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Florida Keys #24734
01/14/2014 12:47 PM
01/14/2014 12:47 PM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 120
Midwest
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Brian3000 Offline OP
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Hi all,

Going to Lauderdale by the Sea, Fl in March. The wife and I love it there and have a free place to stay. However for the first time, we will be renting a car and will go to the Keys for a day/night.

Neither of us have ever been. Not sure if we should go to Key Largo, Key West, other???

We like doing pretty much any and everything but don't have a starting point right now other than Key West is about an hour and 15mins of a longer drive (which can't be that bad on A1A!)

Anyway, any recommendations, insights, advice, references are appreciated. We like dining, snorkeling, night life, whatever. Again, (sadly) this is only for 1 day and night. We'd leave Lauderdale by the Sea around 8am or so, spend the day in the Keys, spend the night, and maybeee spend some time the following day but with the drive back can't get wild.

Thanks friends! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Cheers.gif" alt="" />

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Re: Florida Keys [Re: Brian3000] #24735
01/14/2014 01:05 PM
01/14/2014 01:05 PM
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Brian3000 Offline OP
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What my rough idea is, is to get to Key West around noon. Soak in the Keys all day and night. Spend the night. Eat breakfast. Hit the road around noon the following day. Stop at John C. Pennecamp State Park in Key Largo to snorkel (3pm time slot). Get back to home base by 8:00.

Do any Keys vets see any hiccups/issues in that?

Re: Florida Keys [Re: Brian3000] #24736
01/14/2014 03:32 PM
01/14/2014 03:32 PM
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irina Offline
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Hi Brian,
That's 4 and a half hours from Lauderdale by the Sea.
It's about 200 miles and a lot of it on US 1 in the keys.
You won't make the 3 pm snorkel trip at Pennekamp and be home by 8 though. Do stop at Mrs Mac's on your way down.
Another half way stop is Lorelei across from Islander in Islamorada.
Cheers
irina

Re: Florida Keys [Re: irina] #24737
01/14/2014 03:58 PM
01/14/2014 03:58 PM
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Brian3000 Offline OP
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Hi Irina,

Thanks for the input!

I was going off Google maps, which has the trip from Lauderdale by the Sea to Key West at 3 hrs 44 mins...is that wishful thinking?

I think regardless we'll snorkel at Pennecamp then go to Mrs. Mac's afterward before we head back north for the rest of the drive.

Google has Pennecamp to LBTS as a 1 hr 39 min stretch...again, too optimistic?

Re: Florida Keys [Re: Brian3000] #24738
01/14/2014 04:28 PM
01/14/2014 04:28 PM
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irina Offline
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Maybe. Depends what's going on. Day of the week etc.
Coming home from the Keys one time we hit a huge rainstorm on the turnpike and 3 major wrecks. That took quite a bit of time. LBTS is in the northern edge of FLL. We were just going to downtown Miami!
Maybe no turnpike, stay on US 1 and jump on I 95 when you get it. Instead of going west to turnpike then east to LBTS. When are you doing this?
irina

Re: Florida Keys [Re: irina] #24739
01/14/2014 04:32 PM
01/14/2014 04:32 PM
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Brian3000 Offline OP
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I believe we will be driving down to Key West the morning of Wed 03/26. Leave Key West on the 27th and stop at Pennecamp & Mrs. Mac's.

Re: Florida Keys [Re: Brian3000] #24740
01/14/2014 06:04 PM
01/14/2014 06:04 PM
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irina Offline
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You should be good then.
I have this great website:
http://www.beatthetraffic.com/traffic/#!/Miami/cameras
You can check the traffic all the way through. Map expands. Just click before you take off or have your co pilot put it on their smartphone. LOL
cheers
irina

Re: Florida Keys [Re: Brian3000] #24741
01/14/2014 06:17 PM
01/14/2014 06:17 PM
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rhans Offline
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Hey Brian,
Just a heads up. Traffic on A1A can be a real PITA. You indicate 3/26 A.M. Thatís a weekday so add school bus slow downs. Itís also around some spring breaks. Traffic doubles in the Keyís during spring break. You might want to give Key West a pass until more time is avail. and stop your trip around Pennecamp.

