Florida Keys Journals

A Week in the Florida Keys

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A June 2011 trip to Florida Keys by Joy S

Birds on Highway 1 Photo, Florida Keys, Florida More Photos
Quote: We spent a week on the Florida Keys. We were based mostly on Key West, but travelled to all the different islands and found this is a great holiday destination for families.

Overview and Highlights

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Story/Tip

Birds on Highway 1 Photo, Florida Keys, Florida
Quote:
A simple journey from Miami, along the wonderful Overseas Highway brings you to the Florida Keys. They are a strip of islands about a hundred miles long, known for fishing, diving but most of all for the town of Key West - legendary for its sunsets and liberal attitude.There are actually 1,700 islands in the archipelago and they extend south and south west of the Florida mainland. The Keys are divided into 3 areas - Upper, Middle and Lower Keys.The islands are like a tropical paradise, and one that you can visit without leaving the USA. There are multi-coloured fish and coral in crystal clear waters, mangroves, lots of wonderful seafood to try, beautiful palm-fringed beaches...Read More

Tips and Hints

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Quote:
* The average year round temperature is 75 degrees fahrenheit. This is due to the Gulf Stream and the south easterly trade winds. Temperatures rarely vary by more than 15 degrees and there is a constant breeze. December to April is the best time to visit. Summer and autumn can be humid and most hurricanes are in August and September. May to October is the wet season, rain falls apparently most days during this time, usually in the early morning. We visited in June and only saw rain one day for about half an hour. Key West is the driest city in Florida.* Rent a car in Miami for the drive - it takes about 4 hours from Miami to Key West. The exact duration of course, though depends on...Read More

Robbie's Marina

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Attraction | "Robbie's Marina, Islamorada"

Robbie's Marina Photo, Florida Keys, Florida
Quote:
Islamorada is one of the world's top fishing destinations and also one of the more affluent resort areas of the Keys. There are sophisticated resort hotels, lots of restaurants and art galleries and nice shops. It is half way between Key West and Miami, so is the perfect place to stop for lunch and break up the journey.We visited Robbie's Marina - MM77.5B - it is an absolute must-see! The draw is the hungry fish - tarpon which hang around and wait to be fed by tourists.The marina is a bit of a tumbledown place, but is very charming. A faded sign on the bait shack says, "See the tarpon $1, feed the tarpon $2." We bought a bucket of bait and walked to the end of the marina. ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 8, 2011

Robbie's Marina
MM 80 / 77-5 Overseas Hwy
Florida Keys, Florida
(305) 664-9814

Turtle Hospital

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Attraction | "Turtle Hospital, Marathon"

Turtle Hospital Photo, Florida Keys, Florida
Quote:
The turtle hospital at Marathon has been treating injured sea turtles since 1986. Previously it was a motel, now they treat and rehabilitate injured turtles and aim to return them to their natural habitat. They also want to educate the public about these wonderful creatures. The hospital has successfully treated and released 1,000 turtles since it started up.You can take a 90 minute tour of the hospital and get a look behind the scenes at the treatment centre and the rehabilitation area. The tours are at 10am, 1pm and 4pm. It costs $15 for adults and $7.50 for children. We booked in advance - you have to call their number listed on the website. They do not accept e-mail reservations...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 8, 2011

Turtle Hospital
Hidden Harbor Marine Environmental Project, Inc.
Florida Keys, Florida 33050
(305) 743-2552

Crane Point Museum & Nature Center

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Attraction | "Crane Point Museum and Nature Centre"

Crane Point Museum & Nature Center Photo, Marathon, Florida
Quote:
We decided to visit Crane Point on Marathon, as it was a good stopping off place on our journey from Key West to Key Largo. It is easy to find and well signposted. Admission is $12.50 for adults and $8.50 for children and it is open 9am until 5pm. They have plenty of parking - ours was the only car in the car park!Crane Point is a 63.5 acre area, which is apparently one of the most important historical and archaeological sites in the Florida Keys. It was once the site of an entire Indian village. Now, it is a not for profit place which has a small natural history museum and also a nature centre.You enter through the giftshop which is quite nice and has lots of souvenirs, p...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on July 10, 2011

Crane Point Museum & Nature Center
5550 Overseas Highway
Marathon, Florida 33050
305-743-9100

Theater of the Sea

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Attraction | "Theater of the Sea, Islamorada"

Theater of the Sea Photo, Islamorada, Florida
Quote:
Do not miss Theater of the Sea on Islamorada. It is wonderful. Located at MM84.5 on Windley Key, it was founded in the 1940's and is America's oldest open-air aquarium and mammal show. It is actually the second oldest marine mammal facility in the world. Theater of the Sea does not try to compete with more modern, expensive parks, but this makes it all the better. It is a wonderful place to come for adults and children alike. It was one of the highlights of our holiday on the Florida Keys.Admission is $26.95 for adults and $19.45 for children aged 3-10 (these prices do not include tax). You need about 3 hours to see all the shows.The admission charge includes a parrot sho...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 10, 2011

Theater of the Sea
mm 84.5
Islamorada, Florida 33036
(305) 664-2431

Big Pine Key

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Story/Tip

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Big Pine Key has wild life refuges which provide protection for and endangered animals. Any commercialism you will find on the other islands and especially on the Upper Keys, is well and truly left behind here. On Big Pine Key there is an authentic, back-country atmosphere.As well as having a different atmosphere, Big Pine Key is physically very different to the other islands. The rest of the Upper Keys are made from a former coral reef, while Big Pine Key is made of limestone bedrock. There are lots of hardwood trees and pine trees.The ilsand is also home to 300 tiny Key deer. These are very rare, with white tails and roam the unspoiled tropical wilderness that makes this...Read More

Driving Along the Overseas Highway

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Marathon - 7 Mile Bridge in the background Photo, Florida Keys, Florida
Quote:
The Florida Keys do not run north to south, but actually go in a southwesterly direction along this single road called US Highway 1 or as it is otherwise known, the Overseas Highway. It is very scenic and is a fantastic drive for families with children. The road is an engineering marvel. It was built by Henry Flagler in the 1930's to replace railway lines destroyed by a hurricane in 1935. It is 113 miles long and has 43 bridges, including Marathon's famous 7 Mile Bridge. At sunrise and sunset, the views along the road are beautiful, but at any time of the day it is an extraordinary drive. It is amazing to think that underneath the road is the sea and a coral reef. The vi...Read More

Key Largo

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Story/Tip

Bedroom at the Holiday Inn Photo, Florida Keys, Florida
Quote:
Key Largo is called the "first of the Florida Keys," because of its northernmost location along the Florida Keys chain. It takes an hour to drive here from Miami, but feels like a different world entirely. There are 2 state parks in Key Largo and a national marine sanctuary.John Pennecamp Coral Reef State Park is America's first underseas park. It has been referred to as the "crown jewel of the state park system." There is a visitor's centre which has a refurbished 30,000 gallon aquarium, nature trails, picnic areas and 2 beaches, as well as extensive diving opportunities. Be aware that this place gets extremely busy at weekends. We had to sit in a long queue of traffic just to get i...Read More

About the Writer

Joy S

Joy S
Manchester, United Kingdom