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Round Florida Trip or Just stick to the Everglades and Keys?

Wimborne, United...
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Round Florida Trip or Just stick to the Everglades and Keys?

Hi all,

I have booked a standard SUV and flights from London to Miami for 2 weeks, starting on 24th July 2013. I have $5000 budget for everything except flights and car rental. I am 53 and travelling with my wife who is 51 and our two sons who will be 14 and 16 at the time. We are not sure what we will have time for and how much there is too see. I am an avid fisherman, my wife wants to see some old historical towns and go to some beautiful beaches and my sons want to see a Miami Football Game. Am I likely to be able to do a round trip of the whole of Florida in 2 weeks, or should I just stick to the south of the state? Also, could you suggest a route we could take? Finally, could you suggest some fun family activities on both land and water?

Thanks very much,


N. Idaho
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1. Re: Round Florida Trip or Just stick to the Everglades and Keys?

The schedule for the Miami Dolphins doesnt come out until April, however, the games dont start until September so you'll miss them anyway.



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2. Re: Round Florida Trip or Just stick to the Everglades and Keys?

Hmm... Florida is a huge state and a long haul from bottom to top. Having said that, if you love historic towns, St Augustine is great for that.

Best beaches are on the gulf coast imo. blue-green water and white sands--

Oregon Coast
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3. Re: Round Florida Trip or Just stick to the Everglades and Keys?

Hi and welcome to TripAdvisor. You won't have time to see all of Florida. It would be better to pick several places to stay for a couple of days rather than try to rush about.

St Augustine would be a "must see", as well as some of the old sugar plantation ruins. Be sure to take both an air boat ride through the mango swamps (the boys will love this!) plus also see Everglades NP on the trolley.

The drive south through the keys is really really gorgeous, and try to take a sunset boat ride from Key West.

There is a lot to see and do in Florida that does not involve amusement parks!

Also post on the Florida forum, but it seems not many people take road trips there. Click on the blue link:


Oh, expect very hot and humid weather :-(

Edited: 02 January 2013, 23:13
Albuquerque, New...
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4. Re: Round Florida Trip or Just stick to the Everglades and Keys?

If you try to do the whole state, you will just do a lot of driving and not see much of anything. Consider the trip from Key West out to the Dry Tortugas National Park. It is very interesting and there is great snorkeling around the island. You can also do a fun evening trip out of Key West on a sailing ship. Some of the sunset cruises are heavy on drinking and partying, but with your kids along, look for the one that does not provide alcohol. I don't remember which boat it was, but it will be easy to find if you wander around the docks. It was great fun and they let folks take turns at steering the boat and you could help raise the sails, ets. You could bring along your own beer wine, but they did not provide any adult beverages.

Check out the National Park Service website for the Everglades at www.nps.gov/ever.


Las Vegas, Nevada
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5. Re: Round Florida Trip or Just stick to the Everglades and Keys?

I think two weeks would be a nice amount of time to see the Atlantic Coast side of Florida, from St. Augustine (really the only historic town of any note in the entire State of Florida) all the way down to Key West.

Two places along the Atlantic Coast I would see heading northward from the Miami/Ft Lauderdale area are Cape Canaveral, with its Kennedy Space Center, and Daytona Beach, where you can actually drive on the beach, a fun bit of Americana.

Late July/early August will be a bit early for the start of the American football season, but football training camps open in mid-July, so there should be exhibition football games by early August. The Miami Dolphins' training camp is in Davie, Florida, just outside Miami, so there should be something to see there that time of year. There just won't be competitive games to see.

Wednesbury, UK
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6. Re: Round Florida Trip or Just stick to the Everglades and Keys?


I've done a quick week long circuit in Florida in the past, Orlando to Orlando Including Gulf Coast, the Evergaldes, Key West, Miami and Cape Canaveral, so that would be possible, still quick though, in two weeks.

NFL. You won't know if you can catch any pre-season warm up games until the schedules are released in the Spring, and this sesaons pre-season games did not start until the second weekend in August.

But Baseball (MLB) season is still in full 'swing' ; ), in July/August, and the Marlins( Miami) and Rays (Tampa area) both have home games in that period.


Edited: 03 January 2013, 10:25
Lewes, United...
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7. Re: Round Florida Trip or Just stick to the Everglades and Keys?

You've been given great suggestions and advice already. I have only two comments to make:

Firstly, do be aware Florida has lots of cashless toll Interstate roads, and, if you plan to do a lot of mileage they will be the way to get up and down the Atlantic coast, but at a price. Also, beware which car rental company you rent from, each has a different method of charging you for the transponder for the cashless tolls, some of them can be hugely costly in additional fees.

Secondly, if you plan to drive the whole of the the Overseas Highway all the way down to Key West in ful holiday season, try and not do the drive south between Miami and Key West on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, and avoid doing the return trip on Sunday afternoons and Monday mornings. Mid week is always quieter, it's a popular single lane drive to slow going at busy times.

Enjoy your trip,


Tampa, Florida
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8. Re: Round Florida Trip or Just stick to the Everglades and Keys?

Some suggestions.

Naples - upscale dining, shopping along with beaches

Sanibel Island - nice beaches, Wildlife Refuge, famous for shelling

Ft. Myers - tour the winter homes of Henry Ford (auto manufacturer) and Thomas Edison (inventor)

Sarasota - Ringling Museum, Home and Circus Museum complex.

St. Pete Beach - Fort De Soto Park, a Pinellas County Park that includes beaches, fishing piers and a Spanish American War era fort.

Tampa - Ybor City, a historic section of Tampa, known "in the day" for hand made cigars. Also the University of Tampa, Plant Hall, where there is the H. B. Plant Museum. This building was originally built as a luxury hotel for its time.

You should google these places to see if they interest you.

What kind of historical old towns do you mean?

9. Re: Round Florida Trip or Just stick to the Everglades and Keys?

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