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First time trip for 2 couples in their 50's

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posts: 49
reviews: 2
First time trip for 2 couples in their 50's

We are planning our first trip to Key West and I would like some suggestions. We are going Thursday to Tuesday the last week of February. We are planning to fly into Miami and drive down to Key West. But, have also heard it is an easier drive if you fly into Ft. Lauderdale? But that will take longer? any thoughts?

We like to walk, bike and enjoy the beach/sun, visit some historical sites, maybe fish and see some entertainment. Should we stop for a night along the way to Key West if so any suggestions or should we stay all five nights at the same place in Key West. Also any suggestions on a medium price BB not too far from the action in Key West. We will have a rental car so will need to park. Any help in planning would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Tampa, Florida
posts: 6,992
1. Re: First time trip for 2 couples in their 50's

Visitors have said that flying into Miami involves a long walk to get to your luggage. I know if you have to go through Customs and Immigration it could be torturous but you will not be doing that. And supposedly the car rental center in Miami is easier to get to now since the entire operation has been renovated.

In any case the Ft. Lauderdale airport has always been an easier airport to navigate than Miami - always has and always will be. As someone wrote in the Miami forum this week under the topic "MIA Hell" the person who designed the airport should be made to walk from the airside to baggage claim twice a day.

But whichever airport you fly into, choose your rental car company carefully after reading how they charge to use their Toll paying feature. Read this website: www.sunpass.com/rentalcar

Edited: 9:22 pm, December 04, 2012
Grand Rapids mi
Destination Expert
for South Haven
posts: 1,614
reviews: 34
2. Re: First time trip for 2 couples in their 50's

ok...a few things for a fellow Buckeye. Either airport is fine, but I have done both and would do Ft. L if I had the choice. I would only stop on the way down if you get a later flight and have to drive at night (sunset about 6:30ish). If you do stop I would try Marathon, only about an hour from KW. You must drive in daylight to enjoy the spectacular view from the road. There are TONS of threads on here about where to stay, we have tried many and now call the ANGELINA home on every trip. last word of caution,,,book your flight/B&B asap, that is high season. we are there 2/26- 3/5. oops, one more thing....be prepared to book for the following year :)

posts: 244
reviews: 14
3. Re: First time trip for 2 couples in their 50's

We have used Ft Lauderdale based on the advice of others here and it always seemed like sound advice. It is an easy airport to navigate and only a little further up the road than Miami.

I would not spend the night along the way to Key West, but I am the kind of person that likes to get where they are going. It is a good idea to stop and eat and rest up half way or so because it is a tedious drive even though it is very beautiful. There are some very cool restaurants along the way.

We will be staying at the Key West Harbor inn this time and I am really looking forward to that. Last time we stayed at Simonton and it was very nice as well, but both may be a little higher than average price.

posts: 442
reviews: 29
4. Re: First time trip for 2 couples in their 50's

We have done a dozen trips to Key West. We either go through Ft. Lauderdale or fly directly into Key West. Check out the cost of flying and renting a car versus flying directly into the Keys. Also I would suggest dropping off the car once you arrive in Key West and flyign directly out from there. If you are not planning a future trip, I would suggest at least one time driving through the Keys.

If your flight has a very early arrival time I would consider stopping in one of the Keys (Marathon, Islamorada), otherwise I would grab lunch and just drive through.

Alabama Jacks is a must stop for us. Food is good and it is an eclectic, old Keys type of place. Other options are Sparky's Landing (best fish tacos ever) and Key West Fisheries (great stone crab claws in season).


Juno Beach, Florida
posts: 981
reviews: 13
5. Re: First time trip for 2 couples in their 50's

For music in KW Green Parrot and Smokin Tuna....be sure to stop by The Schooner Wharf

Marathon, Florida
Destination Expert
for Marathon, Islamorada
posts: 11,723
reviews: 32
6. Re: First time trip for 2 couples in their 50's

I'm in the "would rather go to MIA any day then FLL" so, go with which flights work for you in terms of price, time etc. FLL is only about 30 mins more added onto your drive. If you come into the Delta terminal at MIA it's a straight shot out to curbside.

I highly suggest staying somewhere other then KW for a night or two.

7. Re: First time trip for 2 couples in their 50's

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Key Largo Florida
posts: 338
reviews: 44
8. Re: First time trip for 2 couples in their 50's

Again, another blank website Dealsinkeywest.com

I'll try it again in a couple months. Hope they can have it up and running by then.

posts: 49
reviews: 2
9. Re: First time trip for 2 couples in their 50's

Thanks for the suggestions, it is greatly appreciated. We have booked our flight into Ft Lauderdale, and are now thinking of staying the first night on our way to Key West, any suggestions of where? Would like to have somewhere with nightlife and/or entertainment on a Thursday night? Also should we book our rental car now. We have used Hotwire in the past and that worked out well, but don't know about FL in high season. Thanks again.

Pelham, Canada
posts: 165
reviews: 52
10. Re: First time trip for 2 couples in their 50's

We did this trip last year and going again this year,travelling through FLL this February. Last year we stayed overnight in Marathon at the Sea Dell a clean affordable older style waterfront motel at mile marker 50. Drove to MM 47 for drinks that night at the Sunset Grille, a neat bar on the water, though not sure if they have entertainment. This year we are staying at Knights Key Inn which is walking distance to this bar. In Key West last year we stayed at the Palms on White street, a beautiful older B and B. A bit of a hike to Duval but we did it in about 15 minutes or they have bikes to rent. You must hit the Schooner Wharf bar for drinks and entertainment while there. As far as car rentals, I always book early (no credit card needed to hold the car if you deal directly with the rental company) and then keep watching the major companies for a better deal and then switch, cancelling the first car. Hope this helps..