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Old 04-08-2013, 03:11 PM
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Default Keys sugestions for 2 day trip

Hello,

My family (1yr old, and 6yr old) go down to FLA 3-4 times a year to stay a week at my parent sin Boynton Beach. We have our boat (20ft Key West WA) down there curently.

In june we're driving back down for a long week. We're thinking of trailering the boat down to the keys for a few days. My question is on an island to stay at? We're looking for a place that we can hit some family friendly resturaunts for lunch/dinner preferably on the water. My wife likes to cruise and of course I'll want to do some fising (I catch some dolphin and tuna off the coast in Boynotn and would LOVE to try to get a salifish).

any suggestions?

thanks,
mark
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Old 04-08-2013, 04:41 PM
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Islamorada is an easy answer.... Great cruising ,,, restaurants and fishing

Have a great time
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Old 04-09-2013, 06:33 AM
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X2 for Islamorada and Bahia Honda if y'all want to picnic or camp.
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:39 AM
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X3 for Islamorada.
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:18 AM
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since you mentioned family friendly....then Islamorada is not the island I would stay on, unless you want mercedes/grady white pricing on everything, plus the attitude that goes with it...Theater of the Sea is cool for the kids but thats not a reason to stay there...Marathon is the family friendly island and in the middle. On Marathon you have Curry Hammock, Sombrero Bch, Marathon Lady, a movie theater, Sombrero Light Sanctaury (world class snorkeling) Crane Point...shopping and plenty of family/pet friendly places to eat...easy trip to Key West too, if time allows
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:50 AM
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Islamorada x 4 , Breezy Palms Hotel is awesome.
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Old 04-09-2013, 12:28 PM
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I would say Islamorada too because is not that far south and it is a short drive to Marathon if you want to go there by car. Also more scenic views. Everything in the keys is kind of expensive and I haven't noticed big difference between the different keys. For a great place at reasonable price I highly recommend Coral Bay resort. One of the best at that price range and I have seen many there. They have great trailer parking and don't charge extra for boat pus sell you ice for only $1 per bag right there (you pick it up and pay at the end/honor system). Stay away from Harbor Lights! Horrible water access and rude attendant/owner. Good luck!
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:36 PM
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I'd try big pine fishing lodge, laid back can have boat in water. reasonable rates.
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Old 04-10-2013, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sebastian1 View Post
unless you want mercedes/grady white pricing on everything, plus
For clarity - what exactly is "mercedes/grady white pricing"

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Old 04-10-2013, 05:14 PM
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Key Largo or Islamorada would be my choice
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:23 AM
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Not to hijack, but I'm very interested in the suggestions and advice you guys have also. We are planning the first week or 2 of June. Never been to the Keys! Looking for a place to keep my 7 yr old daughter happy and place to keep a boat that I want to rent to keep dad happy and that is hassel free to get in and go at our leisure. Fishing, Tarpon, Try fly for bones, snorkeling and cruzing the sights. Just and all out good fun time!

Good advise so far. I'll be lurking!
Thanx,
Rod
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:36 AM
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Again I think Islamorada is the best Key for all around family vacation. I think a 7 year old would love Theatre of the Sea. The dolphin encounter is a great experience for both young and old. The one thing I like most about Islamorada is no matter where you stay you know your in the Keys (you can throw a rock from bay to ocean). Marathon is a great place with lots of food, shopping and water sports but for a 7 year old it may look like any other town in South Florida. If you are gonna spend a lot of time on the boat Key Largo, Marathon or Big Pine have great snorkling, diving and fishing. If you decide on Key West just make sure you keep the little ones away from the t-shirt shops. If they can read youll have some splaining to do.
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:11 AM
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My family prefers Marathon for extended trips:
US1 is 4 lanes, less traffic congestion.
Fishing the bay is great for the small boater with kids when it's blowing 15+ kts.
There are actually grocery stores in Marathon.
The most amazing place in all of the keys imo is Bahia Honda. It's 15 min. away.

That said, for a short trip Islamorada is perfect.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:16 AM
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Big help, added suggestions to my notes! Thanx Rudy and Toad... Where do you like to stay and who would you rent a quailty boat from for a week? Pool would be nice plus too! Eyeing Coral Bay as of now.
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:42 AM
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Took my family on the first of many Keys trips when my son was 4. He is now 24 so I have some experience. The stuff above is good but I would add:

1) From about age 4 to 7 the highlight of any trip was always the pool. Keep that in mind when you are looking for a location. I remember the Islander and Hawk's cay having family friendly pools. That's where Mom and the kids will be while you are chasing sailfish.

2) Another trip constant was chasing lizards. At every hotel, shopping center, nature center, etc. Never caught any.

3) Look for family type food. A 1 year old and 6 year old will not always be happy in the fancier resturants (and vice versa).

4) John Pennkamp Park was a big hit. They have (had?) a roped off snorkel area for kids with fake cannons and such. He had a blast chasing tiny barracuda and other fish. Rented a kayak and paddled around the mangroves too.

5) We would island hop down all the way to Key West. Made all the typical stops at dolphin and nature shows.

6) Believe it or not, Key West was a big hit. The little aquarium is kid friendly. He got to chase cats at the Hemmingway House while Mom browsed. Liked the "pirate" stuff and the Mel Fisher place. Even took the trolley around town. And Mallory Square can seem like a "walk up circus" to a kid.

Plenty to do and we always had fun. but looking back at it it does seem like he spent too much time chasing critters!
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Old 04-11-2013, 12:29 PM
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Another vote for Marathon.
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:08 PM
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Predujiced!!!!.
I live in Marathon. But I will say that my choice is based on the fact that Marathon is the middle of the keys and equal distance to any place you may choose to go and there is plenty of family "stuff" Pricewise about the same as Islamaoada. Fishing is at least as good.
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Old 04-11-2013, 03:10 PM
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We have at least 3 public playgrounds, 2 beaches (one of which is well kept, the other one is left natural) and more than a couple of restaurants with cheap family food. Marathon has long been known as the family friendly key for a reason.

Con: The streets "roll up" at 9:00PM most nights, including weekends.
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Old 04-11-2013, 03:28 PM
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X5 for Islamorada.
Went on a boat trip, started from Key Largo and headed to Islamorada.

Great food, great fishing, great shops, great people, all in all a great experience.
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Old 04-11-2013, 04:46 PM
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Thanks guys!!!!

Sounds like Islamadora and Marathon are the front runners....going to look at hotels in a bit.

I assume I can get Dolphin or "small" Sail fish not too far off shore, Atlantic only or Gulf too?

thanks agian,
Mark
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