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Floriday Keys

happybaby

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We will be staying in Marathon for a week for a destination wedding,.
then extending our stay by 4 nights

Where and what would you recommend for those extra days

Key West 2 nights a hotel near Key West but doesn't need to be in Key West
someplace within driving distance

1 night key largo islamorado area

1 night fort Lauderdale for the flight home

or any other suggestions

Was thinking to stay in the Marathon area and do the KW drive which is about 1 hour

Highlights of to do in these extra days
 

joewillie12

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What time of year is the wedding? This might help decide where you will be spending the additional nights
 

happybaby

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its this month November of 2015 around thanksgiving week

I am not much of a swimmer or into snorkeling but I understand there is a glass bottom boat where we can see the fish

We like to eat , sightsee, no hiking. DH cant walk much.....looks for a bench to rest

He likes fishing We may a party boat trip while in Marathon
Maybe also do another in Key Largo or Islamorado
Is 2 nights in KW good, then drive up towards Key Largo . Even Key Largo isn't a bad drive to FLL

I would like to go to Miami Little Havanna


How about Old Town Trolley in KW. This would save a lot of walking and driving around . We can get off and on at our own pace

I haven't booked any rooms yet. Sort of playing it day by day
 
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Sea Six

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This is our favorite place to stay in Key West. Walking distance to everything, including a trolley stop.

http://www.westinkeywestresort.com/

You'll want to be at Mallory Square for sunset, but during the day, ride the conch train around town, see the southernmost point in the continental US, visit Mel Fischer's Treasure Museum, the Hemingway house, the lighthouse museum, the butterfly museum, walk Duvall St, and have fun!
 
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suzanne

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Just a word of caution on the drive to and from Fort Lauderdale. The road into The Keys is a 2 lane road with a few passing areas. Traffic can get backed up for miles if there is any type of mishap. I would suggest that you spend a night close to the FLL Airport if that's where your flying out of at the end of your trip. That way you will be sure you don't get hung up anywhere and miss your return flight.

For glass bottom boat trips, Key Largo for sure due to the off shore reefs. We like Snappers or Sundowners for restaurants in Key Largo. Fishing boats are best out of Tavenier or Marathon. Maybe you will get lucky in Big Pine Key and see one of the tiny key deer. Key West is great for restaurants, Mallory Square for Sunset is a must do. We enjoy sitting on the pier at sunset enjoying either a drink and appetizers or dinner while watching the sun setting. Duval Street is full of restaurants and bars. We like Two Friends for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner. The Butterfly Museum is a great place to check out and they have a free parking lot. The Conch Train since walking is an issue would be your best bet for sight seeing in Key West. Parking is a Bitch in Key West. Plan to leave your car parked at whatever hotel you stay at and plan to walk or take the conch train everywhere else. Do Not leave anything in your car not even the trunk as petty theft is now a real problem in The Keys, and pretty much everywhere else in Florida.

Most hotels in Key West now charge for parking. It varies from $10 to $30 a day. There are a few that still don't. Ask when you make your reservation. We stayed at the Galleon Resort overlooking the marina last year. We were fortunate that the did not charge for parking. It was in a great location for an easy walk to Mallory Square and various restaurants on Duval Street.

Most of all have a great trip, The Keys are a fun place to visit. I have not been to Little Havana in Miami so I can't help you with that.

Suzanne
 

happybaby

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everyone has mentioned the conch train

What about the trolley tours

How is Parrot Key Hotel in key west
westin seems too pricey for me

I was looking at about 150 a night

I know the keys can be very expensve
 
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Sea Six

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You think the Westin is pricey - check out this place! Yes it is expensive, but it offers the vacation of a lifetime:

http://www.littlepalmisland.com/?_vsrefdom=littlepalmisland-ppc

The Keys are especially expensive when you wait until you are 3 weeks away. If you want better deals, you need to plan a little farther out.
 
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happybaby

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I have known of this for months just kept putting it off
Not sure of what we wanted to do the extra few days

we could always get a place close to KW and drive
the drive from Marathon isn't bad either

one hour

I saw the Sheraton fairly reasonable but then a 25.00 per day resort fee
has free parking and shuttle to town
 

Sea Six

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The Conch Train is like riding the tram at Disney World. They offer a narrated tour all around town.

