Miami/Florida Keys

posted 3 years ago in Honeymoons
Post # 3
Member
25 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: January 2014

I live in Miami and went to Key West for my bachelorette! We went on a catamaran day trip and went snorkeling and kayaking — I’m sure there’s tons of jet skiing and paragrliding options too. Key West also has a main strip with a lot of cute shops. I would say both places have a party vibe though, and just a heads up that there’s a street party in Key West the last week of October called Fantasy Fest – probably not the best time to be there for a more relaxed honeymoon, but fun if you want to party! 

Post # 4
Member
355 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

If choosing between the two, I would go with the Keys with maybe a day trip or overnight trip to Miami (you can fly into Miami since it’s cheaper than flying into the keys & then drive down the next day).

There’s plenty to do in the Keys in terms of activities.  Our favorite thing there is this jet ski tour you can do of the keys.  We had wild dolphins swim under our jet skis! It was incredible.  We’ve also been snorkeling there, and my parents love to go fishing there (and they don’t even like fishing).  Plus, the sunsets there just can’t be beat, they’re so pretty.

I love Miami (I’m going in 3 weeks!), but it’s not a very relaxing place, it’s expensive especially for food, drinks & hotels.  I like it for a vacation, but I don’t think I’d enjoy it for a honeymoon.

 

Post # 5
Member
795 posts
Busy bee

@wwbga:  I second the Keys! Miami can be pretty intense, personally I like Fort Lauderdale better if I’m in that area, but the Keys are great for exactly what you described. We stayed in an old mansion that was a bed and breakfast in Key West. Many people rent bikes to explore, several museums, all kinds of things. I live near Destin, FL, and I would say come here if beaches were your priority. We have sugar white sand and emerald green water, it’s beautiful! It will definitely be warmer in Miami and the Keys, although October is still very warm in Northern FL as well.

Post # 6
Member
99 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2014 - Hotel Baronette Renaissance in Novi

@wwbga:  FI and I go to the Keys every year, and we LOVE it.  We now have 3 Key West ornaments on our tree, and plan to add a 4th in 2014.  

I would highly suggest the Keys!  We go to Boca Raton (someone in his firm has a condo in Boca that we stay at), then we take a road trip down to the Keys and stop in Miami usually.  You can always spend a day or so in Miami, then head down to the Keys.  If you want suggestions on where to stay, what bars to hit in Key West, let me know! 🙂

Post # 7
Member
10219 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Another fan of the Florida Keys…

Generally speaking year round the weather is best in Florida SOUTH of the I-75 (Aligator Alley) that cuts across the State… so Fort Lauderdale and south

Mr TTR & I have been to Miami… but we still prefer The Keys

The Keys is like a bit of the Caribbean right here in the Continental USA

All the benefits of the Caribbean without any of the hassles (No Passport Required – Same Language, Culture… Familiar Food et)

I suggest that you fly into Fort Lauderdale (easiest) or Miami and then drive down.  The drive on the Overseas Highway is breathtaking… considered to be one of the BEST dirves in America.

The Keys aren’t cheap… but they are worth the money

We prefer Key West overall… lots to see & do… and great restuarants.

Depending on the time of year, accommodations aren’t cheap expect to pay $ 200 to $ 300 a night.

If you are looking for bargains, check out TripAdvisor for info / help.

No need for a car in Key West… altho you will want one for the drive down (as I said one of the most spectacular drives in NA)

Mr TTR & I LOVE The Keys (we got married there) and we try to get back every 2nd year or so.

Hope this helps,

 

 

Post # 8
Member
99 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2014 - Hotel Baronette Renaissance in Novi

@This Time Round:  +1000 – I didn’t even think about the amazing drive!

The food is awesome, too.  If you’re into seafood, especially raw bars, this is THE place to go! Mallory Square at sunset with a mojito (oh yeah, you can just walk around the streets with your drink!), is the best thing ever! Get there a little early and secure yourself a spot.  Oh, and eat a ton of conch fritters. They are delicious.

Definitely hit up the Green Parrot Bar, and Hemingway’s House is a really cool place to check out. 

Now I’m second guessing our decision to go to France… that’s how much I love it there!

Post # 9
Member
10219 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

To @kittymama426:  Lol, you really are a Keys Lover !!

I’m envious that you get back every year… as I said we get there only every second year or so (and as we tend to drive vs fly in it is a long haul for us… at about 30 Hours Driving time)

The locals say if you Love The Keys so much that you find YOU HAVE TO RETURN… then you have “Keys Disease”

Sounds like you & I both have it bad !!  Lol

You named some of my favourite things… out of a very long list.

— — —

To @wwbga: as myself and the other Bees have said, The Keys has a lot of what you are looking for… so you should do some more reading & research.

Here are a few more Tips:

1- Flying in is possible to Key West (connections thru Miami or Atlanta).  BUT as I stated the Overseas Hwy is one of the greatest drives in America… soooo beautifuly… and well worth the effort.

Miami Airport is slightly closer than Fort Lauderdale… but Miami can be a bit of a zoo vs Fort Lauderdale… so we prefer flying in and out of Ft Lauderdale if we have a choice.

There is only one main highway thru The Keys… the Overseas Hwy.  It is mainly a 2 lane highway… 1 lane each way.  And it is primarily a series of causeways that connects the many islands (GORGEOUS Scenery keep your camera handy).  So it can be a bit slower going than driving elsewhere in Florida… especially so if there is a lot of traffic (or an accident somewhere).  So plan to take your time… altho Google Maps says the drive is about 2:45 Hours from Homestead to Key West… count on it taking longer… even on a good driving day, you’ll probably find you’ll want to stop along the way to take photos etc.

