Florida or Bust!
November 20, 2009 1:26 PM   Subscribe

Recommendations for traveling south of Miami. We are planning to fly into Miami, rent a car and drive south down Highway 1 toward the Keys. We want to go down in Feb or March. Where should I focus my research on the area to decide which destination to go to and what we must see or do along the way. We want the adult version of spring break. That means fun parties in the evening, exploring historical or interesting places during the day. Warm sandy beaches at some point are a must. Anyone know anything about that area? There is just so much there I don't know where to start.
posted by meeshell to Travel & Transportation around Miami, FL (11 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Stay underwater!
posted by dersins at 2:20 PM on November 20, 2009

How far into the Keys are you planning on going? Key West is an obvious place for the party side of your equation, and the Hemingway House will give you historical coolness as well as polydactyl kitties.

Also, Key West is home to one of my favorite weird phenomena, chickens and roosters wandering wild in the city.
posted by quin at 2:29 PM on November 20, 2009

Best answer: The keys are awesome - my parents have a place down there, so I'm there a lot - they're neat because they have a different mentality there - - island time - everything goes a bit slower. Since they are coral islands, though, there's not a lot of big sandy beaches, but, there are some nice small ones, and some of the resorts have man-made ones you can hang out on.

make sure you go to Pennekamp park - the grounds are lovely, they have a nice aquarium, and they have a lot of great tours to go on. If you scuba dive, they have dive tours, if not, you can snorkel or go on a glass bottom boat tours. You can also rent canoes or kayaks and explore the mangroves.

Saturdays on Key Largo there's a neat flea market which is worth checking out. Go to Sundowner's to watch the sunset - a key largo ritual, where everyone applauds after if the sunset was good

Holiday Isle
resort has some great bars- thatched roof with lots of levels, bands, and a swim-up pool bar and a little beach, which are all open to the public, so you don't need to be staying at the hotel to enjoy them - drink a Rum Runner for me!

Key West is awesome - it has great party atmosphere, and lots of history. Lots of art galleries bars and restaurants. Have a Sloppy Joe and don't miss Hemingway's house - 6 toed cats!

There's lots of other things I'm sure I've missed, but I'll post again if I think of anything else - have fun!
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:48 PM on November 20, 2009

Keep in mind there's really no beaches in the Keys. The beaches that are there are state parks, and while beautiful, there's no concessions, restaurants or bars nearby. There's no beach at all in Key West. Best bet for beach going is in Miami Beach. South Beach beaches are really great.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 3:39 PM on November 20, 2009

Take a few minutes to feed the tarpon.

I cannot stress how important this is. And by "important" I mean cheesy, but fascinating, tourist fun.
posted by Opposite George at 3:50 PM on November 20, 2009

Key West is probably going to be the liveliest place but the Keys are fun to drive to and take in the scenery. On the way down, you can stop in Marathon and try the lobster reuben at the Keys Fisheries. At Big Pine Key, you can check out the wee adorable key deer while trying to find the No Name Pub. It's got the sordid former brothel history but the entire inside is covered in scribbled dollar bills.

While at Key West, you can rent bikes in Key West and check out the cemetary. It's not the prettiest, but the epitaphs are interesting. The sunset celebration at Mallory Square is fun but there's a lot of tour boats that drift by to block the view.

The one thing I wanted to try but didn't get a chance to do is go to the Dry Tortugas National Park. It's supposed to be incredible.
posted by zix at 3:55 PM on November 20, 2009

Response by poster: Funny about the polydactyl kitties, my exhusband and I had a kitty with 6 toes, she was a special girl.

So those pictures of the tarpon may give me nightmares for months, I don't think I could handle the real thing.

I was hoping what I had read about there not being much beach there was not true. I guess we can get our beach fix in Miami then head south for the snorkeling.
posted by meeshell at 8:22 PM on November 20, 2009

also - if you like birds at all, the Keys Bird Sanctuary is good. The Everglades are also beautiful - take a boat tour of them
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 11:49 PM on November 20, 2009

Best answer: Be patient - the drive from Miami to Key West will take 3.5+ hours. We were there a few years ago and had fun on a kayak/snorkel tour of the mangroves. If you're looking for historical & interesting things to do during the day - Dry Tortugas is amazing and absolutely worth the ferry money...you can snorkel there too. Also eat at El Siboney - tasty Cuban food!
posted by wearyaswater at 12:42 PM on November 21, 2009

Keep in mind there's really no beaches in the Keys. The beaches that are there are state parks, and while beautiful, there's no concessions, restaurants or bars nearby.

Bahia Honda State Park is a great example of this; no food or bars or anything. Though, if you are just looking to snorkel and lay out in the sun it's more than equipped.
posted by quin at 9:00 PM on November 21, 2009

I would recommend this book for your trip to the keys. While you are driving south you could see the amazing Coral Castle in Homestead and visit Robert for a delicious milkshake
posted by alasdefuego at 12:39 PM on November 22, 2009

« Older Jean Genie?   |   I really enjoy Brings' cover of Zarah Leander's... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.