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  1. Default 9 days Florida - looking for ideas

    Dear Forum,

    after our great roadtrip on the west coast one year ago and with lot of great ideas and tips from you, we are heading for Florida this year.

    So far, I only have a vague idea of our route because we do not want to make such big distances compared to our Westcoast roundtrip, so we were mainly looking for some Must-sees and optional spots in southern Flordia which can reached quite easily within 1-2 day at max as it seems. We are open for any idea and suggestions! :-)

    Day 1 Miami Airport (Hotel tip for first night?)
    2 Naples Area (Miromar Mall in Estero?)
    3 Naples/Sanibel (caribean beaches?)
    4 Fort Lauderdale (day 4 or 5 we would like to meet a friend from Orlando, she would be driving as far as Miami or we might travel up the west coast a little bit - east coast seems less good as it does not have the turnpike there)
    5 Homestead (day 5 or 6: Airboat, e.g. withEverglades Safari Park, Alligator Farm)
    6 Homestead (hotels?)
    7 Key West (stop at Grassy Key Dolphin Center)
    8 Key West
    9 Fort Lauderdale (Sawgrass Mills Outlet? nice beach hotel which is also close to Miami Airprt?
    Day 10 Miami, flight leaving in the evening
    Just a preliminary plan because I still don't have confirmation where and when to meet with our friend from Orlando.

    From travel magazines these spots along our route sound great:

    John Pennekamp Coral Reef Park bei Key Largo: snorcheling!? near Fort Pierce/Palm Beach: Manatees!
    Dolphin Research Center Grassy Key: Flipper!
    John D. McArthur State Park oder Jupiter Inlet oder Hobe Sound: turtles???
    Key West: For sure!
    Everglades: Airboat and lots of Alligator photos!
    Sanibel: caribean beaches or oil armageddon ... I really don't care much about our vacation, we are flexible anyway, but this is a real catastrophe both for man and nature...

    Many thanks!


  2. Default Dry tortugas national park - fort jefferson

    OK. Since you're going to Key West, why stop there?

    Hop a ferry for a 2 1/2 hour ride to one of our newest National Parks. Go snorkeling in crystal-clear waters and see tons of fish. Take a tour through Fort Jefferson, then further explore the fort and cannons on your own. If you have the time and gear, you can camp there up to 4 days. Of the two ferrys, I prefer the Yankee Freedom. Obviously, this is best when the wind and seas are relatively calm. If you're loaded with money, you can take a sea plane instead.

    BYW. Although Key West looks like a short drive from Homestead, it is a loooong drive timewise. You are constantly driving through towns most of the way. You could spend your entire vacation in the Keys, which isn't a bad idea.

  3. Default

    Thanks a lot travlingman,

    ferries sound good...just need to see how much time we will spend overall on the keys. Any other points to stop along the keys? Any chances for Manatees? :-)

  4. Default New risks to vacationing in Florida

    I am so sorry to have to tell you that on May 13, 2010 the governor of Florida approved red light cameras with fines of $158 per incident. If you stop just past the "stop bar" on the road while the light is on yellow you will get a ticket because a camera will take a photo of your license plate. There are many, many places in Florida with these cameras and now that they have been made legal there will be many more. Your road trip with your listed locations will put you at risk of receiving one or more of these tickets. You do not have to actually run a red light to get one, all you have to do is have part of your car in the intersection, even if it is just half of your front wheels, or if the light turns red while your back wheels are exiting the intersection. You can also get a ticket for going right on red even though it's legal here to do so. Your alternative is to slam on the brakes and be hit in the rear end.

    It is important to enter Floridae with full awareness of the new risks involved. There are other states you may prefer instead for your vacation, I am sorry to say.

    The name of the law is the Mark Wandell Act, and the bill number was HB 325.

    Best regards and have a good vacation.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 05-14-2010 at 12:12 PM. Reason: Removed Quote of Entire Previous Post

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Nothing New

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Red Light Cameras have been in use for years in several states for many years now. While there certainly are some questions about the use of these items (like shortening yellow light times), I'm pretty confident that you really are overstating the problems and many of the things you are talking about (being ticketed for turning right on red) just aren't going to be reality.

    To say you should visit other states instead of Florida because of this law is really a kind of silly statement in my book - especially because such an approach would also keep you from visiting 19 other states, including some of the nations most popular vacation destinations like California, New York, Washington DC, Washington State, Colorado, and Arizona to name a few.

  6. #6


    And Tennessee. ;)

    The eastern coast does have a turnpike, the Florida Turnpike that runs right up to Orlando. You've also got I-95 that runs parallel to the coast.

    Before you engage with any sort of captured dolphins program, I recommend you watch Oscar-winning <i>The Cove</i>. Just sayin.

    When are you travelling? The Everglades' mosquitoes, summer heat, and humidity can be unbearable. Just driving through the park is dreadfully boring. The cool part is the way the water flows through the different ecosystems, but you don't really see much of that if you don't participate in a ranger-led program. So do that. Or two or three. They're real interestin. Mornings and evenings are the best times for wildlife; it's worth getting up early. Be sure to stop by Robert Is Here for smoothie.

    Nice things in Ft. Laud include Flamingo World and Butterfly World and the art museum if they're running a good exhibition.

    Just to make things more point to point I'd change your route to as follows:
    Day 1 Miami
    2 Ft. Lauderdale
    3 Sanibel
    4 Napels
    5 Everglades (Shark Valley)
    6 Everglades/Homestead
    7,8,9 The Keys
    Day 10 Miami, flight leaving in the evening

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    The Great Midwest, Illinois to be precise


    We have had a lot of fun in Islamorada in the keys and in Big Pine Key, look for the Key Deer and No name Pub.

    In Islamorada, try the sunset celebration at the Loralei.

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