one Oct weekend drive thru keys

Old Jun 30th, 2004, 07:01 AM
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one Oct weekend drive thru keys

My husband and I have only October 1 - 3 to drive through the keys. We are planning on flying into Miami on Friday, renting a convertible and driving to Key West, then flying out of there back home on Sunday. Everything inbetween is up in the air. We want a romantic and inexpensive trip, some sun, maybe snorkeling, sunset dinners, you get the picture. Are we crazy? Can this be done? Does anyone do a package like that anywhere? Where should we stay? How will the weather be? Any and all help would be appreciated!
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Old Jun 30th, 2004, 09:59 AM
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Begining of October is very hot in the keys. Plan on upper 80s. I got the worst sunburn of my life in Islamorada about 5 years ago around the same time.

I would stop on the way out of Miami and pick up a couple of cheapo beach chairs and one of those styrofoam coolers packed with sandwiches and beverages.

I would take my time stopping along the way wherever strikes my fancy. Stop in John Pennenkamp State Park in Key Largo, Holiday Isle in Islamorada or Anne's Beach, Old 7-Mile Bridge or Pigeon Key in Marathon, and maybe a couple more places on the way down.

Run, don't walk to your nearest bookstore and pick up a copy of The Florida Keys by Joy Williams. Do not substitute another guidebook. This may be the funniest and best guidebook ever written.

The El Patio and Southernmost Hotel in Key West are both reasonably priced in an otherwise expensive town.

One warning, you may find some of the more popular restaurants closed during that time. I guess they like to take a break right before season and Fantasy Fest hits.
 
Old Jun 30th, 2004, 10:47 AM
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Wow. Thank you so much for the advice. Great idea with the beach chairs and cooler and we?ll definitely get the guidebook. Shopping is a must, too. I?ve been researching a bit more and my thoughts are to party a bit on Friday night and stay in the upper ? mid keys? any suggestions on fun bar near hotel? There is, of course the Tiki bar and Kokomo?s, but are they just cheesy? I?ve never been. Then we figured on heading south again to beach, snorkel, and maybe glass bottom boat? My husband thinks we should splurge on Little Palm for dinner one night, but where to after that? Can we get back to a romantic hotel from there? Should we head right to Key West? Finally we come to Sunday, a nice breakfast and some sightseeing, then back we go to civilization. Would appreciate more great suggestions! Thanks again.
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Old Jun 30th, 2004, 12:43 PM
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I think the Breezy Palms and The Pines and Palms are both very nice for the Upper Keys and both are in Islamorada.

Fair warning, unless you are in Key West, trying to find nightlife is difficult.
 
Old Jul 1st, 2004, 07:26 AM
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I would not miss the beaches at Bahia Honda State Park in the lower Keys. The water is amazingly warm and clear, and the beaches are often listed among the best anywhere. We visited in June, and it wasn't too crowded. From Bahia Honda take a snorkel boat out to Looe Key--great snorkeling with a great variety of undersea life--we saw big fish, smalll, brightly colored fish, barracuda, reef sharks, coral...just teeming with life.

If you want to add more activity to your itinerary, kayak tour out of Big Pine area is also worthwhile. We used Scarlet Ibis Tours and kayaked out to the very quiet and private mangrove islands in the nature preserves of the lower Keys. You are in about four feet of crystal clear water and can see baby sharks go by, sponges, sea stars, fish, rays, birds....

We went to Pennekamp for snorkeling on our drive out of the Keys. That worked well, and the coral reefs there are so shallow it is an up-close experience--another vote for Pennekamp, but take a boat out to the reefs.

Have a wonderful trip--
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Old Jul 4th, 2004, 05:48 PM
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If I were you I would drive from Miami to Key Largo. It is about 1 1/2 hours. As soon as you enter Key Largo you will see signs advertising snorkeling tours to John Pennycamp national park. This is an underwater coral reef that is a protected area. The snorkeling is breathtaking. Next continue your tour to Bahia Honda park which is about 2 hours further down the keys. The beaches are fantastic. Finish your trip in Key West. It is the best place to stay in the Keys. Look on Tripadvisor for a questhouse, don't stay in a chain hotel. In October the rates are almost half price.
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Old Jul 7th, 2004, 09:00 AM
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If you want to party on Friday night I would either go all the way to Key West or stay in Islamorada and go to Holiday Isle's Tiki bar, but I wouldn't stay at a Holiday Isle Property- find somewhere else in Islamorada and take a taxi to Holiday Isle.

If that Firday nite party thing is really important to you, though, go to Key West. Holiday Isle's Tiki bar can be great, but because October is off-season it might be kind of dead, and then you would have few alternatives.
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Old Jul 7th, 2004, 09:03 AM
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Oh, and I forgot to say, no you are NOT crazy- you are picking a great time of year for a weekend getaway to the Keys- low prices and excellent "Florida" weather. Only thing that could screw it up would be a hurricane, but you'll know before you ever get on the plane if that is an issue.
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Old Jul 7th, 2004, 09:18 AM
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Look at www.keywest.com, all information you need is there. Make sure you have dinner at Antonias, on Duval street... excellent Italian rest.
Weather in Oct. is perfect... lots of sun an no rain or humidity during the day, nice balmy nights.
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Old Jul 13th, 2004, 12:50 PM
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Thank you, thank you, thank you all for the advice. Any and all suggestions are so very much appreciated. Based on these posts, should we then drive to Little Palm for dinner on Saturday (still not sure where to stay that night), then on to Key West Saturday night and fly home Sunday?
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Old Jul 13th, 2004, 01:03 PM
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sorry, I meant dinner at little palm friday.....
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Old Jul 13th, 2004, 02:22 PM
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Hi, almostmarried - In your original post you mentioned wanting an inexpensive trip, so I'll add one comment. The "splurge" at Little Palm Island might be more of a splurge than you realize. Dinner entrees (excluding appetizers, salad, and beverages) currently range between $42-$46 and desserts are between $12 and $14.

The have a Sunday brunch that I've heard is wonderful, but prices are steep then, too. I honestly can't remember how much it costs...maybe $50 or $75 a person.
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Old Jul 15th, 2004, 05:07 PM
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I would spend Friday night in Islamorada. Depending on when your flight arrives, you can stop to snorkel at John Pennekamp on your way to Islamorad.
The "spluge" dinner would be Pierres (MM 84?). Start the evening with your feet in the sand as you enjoy drinks outside at sunset at Morada Bay Cafe(right next door). Then off to Key West in the morning.
Save Little Palm for a daytime visit or for when you can stay overnight! You want to be able to see it.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2004, 05:39 AM
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Okay, with the trip only a month away, I'm getting worried about the rough hurricane season we've had. Should I bag this whole idea? You guys have been a wonderful help planning this weekend away, but I'm so scared! I'm not booking anything but the flight and car and am expecting that we'll just drive along and stop at hotels or b&b's for rooms. If a hurricane comes by, we're doomed!
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Old Sep 2nd, 2004, 05:52 AM
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Please. You are scared about something that may or may not happen a month away in a place you may or may not visit?

If a hurricane happens, your flight will be canceled and they will either return your money or book you elsewhere and ditto with the hotel.

They aren't going to let you fly in and then just twaddle around in a hurricane.
 
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