Roadtrip Key West or Marco Island in January

Old Mar 21st, 2015, 09:15 AM
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Roadtrip Key West or Marco Island in January

We are getting off a caribbean cruise on January 5th and have a few days before having to return to the cold. We are thinking a road trip to either Key West or towards the Gulf and travel north to Tampa. We have been to Key West before but just for the day while on a cruise. We have never been but always wanted to check out the Marco Island area as well as Sanibel and Tampa. We are wondering about the weather that time of year. Would the weather in Key West be a lot better than the Gulf Coast? Any recommendations either way? I glanced at hotels in Key West and WOW they are proud of their hotels aren't they...granted I am picky and prefer upscale but I guess I didn't expect $499 a night. I have absolutely no clue where to even look for accommodations in Marco Island, again I am pretty picky and prefer upscale. Any suggestions where we should go?????
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Old Mar 21st, 2015, 09:55 AM
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If you go to Tampa or even Marco Island in Jan, you will be likely to be returning to colder temps than you want sooner than you want.
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Old Mar 21st, 2015, 01:11 PM
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Key West is the weather choice by far... Consider looking at a multi hotel site like www.historickeywestinns.com. All of these properties are in Old Town but offer a variety of rates...

If you still feel pressed by budget, consider Islamorada... Halfway down the Keys, plenty to do and eat, and you can day trip to KW....
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Old Mar 22nd, 2015, 06:02 AM
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Weather stats for KW and Marco in January are virtually the same average temps. However, the difference between Tampa and the southern destinations is significant.

If you are comparing to your home temps in a northern state, you will be much warmer anywhere in Florida than New England.

Marco is very much a sit on the beach or watersport destination. KW has more diverse activity. The middle keys have many worthy activities and attractions. I like better than KW.
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Old Mar 25th, 2015, 07:32 PM
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I agree that Islamorada might be a good compromise, and a lot less expensive. Quite independently of each other, on the same day two different friends recommended the Breezy Palms Hotel there. We stayed in the beach bungalow and it was nice, but there are other rooms that are much less expensive, like about $130/night or even less depending on the season. Key West is a couple hours south, but certainly do-able in a day/evening trip. There should be at least one sober person to drive home, though.

In terms of weather, we were there in early January of this year, and for most of our stay the highs were in the 80's. However, the day we left a cold front came in, and the temps dropped about 20-25 degrees. That day we drove to my brother's in Bradenton, and it was several degrees colder. When I went surf kayaking off of Anna Maria Island I had to wear my wetsuit.

And yes, it was difficult to transition back to DC winter weather, especially considering the winter we've had.

When I go to the Breezy Palms again, I'll try to get either room 110, 111, 112, or 113. Those are on the ground level, with a completely screened in porch area, and they overlook the ocean with a view that is unobstructed except by the dock. If you'd rather have a higher view and you don't mind being on the second level, rooms 210-213 are just above them. www.breezypalms.com, mile marker 80.

Oh, and when sunset comes around, have dinner at Lorelei's, which is just up the road at mile marker 82.
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Old Mar 26th, 2015, 07:14 AM
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Frankly, if you made the rounds of Old Town KW when you stopped by on your cruise I would not troop all the way down there again.

We just came back from a drive down from our home in Fort Lauderdale. Hadn't been there in years; stayed right at the foot of Duval in one of the nicer accommodations and watched as all the folks from two different docked ships made their rounds.

Admittedly there is more to do in KW than Old Town but if you don't fancy lying by the pool, going out to Fort Monroe, etc., etc., I would not bother. Upper Keys offer enough to do IMO.

Sanibel and Captiva? Now THAT is a location where you can REALLY get away from it all and the beaches are, IMO, unforgettable. Weather should be nice enough, too.
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