Florida Keys Journals

Florida Keys out of season

A November 2001 trip to Florida Keys by Leesa

Bahia Honda State Park Photo, Big Pine Key, Florida More Photos
Quote: From the car there is nothing special about the drive down the keys (unless you're a bridge engineer) apart from the odd glimpses of nature. But the whole place is a recreational playground suiting all tastes and budgets.

Florida Keys out of season

Overview

Quote:
* Key West
* Bahia Honda State Park
* John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Quick Tips:

Drinking is largely what Key West is about, with alcohol tolerated as you walk down the street. Everybody was certainly happy and very good-humoured. Look out for happy hours, and deals on domestic beer. Our favourites were Fat Tuesday’s, Duval Street for an astounding range of frozen Margaritas, Sloppy Joe’s and Captain Tony’s Bar for the spectacle, and the veranda of Coco Palms Jamaican Me Hungry, 300 Front Street Tel (305) 296-0046 overlooking the Chamber of Commerce for sunset Margaritas.

Best Way To Get Around:

Quote:
A wonderfully cosy guesthouse with brightly decorated rooms, each named after a Caribbean island, with doughnuts & coffee for breakfast and limited parking. According to the manager they are usually full, so book ahead if you can. Summer: $49-69. Winter: $69-109.

Additional contact details, fax: 305 269 9840 www.caribbeanhousekeywest.com, e-mail: caribbeanh@aol.com

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 23, 2001

Caribbean House
226 Petronia Street
Florida Keys, Florida
(800) 543-4518

Quote:
This seemed to be the closest to a budget option in relatively expensive Key West. Rooms advertised around $25-30.

Additional contact details:
Fax: (305) 294-0069
Email: info@elranchomotel.com
www.elranchokeywest.com

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on November 23, 2001

El Rancho Motel
830 Truman Avenue
Florida Keys, Florida
(305) 294-8700

Key Lantern

Hotel

Quote:
A great budget motel, far enough away from the main road to be quiet. A friendly motel manager, offering huge motel rooms with kitchenette, en suite, and satellite TV for the bargain price of $25.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 23, 2001

Key Lantern
82150 Overseas Highway, MM 82.1
Islamorada 33036
(305) 664-4572

Papa's Restaurant

Restaurant | "Papa’s of Key West"

Quote:
In spite of the fairly tempting list of specials, the main fare was the Key West standard of fish or meat dishes. Portions were disappointingly small.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on November 23, 2001

Papa's Restaurant
217 Duval Street
Key West, Florida 33040
(305) 293-7880

Hard Rock Cafe

Restaurant | "Hard Rock Café"

Quote:
Despite not being a unique menu, Hard Rock Cafe is both good and dependable for both burgers and a hearty salad. Nice setting in an old washboard building with a leafy garden on different levels.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 23, 2001

Hard Rock Cafe
313 Duval Street
Key West, Florida 33040
(305) 293-0230

China Garden

Restaurant

Quote:
If you are tiring of meat/fish and two veg, or burgers or salads, the China Garden is a good option for a cheap but filling meal.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on November 23, 2001

China Garden
531 Fleming Street
Florida Keys, Florida 33040
(305) 296-6177

Squid Row Restaurant

Restaurant | "Squid Row "

Quote:
This restaurant offered the usual standard chicken, beef, and fish selections with some interesting variations. About a mile "Key West-wards" from Key Lantern Hotel.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on November 23, 2001

Squid Row Restaurant
81901 Overseas Highway
Islamorada, FL 33036
(305) 664-9865

Crack’d Conch

Restaurant

Quote:
Don't let the look of the shack on the outside turn you off. The interior is cosy and clean. The food is fairly standard, except for the conch & crab dishes, but good and large helpings. Try the conch salad, which is more of a spicy lumpy gazpacho!

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 23, 2001

Crack’d Conch
MM 105 / 105045 Overseas Hwy
Florida Keys, Florida
(305) 451-0732

Bahia Honda State Park

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Bahia Honda State Park Photo, Big Pine Key, Florida
Quote:
Bahia Honda was recommended to us by an American guy on our flight over from Europe. So when we ran out of things to do in Key West after only one day we thought we’d better check it out. My expectations of Bahia Honda were a little confused. I knew from our guidebook and the guy on the plane that the beach wasn’t exactly huge but, according to the in-flight magazine, it was rated amongst Conde Nast’s best US beaches. Arriving at Bahia Honda the beach itself was easily overlooked, as your eye is drawn to the remains of the old road bridge. You can’t help but head up the severed bridge from where you have a great view of the turquoise waters, and the feat of civil engineering of Highway ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 21, 2002

Bahia Honda State Park
36850 Overseas Hwy, Mile Marker 37
Key West, Florida 33043
(305) 872-3210

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is the first park you come to as you start driving down The Keys. We got quite excited arriving at the park, looking forward to some walking. Unfortunately the park seemed predominately to focus on glass bottomed boat trips - fair enough with hindsight I suppose as the name of the park is ‘Coral Reef Park’. For those, like us, who wanted to experience nature without the aid of a motor there seemed to be few options. We did explore the couple of small beach areas, taking more than a couple of minutes each. And we also investigated the couple of signed boardwalks in the mangroves, but these proved disappointly short. In fact, in this first park of ou...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 10, 2002

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
MM 102.5
Key Largo, Florida 33037
(305) 451-1202

Long Key State Park

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Long Key State Recreation Area"

Quote:
Having been unsuccessful with canoeing at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park on our way down the Keys, we kept our eyes open for other parks and canoe trails on our drive back up. However, most of the tourist information booths seemed only aware of the commercial operations, which seemed largely to involve sea kayaking and not exploring the flora and fauna of the coast which we wanted. We came across Long Key State Recreation Area, guided by our Florida Lonely Planet, which duly rented out kayaks for the remarkably cheap rate of $4 an hour for the 2 hour self guided circuit through a tidal lagoon. And the late middle aged couple manning the entry gate seemed thrilled to see us! The kay...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 10, 2002

Long Key State Park
67400 Overseas Highway
Long Key, Florida 33001
(305) 664-4815