Friday, February 13, 2004

South Beach and Key West

This was our first trip to Miami, FL. We went with a couple of dear friends. We flew from Dallas to Miami for a week long adventure in Florida. We rented a car in Miami and stayed the first night in South Beach.

South Beach is a colorful town loaded with art deco buildings. The beaches are beautiful with the white sand and the weather was great even though it was early February. The people here party until the wee hours of the morning. Did I mention how expensive everything is in South Beach? Everything, food, drink and hotels are very expensive here.

After a good nights rest and a hardy breakfast, we drove through the many keys to Key West. It is interesting how different each key is. It was a fun drive.

Key Largo Florida is the first of the Florida Keys as you drive south from Miami. Key Largo to be amongst the finest in the world for diving.

Islamorada is known as the Sports fishing Capital of the World. As called “purple isles”, named for the violet sea snails in the area. Located on Upper Matecumbe Key, the Islamorada area actually spans from Long Key to south Plantation Key, covering an area of about twenty miles.

Marathon Florida is the halfway point in the string of islands called the Florida Keys. It's Mile Marker 50, with Key West at Mile Marker 0 and Key Largo more or less at Mile Marker 100. It's home to the Seven Mile Bridge and anglers know this is the place to be in Spring for Tarpon fishing. Marathon Florida, as the heart of the Florida Keys.

Big Pine Key is is the second largest Key in the Florida Keys, after Key Largo. It's also got more trees and deer than most of the other Keys, and features a large preserve for both. The tiny deer are federally protected and stand less than three feet tall. Mid-twentieth century hunters nearly decimated the Key Deer population on Big Pine Key, and cars did a good job as well.

It was late afternoon when we arrived at Key West. We checked into our hotel, freshened up and began exploring.

Key West is small but offers a lot. They have sport fishing, museums, historical attractions, lots of dining options, fabulous sunsets and plenty of bars. This is a happening place. It's the most populated, the most visited, and has the most preserved historical buildings in the Florida Keys. We found that it is very laid back in Key West and the parties go late. You can walk everywhere. The weather was great and the people are friendly. We rented an electric car that we drove around. The food was good too. The sunsets are beautiful in the keys.