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Unread 15 May 19, 09:35 AM  
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#1
IndianaMac
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Road Trip to Key West

So for our August '20 trip, we have three weeks in POFQ, and we'd really like to do Key West (not a tag on - during our stay, so we'd leave our stuff in POFQ whilst away).

We'd ideally like a couple of nights in Key West.

Google shows the drive as seven hours (6h58m)... now I can drive, I like it, and living in the sticks, have done 7hr trips before... but it doesn't necessarily make for a crackin' day

I see three options:

1. Two nights away from POFQ: Blitz the drive, Orlando to Key West, with a break for lunch somewhere. Two nights Key West, then blitz the drive back to Disney (again, a break somewhere for lunch).

2. Three nights away from POFQ: Orlando to Ft Lauderdale for an overnight - maybe pick up the A1A coast road somewhere like West Palm Beach (used the A1A to St Augustine from Ormond Beach on our last holiday - beautiful road, relaxing drive). 3h20m on Google (more if we hit the A1A). Next day, on to Key West (3h30m), two nights, then do the return trip without an overnight, but obviously with a break.

3. Four nights away from POFQ; like option 2, but with an overnight on the return also (maybe a different town on the way back).

I'm leaning toward Option 2 - a stop-over on the way back seems a luxury/waste considering we'll still have our room at POFQ and Star Wars Land to play in

So, questions for Fellow Dibbers, I know some will have done the trip before

Is it a daft idea (rhetorical... don't need to answer that one; it's a holiday, after all ).

Are the Google times pretty accurate (I know there'll be a bit of good luck/bad luck re: traffic)?

Any points of interest that folk have (either stumbled across, or planned in) along the likely routes (we'll be sticking to eastern Florida, rather than going up the middle or the West), bearing in mind I'd really to pick up the A1A on the southbound (might just settle for "fastest" on the way back if we're doing it in one day).

Is Ft Lauderdale the best place for the overnight, if we're splitting the drive? It seems the "obvious" choice... really don't fancy Miami (our daughter will be 13, so we're looking at family-friendly).

And, again for those who've been, just how good is sunset at Mallory Square? Looks awesome
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Unread 15 May 19, 10:39 AM  
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PoohBears#1fan
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We stayed on Islamorada so not quite as far as Key West but not an enormous difference, we then did the drive down to WDW in the same day, stopping en route for lunch.

It was a long day in the car (I remember it being around 7 hours in total), but my 2 have always been good travellers so it was fine. DS was only 5 at the time so we surprised him during lunch with the WDW 'reveal' as he thought it was purely a beach trip.

Breaking it down sounds good also, i guess it just depends on how good you all are on long car journeys and how keen you are to get to where you're going.
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Unread 15 May 19, 11:00 AM  
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bluedave
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I had thought about doing similar this year but had thought to stay on key largo for night one. Day 2. Wed then explore all of the keys and sp spend time in key west before returning to key largo for the second night. I think this way wed enjoy he Keys morning more as wont be so shattered after a long drive.

Or well break the journey and do over 3 nights. Still not sure if well do it all.
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Unread 15 May 19, 11:33 AM  
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IndianaMac
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Food for thought, BlueDave... could add a couple hours on to the initial leg and overnight in Key Largo rather than Ft Lauderdale... that way, the Key west arrival can be at a more relaxed pace, enjoy the bridges etc
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Unread 15 May 19, 11:35 AM  
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archibald
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I'd do option 2 or 3. We usually drive about 2500 miles over a two week stay in the States, but have a day max of 6 hours. That way you drive 3 hours, do something for the day, then the other 3 hours before bed.

My plan based on stuff we've enjoyed in the past would be to set off first thing on day one, drive 3hrs 30 to Fort Lauderdale and spend the day hopping on and off the Water Taxi (feed tarpon, Bubba Gumps on the beach, see how the other half live!). Drive 1hr 30 and sleep in a cheap motel south of Miami(we stayed at Fairway Inn in Florida City). Next morning visit the Everglades Visitor Centre before heading down to the Keys for 2 nights for all they have to offer (lots, all easily found).

On the fourth day, leave the Keys by lunchtime (it will be difficult) take an airboat ride at The Everglades Holiday Camp (left of Fort Lauderdale) and/or the Turtle rescue and butterfly park at Boca Raton, spend the evening and sleep at West Palm Beach.

On the fifth day either drive straight back to Orlando for lunch (2hr 30) or spend the day/part day on the beach somewhere - Vero and Melbourne are good.

We're flying into Miami next Easter, but writing this has made me realise that we need to spend a few days in the South rather than heading West as we'd thought!

Edited at 12:08 PM.
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Unread 15 May 19, 12:04 PM  
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archibald
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Forgot to say that I use google maps and find it to be pretty accurate.

I also have a trip report from when we visited the Keys

https://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/sho...1#post11684131
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Unread 15 May 19, 12:50 PM  
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IndianaMac
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Originally Posted by archibald View Post
Forgot to say that I use google maps and find it to be pretty accurate.

I also have a trip report from when we visited the Keys

https://www.thedibb.co.uk/forums/sho...1#post11684131
Cheers

I'll have a read when I leave work (Gaffers don't understand the Dibb )
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Unread 15 May 19, 01:15 PM  
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smithlane
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If its August 20 I assume you dont have your flights booked yet? Could you not decrease your POFQ booking by 3-4 nights then end the holiday on the Keys and fly back from Miami? Would be an awful waste of money to spend on hotels when only staying in one especially the cost of accommodation on the Keys isnt cheap
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