We spent a week in Miami during the rain season 2/2.

Let’s talk about Key West and the famous Overseas Highway.

From Miami, you have many options to reach Key West but the journey to get there is about 260 km on a road where speed limit is 90 km/h. The trip to the far south of Florida is quite long. So, renting a car was for us the most practical option since a quick trip to Orlando was also scheduled a few days apart. It’s hair in the wind, comfortably installed in our convertible Beetle  that we took the road! This famous one that the travel guides sell us as heavenly and which, finally, turns out to be an interminable straight line surrounded by turquoise water often disfigured by guard rails… But our mistake may has been not to made any stops at Key Largo, Islamorada or Marathon, three Keys often described as idyllic.

It’s under extreme heat that we finally arrived in Key West, more precisely on Duval Street where bars, restaurants and tourist attractions are established. Here and there, some pretty Victorian and sometimes colonial facades drown under the gigantic palm trees. Roosters share the space with pickups and scooters. The atmosphere is warm, there are concerts in almost every bar and the music mixes with the hubbub of the street. Cuba is not far from us ! Feet in the water, we enjoyed a very romantic sunset at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park – for a $6 entry fee, just that! – before tasting excellent Fish & Chips and crab claws at Pinchers.

Three tips if you plan to explore Key West 

Do not make the same mistake as we did and book 1 night in a hotel on your way to Key West and another one in Key West. You will have the opportunity to visit some other Keys and why not take the time to dive or go off to admire the dolphins. Also, avoid going back on the road at dusk. The lighting is very bad, often nonexistent, which is not ideal to get home safe. More generally, if you are considering renting a car, the agency will certainly propose a SunPass for a small fee… The highways aren’t free and the SunPass is a good deal to avoid surprises and tickets. In practice, the SunPass is embedded in the vehicle and scanned at toll stations.

The typical Key West’s house
The beautiful sunset over Key West
The lizards of Key Biscayne

To forget the mistake of not having visited any island of the archipelago on our way to Key West, we went for a stroll in Key Biscayne the next morning. Much closer to South Beach – it’s not connected by road to Key West – Key Biscayne welcomed  the Miami tennis tournament every year until it has been moved to another site. At the Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, we cross lizards, herons and, rarely, pelicans and dolphins. Also, as amateurs of contemporary architecture, we enjoyed exploring residential neighborhoods where some buildings left us dreaming…

Finally, by reading these few lines you will have understood that the weather will have spared us during a good part of the week, although the best time to visit Florida remains from October to April. Specifically, we spent the first two days under a pouring rain but we got dry almost instantly as the heat was constantly around 30°C. Beyond this rainy introduction, there have been some stormy episodes throughout the stay but nothing that could hinder the daily plans. The beginning of summer seemed like a relatively acceptable transition to the rainy season, but in this era of climate change, we may not be able to say the same in a few years (Hurricane Irma which ravaged St. Martin, Anguilla, Puerto Rico and hit Cuba, the Keys and Miami a few weeks later)…

if you want to prolong the pleasure, read our related posts and watch our video in which you will see everything that has just been told and some small extras …
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