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The Florida Keys
June 6th, 2012 9:30 AM

We just returned from a long weekend trip to the Florida Keys and it is well worth the visit. Many people do not realize that it takes around two hours to travel from the mainland of Florida all the way to Key West, so an overnight stay in the "middle" is fun to do.

Key Largo is the first and largest key and that is where the first signs of the "Sandals Outlet" will appear.  There will be several more between there and Key West, but one of them is certainly worth the stop, especially for someone like me who loves shoes!   However, they have a variety of other items and apparel as well, ideal for any age.  From there, the most scenic drives will appear before Islamorada.

We happened to stay the night in Islamorada at a lovely resort on the beach.  We had dinner at a highly recommended local restaurant called "Lazy Days" and the food, as well as the views, were superb!    Located nearby is the "Theater By The Sea" where you can swim with dolphins and enjoy many marine life shows and attractions. 

Driving further south is Marathon, where you begin to cross the famous seven mile bridge, used in the film "True Lies" with Arnold Swartzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis.  This is a breathtaking, truly gorgeous view of both the Atlantic Ocean (Florida Straights) and the Gulf of Mexico. 

Before arriving in Key West, there will be road signs warning of Key Deer crossings and even though they are rarely seen unless it is dusk or evening, it is a thrill to see such small deer in the wild.

Once in Key West, it is a good idea to either take a trolley ride tour or conch train tour.   This is the best way to see many of the historic sights and have the chance to get off at several stops.   The famous Duval Street has the most shops and also Jimmy Buffet's original "Margaritaville Restaurant" where one must stop and have the "cheeseburger in paradise."   The most famous stop is "The Southernmost Point,"  a photo spot, stating only 90 miles to Cuba. 

There is much to see and do in the Keys and a long weekend is not nearly enough, but well worth the trip.  On the way back home, go through the Florida Everglades and enjoy wildlife in their true habitat.  You will never see anything else like it.   Driving down the east coast of Florida and returning by the West Coast will provide the most opportunity to see so much beauty that this state provides.  Go see the Keys!

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Posted by Barbara Doeringer on June 6th, 2012 9:30 AMPost a Comment

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