Miami or the Keys in December?

Old Sep 17th, 2013, 06:11 PM
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Miami or the Keys in December?

Hi All!

My family is headed on a Cruise out of Miami for Christmas and I am hoping to get some advice.

The details:
We are flying in on a Wednesday (arriving in the evening) and then boarding the cruise on the Sunday (mid-day). There are six of us with lots of luggage (chronic over-packers!). We have a variety of ages: 16, 19, 24, 26 and my parents.

Things we would like to do: rent bikes for an afternoon, go on a boat tour and the rest is up in the air!

We are debating staying in Miami for the 4 nights or splitting our time between Miami and somewhere in the Keys.

My parents have been to Miami once before (but did not have an amazing experience), the four of us children have never been.

What should we do?

Thanks so much!
Allie
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Old Sep 18th, 2013, 03:13 AM
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Would you be interested in a day trip from Miami to the Everglades? It would be a different experience from the sites you will get to on the cruise, i.e. , not just a nice tropical island place.
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Old Sep 18th, 2013, 04:23 AM
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I would pick just one or the other and park the group... my choice would be South Beach with day trips down the keys... in SB you have an amazing beach vacation with shopping,food, and people watching and your final move to the cruise will be much easier...
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Old Sep 18th, 2013, 08:16 AM
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For a boat trip: Key Largo is an easy day trip from Miami with a rental car and the glass bottom boat trip at John Pennekamp state park is fun.
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Old Sep 18th, 2013, 08:25 AM
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Thanks all! If we were to take a day trip from Miami to the Keys, which area should we go to? What do people usually do while visiting the Keys? I feel like it might not be beach weather...?
Thanks!
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Old Sep 18th, 2013, 09:58 AM
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what sort of experience do you want? south beach is a urban over priced tourist trap and the keys are rural over priced tourist traps.
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Old Sep 19th, 2013, 03:03 PM
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Last time we went, we stayed in SoBe and took a day trip out to John Pennekamp State Park. The coral reefs are magical. SoBe is fun to wander around in and we always see lots of rental bikes zipping around. Puerto Sagua is a favorite restaurant of ours.
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Old Sep 20th, 2013, 06:18 AM
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South Beach is not around the block from the Keys. It's a few hours drive, plus whatever you are going to do there, then the drive back.

I vote for staying in the Keys overnight enjoy it at least a day and a half. South Beach the rest of the time. Most of it is water, boats, laid back bars and restaurants. South Beach is more vibrant at night. There is bottleneck traffic during the day, especially Fridays and weekends. Keys are more laid back. Not as crowded. People are nicer, imo. Enjoy!
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Old Nov 11th, 2013, 10:46 AM
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If you want to avoid moving around all that luggage, I'd stay in South Beach or near it and either "beach hop" around the area or take a day trip to Key Largo (one of the upper keys).

You can go to a couple of beaches in/near Miami...
- South Beach (more vibrant, younger crowd)
- Hollywood Beach (more family oriented, has a broadwalk with restaurants right on the beach - about 20-30 min north of South Beach)
- Key Biscayne (an island just south of Miami Beach with hotels like Ritz Carlton, etc. It has a nice beach on one side and bay inlet for sail boarding/water sports on other) http://www.visitflorida.com/en-us/ci...-biscayne.html

In Key Largo (about 3 hours drive south), most people go to John Pennekamp park (an underwater park) for snorkel boat tour or glass-bottom boat tour to see the coral reef. http://pennekamppark.com/

You'll need to rent a car to do all of this as we don't have great public transportation.
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Old Nov 11th, 2013, 05:20 PM
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January?
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Old Nov 12th, 2013, 06:11 AM
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You really have just three full days, so I would pick one place to drop all that luggage and go wherever from there. We really enjoyed a walking tour of the Art Deco hotels in South Beach through the architecture group below. The beach is right there and also plenty of sidewalk cafes.

www.architecture.org/tours
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Old Nov 12th, 2013, 06:14 AM
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Yikes, wrong link. Here is the correct one for Miami Art Deco tour:
www.mdpl.org/tours/guided-walking-tours/
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