alan tani @ alantani.com fishing reel repair rebuild tutorial Help planning a Keys trip
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biggiesmalls
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« on: April 29, 2019, 10:38:02 AM »

Hey everyone,

I'm working on planning a roadtrip to the Keys, probably Key West. The plan is to leave Wilmington around 3-4:00 am on Thursday June 13th, and be there by around 6-7:00 pm that evening. That'll give us time to get dinner and set up camp somewhere before bed. Then we'd have Friday the 14th and Saturday the 15th to spend doing whatever we wanted. We'd get up the next Sunday morning, make the drive back, and be home in time for work on Monday.

I've never been to the Keys though, so there's a lot I don't know.
First - is Key West the definite place to do, or would it be better to stay on another island? I'd prefer to not spend much time driving while we're staying in the Keys, I'd rather just stay on one island and experience what it's got.

We are planning on tent camping if possible, just so we don't have to pay for a hotel. We will have five of us though, so we could fit into a suite with two beds and a pull-out - if it'd be more convenient and still a reasonable price. Any suggestions here?

As far as the fishing - think we can get our fill just fishing by foot, or should we chip in for a boat for a day? I figure we could probably charter a boat to get offshore for $300 a person one day then fish by foot the rest of the time. The hard part will be convincing people to drop $300 on a boat, though. Working on that one now.

One other thing - we could extend the date of the trip so that we leave on a Wednesday, and we'd have Thursday Friday and Saturday to spend in the Keys. We'd have to take off work that day though (the two of us that work have off the original dates already) - is it worth it to take an extra day to spend down there?

As far as places to eat and other things to do - any recommendations? I'm going into this pretty much blind, so I appreciate any help.

Tight lines,
Drew
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thorhammer
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2019, 11:25:12 AM »

call me. you are going to need bail money if you get pulled trying to make key west in 13 hours from Wilmy. A1A from Miami to Key West might take 5 hours or more with traffic. You might think about Key Largo or Islamorada, two hrs from Miami.
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RowdyW
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« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2019, 12:07:49 PM »

First off you are looking at 28-30+ hours to Key West non stop except for gas & eats while driving and the same going back home. So that's over 2+ days of just driving. You will need to make reservations in advance for camp ground space. You can't just pitch your tent on the side of the road or a parking lot in the Keys.     Rudy
« Last Edit: April 29, 2019, 12:20:06 PM by RowdyW » Logged
conchydong
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« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2019, 04:07:37 PM »

The Keys aren't what they used to be and unless you want to party, there is no need to go all the way to Key West (my birth place). As stated camping is strictly controlled in the Keys and you need to make reservations well in advance. Although the best camping is Bahia Honda it books up well in advance. Long Key is a option but still improbable without advance bookings. Private camping such as Pirates Cove on Sugarloaf maybe doable. Remember in June it is very, very hot and humid and the mosquitos and sand flies(noseeums) are tough. You either sweat to death in the enclosed tent or get eaten alive by bugs. Your choice. Lots of other areas in Florida to fish that will give you more time to enjoy without doing so much driving. Check out Sebastian Inlet, they have a State park there and the fishing is fairly decent without a boat. When you have more time, than you can venture down to the Keys. I just don't think it is a realistic long weekend trip.

Scott
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biggiesmalls
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« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2019, 05:07:29 PM »

Thanks for the advice - John, I'll give you a call this weekend and we can talk further. Booked with tutoring appt's until 10 all week.

Rudy - is that 30+ hours by foot, or car? Wink Should be a bit under 1000 miles straight down 95. Google maps is saying 14, figure at least 15-16 with food and gas stops.

Scott - I'm thinking the Keys might not be the best idea either. Perhaps Sarasota would be better. I know the area well, and we could make a trip to Sanibel or Captiva for a day. Plenty of decent Airbnb for $100-$150 a night, which is just a little more than camping in KW would run - and a lot more comfortable. Food and fishing should be a bit cheaper, too - and there are tons of snook around. We could bring down some kayaks or just rent them there, and the drive is about 2/3 the drive to the Keys.

Drew
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InTheNet
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« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2019, 11:58:24 AM »

I do some long distance drives and I figure my trips at 55mph. Average. with stops for food/fuel/traffic.

That is a lot of driving for 2 days.
I don't think you would need to go any further than Islamorada.
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