When You Only Have Four and a Half Days to See the Keys!

      According to TripAdvisor, it is possible to make a real dent in your sightseeing in the Florida Keys in just four and a half days.

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Durham, North…
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Save Topic  4.5 days in Keys

Feb 10, 2016, 12:04 AM

Hey, coming into the Keys in early March -> have 4.5 days in the Keys and then 2 full days in the Everglades. Wondering if people can take a glance at my skeleton plan and see what they think. Too busy? That’s typically my problem.

Anything to know about running in Keys? Best places for snorkeling?

Day 1 – Saturday

Arrive, grab lunch around airport then start driving down to Key West.

Option 1: Stop for lunch in Miami area, then eat when we get to Key Largo.

Option 2: Eat a good breakfast and head right down to Key Largo once in, have a mid-afternoon slice of Key Lime Pie at Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen on our way down, then have dinner when we arrive in KW.

Get checked into hotel, and have an easy evening. Get dinner somewhere, maybe drinks by the water, etc.

Day 2 – Sunday

Exploration Day 1

I need to get a long run in this morning – any recommendations for running from the area of the SW military housing area? Is it runner friendly in KW? I thought the family could see Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, very close, while I did that. Or even head over to Southernmost Beach there, relax a bit while I get that done.

Maybe use the rest of this day to stay local: get lunch somewhere nearby, then maybe walk to the closest Trolley stop and do the:

Hop On/Hop Off Old Town Key West Trolley Tours – ~90 min introduction to the island

You can get on and off at will – we would probably pick it up at #11 or #12, and then just ride it back to the beginning and back around to where we got on:


We can pick up tickets online for cheaper than we can get them there.

We could also use the Trolley Tour to do a little sight-seeing, maybe just pick a couple?

Get off at stop #11 to see Southernmost Point, mostly just a photo stop:


Also at #11, Key West Butterfly Garden and Nature Conservancy (Mom wants to make sure we hit this one):


#12/#5 – Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, Key West Lighthouse



#4 – Harry S. Truman Little White House


#1 – Mallory Square

We could even skip lunch and get right on the trolley, take it up to #2 and do lunch and beers at Waterfront Brewery:

This is actual made in Key West beer, if I remember correctly, and looks like they do pub food as well.

Then could hop back on the trolley and see the rest of Key West – hop off whenever we want.

If we stop where we picked it up at #12, we could do the Butterfly Garden that day, then walk up Duval Street, checking out things to close out the day. It’s 1 mile straight up Duval from there to Mallory Sq. Could find food along the way, and/or in the Sq, then watch the sunset there and all the street performers, etc. to close out the day.

Day 3 – Monday

Maybe do any touristy things we didn’t do previously this day. One fun thing to hit up might be Key West Winery:


They also have a local distillery or two, that might interest some.

Maybe more general wandering, art galleries, street vendors. I hesitate to suggest anything else – if people want to just relax and do some drinking, or just wandering, etc. Maybe just relax a bit more, hit anything we didn’t do Sunday that we still want to do before we leave KW.

Day 4 – Tuesday

Key West Day 3

So one of my questions is RE Snorkeling – best spots? I was considering Dry Tortugas National Park – but the $175 per person price tag is really daunting, particularly with how much we’re already spending on this trip. Is it THAT worth it? Are there other really nice areas to snorkel?

Day 5 – Wednesday

Departure from Key West – I’m thinking we get packed up and leave here in the morning on Wednesday, take our time going up.

On our way up, hit some of the other interesting things in the Middle Keys

*The Turtle Hospital – Marathon

turtle rehab facility, offers guided tours, supposed to be super fun – coming North

*Sombrero Beach & Reef – in Marathon

Short boat rides out to a great reef area, good snorkeling, etc. + free beach – apparently a lot of other beaches are super expensive

Big Pine Key State Park – kayak tours of the mangroves, etc.

*Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehab Center

looks like more of a stop on the way down towards Marathon (30 min S from Islamorada) – see lots of rescued birds

Heading more north into Islamorada

*Rain Barrel Artisanal Village

*Florida Keys Brewing Company

*John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

you can snorkel here, fish, or rent those cool glass-bottomed boats and go out and see the reef

Think we could plan on getting up to the top of the Keys – Key Largo for dinnertime, and check out Alabama Jack’s.

After dinner, head up into Florida City and get checked into the hotel there for the night and last 2 days in Glades.

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