Florida Keys in Jan/Feb?

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Florida Keys in Jan/Feb?

Postby snyder66 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:41 am

WE are thinking of a little winter getaway, not all of our kids have passports, yet. Has anyone been to the Keys in winter? Is it worth it, or is it too cold. Thanks
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Re: Florida Keys in Jan/Feb?

Postby Levett » Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:54 am

Yes. It was delightful.

We spent a week. Flew into Ft. Lauderdale and drove to Key West with some family (no children with us).

Just a lovely time enjoying the food, music, and weather.

It's a very laid back place--a perfect break from a Midwest winter. :beer

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Re: Florida Keys in Jan/Feb?

Postby midareff » Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:06 am

It is possible to hit a cool week but in general the keys are beautiful this time of year. There are some great seafood resturants over in the fishing docks area. Had some of the best lobster ever there and want to get back for a few days soon. For a first timer there is a bunch to see.. the old fort, Hemingway House, a few watering holes of national repute, Duval and other main streets....... all very walkable. Food is a bit expensive as would be expected in a touristy location. Consider hotel reservations a must. I've stayed at the Days Inn (about mid island) a couple of times and found the rate reasonable .. they include breakfast. Drive straight down North Roosevelt from the Inn after breakfast.. about 9 AM and was able to find free parking about a 1/2 block off Duval (main street) each time. Want to try something different next time for variety though.
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Re: Florida Keys in Jan/Feb?

Postby snyder66 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:09 am

Any suggestions on where to stay with 3 kids? There seem to be a great deal of hotels and resorts. I'm guessing Key West could be a little wild. Marathon? Islamadora? Any help would be great. Thanks!
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Re: Florida Keys in Jan/Feb?

Postby gatorman » Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:16 am

It depends on what you want to do. Its likely too cold to do much swimming. Winter fishing is slow compared to other times of the year. The sightseeing is good anytime. Bird watching is probably pretty good, although it is too early to hit the peak nesting season. If I was going down, I'd include a side trip to the Everglades National Park to see the crocs and the birds, maybe a couple days in Miami, not sure there is enough to keep one occupied for more than a couple days in the Keys this time of year. It is peak snowbird season, so hotels are likely to be bit pricey, but if you like camping out, this is minimum bug season.
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Re: Florida Keys in Jan/Feb?

Postby midareff » Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:22 am

snyder66 wrote:Any suggestions on where to stay with 3 kids? There seem to be a great deal of hotels and resorts. I'm guessing Key West could be a little wild. Marathon? Islamadora? Any help would be great. Thanks!


Try Days Inn which is about mid-island. Nice pool area, breakfast is included and they have some 2 room suites which would be OK for kids. No charge for parking. AAA, Gov/Military and Senior discounts available. There is a pretty good BBQ joint right across the street (towards the mainand) in a small shopping center that may prove useful. I'm looking at the Parrot Key Hotel/Resort for my next trip but it was a 12% year.

It could get wild but that would be Duval Street and the other bar areas and I susect not the time of day or night you would be roaming around with the kids. Don't think i would give that a second thought.
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Re: Florida Keys in Jan/Feb?

Postby gatorman » Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:29 am

Here is a link to some weather/water temp info:
http://www.fla-keys.com/weather.cfm

There is plenty of other helpful info on that website as well.
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Re: Florida Keys in Jan/Feb?

Postby midareff » Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:30 am

snyder66 wrote:WE are thinking of a little winter getaway, not all of our kids have passports, yet. Has anyone been to the Keys in winter? Is it worth it, or is it too cold. Thanks


"Winter

It is incorrect to refer to any month in Key West as "cool," but according to The Weather Channel, the coolest month of the year in Key West is January. January has an average high temperature of 75 degrees F, while the average low during the month is only 10 degrees cooler at 65 degrees. As winter turns to spring in March, the temperatures do not vary much from January. March's average high temperature is four degrees warmer at 79 degrees. The average low for March is 69 degrees."
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Re: Florida Keys in Jan/Feb?

Postby gatorman » Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:40 am

snyder66 wrote:Any suggestions on where to stay with 3 kids? There seem to be a great deal of hotels and resorts. I'm guessing Key West could be a little wild. Marathon? Islamadora? Any help would be great. Thanks!


