Road Trip to Key West, FL

Old Aug 6th, 2007, 01:33 PM
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Road Trip to Key West, FL

We will be visiting my mother who lives just west of Fort Lauderdale in December and wanted to do a driving trip to Key West. According to MapQuest, it is about 200 miles. We have only driven as far south as Key Largo. Are the roads OK? Will it take longer than 4 hours? Any suggestions for where to stay, what to see, where to eat? Will be 2 college kids, myself and 77 yr old spry mother. TIA!
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Old Aug 6th, 2007, 01:57 PM
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You will require at least four hours for the trip. I drove in May. Construction between Florida City and Largo caused delays. I would ask if there is a resource on construction status before making the drive. Lots of entertaining options en route. Lunch at the Lorelei in Islamorada is a personal favorite. Also in Islamorada is Lazy Days, right by Bud and Mary's Marina. Both fine waterside restaurants. Across the Indian Channel West from Islamorada is Robbie's. Stop and feed the tarpon for a couple bucks worth of bait fish. All will enjoy. In Marathon at the east end of the Seven Mile bridge is the old bridge open for pedestrians from Marathon to Pigeon Key. On the west leg of this walk you cross flats and always see sharks, rays, tarpon, and baracuda. It's a couple miles out to Pigeon Key. The City Fish Market and Seven Mile Cafe are good stops in Marathon. At MM 21 is Mangrove Mama's an upscale restaurant set in the Mangrove trees. Beautiful place, great food. At Key West the guide books take over. I like the Turtle Kraals and the restaurant at the Pier House. Have fun!
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Old Aug 21st, 2007, 07:25 AM
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We booked a hotel room at the Best Westerb Hibiscus on Simonton St. Anyone familar with it? The prices are pretty outrageous around Xmas time in Key West and we decided to sacrifice star level for location. Any comments? Thanks!
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Old Aug 21st, 2007, 07:38 AM
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That's a fine choice for a Hotel....good location, reasonable rates. Clean.
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Old Aug 21st, 2007, 04:39 PM
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Best Western Hibiscus gets wonderful reviews. The location isn't very close to the Gulf, but hopefully your spry mother likes to walk!

Something fun to do on that end of Duval is the Butterfly Conservatory. I've been 3 times and would go back in a heartbeat.

If you want to splurge for a lunch, you might try Louie's Backyard - it's very pricey, but it's wonderful!

Truman's Little White House is in Key West and it's a popular tourist spot...also the Hemingway House. Both are interesting. Your mom would undoubtedly have memories of Truman.

There are lots of water activities in Key West. If you can swing it, I'd suggest a sunset sail with Floridays. They limit the number of passengers to around 20, so they're a more intimate outfit than many others.

Any more questions, please ask.
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Old Aug 21st, 2007, 05:45 PM
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Hi aliska,

You are getting good advice here. Many of my suggestions have been listed. They include: Lazy Days in Islamorada. Also in Islamorada is an unusual store called The Sportsman. Your collage kids will like it for sure.

Mangrove Mama's is popular, also unusual.

In Key West, the Little White House is appealing to those with an interest in history. The tour there is very professionally done and worth the $.
We always visit Louie's Backyard when we're in town. Great food - great location. In December, it might be best for lunch. Also, in KW, but off the beaten path, there is a little store that you should visit. It is called Kino's. They make and sell sandals right there. Very original - very reasonable.

Allow much more time than the four hours that you might suppose because you be stopping to explore along the way. I am not current but there has been construction at the upper end of the Keys. If it is still a factor, the Card Sound route will allow you to bypass it.

Enjoy the sunsets.
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