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Help planning trip to southern Florida

HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,547
edited March 2014 in Community and Events
This post has nothing to do with LEGO so one of the other moderators might delete it, but I'll try my luck anyway as I suspect some here can help :-)

I'm going on a Caribbean cruise in November from Miami and will be in FL for a week beforehand with the intention of seeing as much of southern FL as possible.

I'd like to drive to Key West: the Florida Keys have always fascinated me when looking at it in an atlas. It's, what, a 3.5hr drive? Are the tolls expensive? Are any of the places on the way worth a stop, or should I stay overnight in KW?

I guess the Everglades should be on my list, too. Which part? And what else should I do? I'm not fussed about theme parks, even LL FL, which I suspect is too far away anyway.

Thanks for your help :-)


  • PhoneboothPhonebooth USMember Posts: 1,430
    I'm heading down to key west in almost a month. Fly into west Palm Beach and driving down. Heard the drive is incredible. I don't know about the tolls, but I'd definitely recommend staying at least a night or two.
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Member Posts: 4,401
    @Huw - these types of questions are generally discouraged here as they are mostly a matter of personal preference and rarely lead to meaningful or substantive discussion. ;o)
  • JP3804JP3804 Member Posts: 332
    Sanibel/Captiva islands are nice. Beaches,snorkeling, biking, fishing, etc.
    You should really see South Beach, at night, if possible.
  • BrickDancerBrickDancer Dunes of TatooineMember Posts: 3,639
    There's a nice train museum in Miami, the Gold Coast Railroad Museum, that's on my list to visit because it houses the mostly obscure Presidential train, the Ferdinand Magellan. It's equivalent to Air Force 1 back in the days and was used by Roosevelt, Eisenhower and Truman. Complete with bulletproof glass and escape hatches.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,547
    Thanks, let me know how you get on @phonebooth.
  • legogallegogal USMember Posts: 755
    If you like botanical gardens, the Fairchild just south of Miami has some lovely collections and is worth a few hours. Also there is a new museum of art at Biscayne Bay. The building should be quite impressive; the art less so.

    Make sure you try some authentic Cuban food for which Miami is well known. For quick meals on the run, Publix supermarkets have good fresh foods, salads, sandwiches, etc. We often take food back to the hotel for dinner if we don't feel like going out to eat.

    The drive to Key West should be lovely as we have done it several times in November. Start looking now for a place to stay as it usually is quite crowded and is a very small village. And after seeing all of those horribly sunburned Brits at LLF last week, definitely wear a hat, long sleeves and sunscreen when outside even if it is cloudy. Those folks had crazy bad (Chinese term for their deplorable air pollution) burns and were in a lot of pain during their holidays.

    It is advisable to keep your luggage with you while eating at the cruise ship dock before you take off, and not leave it in your car. Good friends lost everything they packed for a cruise and had to spend a cruise week with only the clothes on their backs a few years back. Essentials probably should be in a backpack you wear most places.

    Feel free to PM me if you have other specific interests. I used to kill a lot of time in Miami while hubby worked there.
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,547
    Great info, thanks.
  • akunthitaakunthita USAMember Posts: 1,032
    @Huw, oh, you are coming to Florida?! Sweet! No matter where you go, I would advise you as @legogal did; ALWAYS wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen, EVEN if it looks cloudy. Florida's sun is very-very powerful. You look like a very pale Brit from your ID picture, the kind of folks we refer to here as Wonderbread people; very white and toast easily...(c;

    Seriously; you can pick out all the wonderful places, but if you have a sunburn, headache or heatstroke you won't enjoy any of it. And yes, the Keys are beautiful! And so is the Caribbean! So you can pretty much go anywhere. I live in North Central Florida, which is also great, but when we go down South, we just take our bikes and wonder around. Florida is full of suprizes, so leave some time to relax and just soak it all in, rather than planning every minute of your trip...(c:
  • HuwHuw Brickset Towers, Hampshire, UKAdministrator Posts: 6,547

    I'm not always a pale Brit, only in the winter :-) My wife is half-Maltese so we've spent a lot of time there where the sun is 'powerful', and thus know to cover up. I don't suffer that much but always wear a baseball cap in the sun, even here in the UK.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,242
    The Hemingway Museum is worth a trip if you are there.

    Also a swim in the Atlantic, then run across the road and jump in the Gulf of Mexico (not quite right I know).

    Fishing is good fun down there too, if you enjoy that,
  • PaperbackwriterPaperbackwriter Member Posts: 105
    Rent a convertible, put the top down and head south on route 1. The most fun I've had in FL is just hanging out with all of the freaks in Key West. Visit the Hemingway house.
  • hantothantot UKMember Posts: 254
    +1 for sanibel and captiva we've only been once but absolutely loved it and we have friends who live nearby - visit the bubble room for some cake
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