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Should we do Ft Lauderdale or Key Largo?

Columbus, Ohio
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Should we do Ft Lauderdale or Key Largo?

My husband and I are flying into Ft Lauderdale in January. We were planning to stay in Key Largo for 4 nights (at the Hampton Inn). But I've been to Key Largo a few times (he has never been to the Keys) and now I'm wondering if we should do the coast around Ft Lauderdale instead. Any advice? We will want to stay with a Hilton brand hotel (we have points), so any ideas are helpful. We love the ocean and we aren't partiers, but most of the oceanside hotels seem to big and fancy.

Fort Lauderdale...
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1. Re: Should we do Ft Lauderdale or Key Largo?

Likes/Dislikes ? What attracts you about "the ocean" ?

Columbus, Ohio
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2. Re: Should we do Ft Lauderdale or Key Largo?

We love nature and wildlife. We love the peace and sound of the ocean. We love to look out the window from our hotel room and see the ocean or have the ability to go walking there pretty easily. We really love tidal pools, but Florida is not the place for that. We also want to snorkel and have our own gear, but we're not sure about how warm the water will be mid-January. I'm starting to lean towards doing 2 nights in Key Largo and then 2 nights at the Embassy Suites in Deerfield Beach. My husband prefers to just get to one place and stay, but I like to see new places. Is it worth it to try that?

Fort Lauderdale...
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3. Re: Should we do Ft Lauderdale or Key Largo?

Ok honestly the "worth it" parts always confuse me. I cant say what would be worth it to me and also worth it to you.

Will you have a car ? The Keys would be my choice. Splitting your time between the two might also work, if its planned out right.

Surf temps will be the in the low 70's to high 60's and there is always the chance of a passing cold front in Jan. A 3mm wet suit should be fine.

Columbus, Ohio
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4. Re: Should we do Ft Lauderdale or Key Largo?

Thanks! We will have a rental car, so that will make touring any spot easy. If we do stay in Key Largo, I was planning to head down at least as far south as Bahia Honda. We'll be arriving on a Saturday and leaving on a Wednesday. Will it be a headache and a half to drive south through the Keys on a Saturday and Sunday? If not, and given my husband's desire to get to one spot and stay put, we'll likely stick with our reservation for Key Largo. I'm just wondering if we should save our drive down to Bahia Honda for later, like on Monday. Of course, Monday is a holiday (Martin Luther King Day). Any suggestions for avoiding the traffic on Route 1? And any suggestions for places to stop on the way down from FLL? Everglades?

Fort Lauderdale...
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5. Re: Should we do Ft Lauderdale or Key Largo?

My motto is always Go early/Leave early.

When do you arrive ? When will you be heading down toward the Keys ?

We tend to pack a picnic lunch and stop at Anne's Beach, with some fun en-route fun at Robbie's.

Do repost these questions in the local Keys board for the best info.

Columbus, Ohio
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6. Re: Should we do Ft Lauderdale or Key Largo?

We arrive at 9 AM at FLL on Saturday, pick up our rental and head south. We're thinking we'll stop through the Everglades on our way down. Then we'll have all day Sunday, Monday and Tuesday to see the keys at our leisure. I read about Anne's Beach! I'm excited to see it. What's Robbie's?

Florida
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7. Re: Should we do Ft Lauderdale or Key Largo?

Personally, I prefer Islamorada over Key Largo. It is narrower and cuter (I think). You can easily see the Atlantic on your left and Gulf on your right, as you drive south. Check them both out.

http://www.islamorada.fl.us/

Edited: 3:40 pm, August 26, 2014
Columbus, Ohio
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176 posts
39 reviews
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8. Re: Should we do Ft Lauderdale or Key Largo?

Thanks! We definitely plan to drive down to Islamorada, but the only options for a free night with a Hilton hotel are Key Largo and Key West. :(

We chose Key Largo. Our plan is to tour the keys during our days as we will have a rental car. We'll make sure to visit Islamorada - any place in particular to look for?

Fort Lauderdale...
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9. Re: Should we do Ft Lauderdale or Key Largo?

9am is a bit of a late start, its the season and that means busy.

What part of the Everglades were you looking at ?

http://www.robbies.com/

Columbus, Ohio
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10. Re: Should we do Ft Lauderdale or Key Largo?

We were thinking the Anhinga trail area would be nice. I think it sounds fun to drive all the way to the "end of the road" at Flamingo Marina, but I'm not sure we'll do that. We'll likely play it by ear. So you think the Anhinga will be pretty crowded by the time we get there (maybe around 10:30)?

The more I research our options (Hilton family), the more I want to get a room that will be relaxing and not far from the ocean. So that pretty much leaves us with the Hampton Inn Key Largo or the Hilton Key Largo (as we don't want to drive all the way to Key West). The Hilton sounds like it might be more relaxing, but the reviews are really mixed.