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Author Topic:   Trip to the Keys
compounder posted 03-18-2003 08:15 PM ET (US)   Profile for compounder   Send Email to compounder  
I'm finally going to make a long-awaited trip to the Keys. Haven't decided on whether to trailer the Montauk down or not.

Planning on late May. Has it gotten nice and hot by then? How about some input on what to see, where to stay, where to eat, etc. Not interested in fishing on this trip, but would like to rent a boat (preferably a Whaler) if I don't take my own. Would really like to experience some of the "old Florida" if it is still there. Don't like tourist attractions, crowds, or "chain" establishments.

Any and all info will be appreciated.

caddis posted 03-18-2003 11:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for caddis  Send Email to caddis     
My favorite town in the keys is Islamorada. Great fishing vibe, and a ton of great restaurants. It depends on what kind of accomodations you like. Cheeca Lodge has the name, but there are all kinds of places to stay. The Moorings is where all the swimsuit models are- no kidding, they shoot there 365 days a year. We like to stay at Casa Morada. Site is www.casamorada.com . A little expensive, but quiet and on the bay. We've also stayed at the Chesapeake, a larger hotel on the ocean side. Not quite a keys feel to it as at Casa Morada.

Restaurants- start with the Islamorada Fish Company, right at the World Wide Sportsman. This is where all the restaurants in the area get their fish from. Morada Bay is the tiki bar next door, and it had the best blackened mahi (which is about all I eat when I am down there). Manny and Isa's is a little Cuban restaurant across the street, with the best key lime pie in the keys. She makes it herself, and it is not to be missed.

Further down towards Key West is Sugarloaf Key and the Sugarloaf Lodge. That is the old keys style of resort. Not much around there, though.

Definitely look at the Florida Sportsman site for more information. Url is http://floridasportsman.zeroforum.com/zeromain?id=1 . They are a great resource, but a little fishing slanted.

How can you go to the keys and not fish? If you change your mind, I have some great guide recommendations. My wife loves to tag along because these guys will show you all around the area, and these waters can be tricky. Are you a diver? Islamorada and Key Largo are the places to be.

If you have any other questions, e-mail me at whaler AT charter DOT net. More information at http://www.fla-keys.com/islamorada/index.htm .

I hope all these url's work.

Bigshot posted 03-19-2003 11:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
I agree with the area described above. If you don't mind trailering your rig, I would do it especially if you are gonna be down 5 days or more. Boating in the keys is awesome and renting a boat is EXPENSIVE. For one day it is not bad but being a Montauk is so easy to trailer, why not. I just trailered mine 250 miles each way to Ft Lauderdale and it was a breeze and I still maintained 65+mph and got about 3-4mpg less than not trailering...no biggie.
dfmcintyre posted 03-21-2003 05:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
We towed our Montauk down, and like Bigshot mentioned, it's an easy tow.

Our favorite place to stay is at:

www.largolodge.com

Have not been down to visit Harriet for about seven years though....miss the place. While there is not an launch ramp there, they have dockage for a Montauk sized Whaler. Little sand beach where manatee will come up and you can feed them day old lettice and fresh water from a hose. You need to have in your "BTDT" memorybank having a couple of manatee's trying to shove each other out of the way to get to the hose your holding!

On that side of the keys there are a number of great places to eat, all accessible by water. If you dive, there is easy access through a channel to the Alantic, and out to some good diving on the reefs.

Best - Don

jstachowiak posted 03-21-2003 01:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for jstachowiak  Send Email to jstachowiak     
I stayed at Chesapeake Resort in Islamorada in April last year. http://www.chesapeake-resort.com/

I can highly recommend them and their place. You can put your boat in their ramp and lagoon and keep it in the water all week. It is the only way to go. Take your boat.

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