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Old 04-26-2015, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Mount Pleasant, SC
1,938 posts, read 2,473,648 times
Reputation: 1697

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Looking to flly into Miami and drive south in early September. Probably into Miami on a Friday & out next Friday. We're looking for a leisurely beach/bike/drive time -- not big into nightlife (do like casual music spots) or fishing (though day cruises/sailing excursions would work).

We're athletic 60 year olds and want comfortable to luxury accommadtions around $250 nightly. We're open to spending two nights in a place & then moving on. Definitely want to see Key West.

Any suggestions for best spots to stay, visit, eat? Food budget shouldn't exceed $150 per day. Thanks!
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Old 04-27-2015, 07:13 PM
 
1,448 posts, read 2,156,963 times
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I don't know, this is pretty wide open. You don't say specifically how you want to spend your time. Any guide book can give you the highlights of each place, but C-D is better for personalizing trips.

There are hundreds of things to do in the Keys, and a ton of restaurants to go to that are pretty good.

Keep in mind that September is during the height of hurricane season. Although this is predicted to be a light year, the few major storms that do hit can still hit SFL, given that SFL is very overdue statistically for a major hurricane to hit. So just have some emergency preparations (hotels will tell you what to do if tourists have to be evacuated), and be prepared for intense heat, high humidity, and frequent rain storms that pour down and then stop just as suddenly. Prepare also for mosquitoes, which can be intense in the Keys sometimes during that part of the year - chemicals aren't good obviously, but a spray with at least 15% DEET will do a good job of keeping them away.

You might want to stay either on Key Largo or Islamorada, and then a night in the Lower Keys, before Key West. There are a number of happenings in September in the Keys. Key West will have both BrewFest, and WomenFest. Key Largo has the Lionfish Derby, for divers to help capture (and eat) the invasive but tasty lionfish. Islamorada will have their annual Swim for Alligator Lighthouse, an 8-mi roundtrip open swim to a popular snorkeling and diving location. They will also have their Conch Scramble "On the Water" Gold Tournament, where teams of people who sign up can play a 9-hole gold tournament by hitting biodegradable balls off of boats at floating island holes.

Do you like snorkeling, or diving? Do you prefer a particular type of cuisine, or gourmet dining vs. fried fare? Are there specific amenities you want in your hotel? Do you want to lay out on a small hotel beach (there are no large beaches in the Keys, and very few natural ones), or do you want to spend your days doing water sports?

It's hard to recommend what to do without knowing how you want to spend your time. But some general things you could consider would be trying a boating (sunset cruise? glassbottom boat trip to the reef?) or watersport excursion from Key Largo, checking out Bahia Honda Park, and taking the ferry to the Dry Tortugas if you have time. There are a million other things to do, and if you do a search of threads here about the Florida Keys, or including the names of specific islands you want to go to, you'll see plenty of them have already been discussed many times. You could also consider visiting the Fruit and Spice Park or Robert Is Here in Homestead on your way down, if you like tropical fruit. You could go to the Bird Rehabilitation Center in Tavernier, or check out the Dolphin Research Center. There are a ton of options, depending on what you like to do. There are a lot of great things to do in Miami too, again listed in prior threads ad nauseum if you do a search. You may also want to consider a trip to the Everglades (although bug spray would be a MUST at that time of year).

It just depends on what you want to see. Every island has multiple cool things to do, all the way down from Key Largo to Key West.
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Old 04-28-2015, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Mount Pleasant, SC
1,938 posts, read 2,473,648 times
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Thanks, Starfish! We're more the "big eyed wanta see how people live" types. Snorkeling is a fav of ours, too. Surprised to hear "no large beaches."

We may just island hop; we're not the types to sit still long anywhere so hotel amenities aren't a big concern -- cleanliness & safety are. Of course, a pool to start/end a day.

Getting a feel for each island is the aim of this trip & next one would be more about enjoying a specific place.
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Old 04-28-2015, 01:17 PM
 
Location: Miami
6,853 posts, read 19,817,809 times
Reputation: 2907
Moved this to the Florida General Forum.
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Old 04-28-2015, 05:16 PM
 
13,773 posts, read 33,929,958 times
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We always stayed at Courtney's Place in Key West. Away from the hussle of Duval but yet walkable to downtown. seeing sunset at the pier is always fun.

