Marathon, Islamorada or Key Largo (tavernier) - find a resort you like and park it there. I prefer Marathon, but just because.
Might get more suggestions if you gave more info - like what you are looking for other then closer to home. It only takes 3 hrs to drive the Keys.
Thanks for your reply. We are retired, looking for relaxation, sunshine, nature, bird watching, good food, not much need for nightlife .Really just a warm break from winter in Illinois. We have tried various beaches on the Gulf in past years but the weather can be iffy. From what I have gathered Key Largo may be a little too developed. Would like more of a taste of "old Florida", no high-rises, etc.., if such a place still exists. Thanks again!
Only one or two high-rises in the Keys. So no need to worry about that.
No high rises in Key Largo. For bird watching it's a great place. There is the Florida Keys Wild Bird Center where they rehab injured birds to return them to the wild, those that can't be returned are permanent residents there. No charge to get in and you can leave a donation if you so desire.
Dagney Johnson Key Largo Hammock is a great place for bird watching, its up on 905 in Key Largo and of course there's also Everglades National Park approximately a 45 min drive from Key Largo.
If you decide on KL, if you like birds - take the time to drive to Crane Point one afternoon (Marathon) they also have a bird center and nice trails through the hammock.
Check out Bay Harbor Lodge, our favorite "old Florida", "Keysy" type place. On the outskirts of KL, near Tavernier; very quiet, laid back with several places with great food nearby. We prefer to spend the majority of our Keys vacations in KW or Marathon, but always save a day or two for Bay Harbor Lodge in Key Largo. http://www.bayharborkeylargo.com/
If you're really into birding and "old Florida" you should head toward Everglades City, leaving the Keys early in the day so you can spend about 2.5-3 hours driving and enjoying the Cypress swamp spots filled with birds along Loop Rd. in Big Cypress Preserve. staynplay.net/florida-tourism-articles/loop-… We were there last January and it was amazing; hundreds of birds in the waters and trees. Drive on to Everglade City and spend the night at one of the "old Florida" type motels there, and also enjoy eating at some of the old time Florida type restaurants. We enjoyed Everglade City and found it to be a breath of fresh air from much of Florida today. We also visited the Everglades National Park at Everglade City and took the 1000 Islands boat tour seeing 100's more birds, wildlife, and sealife. We can't wait to go back to the area to see more. We stayed at River Wilderness Cabins in Everglade City.... here's my review with a few pictures: tripadvisor.com/…CHECK_RATES_CONT
Sorry I don't have any bird pictures on TA taken in Big Cypress and ENP. I need to post a few more reviews and add some pictures.
You might try the Bay Cove Motel just south of the main traffic lite in Key Largo MM 99.5 It was built in the 50's and has a beautiful canopy of huge Gumbo Limbo trees that shade the whole property. Its a quite and very Keyzzy motel. Its like stepping back in time the minute you drive onto the property and look down thru the tunnel of trees that lead to the beach. Its also right next to the Award winning resturant ( for many years) Mrs. Macs. If you want to party... then this is NOT the place! But.... If you want quite and nature to surround you... then I would suggest the Bay Cove.
Have a Happy
My favourite key is Islamorada. We stayed at Ocean Dawn Suites which are lovely and quiet and in walking distance of a few places to eat. You don't need to use the car if you don't want to. There is a little private beach with hammocks and Tiki hut and plenty of sunbeds facing the atlantic where me and my husband watched the birds, dolphins and turtles. It is heaven. My husband fished from the beach and caught quite a lot of fish which he threw back. The suites at Ocean Dawn are beautful inside and have catering for light food and a great huge fridge freezer. Check them out on TA. (we are also retiring age)
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