South Florida

MIAMI | 2 YEARS AGO |
by Julian
I've never been a big fan of Florida. Too much humidity and too many bugs. Turns out I had been going to the wrong places! Wanting to get away for a short break and not able to head overseas we went on a small driving tour of the everglades and the keys. Had an amazing few days visiting Biscayne National Park, The Everglades, then driving down Route 1 for great food and some scuba in Key West.

TRIP OVERVIEW

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Key West

La Crêperie French Café Key West

We were originally intending to go to Blue Heaven on the recommendation of a friend but it was a really long wait for lunch and we didn't have the patience. So instead we went across the road to La Crêperie. So glad we did as the food was amazing! Highly recommend a visit.

Schooner Wharf Bar

Head here for some casual drinks, quick food and live music. Cheap and cheerful.

The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum

A must stop on the tourist trail despite the crowds this was a fascinating place to see with a really interesting history. The many cats will be eager to hang out with you. Recommend finding the quiet bench in the trees near the pool and contemplating Key West in the 1930s.

The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory

Cool place to spend a an hour among the butterflies. I'm a bit of a sucker for butterfly houses.

The Laureate Key West

A nicely refurbished apartment hotel to the north of downtown. The only downside was the proximity to the main road into town.

Parks

Biscayne National ParkCurry Hammock State Park
Everglades

Biscayne National Park

Biscayne is pretty big. We took two boat tours from the National Park Visitor Center. First an afternoon out to Boca Chita, originally an exotic playground for the rich and fabulous built by Mark Honeywell in the 1930s. Then the next morning we headed out for a snorkel adventure on the other side of the reef. Really worth a visit.

Curry Hammock State Park

We stopped here for a quick picnic by the ocean on the way down to Key West. Tucked off to the side of Rte 1 we found a delightfully quiet beach. Great place to take a break.

Everglades

While we visited the Everglades we really only dipped our toes in the experience. We went on a short tour with one of the many Airboat operators. Whilst certainly fun we didn't really get to explore much of the park. Fortunately we had such a great time in Key West that a future trip to South Florida can't be too far in out future and we'll come back.

Fort Zachary Taylor

On the far tip of Key West this is an easily accessible beach. A popular spot with the locals.

Diving

5 Top Places To Dive In The Florida Keys

Diving the Vandenberg Wreck

Southpoint Divers

Did a quick refresher course and then went on a few dives with these guys. Really great dive team with a nice size boat. Unfortunately the site I really wanted to visit (USNS General Hoyt S. Vandenberg) wasn't accessible due to some seriously strong currents. Got to see some interesting reefs though. Another on the list to head back to!