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After your flight across the pond, there's no better place to unwind, relax and slip into that holiday mood, than sunny South Beach, Miami. Your hotel for your two night stay here will be in the funky Art Deco District.
When you're not sunning yourself on the golden sands, sipping a cocktail in one of the fashionable street cafes, or mooching around the stylish boutiques, we suggest you hop on a schooner for a sail around the harbour, enjoy an Art Deco tour or visit Little Havana for a strong cuban coffee and a large cigar. If you adore people watching, you're in the right place. Roller skating babes, hunky dudes, sugar daddies and some of America's most flamboyant creatures strut their stuff along Ocean Boulevard!
Today, your Florida Keys adventure begins. Collect your car from Miami, which simply has to be a convertible, and head south.
En route to Key Largo why not take a short side-trip to the impressive Everglades National Park. Enjoy an airboat ride through this wild and rugged swamplands, if you're lucky, you'll bump into the odd alligator or two, you are in their backyard afterall.
Driving south from mainland Florida, it's easy to understand why the southernmost leg of US Highway 1 is referred to as the "Highway that Goes to the Sea " or the Overseas Highway . The route you're approaching unrolls like a long dark ribbon in front of you with immense vistas of turquoise water and paler blue sky stretching endlessly on either side.
Life takes on a different pace in this part of the USA. If you're seeking a laid-back, easy going holiday-you've got it. Flip-flops and cool shades are the order of the day here!
Your next stop for two nights is Key Largo in the Upper Florida Keys. A must-do here is a spot of diving and visit to John Pennekamp State Park, (one of only three underwater National Parks in the USA). Fancy a visit to the world's first underwater hotel, or a stroll round the fascinating Wild Bird Centre too?
After a relaxing 2 nights in Key Largo it's off next to the most southern tip of the USA, Key West. On your journey down the Florida Keys you'll pass over endless bridges that seem to disappear into the sky and you'll be surrounded by scores of deserted islands in azure seas. Now don't rush this journey, take it slow and easy, you won't want to miss anything. Stop for lunch, park up the car and take a cool dip (who cares if you arrive at your hotel wet, you're in the Keys.) Stop at a tiki bar and enjoy an ice-cold beer, or simply turn up the CD and listen to your favourite tunes as your cruise along and top up your tan.
Your next stop for 2 nights in Key West. We suggest you stay in a turn of the century, charming guesthouse (these are not like UK guesthouses) or a swish resort on the beach such as The Reach Resort or the Casa Marina. Unlike the rest of the laid-back Keys, Key West is a "jumping" place. All the action largely revolves around lively Duval Street which runs from one side of the island to another. Packed with restuarants, bars and boutiques, this is one place you'll never run out of things to do. Here we know you'll enjoy the fun Pirate Walking Tours, the Echo Catamaran trips and the historic Conch Train.
Stroll the quaint streets of Key West, stop for a slice of the delicious Key Lime Pie, pop into Sloppy Joe's Bar (a favourite haunt of Ernest Hemmingway) or pull up a bar stoll and enjoy some good old people watching.
At the end of your day on this intertesting little Island, head to Mallory Square and enjoy the nightly Key West Sunset Celebrations.
Today it's time to leave Key West behind you and slip back into a slower pace of life as you cruise back up the Florida Keys en route to your next stop, Islamorada.
Islamorada is THE Sport Fishing Capital of the world, it's a Mecca for fishing fans who come here to catch marlin, tuna and dolphin (the fish not the mammal!). If fishing isn't your bag then there are plenty of other activities in this area to experience. We love the unique Aqua Ranch and The Turtle Hospital.
As this is the end of your holiday, you may not want to do more than kick back and enjoy the laid-back vibe. Make sure you start your day with a fabulous breakfasts at Robbies. And when the thoughts roll to dinner you've got great local restaurants (check out Pierre's) complete with terrific views and stunning sunsets.
Have used them before and service still of a high standard.
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