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Florida Keys on a budget

Boston, MA
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Florida Keys on a budget

Hey all,

My family (5) is going down to the Keys, and I've been charged with finding a nice place for a reasonable price. I have a few questions for folks who travel/live in the area:

Is the availability for the houses on VRBO always one week minimum?

Which beaches do you find swimming-friendly? Which ones have few fishermen/boats?

We'll be flying into Ft. Lauderdale and renting a car. Any tips on commuting, eating, living, visiting?

Thanks!

Bemidji, Minnesota
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for Yellowstone National Park
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1. Re: Florida Keys on a budget

Sorry that I can only answer part of your question but someone else will probably chime in a little later.

Home rental is governed by the city, the county or the state. Each entity has its own set of rules to cover how long of a rental can be done and it could even be different in different parts of the city. You could find places where a house can only be rented for a minimum of 30 days, or not at all.

Beaches in the Keys tend to be small and/or rocky. The Keys are rocks, the ancient remnants of a coral reef that have become exposed thousands of years ago. If you are expecting miles of sandy beaches, you are heading to the wrong place. If you want just a place to get into the water, there are several. On Key West, you might want to swim at Ft. Zachary Taylor State Park, or Higgs beach. Other beaches may be fine to lay on but often the water is shallow and/or the bottom is rocky just a short way from shore.

Coming down from Ft. Lauderdale, you want to get on the expressway immediately. You'll pay tolls to do so, but the difference in the driving will make it worth while. The expressway will end in Florida City and you will be on US 1 all the way down the Keys. Watch your speed. I have never seen a road so well patrolled as this stretch. Cars are often seen stopped on the roadside for some violation. Just relax a bit and enjoy the scenery as you go.

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Boston, MA
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2. Re: Florida Keys on a budget

Thank you for the information and the tips!

UK
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for Florida
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3. Re: Florida Keys on a budget

If you are staying less than 7 nights, but want a rental, factor in the cost of a suite or 2 rooms at a hotel/motel with the cost of a rental. If you rent 7 nights, you can stay just 4-6 and that could work out to be less expensive than a hotel for 4-6 nights.

A rental is the best way to have a budget holiday in the keys as you can make some/all of your meals to save on spending. We did 2 meals in a day, and one meal out on average.

Beaches. The Best Is Bahia honda State Park. Another good one is Sombrero Beach on Marathon key- and this is a good area to base your self as it is mid keys and you can get everywhere from Largo to KW in a not too long drive from here. Good places to eat, grocery stores, fishing trips etc.

Have a look at vrbo and places like Key Colony Beach.

Edited: 3:07 am, February 28, 2010
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Marathon
Marathon
Florida Keys, FL
Largo
Largo
Florida
Key Colony Beach
Key Colony Beach
Florida Keys, FL
Florida
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for Miami, Key Largo
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4. Re: Florida Keys on a budget

There are some condo projects that have legal, nightly rental. Mariners Club in Key Largo and Ocean Pointe Suites in nearby Tavernier come to mind. Must be somein Marathon as well.

These places will have a pool while most houses won't - - so that would be a deciding factor for me.

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Key Largo
Key Largo
Florida Keys, FL
Marathon
Marathon
Florida Keys, FL
Boston, MA
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5. Re: Florida Keys on a budget

We found a place in Duck Key through vrbo.com, where we'll be staying for 4 nights.

Thanks for the advice. We will check out the beaches!

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Duck Key
Duck Key
Florida Keys, FL
6. Re: Florida Keys on a budget

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