetianpool.com
keymom is offline  
Apr 8th, 2006, 06:31 AM
  #18  
cd
 
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Dodz
Keymom has given you some really good advice. Anhinga Trail will be loved by adults and children! And Robert is Here milkshakes were the best! You might want to stop at Bahia Honda and stretch your legs by walking the beach.

I would definitly recommend you stay in Old Town in Key West. You can then walk everywhere which would be so much easier with the kids. Be sure to include sunset celebration at Mallory Square in your evening itinery.
cd is offline  
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