Should we drive to Key West for a day trip?

Jan 26th, 2006, 06:21 PM
  #1  
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Should we drive to Key West for a day trip?

In February, we are flying into Tampa to visit our college son, then driving to Key Largo for one night, then South Beach for 2 nights before flying home from FLL. Is it worth driving all the way to Key West from Key Largo for the day? We haven't been to the Keys for 25 years, so thought we might enjoy the sights. Opinions, please? Thanks!!!
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Jan 26th, 2006, 07:34 PM
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If you are up early and on the road, it can be a lot of fun riding down to KW... we love stopping in Islamorada for a leisurely breakfast and some quick shopping at the worldwide sportsman, followed by a run to KW for a late lunch... there are several possible stops along the way, all with that laid back Keys feel, including tacky tourist shops or seafood shacks, and Old Town still offers the Conch Train, a fun little tour around the island... If you're interested in the party, there's always Sloppy Joes or the Hog's Breath as well as dozens of other liquid attractions... for the cultural, the Hemmingway House, the treasure museum, and a handfull of galleries along Duval...

When all is done, you won't want to leave, but finish your day with the sunset celebration at Mallory Square... you will face less traffic when heading back, so take your time and enjoy...
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Jan 27th, 2006, 08:50 AM
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Thanks for the response, GaryT22! But, what exactly is the sunset celebration at Mallory Square, besides the obvious? Did a search, but still not quite sure.
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Jan 27th, 2006, 08:58 AM
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Not sure what day of the week you will be doing this, ok. if on a week day one the weekends it gets a little more hectic, the drive is not that bad, you said your in Key Largo you've somewhat eliminated about 1 hour. Have fun. see if you may want to rent this little I donít know what to call them they look like a sophisticated gulf cart, they look like a lot of fun (I know it fits 2, not sure if they have something bigger)
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Jan 27th, 2006, 09:27 AM
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In my opinion, if you really want to visit the keys, spend the three nights in either Key West or Islamorada and don't try to split your time between Key West, Key Largo, South Beach and fit in drives to/from Tampa and Ft. Lauderdale.

 
Jan 27th, 2006, 09:50 AM
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No offence, but I think it is crazy to do Key West for just a day and not even a full one at that. The drive alone is very unpredictable and could take hours. It is a two lane road for most of the way and the smallest fender bender could back things up for hours. Its happen to us.

Try to at least stay over night in Key West so you are not so pressed for time and you could see the sunset celebration. Its a very nice thing to experience at least once. Some people might even consider it a "must do" but look at the site and decide for youself. Have a great time. http://www.sunsetcelebration.org/
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Jan 27th, 2006, 10:57 AM
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Thanks for the responses. We have already paid for the hotel in South Beach and will lose the money if we don't go, so that's why we aren't staying in Key West. I thought the drive from Tampa to Key West would be too long, so I booked Key Largo.
So, do you all think we should just spend time around Key Largo?
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Jan 27th, 2006, 11:08 AM
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Also, are there any closer Keys worth visiting instead?
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Jan 27th, 2006, 11:09 AM
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yes, there is some wonderful snorkling there.
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Jan 27th, 2006, 12:57 PM
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No name,
Will the water be warm enough to snorkel in February?
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Jan 27th, 2006, 02:17 PM
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When we lived in South Florida we would make several day trips to KW each year. We would leave early, pack a lunch or stop and enjoy. This can make for a long day but it is more than worth it if that is all the time you can allows. Starting in KL you are half way there.
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Jan 27th, 2006, 05:40 PM
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Thanks Redrock! Love your positive attitude!!!
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Jan 27th, 2006, 06:06 PM
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I'd don't recommend the trip all the way to Key West. A few years back we did a day trip from Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, FL and went through Miami to Key Largo to Plantation Key and that took alot of time. We stopped at the Kennecamp(sp) park and took a nice charter boat out to the reef (2 hrs) and only went to the wild bird refugee 5 miles before that excursion, went to a late lunch on Key Largo and that was it and it took basically the whole day. Why not just do an upper Key trip, maybe go a little further than Plantation? Take it easy?
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Jan 27th, 2006, 06:11 PM
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Jayne:

You asked about snorkeling. As mentioned above I went on a glass bottom charter boat at Pennekamp Key Largo and we went to molasses reef and really saw some amazing marine life and stayed nice and dry in the boat. The ride might be alot nicer especially since in the winter the bird life might be out more than it was in May when it was a scorcher when we went. You travel out to the ocean and see bird life on the Mangrove trees on your way there and its really neat.
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Jan 27th, 2006, 07:17 PM
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Stephanie,
Great advice and I must say you have convinced me to stay put in Key Largo!
Thanks so much,
Jayne
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Jan 29th, 2006, 08:39 AM
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Jayneann, if you do decide to drive to Key West, remember the three hours is the best case scenario. If there are any car wrecks on US1, add at least an hour to the drive.

True story, girlfriend left Ft. Lauderdale for a day drive to Key West. Sixteen hours later they returned to their hotel room and they only spent five minutes in Key West. Because of rain, a wreck, and a car wreck they were in by someone rubbernecking another wreck.
 
Jan 29th, 2006, 11:08 AM
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Oh my gosh, what a bummer for her!!! And of course, the accident victims! We probably will just stay around Key Largo, but......... you never know!!!!
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Jan 29th, 2006, 12:03 PM
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Jayneann-- There is a big difference in time and miles when driving from Ft Lauderdale to Key West than when driving from Key Largo to Key West. The most dangerous part of the drive into the Keys is the strip of road (US-1) from Florida City to Key Largo. Even that part of the trip can be by-passed by taking Card Sound Road. Accidents can and do happen. As long as you are not involved I would not worry. Since you are that close and you have not been to Key West in 25 years I would suggest you go for it. Even if there is an accident and you are delayed you will be delayed on one of the most senic drives in the world.
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Jan 29th, 2006, 12:05 PM
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Just back from a week in Key West. Some of our party drove down, some flew down. All who drove regretted it - and we were staying for a whole week. They agreed that the drive is slow and tiring with not a lot to see along the way. I vote for staying put. You have a great trip planned. Don't spoil it.
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Jan 29th, 2006, 12:39 PM
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TC, while the drive isn't my favorite thing, I find it sad your freinds said 'there was not a lot to see'.

It is one of the most gorgeous drives in the US. Reminds me of my sister being 'bored' with The Grand Canyon when we were little.
 

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