 

happybaby

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every one mentions the conch train
What is wrong with the trolley tours

They seem to be more off and on at point of interest where we would want to stop at

Any info on staying at the Sheraton or parrot key resort or drive back and forth to Marathon. Possibly get a hotel somewhere between KW and Marathon
 

suzanne

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On prices, your going in the beginning of prime winter season in Florida. The resorts and hotels raise their prices from Nov 1 thru April 1 every year. This is especially true in The Keys.

Suzanne
 

joewillie12

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every one mentions the conch train
What is wrong with the trolley tours

They seem to be more off and on at point of interest where we would want to stop at

Any info on staying at the Sheraton or parrot key resort or drive back and forth to Marathon. Possibly get a hotel somewhere between KW and Marathon
Check the Best Western for rates. The trolley stops right there. Not really walking distance to Old Town but may have better rates?
 

Egret1986

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We did the Trolley Tour. We drove down to Key West from Islamorada last year.

every one mentions the conch train
What is wrong with the trolley tours

They seem to be more off and on at point of interest where we would want to stop at

Any info on staying at the Sheraton or parrot key resort or drive back and forth to Marathon. Possibly get a hotel somewhere between KW and Marathon

Pulled up Groupon before hitting Key West. Purchased the Trolley Tour. Public parking close by. Our 2-for-1 tour was a great deal. We really liked the tour. Hop on, Hop Off. Good narration. Informative. Jovial guide. I recommend doing it earlier in the day so that you can go around once and then hop on, hop off at the places that you want to see. We started our tour about 2:00. We wished that we had started out earlier.

Heading back down in February to Islamorada. We plan to stay in KW for a couple of nights. We've done day trips on our last two visits and we didn't get to see and do everything that we wanted.

I looked at hotels and the different places to stay. We decided on the Atlantis House. This couple also offers some pretty neat private excursions. Will prepare meals. Offer massage. Their home is across from Rest Beach and a short walk to Higgs Beach Park. They have a couple of bikes for exploring the area.

http://www.atlantishouse.com/
 

happybaby

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Think we will do the Old Town Trolley Tours

I first booked the Fairfield by Marriot on 7th street but changed our mindsand went with the Best Western Hibiscus in town

It's not that far from Duvall Street and I figure its closer to many restaurants, sites etc then Fairfield.

Best Western is a little more, but I imagine since it's more into town

So far 2 days nights in KW We will be there Saturday afternoon til when we decide to leave on Monday and head towards Key Largo for 1 or 2 nights before flying out of Fort Lauderdale

May decide just 1 night KL and the closer to FLL for a mid afternoon flight home
 

suenmike32

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It sounds as though you may be renting a car to drive from FLL to the Keys.
If so, be prepared to do one of two things:
1. Preplan your route utilizing I95 to get to the Keys (avoiding the FL Tpk)
or
2. Utilize the Fl Tpk. The tolls are approx $5.28 (but you can't pay it.... if you don't have a SunPass). Ezee pass is no good and they don't take cash.
Consequently, you will receive a bill to your credit card (from the car rental car company, that uses PlatePass) for a daily adminstrative fee, (for each day of the rental) plus your tolls.
It can add up.
We just drove to Key West on the FT (from FLL). Stayed 4 days. Luv'ed it.
The bill for us was $30.03
It broke down to only $5.28 in tolls + daily admin fee of $4.95 per day.
We drove back on I-95 (no tolls) or it would have been $35.33
These charges were incurred utilizing Hertz. I've heard other rental car companies are worse.
Not the biggest thing....but the companies don't tell you about it and you might get a surprise a week or two later.
Mike
 

TheTimeTraveler

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It sounds as though you may be renting a car to drive from FLL to the Keys.
If so, be prepared to do one of two things:
1. Preplan your route utilizing I95 to get to the Keys (avoiding the FL Tpk)
or
2. Utilize the Fl Tpk. The tolls are approx $5.28 (but you can't pay it.... if you don't have a SunPass). Ezee pass is no good and they don't take cash.
Consequently, you will receive a bill to your credit card (from the car rental car company, that uses PlatePass) for a daily adminstrative fee, (for each day of the rental) plus your tolls.
It can add up.
We just drove to Key West on the FT (from FLL). Stayed 4 days. Luv'ed it.
The bill for us was $30.03
It broke down to only $5.28 in tolls + daily admin fee of $4.95 per day.
We drove back on I-95 (no tolls) or it would have been $35.33
These charges were incurred utilizing Hertz. I've heard other rental car companies are worse.
Not the biggest thing....but the companies don't tell you about it and you might get a surprise a week or two later.
Mike




No need to ever worry about Florida Tolls if you are from out of state. The solution is to go to any major Supermarket or Drug Store Chain located in southern Florida and they offer a SunPass which you can purchase, take home and activate. Buy the one which is allowed to be moved from vehicle to vehicle at any time (rather than the version that is limited use).

