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Southern Florida Trip

Clarksville...
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Southern Florida Trip

Hi-

I am trying to plan a trip to southern florida. I would like to visit the Everglades National Park and the Florida Keys. I plan to drive down from the washington dc area possibly in January. How long should i allow for this trip? Should i stay at one place once im in southern florida and see everything from there or do two different places? What are good home bases for these destinations? Plus, how long is the drive, i was kinda considering driving straight through without a stopover. My interests are the Flamingo and shark valley parts of the everglades and driving down to key west and seeing the sights along the way. Also, the drive down from Washington DC, is I-95 all the way down the best and fastest way? Plus, what is the traffic like on it once you get past DC and Richmond?

Thanks-

Marathon, Florida
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1. Re: Southern Florida Trip

I haven't had the pleasure of a drive from DC to the Keys or an Everglades trip - so just some Keys advice.

Unless there are some spots in FL along 95 that you want to see, get on the Turnpike when you can. The Keys aren't that easy to tour if you are staying in Florida City and North.

After you have toured the Everglades and other places in South FL that intrest you, pick one or two homebases' in the Keys. From Islamorada and Marathon, KW and the rest of the Keys are an easy day trip. Maybe stay in one of the above mentioned towns for a couple of nights and spend the night in KW for a night or two.

Brandon, Florida
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2. Re: Southern Florida Trip

Once past Richmond, I-95 should be plain sailing until you get to West Palm Beach and beyond. If you happen to be going through this area around rush hour, it could be a little slow, especially around the Miami area. So as the other person suggested, if you don't mind paying the tolls, take the Turnpike from Ft. Pierce - where the Turnpike is very close to I-95 (probably less than a mile).

Also it would be a good idea to have a map of Florida handy.

Marathon, Florida
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3. Re: Southern Florida Trip

Having done the drive from the Jersey Shore a couple of times, the drive down I95 was always a breeze for us once we got past DC. But you definitely want to jump over to the FL Turnpike either at Fort Pierce or Stuart. Have singles ready for the tolls.

As bluewater suggested, pick a place in the center of the Keys - Marathon or Key Colony Beach - and you can do day trips to the Everglades, Islamorada and Key West. There's not much "Keysy" to see or do in Key Largo, so don't plan to do anything more than drive through it.

Clarksville...
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4. Re: Southern Florida Trip

How long should i probably allow for this whole trip? From DC to Miami, i will probably drive straight through. spend some time in the everglades. then spend some time in the keys. then drive home spending the night somewhere. I could see spending a night or two in the keys but as far as the everglades, i would like to spend a little time there. I plan on taking the drive to flamingo and do some of the short hikes along the way and also one day doing shark valley and taking the tram along the tram road.

South Florida...
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5. Re: Southern Florida Trip

As to the Everglades part of the trip, if you want to do both Shark Valley and Flamingo, you are going to need to spend the night in Florida City - and you may decide you need to pick between them. It's about a 3 hour adventure to go to Robert is Here, the Visitor Center and the Anhinga Trail (on the way to Flamingo). You'll add 3-4 hours with Flamngo and walks along the way. Shark Valley is about 1 to 1.5 hours away and takes about 2-3 hours. Since you have to drive both ways, how about this? Stop at SV or Flamingo on the way there and then do the other on the way back.

Clarksville...
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6. Re: Southern Florida Trip

What about 2-3 nights florida city/everglades and 2-3 nights in the keys?

Chillicothe, IL
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7. Re: Southern Florida Trip

I'm from the midwest, and planning this same trip to the Everglades & Keys in Feb. I was planning on 2 days in the Everglades and 3 in the Keys. Any suggestions on moderately priced places to stay? We would love to be on the beach in the Keys. Middle to end of March is spring break, right? Thanks

South Florida...
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8. Re: Southern Florida Trip

Florida City has several chain hotels that are budget priced. (Holiday Inn Express, for example). Everglades City, on the other side of the 'glades has a real Old Florida feel with B&B or small lodgings. If you are flying into Miami, maybe head to EC for 2 nights and then drive to the Keys.

Not a lot of beaches in the Keys. But read the hotel reviews and you'll see some have sandy areas.

Marathon, Florida
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9. Re: Southern Florida Trip

Sombrero Beach and Bahia Honda are two of the nicest Keys beaches.

flowers52
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10. Re: Southern Florida Trip

You may want to contact this person. He does trips of the glades. He is very helpful and has lots of knowledge even if you dont book a trip with him so ask lots of questions. At least I found that to be true. …homestead.com/KeyLargoEvergladesEcoTour.html

As far as places to stay, you may want to take a look at Key Largo Bayside Inn. It is 25 minutes from Homestead. Offers a small continental breakfast and seems to be reasonable price.

Then go on down to Key West for a day. If you have not been here before I would say at least 4 days for the Keys depending on what you are trying to do. There is a lot to see and do in each island. Key

West sunset party for sure. marathon they have turtle hospital and dolphin research center. key largo has the princess glass bottom boat ride and Pennekamp State Park and the wild bird center. Not to mention so many many other things the keys has to offer.