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looking for advice - first trip to the keys

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Santa Cruz
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looking for advice - first trip to the keys

Hi all!

I am looking at places to stay in the keys, for a week at the end of May. I have never been to the Keys, and my goal is to do some snorkeling, visit the various Keys and basically relax and check ou the area.

I have some likely places to stay in Key Largo, and have read that this is a good starting point for snorkeling trips. But I definitely want to spent time in Islamorada, Marathon and Key West, poking about.

I'm wondering if having "home base" in Key Largo is reasonable, or should i be looking for something more "mid-Keys" like Marathon? Am I going to be miserable traveling up and down the Oversea highway every day?

Or would people recommend that I be more rigid in my plans, and book different places to stay in each area?

I'm travelling by myself, don't need super fancy places to stay, and am on a budget :)

Any recommendations for likely snorkeling places reachable by shore are gratefully accepted, as well as recommendations for boat excursions!

thanks so much!

Melbourne, Florida
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for Melbourne, Florida
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1. Re: looking for advice - first trip to the keys

For a lot of great info on the rest of the keys go to the Florida Keys forum. You will need to decide if you want a couple days Key West and a few days middle keys such as Marathon or Islamorada. With this being your first trip it will be hard not to exhaust yourself trying to do to much. Pick a day in the middle to just hang out somewhere like Bahia Honda Park. You can snorkel from the beach there altho its not the same as the reef its still fun.

Key West
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for Key West
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2. Re: looking for advice - first trip to the keys

I take it you mean this May. You really need to make reservations for places to stay. The Keys are very busy at the end of May with the holiday. I'd stay a few days in Marathon and a few in Key West. If you are going to be traveling during Memorial Day weekend, there is going to be a lot of traffic!!!

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30 reviews
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3. Re: looking for advice - first trip to the keys

I would and have stayed mid keys if it were me.

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4. Re: looking for advice - first trip to the keys

I would steer clear of Southernmost Hotel in Key West. A housekeeper stole our camera from our room and the management and staff have stonewalled us in trying to track it down. We know for a fact it was stolen by a member of the staff and their public relations shill who responds to all these reviews had the audacity to respond to my negative review by saying our camera wasn't left at the hotel and WE must have lost it on our way home. Disgusting. The place is overpriced also, but it's the staff and management's condescending reaction to our complaint that really sums up what this place is all about. They support staffers who steal.

The Frozen North...
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407 posts
69 reviews
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5. Re: looking for advice - first trip to the keys

Skip key largo, which can feel like one big strip mall, and definitely get at least to islamorada. Stay at least 2 nights in key west. The food, music and relaxed vibe are fun.

6. Re: looking for advice - first trip to the keys

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