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Driving to Key West

Jenison, MI
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Driving to Key West

We will be driving to Key West from Michigan with our dog, an Australian Labradoodle. We are planning on leaving December 29 and arriving to our rented home in Cudjoe Key, FL. What would be the best driving plan. We do need hotels on the way that would allow dogs.

Naperville, Illinois
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1. Re: Driving to Key West

Check out http://hotels.petswelcome.com/ they list hotels that allow pets. They also have a "search by route" option that allows you to plug in your start and end point and select stopping points.

Frozen North
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2. Re: Driving to Key West

Thanks for that link Sharla, that is one I didn't know about. There is also a dedicated route one pet hotel search engine but that won't help you coming from Michigan. All Motel 6's are pet friendly and alot of Ramada Inns, some Super 8's, Days Inn, and Travel lodge's. We drive from Maine with our pet and I map a route and then give myself a goal hotel, but also some options further and before the goal in case we need to stop or go further. If you use Google Maps to map your route and come up with a goal town, and filter your map to Hotel's you can easily click on each one to read if they are pet friendly and add them to your route. Good Luck!!

Jenison, MI
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3. Re: Driving to Key West

Thanks so much for the information. That will be helpful. We are hoping to make it to Kentucky our first day. I don't know who will do worse, our dog or me??!!

Jenison, MI
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4. Re: Driving to Key West

I just checked out the link. It's exactly what we were looking for! Thanks!

Grand Rapids mi
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for South Haven
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5. Re: Driving to Key West

Sharla...you continue to AMAZE me !!!!

South Jersey
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6. Re: Driving to Key West

If you know where you will be stopping you can also filter hotel searches on TA for hotels that allow pets.

Frozen North
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7. Re: Driving to Key West

Just a note also, always check with the hotel directly. Last year we stopped at a Super 8 in Daytona Beach, which I noticed is still on that website, and they have changed their policy. We also found that being pet friendly does not mean all pets, some have restrictions to under 35 or 25 lbs. We also found one that was no dogs, and one that was no cats.

Tampa, Florida
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8. Re: Driving to Key West

You also have to check whether a pet friendly hotel charges a pet fee.

All La Quintas are pet friendly too and are usually of better standard than either Ramada, Days Inn, Motel 6 and Super 8.

Frozen North
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9. Re: Driving to Key West

Almost all that I have stayed at charge a pet fee, except a few Motel 6's. We found a Ramada Inn last year that was so new it had car charging stations outside. I always check reviews, each property is owned (franchised) by a different owner and quality can differ by alot. Also most have a clearly posted sign, that if you do not tell them you have a pet, it is reason for immediate eviction.

Edited: 08 December 2011, 16:01
Michigan
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for South Haven, Saugatuck
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10. Re: Driving to Key West

We have made that trip several times. Only once that we brought our Yorkie along, and I was going to mention La Quintas (We usually use Hampton but the don't allow dogs) but AhHah did already.

You're just a bit north of me but I think I'd still use this route as I've made the trip many many times and have tried different ones:

South on I 196 to I 94

West on I 94 to I 65 (it would be tempting to take US 31 south thru South Bend and on to Indianapolis but it will take an hour longer with slower speed limits and stop light back ups in Kokomo and northern Indianapolis)

Again the bypass around Indy will be tempting but I stay right on 65 thru town saving at least a half hour. Pay attention where I 70 and 65 separate, the I 65 exit is easy to miss.

South on I 65 to Nashville and I 24

Traffic can really get snarled in downtown Nashville where three Interstates come together. I usually exit just north of Nashville onto Briley Parkway east. Thats a fourlane local hiway with only a handful of stoplights and is more scenic (goes by Opryland hotel but you won't see downtown) Briley runs into I 24 east of Nashville.

East on I 24 to Chattanooga, TN Try to make this during day as the drive down from the top of the mountains into Chattanooga is stunning.

Exit south on I 75 which you'll stay on till you reach the Florida Turnpike

On I 75 thru Atlanta once again I go thru town and I don't use the bypass which has become as busy as driving thru town.

The Florida Turnpike will take you south of Miami and deliver you to US 1 for your trip into the Keys. This is toll but well worth the price.

Its a long drive and don't be relieved when you hit FL as you still have a loooong way to go.

I'm aggressive on the way down and do it in two days. We leave six/seven ish in the morning. Have lunch (subway and keep moving) in Kentucky, hit Atlanta around 7pm ish (sit down dinner and rest) and stay the night in Valdosta, GA. which is another couple of hours arriving around 9ish. There is a La Quinta there. Next day about 10 hours to Key West.

I drive with traffic which is about 80 ( not for everyone I know). If

you speed and find yourself alone I'd back down to the speed limit. If you decide to use the bypass in Indy use the east one and in Atlanta use the west one. Just things I've learned.

Coming back to MI I'm not as excited and we take our time. We stop at Disney area, day two Kentucky, arrive home day three.

PS my Yorkie now know what "hurry" means. :-0