Courtney's is a B&B and there is everything from private cabins to rooms that have kitchens. You have access to a pool and a beach just a few blocks for the southern point
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Old 04-30-2015, 04:40 PM
 
Location: OCNJ and or lower Florida keys
773 posts, read 1,639,260 times
Reputation: 787
key largo has some great near shore snorkeling at john pennykampe state park. go spend a day at and take the snorkel trip at Bahia Honda state park out to looe key reef. Fort Zachary Taylor state park in key west also has some good near shore snorkeling. if you want to feed a big old tarpon stop at Robbie's marina in the upper keys. if you are a drinker and want to experience some locals bar go to Alabama Jacks on card sound road on your way into the keys. a good locals bar in key west is stars and stripes. on ramrod key turn on mako rd and follow it all the back to the ramrod key swimming hole. if you are into nature check out the key deer national wildlife refuge on big pine key. lots of tiny deer all around especially at dusk. on big pine you can also see the resident alligator at the blue hole and check out the old wooden bridge for some kool kayaking trips. if ya can spend the money and have the time go out and see the dry Tortuga's for a day trip fort Jefferson and the surrounding waters are impressive and so is the near shore snorkeling about 10 miles out of key west on Geiger key is the Geiger key marina which has a really kool on the water tiki bar/restaurant for a bite to eat or to have a drink and watch the fish swim by. the walk able waterfront in key west is a good time too.
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Old 05-01-2015, 06:47 PM
 
Location: Port Charlotte
3,927 posts, read 4,788,145 times
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Just for fun, stop in at Robby's on Islamarado, on the south side of the bridge and feed the tarpon. Great tarpon fishing out of Robby's as well.
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Old 05-01-2015, 11:24 PM
 
Location: Fort Liquordale, Florida
242 posts, read 264,735 times
Reputation: 289
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarfishKey View Post
I don't know, this is pretty wide open. You don't say specifically how you want to spend your time. Any guide book can give you the highlights of each place, but C-D is better for personalizing trips.

There are hundreds of things to do in the Keys, and a ton of restaurants to go to that are pretty good.

Keep in mind that September is during the height of hurricane season. Although this is predicted to be a light year, the few major storms that do hit can still hit SFL, given that SFL is very overdue statistically for a major hurricane to hit. So just have some emergency preparations (hotels will tell you what to do if tourists have to be evacuated), and be prepared for intense heat, high humidity, and frequent rain storms that pour down and then stop just as suddenly. Prepare also for mosquitoes, which can be intense in the Keys sometimes during that part of the year - chemicals aren't good obviously, but a spray with at least 15% DEET will do a good job of keeping them away.

You might want to stay either on Key Largo or Islamorada, and then a night in the Lower Keys, before Key West. There are a number of happenings in September in the Keys. Key West will have both BrewFest, and WomenFest. Key Largo has the Lionfish Derby, for divers to help capture (and eat) the invasive but tasty lionfish. Islamorada will have their annual Swim for Alligator Lighthouse, an 8-mi roundtrip open swim to a popular snorkeling and diving location. They will also have their Conch Scramble "On the Water" Gold Tournament, where teams of people who sign up can play a 9-hole gold tournament by hitting biodegradable balls off of boats at floating island holes.

Do you like snorkeling, or diving? Do you prefer a particular type of cuisine, or gourmet dining vs. fried fare? Are there specific amenities you want in your hotel? Do you want to lay out on a small hotel beach (there are no large beaches in the Keys, and very few natural ones), or do you want to spend your days doing water sports?

It's hard to recommend what to do without knowing how you want to spend your time. But some general things you could consider would be trying a boating (sunset cruise? glassbottom boat trip to the reef?) or watersport excursion from Key Largo, checking out Bahia Honda Park, and taking the ferry to the Dry Tortugas if you have time. There are a million other things to do, and if you do a search of threads here about the Florida Keys, or including the names of specific islands you want to go to, you'll see plenty of them have already been discussed many times. You could also consider visiting the Fruit and Spice Park or Robert Is Here in Homestead on your way down, if you like tropical fruit. You could go to the Bird Rehabilitation Center in Tavernier, or check out the Dolphin Research Center. There are a ton of options, depending on what you like to do. There are a lot of great things to do in Miami too, again listed in prior threads ad nauseum if you do a search. You may also want to consider a trip to the Everglades (although bug spray would be a MUST at that time of year).

It just depends on what you want to see. Every island has multiple cool things to do, all the way down from Key Largo to Key West.
The C-D Florida Keys Tour Guide

Last edited by doggiebus; 05-02-2015 at 08:27 AM..
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