Islamadora or Marathon are great if you want to go fishing, but fishing isn't that great in winter, ok, but nothing compared to the peaks. There isn't a lot to see in the middle keys. Key West would be the tourist destination this time of year. But it is quite small and the things worth seeing and doing can be done in 2-3 days max. The Truman House is worth seeing, Sloppy Joe's for a beer, Hemingway's house, maybe a boat trip to the Dry Tortugas. Wander around some, and you're done.
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Re: Florida Keys in Jan/Feb?

Postby gasman » Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:46 am

A little pricey, but very kid friendly resort. Great cheap seafood bar/restaurant on the other side of the highway.

http://www.hawkscay.com
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Re: Florida Keys in Jan/Feb?

Postby abuss368 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:54 am

Brother and Sister in Law are driving back from the Keys today as we speak. They loved it and plan to go back.
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Re: Florida Keys in Jan/Feb?

Postby WendyW » Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:05 am

Key West is lovely, but very expensive.

Without a passport, you can still visit Puerto Rico, which is a Commonwealth of the United States (no passport is required for U.S. citizens.)
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Re: Florida Keys in Jan/Feb?

Postby PreemieNurse » Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:21 pm

Just a heads up, Key West is hosting a half marathon event the 2nd or 3rd weekend in January. It may be crowded and harder to find hotels at good prices that weekend, and winter is high season anyway in terms of tourist pricing.

I think the upper keys are okay for fishing/scuba diving/maybe having lunch, not necessarily places I'd want to stay a few days with kids. Key West will have a lot more to do and see. Have you been before? Just be aware that only select hotels have true beachfront locales with nice sand for laying out. If your kids are young, they will probably be fine just hanging out at the pool.
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Re: Florida Keys in Jan/Feb?

Postby marshotel » Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:38 pm

My wife and I have been going to visit her parents in key largo every winter for the last ten years and have had better luck in February as far as the weather goes. A couple of January visits had us in fleece and long pants, which we don't mind becasue you still get the relax in the sun feeling. But if you are flexible I would go with February. As far as suggestions some good roadside grub and great people watching would be Alambama Jacks in Homestead and Buzzards Roost in Key Largo.
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Re: Florida Keys in Jan/Feb?

Postby gatorman » Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:39 am

marshotel wrote:My wife and I have been going to visit her parents in key largo every winter for the last ten years and have had better luck in February as far as the weather goes. A couple of January visits had us in fleece and long pants, which we don't mind becasue you still get the relax in the sun feeling. But if you are flexible I would go with February. As far as suggestions some good roadside grub and great people watching would be Alambama Jacks in Homestead and Buzzards Roost in Key Largo.


Alabama Jacks is great, super South Florida Cracker (i.e. super casual) outdoor ambiance and the food is not bad either.
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Re: Florida Keys in Jan/Feb?

Postby Flashes1 » Mon Dec 31, 2012 8:57 am

Key West is awesome.....a very memorable family vacation would be to fly into Miami-----drive your 4 door convertible rental car along Hwy A1A across one of the longest bridges in the world connecting the Keys to mainland U.S. You could also take a quick detour to the Everglades as another poster suggested------the drive might be the best part of your whole trip----stop along any number of Keys that look interesting......the scenery is majestic.
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Re: Florida Keys in Jan/Feb?

Postby The Wizard » Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:31 am

Flashes1 wrote:Key West is awesome.....a very memorable family vacation would be to fly into Miami-----drive your 4 door convertible rental car along Hwy A1A across one of the longest bridges in the world connecting the Keys to mainland U.S. You could also take a quick detour to the Everglades as another poster suggested------the drive might be the best part of your whole trip----stop along any number of Keys that look interesting......the scenery is majestic.

They don't make too many 4-door convertibles, but even with a Mustang it's fine so long as the back-seat riders are small.
I've done the Keys 5 or 6 times so far and probably should do them again before too long...
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Re: Florida Keys in Jan/Feb?

Postby bluemarlin08 » Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:54 pm

Have been to the Keys many times but never in Feb. until a few years ago. We took 3 weeks and visited all the Keys and came back to Longboat Key on the west coast. The weather was very windy and cold the entire trip. Wife got food poisoning in Islamorado. The fishing was very slow and the wind made it almost impossible. I would not go back in the winter months again, maybe April through November. Have fun, you might catch a break and have great weather.
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Re: Florida Keys in Jan/Feb?