Re: Florida Keys [Re: rhans] #24742
01/14/2014 06:22 PM
01/14/2014 06:22 PM
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irina Offline
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I was wondering if it was spring break. Somehow thought of President's Bday and forgot about the other.
Even so, going south Wednesday and North on Thursday shouldn't be too bad. He could just take I-95 south. Once you pass Kendall, it's wide open. Or take the turnpike south.
Mrs Mac's is good anytime. LOL
Cheers
irina

Re: Florida Keys [Re: irina] #24743
01/14/2014 06:45 PM
01/14/2014 06:45 PM
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irina Offline
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Rhans,
why would he take A1A?
Do you come down from Michigan on I-75?
Cheers
irina

Re: Florida Keys [Re: irina] #24744
01/14/2014 07:00 PM
01/14/2014 07:00 PM
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rhans Offline
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Hi, The ref for A1A was in the key's where I spent 16 years.
Cheers

Re: Florida Keys [Re: rhans] #24745
01/15/2014 10:45 AM
01/15/2014 10:45 AM
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Brian3000 Offline OP
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Thanks for the traffic link! We'll definitely get the app for our phone.

I had spring break in the back of my mind as well...I was crossing my fingers that you pros would tell me going S on a Wed morning and N on a Thurs shouldn't be too bad (barring accidents etc).

Re: Florida Keys [Re: Brian3000] #24746
01/15/2014 03:07 PM
01/15/2014 03:07 PM
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irina Offline
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A1A? Where in the Keys is that? Is it parallel to US 1?

I wasn't kidding about I 75. We were in Madeira Beach and everyone was from Michigan! They told us it's a straight shot down.
Cheers
irina

Re: Florida Keys [Re: irina] #24747
01/15/2014 03:28 PM
01/15/2014 03:28 PM
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rhans Offline
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US1/A1A co-labeled

Re: Florida Keys [Re: rhans] #24748
02/12/2014 02:36 PM
02/12/2014 02:36 PM
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Eddy Offline
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Stop at Loreleis for a Rumrunner and sunset then to the Island Grille for Tuna Nachos. Both not to be missed and both in Islamorada

Re: Florida Keys [Re: Eddy] #24749
03/05/2014 12:43 PM
03/05/2014 12:43 PM
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Brian3000 Offline OP
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I'll be Hotwiring our Key West hotel this weekend. I'll report back with my "rough outline" of my Key West plan next week or so and see what you all think.

Thanks for all the great input so far.

Re: Florida Keys [Re: Brian3000] #24750
03/10/2014 11:32 AM
03/10/2014 11:32 AM
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Brian3000 Offline OP
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So we decided to go the B&B route.
We made our reservation at the Artist House for Tuesday 03/25. http://www.artisthousekeywest.com/

We'll be in the Eugene Studio Suite.

Tentative plan:
-Leave LBTS around 7:00am
-Cliche or not, drive down in the rental with Buffett's boxed set
-Go straight to El Siboney for lunch
-Check in at the Artist House and get our room situated
-Walk around and soak the environment up, stopping in places that seem interesting, culminating in...
-Sunset at Mallory Square
-Get clean and go to Blue Heaven for dinner
-Do a 1 drink per establishment pub crawl (many of the bars suggested by you all) that ends with us getting to Schooner's Wharf by midnight/12:30 and staying there to watch whoever's playing finish their set.
-Walk/cab back to Artist House for sleep
-Head to Croissants De France to start the day
-Get to the touristy things (Mile Marker 0, Southernmost Point, Hemmingway House)
-Hop in car and stop in Largo on the way back north and go to the state park to snorkel. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif" alt="" /> <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/dine.gif" alt="" />

Re: Florida Keys [Re: Brian3000] #24751
03/10/2014 11:35 AM
03/10/2014 11:35 AM
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Brian3000 Offline OP
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Welp, just saw that there may not be music by the time we get to the Wharf. The magic of Frank Everheart until 1am.

Re: Florida Keys [Re: Brian3000] #24752
03/10/2014 02:13 PM
03/10/2014 02:13 PM
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irina Offline
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Croissants de France is the place I was thinking of. And we always stop at Mrs. Mac's Kitchen in Key Largo. Local place.
Not on the water. Stop at the old place on the bay side of US1 not the new one in the center of US1.
Cheers
irina

Re: Florida Keys [Re: irina] #24753
03/10/2014 02:18 PM
03/10/2014 02:18 PM
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Brian3000 Offline OP
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Thanks Irina!


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