We've had ours about 5 years now and bring it with us every time we go to Florida.

NOTE: You will need to go into the SunPass web site each time you change cars or change plates and keep your SunPass activated to the correct vehicle and correct license plate at all times. It's real easy (and I think they can even do it over the phone also).

I'm sure the SunPass web site will list retailers where these can be purchased.



.
 

suenmike32

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No question, the SunPass is great. I had one (the sticker) for years....but I traded the car and the sticker cannot be taken from one car to another.
I never traveled in the very southern area of FLL and just took advice from my Garmin GPS.
Once I hit the FT, the tolls started and I was stuck. It was at that moment when PlatePass' admin fee kicked in, ($4.95 per day), whether you used any toll roads or not.
My tolls were only $5.28 but it cost me $24.75 for the privilege of using the PlatePass from Hertz. I took I-95 back (no tolls) but was still stuck with the daily admin fees.
 

topmom101

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I am visiting my daughter in Miami in a couple of weeks and read this thread with interest since we are planning on spending the weekend at the Florida Keys. I was hoping to be able to use my free night Marriott certificate, but of course, there are no categories 1-5 in Key West so I booked a room at Marriott Fairfield for $279/night. I can't believe the rates I saw while researching hotels in the Keys.

Anyway, I originally booked a room for 2 people but just found out this morning that my niece is planning on also visiting my daughter at the same time and will tag along with us to the Keys. Will I have a problem checking the 3 of us in?

I am a gold MR member. Can I hope for an upgrade? The reservation is non-refundable and fully paid for. Should I call and alert them that there are 3 of us?

This will be our first time in the Keys and we are very excited.
 

pedro47

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We used the Conch Train and it was great for sightseeing. Two words KY is hot and I mean hot and humid.
 

Iggyearl

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To Topmom....

We stayed at that Fairfield last January. Nice pool, nice bar, and very nice breakfast. Rooms were NOT large, as it is in a high demand area. I would definitely call the hotel and ask how many will fit. There will be 2 "yung-ins" in the same bed. I just checked, and some room styles are almost sold out. The place was sold out when we were there. The hotel can guide you. Don't expect an automatic upgrade, as they are always "subject to availability."

The Olde Town Trolley tour bus stops right at your hotel. Worth the expense, and you can use it as a taxi cab. I believe each fare is good for 2 days. (could be wrong). If you drive downtown, I would suggest the public parking garage which is charged by the hour. Your concierge can help you with directions.

Additionally, I posted recently on my decision to buy the Sunpass transponder. The rental car companies are ripping people off, and that thread may be another source of info. Good luck.
 

topmom101

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Update... We are back in Miami after spending a great weekend in Key West. The drive wasn't too bad and the Marriott Fairfield did upgrade us. Nice hotel with free parking, a lovely pool and a very nice staff. We did all the touristy things including eating key lime pie at Kermits on Duval St. Thanks for all the tips.
 

silentg

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Update... We are back in Miami after spending a great weekend in Key West. The drive wasn't too bad and the Marriott Fairfield did upgrade us. Nice hotel with free parking, a lovely pool and a very nice staff. We did all the touristy things including eating key lime pie at Kermits on Duval St. Thanks for all the tips.

Glad you had a nice time!
 

EAM

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Strategy for getting a week in the Keys

Whenever I look for availability in the Keys, I see nothing in RCI, from either a weeks account or a Wyndham account or a DVC account. What is the current strategy for getting weeks (or days) in the Keys via RCI? Will an ongoing search work? How far in advance to start one?
 

Bailey#1

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For a very nice updated hotel room with free parking try Silver Palms Inn and
its reasonably price. We went in November and the price was around $160.00
a night!
 

jimkin

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Whenever I look for availability in the Keys, I see nothing in RCI, from either a weeks account or a Wyndham account or a DVC account. What is the current strategy for getting weeks (or days) in the Keys via RCI? Will an ongoing search work? How far in advance to start one?

Availability does pop up occasionally but an ongoing search is your best bet.
I've traded into Key Largo and Islemorada and had the opportunity to exchange in Marathon and Key West. But you have to check often and grab these when they suddenly show as available.

An ongoing search really does work much better for the keys.
 
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