Postby prunicki » Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:35 pm

My wife and I have taken our children to K Largo maybe 10 times over the years. Weather in Feb is usually better, more predictable. Nice cottages/condos on Fla Bay side in K Largo. Good restaurants. lots to do--dolphin show, kayaking, sailboat rental,etc etc. Swimming is OK bayside if its warm outside. You can drive to K West for a day trip. Tripadvisor is a good place to start.
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Re: Florida Keys in Jan/Feb?

Postby gatorman » Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:06 am

prunicki wrote:My wife and I have taken our children to K Largo maybe 10 times over the years. Weather in Feb is usually better, more predictable. Nice cottages/condos on Fla Bay side in K Largo. Good restaurants. lots to do--dolphin show, kayaking, sailboat rental,etc etc. Swimming is OK bayside if its warm outside. You can drive to K West for a day trip. Tripadvisor is a good place to start.


Key Largo is probably a better idea, they'd have "easy" (I put the term in quotes because there's always LOTS of traffic) access back to Miami and to Everglades National Park.
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Re: Florida Keys in Jan/Feb?

Postby midareff » Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:15 am

bluemarlin08 wrote:Have been to the Keys many times but never in Feb. until a few years ago. We took 3 weeks and visited all the Keys and came back to Longboat Key on the west coast. The weather was very windy and cold the entire trip. Wife got food poisoning in Islamorado. The fishing was very slow and the wind made it almost impossible. I would not go back in the winter months again, maybe April through November. Have fun, you might catch a break and have great weather.


have been living in Miami since 1964 .... last year was by far the coldest in recollection. Would not base anything on 2012 winter.
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Re: Florida Keys in Jan/Feb?

Postby bluemarlin08 » Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:04 pm

I was there in 2009, 2012 must have been uncomfortable.
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Re: Florida Keys in Jan/Feb?

Postby snyder66 » Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:09 pm

Expanding my search to any warm beach town in Florida that us family friendly.
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Re: Florida Keys in Jan/Feb?

Postby midareff » Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:12 pm

Try Fort Myers beach.
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Re: Florida Keys in Jan/Feb?

Postby PreemieNurse » Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:33 pm

January/February are our coldest months. Not sure you will find any 'warm beach town' by Florida standards in that time frame, where you could actually enjoy the beach. If you do want warm, then you will want to stay south. I'm in north/central Florida and it's been in the 30s at night. St. Augustine is on the east coast near Jacksonville, and while it wouldn't really be a beach vacation at that time of year, there's lots of historical attractions and things to do with the family.
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Re: Florida Keys in Jan/Feb?

Postby schnoodlemom » Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:26 pm

We're currently vacationing in the Keys, in Marathon, to be exact. It's our sixth year here as a large extended family, usually New Year's week. We're staying in a rental home, with bikes & kayaks at our disposal, close to Sombrero Beach. Favorite activities of this year & past: biking, kayaking, beach volleyball, watching sunrises & sunsets, walking the Seven Mile bridge, touring Turtle Hospital, Dolphin Research Center & historic Pigeon Key, snorkeling & fishing, a day trip to Key West. So far this year we've only had one really cool day. The rest have been beautiful! Hope you have a good trip!

ETA: We have a heated swimming pool & hot tub at the house. Not sure if it's warm enough to swim in the ocean except for those in wetsuits. Our group numbers 14, ages 5 - 72.
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Re: Florida Keys in Jan/Feb?

Postby gatorman » Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:50 pm

snyder66 wrote:Expanding my search to any warm beach town in Florida that us family friendly.


Key West is probably as warm as it gets in Florida. Average daytime highs are around 75F, water temps average 69-70F, which would probably be the warmest in the state, really not very warm at all and definitely not comfortable swimming water temps or weather. All beaches to the North are likely to be colder and have lower water temps.

How about the US Virgin Islands or Puerto Rico, lots warmer down there and no passport is required? Like Key West though, US VI are pretty small and probably pretty pricey this time of year, not sure about Puerto Rico, never been there.

Good Luck,
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