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Everlades / keys ? where to stay for a couple of nights ?

west yorkshire
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Everlades / keys ? where to stay for a couple of nights ?

We are staying in orlando for a wedding next april, we fancy heading out for a couple of nights and would be grateful for any advice where to go ? would quite like to go on a airboat to see the aligators and would like to find a nice restaurant, and be in an area where there are some shops / bars, would we be better staying in the everglades area ? or head to key largo area ? it would only be for 2 nights so want to find the best place to stay, thanks in advance .

Marathon, Florida
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for Marathon, Islamorada
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1. Re: Everlades / keys ? where to stay for a couple of nights ?

Not much at all to do (as far as restaurants and shops / bars are concerned) in the Everglades area. Lots of Everglades tho!

For more to do head to Miami like South Beach. Downtown Brickell area also has a lot of great restaurants but not as many shops.

Or head to Key Largo. Much smaller area yet not concentrated like SOBE and Brickell. And a whole different experience. KL would be about 6 hrs from Orlando. And if coming all the way to the Keys - you would be missing so much if you didn't at least drive past KL and see the Keys through Islamorada or even as far at the East end of the 7 Mile Bridge in Marathon.

Berkshire, England
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2. Re: Everlades / keys ? where to stay for a couple of nights ?

If you are driving down to Key Largo, you could go into the Everglades at Florida City and visit the Anhinga Trail, where you are virtually guaranteed to see lots of gators plus turtles, birds and fish. You walk on boardwalks over the water and it is a really nice spot. It is about a 20 minute drive off the main highway.

Florida Keys...
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3. Re: Everlades / keys ? where to stay for a couple of nights ?

Just another idea for you. There is a place called Everglades Holiday Park which has airboat rides and is much further north in the Everglades than most other places. I've been there and thought it was pretty good as our guide was interesting and quite knowledgable. It is pretty much due West of Fort Lauderdale and is about an hour North of the a Southern entrance to the Everglades and probably an hour and a half North of Key Largo.

You could do the airboat tour on the way down, visit Sawgrass Mills Outlet Mall (it's HUGE, and very close to Ev Holiday park) and then drive about 40 minutes or so east to Fort Lauderdale and stay somewhere nice there.

I'm not trying to put you off the Keys, Key Largo is my favorite place, but you might get more of what you need in Fort Lauderdale area, and spend a lot less time driving - while still getting the taste of the Everglades you wanted.

My thoughts were that coming to the Keys for just a couple of nights would just not give you time to explore much, and you"ll spend quite a lot of your time driving. Fort Lauderdale would also offer much more in the way of shopping that the Everglades area or the Keys. If beaches are your thing then F.L. Has much sandier beaches that the Keys, or certainly the upper/Northern Keys.

We once stayed in a place called The Pillars, which is right on the Intracoastal Waterway in Fort Lauderdale. It was small, quiet and was really excellent. We were treated like royalty, but was a bit pricey. It was a very short walk to the beach and restaurants and the water taxis stopped right on their dock. We travelled around on foot or by water taxi the whole time. The water taxis take you to downtown F.L. and up and down the Intracoastal. If you do think it's an option then might be worth checking if your dates in April clash with Spring Break. F.L. used to be a huge Spring break destination. I'm not sure it is so much now, but still might be rowdier that you'd want if you are right in the middle of Spring break. Someone on the Fort Lauderdale forum would be much more clued up on this than I am.

Whatever you decide to do, I wouldn't stay near the south end of the Everglades at all. The room rates around Homestead/Florida City are temptingly low, but some of the areas are not great and there is very little to do/see IMHO. If you do go to the southern end of the Everglades (Anhinga trail is a good stop-off for sure) then do continue on to Key Largo, or further South, to stay.

west yorkshire
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4. Re: Everlades / keys ? where to stay for a couple of nights ?

Thanks all of you , your help is very much appreciated ! I will now have a really good look at all the advice you have passed on, thanks again .

5. Re: Everlades / keys ? where to stay for a couple of nights ?

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