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Want kids to experience the keys - KL or all way to KW?

Slater, Missouri
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Want kids to experience the keys - KL or all way to KW?

Hello...I posted yesterday on KW Forum Re: Children being at sunset celebration... Here's my problem - we are flying into Miami on 3pm on a Saturday afternoon and we need to be back in Sanibel on Sunday evening. I want the kids (Age 10) to see the Keys, but my husband doesn't think we should make the trek all the way to KW, if it's possible we won't make it in time to see the sunset celebration. Should we just go to KL and spend the night? I don't mind doing the driving, but.... I just can't make up my mind! Thanks for any help!!!!

Key Colony Beach...
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1. Re: Want kids to experience the keys - KL or all way to KW?

I wouldn't stop in Key Largo. To me that is not the true feeling of the keys. I'd get to at least Islamorada. You wont get to see the beautiful blue waters of the Atlantic if you stop in Key Largo.

If you land in MIA at 3:00, you should be able to get to the 7 mile bridge in Marathon to watch the sunset. This is a treat in itself. Afterwards, stop along the way back for the night in either Marathon or Islamorada.

Tha'll make for a much nicer ride to Sanibel on Sunday.

Slater, Missouri
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2. Re: Want kids to experience the keys - KL or all way to KW?

Thank you! I think that advice sounds great. I really appreciate the help!

Key Colony Beach...
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3. Re: Want kids to experience the keys - KL or all way to KW?

If you want to make a nice side trip for the kids: This is what I would try and do:

Land in MIA at 3:00. If you drive straight through you'll be in Marathon at 6:00. Sunset is about 7:10 - 7:15 ish. That give you an hour to do whatever you want. Me - I'd stop at Alabama Jacks for a snack. Alabama Jacks is on Card Sound Road. Grab a refreshment and a quick snack, and you are back on the road to the 7 mile bridge.

Grab dinner at Keys Fisheries (try lobster bisque, stone crab chowder, lobster rueban, buffalo shrimp - its all good), then hit the hay in Marathon Sat night.

Sunday get up and make a stop at the Turtle Hospital. The cost is $7.50 for kids under 12 and $15 for adults (reservations needed).

Here is their website.

http://www.turtlehospital.org/visit.htm

On the way back to Sanibel, I'd stop at Robbies (MM 77) and have them feed the tarpon. The ocst is $1.00 to get in, and $3.00 for a bucket of fish to feed the tarpon. If you go 1/2 way down the page on keyspropertyconnection.com/picturepage2.html

you'll find a video of my son feeding a tarpon.

Slater, Missouri
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4. Re: Want kids to experience the keys - KL or all way to KW?

Thank you so much! That sounds wonderful. Just one more ? - I am planning on going to Marathon, and spending that night now. Think I will be disappointed if I don't finish out the journey all the way to KW? How much longer of a drive is it? Maybe Sunday go down and on back up? Man, am I confusing you like I am me?? ;-) THX for the help!!!

Summerland Key...
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5. Re: Want kids to experience the keys - KL or all way to KW?

Hmmm... I just posted a reply elsewhere to this same message. Odd.

Anyway, I'm going to disagree with my friend Buffettguy and suggest stopping in Key Largo and Islamorada (staying in Islamorada will get you the max Keys feel available, but you don't want to miss Pennekamp for the kids).

Why go to the Turtle Hospital when you can -- hopefully! -- see a real one from a glassbottom boat?

Key Colony Beach...
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6. Re: Want kids to experience the keys - KL or all way to KW?

~~~~~~~~~~ sucker punch from islandkitty ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

8>)

I could also make an argument for stopping in Islamorada and getting out onto the water at Pennekamp.

I didn't suggest that because I know Marathon MUCH better than I know Key Largo. (If you notice in the Key West thread you're getting suggestions to skip everything and get to Key West).

Bottomline - if you want to get out onto the water, go with islandkittys suggestion. If you want to stay on dry land take my advice.

Key West is an easy hour drive from Marathon. I would suggest you use that 2 hours for other things than Key West. To really get the feel of Key West you'll need more than a day. You gotta save some things for the next trip right?

Illinois
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7. Re: Want kids to experience the keys - KL or all way to KW?

If you stay in Marathon or go all the way down to KW make a stop at the Blue Hole on Big Pine Key. It's an old quarry and there is an alligator that lives in it as well as birds, turtles, etc. I guess there used to be 2 alligators but a couple we met there said some teenagers killed the other one (and bragged about it and got arrested). We were there around 5 p.m. last week and after we left we also saw 2 of the Key deer. Very cool-my 10 year old was not with me but she would have loved it.

Also, if you have time either on your way down from Miami or back to Sanibel make a stop at the Everglades. We visited the Royal Palm area and took the Anhigo (sp?) Trail and saw around 40 alligators there.

I think somebody else mentioned stopping at Robbie's to feed the tarpon. It's just a buck to get out on the dock and a couple of bucks for a bucket of fish. We didn't buy fish but watched some other people feed them and it was hysterical.

All these activities could be pretty short stops-fun and interesting, inexpensive or free and at the very least a good chance to stretch your legs.

BTW, we stayed in Islamorada and it was awesome-plenty of places to watch the sunset w/o going all the way down to KW!

South Florida...
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8. Re: Want kids to experience the keys - KL or all way to KW?

As usual on this forum, you are getting great advice. Here's my two cents. I'm just back from 3 days in the Keys wih 35 5th graders (my daughter's class field trip) and we are weekend residents of the Keys. I agree with the advice to stay in Key Largo/ Islamorada area. It's about 30 min less driving than getting to Marathon. Look at Dove Creek Lodge.

Don't stop at Alabama Jacks. Instead, head to Morada Bay in Islamorada (mm 84 bayside). Have an amazing dinner there while the sun sets. Your kids will play on the beach-y area while you enjoy fresh yellowtail snapper, conch chowder or other delights.

Then, in the morning, go feed those tarpon at Robbies (a big favorite with all 35 of the kids), then go out on the snorkel boat from Pennekamp state park in Key Largo (mm 104) on your way out of the Keys. If you have time, stop at the Everglades (Anhinga Trail) to see alligators, birds, and more. I can post detailed directions if you are interested.

I would not head all the way to Big Pine Key (the blue hole) or Key West on this trip if you are just getting there to turn around and come back. We saw Key deer on the class trip and yes, the kids liked seeing them but only for about 5 min. I would not drive 2 hours round trip for a possible chance of seeing them.

9. Re: Want kids to experience the keys - KL or all way to KW?

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