Coming out of Homestead to begin the journey over to the Islands you have 2 choices… Hwy 1 or Card Sound Road.  When we head into the Keys we like to start our journey on Card Sound Road, because it is less busy, and more scenic across the Everglades.  This option will take you a little higher into Key Largo… after you cross over the Card Sound Bridge (toll bridge, if I recall it is about $ 1).  Altho this route is slightly longer it is more scenic, and there is almost no traffic at all… so you make about the same time.

Lol, that is unless you make the stop at iconic Alabama Jacks !!  Which is a Bar & Restaurant on the mainland just before you cross over the Card Sound Bridge.  This spot will definitely get you in a “Keys Mood”. 

Other legendary stops along the way include:

The Caribbean Club in Key Largo – Mile Marker # 104 … now a bit of a “dive bar”… but this spot was featured in the 1948 Key Largo movie that featured Humphrey Bogart.  Come for the history… stay for the Mojitos !!

Rum Runners World Famous Tiki Bar – MM # 84 on Windley Key (next door to the Post Card Inn).  This is the best tiki bar ever… built in the “Swiss Family Robinson” multi-deck style.  Be sure and have a Rum Runner Cocktail… which was created here over 40 years ago… and enjoy the view of Kokomo Beach and whatever might be happening out on the water in this “playground” of The Keys

2- Beaches.  The one thing that The Keys don’t have a lot of is miles and miles of white sandy beach… this is because these islands are surrounded by a Reef…. and the reef effects wave movement that would normally wash away the shoreline and deposit sand in an annual cycle (There are however some interesting sandbars out in the waters around the islands).

There are some beaches in The Keys… most notably Bahia Honda State Park and a few other spots (Key Largo – Islamorada – Marathon – and Key West).  BUT there is as I say no great expanse.

What The Keys don’t have in beach tho… they more than make up for in water sports… this is a real paradise if you are a “water baby”… Boating, Sailing, Jet Skiing, Snorkelling, Scuba, Parasailing, and Deep Sea Fishing.  One could easily spend everyday of a week-long vacation out on the water doing something different !!

Hope this helps…

Have more Questions… just ask

 

Post # 10
Member
99 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2014 - Hotel Baronette Renaissance in Novi

@This Time Round:  I absolutely have The Keys Disease!  I just love being there. 

I don’t know if you guys are looking around at places to stay, but I would definitely recommend the site HistoricKeyWestInns.com.  That’s always where we go when we want to find a place to stay; it’s a group of inns that are super clean, super nice, and super affordable (for the Keys), and we have never had a bad experience there.  We’ve stayed at the Key Lime Inn, and Albury Court.  Lighthouse Court is right directly across from Hemingway’s house and they make killer mojitos at the poolside bar!  Keep in mind, it’s not a fancy hotel atmosphere, but it’s a great place to get that “Key West” feeling.

Post # 11
Member
118 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Check out VRBO. I went to Key West with my mom and brother a few summers ago and we rented a condo for the week in Truman Annex. Not sure how much it cost but it was a great place with a full kitchen. Check out the bar Kelly’s, the key lime margaritas are to die for!

Post # 12
Member
4441 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2013 - Harbourfront Grand Hall

@wwbga:  I honeymooned in the Florida Keys!  We flew into Miami and drove the keys, PP is right about the Overseas Highway being WONDERFUL!  We key jumped from Islamorada to Key Largo and Key West (I know that’s out of order).  I wish we had at least one more day in Key West there is A LOT to see and do while the other keys are more laid back.

 

If you stay in Islamorada I HIGHLY recommend La Jolla Resort.  Bahia Honda State Park has cabin rentals you could look into, although they normally book up very far in advance.  In Key West make sure you do the sunset festival, Hemingway House, the lighthouse and Six Toed Cat, the restuarant is YUMMY!  Oh and you have to go to Southernmost point just so you can say you did 🙂

As for the adventurer in you goes, we went on a Fury daytrip and it was kind of iffy, you can read their reviews on Trip Advisor.

Post # 13
Member
4441 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2013 - Harbourfront Grand Hall

@wwbga:  I honeymooned in the Florida Keys!  We flew into Miami and drove the keys, PP is right about the Overseas Highway being WONDERFUL!  We key jumped from Islamorada to Key Largo and Key West (I know that’s out of order).  I wish we had at least one more day in Key West there is A LOT to see and do while the other keys are more laid back.

 

If you stay in Islamorada I HIGHLY recommend La Jolla Resort.  Bahia Honda State Park has cabin rentals you could look into, although they normally book up very far in advance.  In Key West make sure you do the sunset festival, Hemingway House, the lighthouse and Six Toed Cat, the restuarant is YUMMY!  Oh and you have to go to Southernmost point just so you can say you did 🙂

As for the adventurer in you goes, we went on a Fury daytrip and it was kind of iffy, you can read their reviews on Trip Advisor.

Post # 14
Member
2576 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@julezilla:  Ha! I was just in Key West in October and saw the beginnings of Fantasy Fest. It’s actually not too bad as long as you don’t have to drive in it.

@wwbga:  Like I told Julezilla, I had my pre-honeymoon in Miami and Key West (pre-honeymoon b/c we already had the trip booked before I knew DH would propose). Miami has more of a chic/trendy party vibe than Key West and is more expensive. Key West is more laidback and reminds me of New Orleans with a beach.

We stayed in Ambassador Best Western in Key West, which is away from the main strip area (about a $15 cab ride to Duval Street), but it has an amazing pool and you seriously feel as if you are in paradise. We stayed at a more budget-friendly hotel in Miami though.

Post # 16
Member
1653 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I just wanted to say that this thread is great!  I’m considering key west for a 1 year anniversary trip in May and this has been very helpful!  

 

another other info is greatly appreciated  

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