South Florida in February

Nov 18th, 2009, 04:19 PM
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South Florida in February

Researching a trip to escape New England and visit South Florida in February for 7 days. It is just the hubby and myself - we like the outdoors, good food, some relaxing time and exploring. We would probably fly into Ft. Lauderdale as I have free ticket so it would only be one airfare. I am looking for thoughts on the route & stops along the way. Was thinking loop trip from Ft. Lauderdale down to Key West and definitely want to see Everglades Nat'l Park. Ideas on where to stay and how many nights each would be most helpful as I have never been to this area of Florida before. I know that it is getting close and that it is high season but I really need a vacation! Reading as many other posts as I can find too. Thanks so much!!!
lindsyb is offline  
Nov 18th, 2009, 05:17 PM
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If you want to read an amusing travel report on a trip thru the Everglades, google "Dave Barry goes to the Everglades" or something like's hilarious (but a bit sarcastic).
On a serious note, my hub and I are going on our 3rd trip to the Keys in January. Have always stayed in Islamorada (halfway down to Key West) as it's a little cheaper than KW and less congested. A great website for travel info is the New York Times..just go to the travel section and put things like "FL Keys" or "South Beach Miami" into the search box.
donnawho is offline  
Nov 18th, 2009, 07:13 PM
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We did this loop 2 years ago. The drive from FLL to Key West is too far to enjoy in one day. It worked well for us to spend the night mid-way down to Key West. We stayed in Islamorada and that worked out well. We spent 3 nights in Key West and for us that was just the right amount of time. Staying within walking distance of the main attractions on Duval St. is a good idea.
Taking the 821 toll road Florida Turnpike to by-pass Miami will save you from a lot of traffic congestion on your drive to the Keys.
montereybob is offline  
Nov 19th, 2009, 04:04 AM
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Thanks everyone for the info - I'll check it all out!
lindsyb is offline  
Nov 21st, 2009, 03:36 AM
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Islamorada is a good place to stay. There is a much-better-than average Hampton Inn, though as somewhat-higher-than-average prices. Lots of restaurants from high end French (Chanticleer South) to down-and-dirty.
Ackislander is offline  
Nov 21st, 2009, 05:11 AM
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I think it depends on what you want to do. Realize that the drive from Ft. Lauderdale to Key West is actually less than 4 hours normally so it is hardly "too long" to do in one day. Some love taking their time, but frankly while I think the drive itself is beautiful, stopping at strip shopping centers and tacky souvenir shops has never been worth the time to me. A nice stop for lunch in Islamorada can be nice though. I do agree Islamorada as a more laid back place than Key West, so I understand people liking it, but I personally would prefer to get to Key West and unpack than breaking the trip up into two parts. If snorkeling or scuba is big to you, though stopping for a night to do some (Largo is the center for that, but Islamorada works well too) then that would make sense to me. But just stopping mid day to break up a four hour drive into two parts, doesn't make sense to me.

And since you want to do some exploring of the Everglades, you might want to spend a night or even two in the Homestead or Flamingo area to do so. That reduces the length of time to Key West from there a lot also.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2009, 12:27 PM
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We decided to move our dates around to avoid the ProBowl / SuperBowl issues that we thought we might encounter the first couple of weeks in Feb. I am thinking that we'll fly into FLL and then drive to Miami the last week of Jan. We'll be there 4 days/3 nights to do Everglades and that area. Is Miami a convenient place to stay? Any suggestions?

On the 4th day we'll drive to Key West and stay there for 4 days / 3 nights and I have booked at the Southernmost on the Beach. Any feedback on this hotel? I booked it because it was oceanfront and also a bit away from the hustle & bustle of the main area but would appreciate any feedback.

Last night will then be Fort Lauderdale and fly home the next day out of FLL.

Any feedback on the itinerary or hotels is certainly appreciated.
lindsyb is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2009, 08:20 PM
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Forget doing the Everglades. There is nothing to see. Go to Key West. If you drive through the Everglades do not overly exceed the speed limit. I paid a $279 fine for doing aprroximately 95. Miami is South Beach. Maybe a night and then drive to Key West a magnificient drive and destination.
sandiej is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2009, 03:59 AM
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Regarding the Everglades--what about the kayak,canoe eco trips offered by the outfitter at Ivey House in Everglades City?--sounds like a wonderful day in the Everglades. Has anyone ever done one of these trips? I probably should start a new post.
LindainOhio is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2009, 06:28 AM
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The Everglades is a "must-do" for our trip - we love visiting the National Parks. I was planning for the bike ride at the Shark Valley entrance. Then was also planning the Anhinga Trail and maybe canoe/kayak as well on the second day.
lindsyb is offline  
Nov 25th, 2009, 02:08 AM
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"Forget doing the Everglades. There is nothing to see" is like saying "Forget doing Glacier National Park. There is nothing there but mountains." Jeez.
Ackislander is offline  
Nov 25th, 2009, 06:04 AM
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Nothing to see in The Everglades? I feel sorry for anyone who apparently missed it completely. It's one thing to say, "we didn't care for it", but to suggest there is "nothing to see" in one of the most ecologically interesting places on the planet? Of course, if your goal is strip shopping centers and souvenier shops, then you are right.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Nov 25th, 2009, 10:10 AM
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I guess if driving through so fast you get a $279 ticket is how you do the Everglades, then you won't find much there.
emalloy is online now  
Nov 25th, 2009, 11:02 AM
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emalloy, thanks for stating the obvious, which even I ignored. I'm assuming that the poster got that ticket on US 41 which in fact only skirts past the Everglades and mainly is a speed limit of 55, sometimes 45, so 95 mph is well worth a ticket and $279 for going 40 miles over the speed limit sounds really cheap to me! If we're talking about "seeing the Everglades" by driving past them on Interstate 75 which doesn't even go near any of the 2500 square mile Everglades National Park -- well -- duh, of course there isn't much to see, even at the speed limit. That's like saying "we drove past New York City on the NJ Turnpike and there's nothing to see in NYC -- forget it! Question for sandiej -- did you even enter Everglades National Park -- any of its 25,000 square miles??
NeoPatrick is offline  

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