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Never been... trying to plan! Advice?

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posts: 571
reviews: 4
Never been... trying to plan! Advice?

Hey all!

So, we have been talking about heading to Key West for years... and it's finally coming to fruition?! The kiddos are going with Grams and Gramps... and off we go. In preplanning, thought that I would pop on here. Timing is the first question. Looking for peace and solitude. Hence, best time to come?

Obviously, we avoid Fantasy Fest. Is there another time of the year that draws tourists in hoards? Is there a time of the year that tends to be "slow time" in Key West? If so, most desirable for us!

In addition, looking for a romantic hotel on the water with a fabulous view. Not as much into being close to the nightlife (trust me, we'll find it). Just a fabulous hotel where we can relax, enjoy the ocean view & breeze, and find relaxation and solitude. Not opposed to being on another Key. We want isolated paradise. Even a private bungalow or cabin would be amazing. Anyone have a suggestion?

Also, if we fly into Miami. How far is the drive from the airport to KeyWest?

Summerland Key...
posts: 2,204
1. Re: Never been... trying to plan! Advice?

Figure on about four hours from the airport, give or take a half hour. Keep up an eye on the speed limits as you drive down -- it varies from 55 to 35 mph, with much of the road at 45.

Midweek during the summer and fall are good times to come. There's a festival pretty much every week around here, so keep an eye on fla-keys.com for the calendar.

Orlando, FL
posts: 2,886
2. Re: Never been... trying to plan! Advice?

Useful web sites:

www.FlaKeys.com

www.KeyWest.com

Use the 'Key West hotels' link in the 'Browse' sidebar to the left to research KW B&B's, hotels, and other lodgings. Most have photos and reviews.

Mileage -wise, Miami to Key West is about 160 miles.

Charlotte, North...
Destination Expert
for North Carolina
posts: 2,577
reviews: 27
3. Re: Never been... trying to plan! Advice?

Key West is great fun but definitely is NOT the place for isolated paradise. Even during slower seasons that tiny island is packed. If you are set on Key West look at the Casa Marina Hotel; it is a beautiful, historic hotel, with the nicest beach area in KW,(Key West is not known for it's beaches) and it is away from most nightlife. The middle Keys would be the best place for relaxation and solitude, they also offer the best Key's style beaches. Little Palm Island would be great if you have a huge budget. There are some other adult only resorts throughout the Keys; we've never stayed in one but I've seen several posts here where different ones are recommended. One I've seen recently is Casa Morada in Islamorada.

Fla-Keys.com has an extensive list of accomodations throughout the Keys, listed by area. Many have links to the resorts' websites.

Best Wishes!

...
posts: 571
reviews: 4
4. Re: Never been... trying to plan! Advice?

Thanks for the resources, including the sites and names. We will definitely look into them. It's not that we want Key West to be empty. But I have caught things like E at the Fantasy Fest and MTV Spring Break on Key West... and want to avoid that at all costs. <chuckle> Don't get me wrong, we LOVE crazy nightlife. Fantasy Fest looks like a blast, though our first visit... I don't think so. Just don't want to deal with hoards and hoards and hoards of tourists.

We totally want to experience Key West and it's eclectic style and fun. Not looking for beach paradise hotel necessarily, just a place that is smaller, laid-back, and where we can catch solitude, I guess. We have kiddos and usually travel with them. But when we don���t��� we prefer not to have kiddos running around all over the place. "Secluded Paradise" to someone with 2 boys under the age of 6 is a quiet pool/beach, a book, the breeze, and a fruity drink in hand =)

Will look into the resorts that you mentioned and the Key West sites look really helpful! Thanks all!

North Liberty, Iowa
Destination Expert
for San Pedro
posts: 11,328
reviews: 9
5. Re: Never been... trying to plan! Advice?

If you don't have your heart set on being on the ocean, please do look into the B&B's. There are dozens, I'm guessing the majority don't allow kids. Most have very nice, quiet pool areas, great rooms and are generally quite a bit cheaper than the nicer hotels. Make sure you stay in Old Town. You don't want to hassle with finding a parking spot.

Saint Louis...
posts: 427
6. Re: Never been... trying to plan! Advice?

My recommendation is drive to Lambert for the 6 or 7am American flight to Miami....walk off plane, take escalotor downstairs to smaller connecting flight and be in Key West by noon - 2pm sitting at your favorite bar drinking a cold drink.

The drive is a two lane road that if anything goes wrong, you will be praying for a bad day on 270. It's interesting and beautiful, but I say save your nerves and time, rent a car while in KW and take a day to travel up some in the keys.

Hilton has a private island off Mallory Square that you might like but it's $$$$$ . I love Ocean Key hotel....we have a Mallory view right off our balcony.....no problems with noise or anything. They make you feel like you've been coming regularly for years.

I know you will have a great time no matter what you decide!

Johnstown, PA
posts: 57
reviews: 1
7. Re: Never been... trying to plan! Advice?

On the airport issue: Id check into flying to/from Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood before Miami. It only adds about 15 minutes to your trip and it took a nice chunk of change off the airline bill.

As far as "quiet resorts", if you're not wanting to be in the old section of town, Id check into Banana Bay. My husband and I just got back from there and we LOVED it. They do have cabanas versus rooms. Its quiet, secluded. they have a nice little "beach" where you can sit out on until all hours of the night. My husband and I were out there multiple nights and didnt see another soul the entire time. There's a nice little jacuzzi right off the beach that you can relax in as well.

It is in the "New Town" section, but the shuttle stops right outside Banana Bay's office and will take you down to the new section. They have multiple excursions leaving right from their own marina (dolphin watching, snorkeling, just a sunset cruise, etc.).

You can check out their website, but be forewarned that their website doesnt do it justice. Im sure I have pictures on one of my disks and can email you some pictures if you're interested. Their rates are fairly reasonable as well.

Good Luck, have fun!!! I'm sooo jealous. I was so looking forward to our trip to Key West and am in mild mourning that it's already over. :-(

Johnstown, PA
posts: 57
reviews: 1
8. Re: Never been... trying to plan! Advice?

Oops... forgot another point on the "Banana Bay issue". My husband and I arent the "bed and breakfast" type person... if you are, then you should probably look into the busier old town section of Key West, that's where the B&Bs are (in all fairness, some of them do look really nice)

BUT... as far as children are concerned: Banana Bay is an adults only resort. No children what-so-ever (which was nice when you're trying to escape you're own for a while like we were :-)

The pool is clothing optional... we only saw one nude sunbather there while we were there, but that's also something you might want to take into consideration before booking.

New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Key West
posts: 25,835
reviews: 40
9. Re: Never been... trying to plan! Advice?

Look into the Southernmost House (not the s'most hotel or motel) It is kind of a cross between a small hotel and a B&B. It is located at the southern end of Duval, away from any noise, so you could probaby not worry when you go. It has a nice pool and a kind of flagstone veranda overlooking the ocean where people put thier "beach" chairs. There is no actual beach and it is very difficult to get a room there.

Pjk

Wilson, NC
posts: 57
10. Re: Never been... trying to plan! Advice?

Hi Steve and Carrie! My (new) husband and I just got in last night after a week in KW- we even had time to get married on Thursday!! I hope you guys have as much fun as we did. It was wonderful!!! I absolutely did NOT want to come home. We were out and about every day and hit most of the hot spots so please let me know if you have any questions!