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  1. Default Miami - Key West - Everglades - New Orleans - First part of this trip

    Me and a friend are going on a roadtrip over 18 days, taking us from Miami, Key West, Everglades, Tampa, New Orleans, Atlanta, Savannah, and then down to Fort Lauderdale over Orlando and a couple of smaller places.

    We will have kind of a busy schedule, but should be manageable. However, I’m very much in doubt of how much time to spend on the Keys. My thought was to leave Miami like 8am in the morning, giving us time to reach Key West around noon, or likely a few hours later so we have time to stop in various place on the way. We’ll than have time to see Key West for the rest of the day, and stay one night there, and next day, we’ll do the reverse, basically do a little more sightseeing in Key West if we think we still have some things to see, and then drive up towards Everglades probably getting to a motel just south of Miami late in the afternoon. I.e all of this should be done from like 8am in the morning to 8pm the day after for total of close to 36 hours.

    Does the above make sense, and will it leave us enough time to get something out of the Keys, while still not spending too much time there and positioning ourselves for Everglades in the morning, or are we better off taking one night in Key West, with the ambition to do Everglades on the same day as we leave, i.e. leaving Key West 8am in the morning, and do the Everglades in the afternoon before heading to Naples?

    We're from Denmark, so other input would also be appreciated, given we haven't been to Florida before.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Good timing.

    Given that it is a two and a half hour drive from Florida City to Key West, a full day will give you ample opportunity to check out the Keys and their attractions. On your return you could stay in Homestead for a trip to the Everglades next day. If you are interested in doing a trip in the Everglades, such as the trip on the Pelican from Flamingo, I would make an early start. It also depends on how interested you are in doing all or many of the boardwalks. Some folk drive through the Everglades and are satisfied, others like to really explore them. I think they are worth the latter. It could be a late arrival in Naples, as the two options to get there are also scenic routes with stops of interest.


  3. Default

    If you want a REALLY unusual Keys experience, take the Yankee Freedom ferry from Key West to Dry Tortugas National Park and Fort Jefferson. Explore the fort and do some amazing snorkeling. It's an all day trip and not cheap, but it very well may be the highlight of your trip. You will probably need reservations. Do a search and check out the photos and videos!

    Also in the Keys, for less than $5, check out Robbie's in Islamorada and feed the tarpon. Sounds corny but it is a load of fun for all ages. Again, do a search.

    Also, there are reef snorkeling trips in the keys, or snofkeling from shore at Bahia Honda State Park where you can rent kayaks.

    There is so much to do in the keys that you could spend a week there easily

    Regarding the Everglades, in summertime, the Mosquitos will eat you alive! When are you going?

  4. Default

    Sorry for not responding, but really valueable feedback. We are going early September, so assume that will be mosquito season.

    Plan is now to stay three nights in Miami as a start. Will give us two full days, of which one will like be spent for the Dolphins - Patriots game. How does tailgating work, and is it possible to just join a group?

    Monday 8th we'll head to The Keys, and take one night in Key West. 9th we'll do a little more sightseeing and move up towards Homestead, so we can to Everglades on the 10th and stay the night in either Naples or perhaps as far north as we feel like driving.

    We have booked Friday 12th to 15th in New Orleans. Not sure if Friday and Saturday will be enough, or if its fine to stay until Monday.

    Between the 10th (where we are staying in Naples or somewhere north of), we are just planning to drive to New Orleans. Plan was to take the long slow trip along the coastline, and in order to not do the same route back to Charleston/Savannah area when we leave New Orleans, we were considering going over Atlanta.

    Then again, seems like a lot of driving, and I can't really find much on the web telling me this is an interesting drive, so another option could be to fly from fx FT Lauderdale to New Orleans and back (also because I was told Atlanta wasn't an interesting place to see), so any feedback here would be appreciated, as well as on the general plans above.

    After Atlanta the plan would just be something like Charleston, Savannah, Jacksonville, Daytona Beach, St Augustine and Orlando.

  5. Default Everglades next week?

    Flying into Miami on Friday, then heading for The Keys and then Everglades. Read that its low with visitors and tours right now both due to humidity, thunderstorms and not least mosquitoes.

