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A Trip to Key West - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Places to Visit

The Florida Keys are a ‘must do’ if you can fit in a few days break away from your holiday in Orlando.

OK – it’s along drive – but we did it in one hit from our villa on the Highway 27 down to the most southerly point of the USA – Key West.

We drove down to Miami on the Turnpike which is the most direct route and also a toll road. You are able to join it and drive to your destination without stopping as the toll is paid when you leave. We did stop for something to eat as there are various service stations dotted along the route.

From the Turnpike the Keys are clearly signposted. It had been our intention to stop overnight at Key Largo – the first of the Florida Keys – but nothing caught our eye. We decided to press on for Key West, which is about another 2 hours’ drive from Key Largo – driving across miles of bridges linking the various keys. A fantastic sight – make sure you do it in daylight!

We arrived at Key West and as we had not prearranged accommodation we chose the first hotel we came across – and what a good choice it turned out to be! Built in the colonial style and in American terms was actually an historic building! We were given a room with a balcony. In the morning breakfast was served on the terrace to the rear of the hotel , by the swimming pool – delightful!

What did we do whilst we were there?

There was so much to do – we fitted in most of it during the 2 days we were there – but would love to visit again!

Firstly we went to Ernest Hemingway’s house (the details of this are covered in a separate article). This in itself was fascinating and far more interesting than we had imagined.

From there we crossed the road to the lighthouse, another historic building with an exhibition ‘how things were’ and of course there is also the opportunity to go to the top of the lighthouse if you can stand the height and all the stairs.

Duval street is the main road with shops and restaurants galore. You can spend a few hours just wandering along savouring the atmosphere.

We took a boat trip in a glass bottom boat, out to the coral reef – which was well worth doing – very interesting!

At sunset the area around the harbour comes alive with street entertainers and stalls. As well as watching the entertainment you can get the most awesome view of the sunset – and the sunsets at Key West are some of the best you will see!

We decided to take a different route to drive back and so instead of the Turnpike we took the Highway 27 from Miami. There really wasn’t much difference in the time – but it was interesting to see more of rural Florida.

Altogether a very worthwhile trip!

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