Calling all Floridonians

WillDAQ

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Going to be heading out to Florida on Monday, will have a few spare days and a hire car.

Starting in Orlando and have to finish in Miami, planning to drive down to Key West on the ocean highway.

Any suggestions for attractions / accommodation / etc?
 

Jay

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Cobol74 had a similar vacation. May want to ask him a few pointers, since you are both in the UK and were in unfamiliar areas.

IIRC he had to adapt quickly to driving conditions. ;)
 

lws1984

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What sort of car are you renting? Florida's car-hire lots are filled with bad choices.
Basically any name-brand hotel will be clean and safe, so that really shoudln't be an issue.
 

The_Finn

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How long will you be in the Keys?

Key West:
Stuff to do:
DO NOT MISS Sunset fest... it's a whole bunch of street performers and they are all awesome.
Southern Most Point
Key West Shipwreck Historium
Fort Zachary Taylor

Food
Breakfast: Croissants de France
Dinner:
Fine Dining: Louie's Backyard or Seven Fishes
Not "Fine" but still Great Dining: Turtle Kralls or Alonzo's Oyster House
Lunch: Lobo's Grille

Other Places in the Keys to check out:
Looe Key is one of the greatest places to go snorkeling in the world. I CANNOT overstate how much i think you should go on a dive/snorkel Tour. This is the place i used to take people for tours
Big Blue Hole. here it is on google maps


Lower Keys Food:
Mangrove Mama's yes it looks like a tiny ramshackle hole in the wall... but the blackened fish sandwich is fan fucking tastic

Key Largo Food
Calypsos Seafood Grille I cannot suggest this place enough. Seriously if you don't go to calypso's i will fight you.....
 

JipJopJones

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I'm pretty sure they are called floridians.






Yahyah, not contributing to the thread. Bite me. :p
 

Whappeh

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There are a few things in Orlando... What is your time frame?
 

WillDAQ

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What sort of car are you renting? Florida's car-hire lots are filled with bad choices.
Basically any name-brand hotel will be clean and safe, so that really shoudln't be an issue.
The plan is to 'go large', so mini van or similar.

How long will you be in the Keys?
Probably only a day or two, trying to cover Florida in 4 days! Thanks for the suggestions, will try as many as possible.

I'm pretty sure they are called floridians.
I know, but it doesn't sound as good...

Pro tip: Don't speed on the highway to Key West. It's 40, do 40.
Will do!

There are a few things in Orlando... What is your time frame?
There 5 days, but that's including 4 days of a conference, so relatively little

Anyone got any "don't forget your <something or other>" type suggestions?
 

Whappeh

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Well, good news about your trip: Its going to be warm. No rain on forecast from what I remember (at least in the Orlando area). Other then that, Orlando is shit. People in this town can't drive.
 

lws1984

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The plan is to 'go large', so mini van or similar.
Good news, any rental minivan will be boring but generally un-thrashed and usable, so you should be fine there.

Anyone got any "don't forget your <something or other>" type suggestions?
Sunscreen. A towel. Camera (and all related accessories). Quarters or dollar bills are useful as well, you may end up on a toll road depending on your route.
 

Emarline

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From when I've visited Florida in the past (my grandfather lives in Tampa) at this time of the year, I recommend bringing a sweater, just in case. It typically doesn't get too cold, but you never know. Don't underestimate the weather.
 

Magnet

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We were in Orlando in early to mid December, and the weather was unseasonably cold. It would drop to almost below freezing at night, but at least the theme parks were mostly empty. We didn't do much in Orlando apart from the theme parks and the outlet malls, but I can't say I'm an expert on the area.

Filling up the car near the airport was also about twice the price as a regular gas station.
 

thescreensavers

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Pro tip: Don't speed on the highway to Key West. It's 40, do 40.
Yep, Also read what the speed limit is, Night time there is a different speed limit! Cops are crazy on that road. Also since its a 1 lane in both directions with no center divider be alert!
 

thescreensavers

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With regard to the toll roads, you can buy passes that link to your credit card and stick to your windshield so you don't have to deal with tollbooths. See https://www.sunpass.com/sunPassRetailers for places where you can buy them.
He should not need that unless he is going to be traveling ALOT on the Turnpike. I95 in miami during rush hour also has express lanes that are sunpass only. Sunpass mini is like 6 bucks so it might just be easier then to have a roll of quarters on you.
 

Cobol74

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I did that trip in May.

1. Get some US sports in if you can I was looking for a basket ball match but it was already in the playoffs and the tickets were difficult to get and pricey, still I drove over to Tampa Bay and saw the Wrays.

http:// tampabay.rays.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=tb

1. Not sure if it is the season at the moment with NFL on now but was not too expensive 39 USD plus parking and worth it.

2. Went down Highway 1 and stayed at a cheap hotel in Key Largo - next to the road was some industrial stuff but just behind was the marinas and stuff - definitely do the water sports thing.

3. Car hire - we landed at 03:00 hrs in Orlando (Volcano) International and our Car Rental Company was the only one open! We got a Hyundai Sonata and the quality of the car and effectiveness of the air con was top notch.

4. Sea World and the Alligator / Crocodile farm was cracking, well worth a visit. Alligator wrestler, where are you going to see that in Ukania?

EDIT/
I recommend the sunpass too, much easier. You will need a US enabled Sat Nav - or get one on the rental (Expensive Option).
 
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WillDAQ

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Orlando is shit. People in this town can't drive.
Duly noted, we'll head south as soon as we can!

I recommend bringing a sweater, just in case.
I think i've got the opposite problem, not got enough clothing for warm weather!

Filling up the car near the airport was also about twice the price as a regular gas station.
Fuel light bingo it is then!

Yep, Also read what the speed limit is, Night time there is a different speed limit! Cops are crazy on that road. Also since its a 1 lane in both directions with no center divider be alert!
What could possibly go wrong :|
 
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