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Everglades to Key Largo and Key West

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Everglades to Key Largo and Key West

Hi All,

There are 3 things we want to do in southern Florida during our trip there in late November 2013. We want to do an airboat tour of the everglades, preferably in an area where there will be lots of wildlife to see. We also want to do snorkelling off of Key West to see the statue underwater and lots of fish and such. We also want to visit the Hemingway museum on Key West. What would be the best tour places to book through? We are thinking 1/2 day for each, maybe spend the morning snorkelling on key largo and then head off to Key West in the afternoon possibly and then back to the Everglades for the next morning boat ride?? Let me know what would work best :)

Marathon, Florida
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1. Re: Everglades to Key Largo and Key West

If you want to see the statue - you will have to go out of Key Largo as that's where it is. You can see lots of fish and such snorkeling outside of Key West too. I would do your museum/ tour stuff in Key West and outdoor adventures such as snorkeling in the Keys. Be it Key Largo, Big Pine, Marathon, Islamorada etc.

Naperville, Illinois
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2. Re: Everglades to Key Largo and Key West

And you don't really need a tour operator, you can book direct.

Fort Lauderdale...
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3. Re: Everglades to Key Largo and Key West

Airboats and wild life dont mix unless the wildlife is being baited. You might try the Anhinga Trail at the south entrance of ENP.

Key Largo, Florida
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4. Re: Everglades to Key Largo and Key West

As already said, inside Everglades National Park, the Anhinga (foot) trail is where you will see alligators, turtles, birds, etc. The park rangers do guided tours, but I don't know the schedule. (You can get that on the park website). On the drive to the park, Everglades Alligator Farm has airboat rides and small gator interaction. I think Key Largo Chamber of Commerce has discount coupons for it. (Www.keylargochamber.org)

In Key Largo, several dive/snorkel operators visit Christ of the Deep statue, which is within the boundaries of Pennekamp State Park. Again, you might see if the Chamber has some discount coupons for hat as well. Molasses Reef has great scenic sea life. It is probably my favorite snorkel spot. That said, it also has a strong current. I almost always snorkel there with a noodle or rope.

I have snorkeled a couple time in Key West and it didn't compare to Key Largo. However, Key West has the bar & restaurant scene like no other! Lots of cool places to visit there, which we do not have in Key Largo. Again, I think the KL chamber has discount coupons for Hemmingway House.

Have a fun trip!

Florida Keys...
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5. Re: Everglades to Key Largo and Key West

The water will have cooled off considerably by late November off Key Largo. Unless you're very hardy you'll probably need a wetsuit. At least, you'll be able to spend more time in the water that way. If you don't have one there is a store called Divers Direct in 'downtown' key largo (mile marker 99ish) that usually has some cheap ones that would do the job and make it more enjoyable.

As others have mentioned, Anhinga trail at the southern end of the Everglades is good for we life viewing. The alligators tend to congregate there as the rest of the Everglades dries up in the winter. You should be ok in November. There can be very little wildlife on the trail through the Summer as there is enough water elsewhere so the wildlife spreads out much more.

In my experience the airboat rides are more just for fun than genuine wildlife viewing. They tend to only go a couple iof miles out and back, so you don't see an awful lot of the Everglades.

Further north in the Everglades is Shark Valley. It is a paved road (closed off, no cars) you can walk, rent a bicycle or take a tram tour. That can be good fun if you will be up that way. It's about 90minutes drive North from key Largo though. We like to bike it.

Your schedule to Key West and back to the Everglades sounds way too tight. Realistically, Key West is 2-1/2 hours drive from Key Largo - and that's if pyou don't stop off anywhere. It's a shame to be rushed. It's great to have time to stop off anywhere that looks 'cool' (Robbie's marina & Bahia Hondas State Park as a minimum).

If you've not been before I'd really recommend at least a night in Key West. Hotel rates are very expensive in Key West, but driving down in an afternoon and back to be in the Everglades for the following day just won't give you time to explore on your way down or back, or in Key West.

There's loads to do in Key West !!! You can just park up somewhere in 'old town' area (Hemmingway's house and most of the attractions you'd want to see are in old town) and explore on foot, or rent bicycles for about $8 a day.

Hope you have a great trip.

Lansing, MI
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6. Re: Everglades to Key Largo and Key West

Take the trolley tour while in KW. It's worth it.

Florida Keys...
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7. Re: Everglades to Key Largo and Key West

Yeah, the trolley tours are a great idea to learn your way around and a bit of the history etc etc. well worth doing on your 1st KW trip.

The Conch Tour train is pretty much a stay-on-and-do-the-tour kind of deal, whereas the old town trolley and cityview trolleys are more of a hop on and off deal, which can be nice as you can get off at different places and spend a little more time and explore more on foot.

You may be able to do this on the Conch Tour train, but I'm not sure.

Both cityview and Old town trolley give you 2 days unlimited hopping on and off in the ticket price, which is useful to get around the island, especially when it's scorching hot as walking can be tough.

I'm fairly sure Conch Tour train's ticket is purely to do the round the island tour once and that's it.

Check online or for flyers with discounts on at your hotel as you can save a good few $. Regular price is about 30 bucks a head I think.

8. Re: Everglades to Key Largo and Key West

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