    Is it a bad idea to go there, and if not, what could/should we do?

    We'll go from Homestead area in the morning and intend to stay around Naples in the evening.

    Moderator Note: Please do not create new threads to ask questions about the same trip.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 09-02-2014 at 03:27 PM. Reason: Merged

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default what were you expecting?

    You're arriving in South Florida in early September. Yes, you're going to see humidity, mosquitoes, and the high possibility of seeing a thunderstorm or two. That's just the reality of the climate - be happy that there are no hurricanes in the forecast!

    I'm not really sure why any of that would keep you from visiting the Everglades, however. You're already flying into Miami, so you're going to see those kinds of conditions pretty much anywhere you go.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Do as the locals do.

    Coincidentally, I will be there next week as well... though will not be visiting the Everglades. Just go to the local store, or buy some insect spray at home, bring it with you and spray it on. In the evening, when the mozzies are at their worst, wear long sleeves and long pants.

    If you plan to see the Keys and Everglades, as well as drive the scenic route to Naples all on the one day, you are not allowing yourself much time to see any of it. What made you change the original plan? (A night in Key West and another in Homestead before moving onto the Everglades.) Surely not the mozzies? They are not that bad. Thousands of people live there and cope with them.

    It is 2.5+ hrs to drive from Homestead to Key West, so there are five hours gone already, without stopping to see anything the Keys have to offer, or even to have lunch in one of the lovely places in Key West.


  8. Default

    @ Lifemagician

    Plan is still as you suggested, i.e. heading for The Keys Monday morning, staying overnight in Key West, and then slowly back north on Tuesday where we'll stay in Homestead, and be ready for the Homestaed to Naples trip on Wednesday.

    I assume its best to go for route 41. Is that correct?

    I might be bad a googling, but the trip on teh Pelican, can you explain that a little further. Assume its from the Flamingo Visitor Centre.

    @ Midwest Michael

    Haven't been to Florida before, and only the west coast of the US, so given what I had read other places I just got the impression that Everglades was a no go at this time of year, which would be a place I really would hate to miss, which I think, given your answer I should do (miss it that is) :-)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Difficult.

    Like you, I was not able to locate any reference to the Pelican tours on the internet. That is not to say they do not exist. When you enter the NP, ask the ranger at the gate if there are any tours or ranger activities for the that day. Then make sure you get to the relevant locations by the required time.

    However, what I should make clear is, it is quite some years since I went to the Everglades. When I go somewhere I typically do not know anything about the place. I get in the car, go there to see what there is. I recall driving to Flamingo. It must have been in 2007, as the damage from the hurricanes was still very visible. I think it still is. I did not know that there was a visitor centre at Flamingo. I just drove the road to the end, stopping at the boardwalks and view points and whenever I saw something which interested, like wildlife, birdlife or special plants. When I got to Flamingo I saw the visitor centre. It was in June or July. I saw the boat there and asked one of the men standing near the boat what it was and what it did. He told me about the tour. I went into the visitor centre, paid for the tour and got on the boat.

    My preference for travelling is to get on the road to see what there is. Read all the signs and follow those I think sound interesting. I'm not a great googler.

    Route 41 is my preference. It will take you past Big Cypress, and it is worth making a stop there. It is the area where the last of the Florida panthers are found... though you will be very lucky if you see any. Although most of the Big Cypress National Preserve is north of 41, the visitor centre is south of 41. It is well signposted. Take US-1 and 997 up to 41. No need to head back towards Miami. I like the drive up 997. Most of the industry along it is the growing of palm trees (which sell for a small fortune). The rest is swampy area, as is most of the area along 41. You will still be in the Everglades, just not in the National Park.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Without any sightseeing stops, it's only about 2.5 hours or so from Homestead to Naples via 997 and 41 - so why not do a little exploring of the Everglades through the windshield if you don't want to deal with the mosquitoes? If you have all day, you can take 9336 in from Florida City to the end of the road - this is about 50 miles. It's the only road in and out so that's 100 miles round trip, maybe half a day.

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