Florida Keys – Strange Mix of Old Folks and Party Animals

GUEST ARTICLE: The Florida Keys are populated by a strange mixture of old folks and young party animals. If were to imagine a perfect place for the infamous American Spring Break Key West would be the place!

Florida Keys Beach Hut Beach Hut evening HDR on Siesta Key
photo credit: markus

Ola! We just drove through the Florida Keys and up to South Beach in Miami. “Ola” you say? Yes! We’ve discovered there are quite a few Spanish speaking people in the Florida area, luckily for us we just flew in from South America so we still had our lingo going on.

Florida Keys

We flew into Miami at night and drove down to the Florida Keys and camped out in Key Largo. When we awoke the next morning we were greeted with warm beautiful weather and clean air! Something we hadn’t had for a while since touring Peru, it sure felt good to give the old lungs a break

That morning we drove about 126 miles down the Keys to Key West. The drive was really picturesque with magnificent ocean views of the Caribbean and plenty of palm trees. Key West was different, we drove in about 11 in the morning and there were already vast amounts of people in full party mode. The streets had an old fashioned feel with typical southern architecture and lots of tourist shops selling funny t-shirts that I would never wear in front of granny, and bars promising ‘a good time’.

Driving through Florida Keys

We thought the Keys were nice and we heard the fishing and snorkeling/diving are pretty spectacular, unfortunately we weren’t able to partake in any of those because a cold spell had just gone through

On our last day we drove into Miami. It was nice to get a taste of the Everglades on the way in and it was also interesting to see the Crocodile Crossing signs along the road accompanied by fragrant swamp smells mmmm… alright, who did it?

Florida Keys Crocodile Crossing signs along the roadFlorida Keys Crocodile Crossing signs along the road
photo credit: Joe Shlabotnik

Miami is pretty impressive, especially Miami and South Beach. The enormous upscale condos lining the soft never-ending white sandy beaches were amazing! That place just stunk of wealth, no South American cement boxes to be seen there.

We were sad we didn’t have more time to spend in Miami; I don’t think we’d do the Keys again, once was enough for us. We would like to check out their famous Everglades and giant Theme Parks though and we hear they also have some pretty nice public parks worth visiting.

This travel diary has been written by Rob Gower, a friend who enjoys taking roads less traveled!

6 thoughts on “Florida Keys – Strange Mix of Old Folks and Party Animals”

  1. Your trip to Miami reminded me of a time I went a couple of years ago. A friend of mine and I rented scooters and explored much of South Beach on them. We headed down the main drag until it pretty much ended, then made a left turn, not knowing exactly where we were going. Next thing you know we were on the freeway entrance ramp with no way back (keep in mind these things go 30 mph).

    I went on for less than a mile, then decided ok, we made a mistake, it doesn’t mean we can’t turn back. So I stopped, turned around and walked my scooter back. My friend however, kept on and drove across the bridge to Miami. I couldn’t believe he did it! Anyway, good times were had. We both ended up safe and no one was hurt. Miami is quite the beautiful city and I highly recommend that anyone take a vacation there. I’m glad you had a nice time. Looking forward to reading about your next destination.

  2. We vacationed the Florida Keys and decided to stay 8 years ago. We love the weather and all the water activities like diving, snorkeling and some water sports. While diving you can visit the largest man-made reef, the USS Spiegel Grove. At 510 feet it is such an extraordinary sight. Other diving and snorkeling activities include the Christ of the Abyss statue and the African Queen Statue. For those not wanting to go all the way under, there is much to do and see at the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

  3. I spent some time in Miami this summer. We made the same drive down the keys. I like the drive but I wasn’t very impressed with the towns in the keys. I was hopping for a bit more night life. If I did it again I would just stay in Miami.

  4. I have been several times to Key West. The six hour drive from Miami is very enjoyable, especially the 7-mile bridge. As it turns out the ocean fishing is only $20 if you go by party fishing boat. Check in at the marina for times. This was a great time. The main tourist strip is a zoo, however. Be sure to visit the southern most point in the USA just as the sun is going down … a great ball of fire slipping to the ocean.

  5. I actually enjoyed our trip to the keys, especially Key West. It could be though that we went down in the middle of a winter storm in North Eastern US. I think Key West has more of a nightlife than any other place there. Of course, it isn’t Miami.

  6. The keys is a very diverse mix of people. You have to be different to live down here. I personally love it – born and raised! Wouldn’t live anywhere else! The fishing is fantastic! Miami is a different breed

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