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  1. Default February road trip from Orlando to Cocoa Beach, and down to the Keys!!!

    Hey all!! I am new to the site, and in dire need of some tips. My boyfriend and I will be flying into Orlando on Feb 8, 2016, for a week. We had a bright idea of taking the week and driving over to Cocoa Beach, and down to the keys and back! This will be a first for both of us! Our main goal is to take our time, and see as much as we can. Beaches, attractions, museums, famous places etc. We don't know our budget yet, but we are by no means wealthy (lol). We figure we will stay at cheaper lodging each night, and maybe a nicer place (with an awesome ocean view) once we hit Miami, or the Keys.

    Any help, tips, or advice would be amazing, as this is going to be all new for us.

    I appreciate it!!

  2. Default

    That is the high season in the Keys and lodging will be expensive. Even a tent site at a campground will run $100 (personal experiences) so imagine what motels will run. Some are already sold out. If you are on a limited budget you'd better start looking into lodging now.


    That being said, the Keys are a wonderful destination.

  3. Default

    Thank you so much for the reply. We were planning on spending one day in the keys, the rest of the week down (then up) the coast. I can see how it would be more expensive. In your opinion, is that going to run the same all up and down the coast as far as lodging prices throughout the week? We were wanting to be pretty spontaneous about each day, but if it's going to be a night mare, then maybe we'd better go ahead and make a more specific itinerary lol.

    Thanks again!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Location, Location, Location

    While there will, of course, be some range in motel rates depending on the level of amenities and services they offer, where those motels are and how in demand they are will also be a big driver in those prices. Being on the beach naturally demands a higher rate than something off the coast and rates will be higher in season when demand is higher. The problem with the Keys is that everything is on or near the beach because of the limited real estate, and those limits also limit the supply of rooms - both drive up the prices to the levels travelingman noted for in season lodging on the Keys. Farther north along the coast, there will be greater supply and some of those lodgings will be somewhat away from the beach and so they will need to attract your business on the basis of price point.

    The other thing to keep in mind about the Keys in high season is that the crowds that drive up motel prices are also fighting for the same small retail and restaurant slots, all trying to use the same road (US-1), and all trying to take the sun on the beaches at the same time. Driving will be slow, at times approaching 0 mph. Be prepared for everything to take much longer than you are expecting.

    AZBuck

  5. Default

    Thanks for your reply! We are definitely planning on it taking a while, I think that's one of our main points in taking our time and trying NOT to make too many "plans" Lol. I figured that things would be crazy in the keys, so we are only thinking about 1 day/night there. Taking our time and enjoying our first trip up and down the coast is my main goal.

    Any "have to see" attractions, restaurants, or beaches anyone know about?

    Thanks again!!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Along the intercoastal.

    From Cocoa Beach to about Ft Lauderdale, you could alternate driving US-1 and A1A. This crosses you back and forth across the intercoastal. A1A is not a continuous road, but in many places it gives you access to the Atlantic coast beaches.

    All along the intercoastal, especially when you get down to Ft Lauderdale, there are incredible seafood restaurants. I could not tell you a name, but have been to quite a few with my daughter and her family.

    Lifey

  7. Default

    Awesome, thank you! I was thinking it would be better to alternate the two, to see more.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Fort Pierce

    If you're interested in some spectacular murals, check out The Arcade building, at (from memory) 101 US1 north in Ft Pierce. The longer you look at those murals the more you see. They seem almost to come to life.

    From there head back a little way north to cross over the intercoastal onto A1A.

    Lifey

  9. #9

    Default

    Do not underestimate the time spent driving from Orlando to Cocoa Beach to Key West and back to Orlando. Highly recommend you consider flying into Ft. Lauderdale or Miami International if going to Key West in February. Anytime leftover could be spent driving up the coast towards Cocoa Beach.

    The Cocoa Beach area alone has lots to offer... the beaches, beach towns to the south, Cape Canaveral to the north and cruise ships at Canaveral (if you are for a quick 2-3 night cruise). Easy day trips to Vero Beach and area. An overnight trip up to St. Augustine.

    The traffic, even on the turnpike, can get crazy once you are south of the Fort Pierce area and approaching West Palm Beach and south.

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    While there will, of course, be some range in motel rates depending on the level of amenities and services they offer, where those motels are and how in demand they are will also be a big driver in those prices. Being on the beach naturally demands a higher rate than something off the coast and rates will be higher in season when demand is higher. The problem with the Keys is that everything is on or near the beach because of the limited real estate, and those limits also limit the supply of rooms - both drive up the prices to the levels travelingman noted for in season lodging on the Keys. Farther north along the coast, there will be greater supply and some of those lodgings will be somewhat away from the beach and so they will need to attract your business on the basis of price point.

    The other thing to keep in mind about the Keys in high season is that the crowds that drive up motel prices are also fighting for the same small retail and restaurant slots, all trying to use the same road (US-1), and all trying to take the sun on the beaches at the same time. Driving will be slow, at times approaching 0 mph. Be prepared for everything to take much longer than you are expecting.

    AZBuck

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