Planning a southern Florida road-trip

By the time I finally go to Florida, this adventure will have been a year in the making! I booked my flights to Miami in March 2018 (thanks to BA for always enticing me to book so far in advance), topping and tailing the holiday with a stay on South Beach. Since then I’ve been hunting out the best places to stay and explore, and while I’d usually wait until I’m back from my holiday to post, I’m keen to see what tips you might have for me before I go.

My trip starts in Miami late February, where temperatures are expected to be mid-twenties. We’re staying at the Eden Roc, which is pretty cool in itself, but I haven’t yet made my mind up whether to splash out on dinner at Nobu (any thoughts?) – I managed to resist when staying at the Atlantis in Dubai. I’ve not looked into Miami in that much detail yet, but I’ve heard Little Havana is a must – the food-based walking tours sound like they have potential to be insightful and not too touristy.

After two nights in Miami we’ll be picking up our Ford Mustang (such a cliche but when else will I get the chance?) and heading down the Florida Keys, which for those that don’t know is a series of 800 or so islands connected by one long road. We’re going all the way to Key West, but I plan to stop off at the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park for a few hours on route. I’ve heard great things about Key West so I’m expecting a few days of sunshine, seafood and a cracking sunset! In Key West we’ll be eating our fair share of cuban sandwiches, but I really fancy trying snorkelling (if I can get past the thought of sharks) – these tours sound good if you fancy a bit of parasailing and water skiing too.

We’re then making our way back up the Keys, stopping for lunch in Marathon before staying in Islamorada (which is somehow a village and a chain of islands) for two nights at The Pelican Cove Resort. I’d planned to rent an AirBnB for this part but I couldn’t find anything that looked right; a friend recommended the area to me and a quick Instagram scroll tells me it’s going to be pretty special. Here’s a few of my favourites:

I know at this point I’ll be sad to leave the Keys, but I felt it best to stay closer to the Everglades to make the most of our time there. So we’re heading to Florida City / Homestead via one or two other villages on the Keys to stay just 15 minutes from one of the park entrances. This Best Western seemed the ‘best’ option, but I had quite a bit of difficulty planning this part of the itinerary as I’d struggled to clarify whether there’s any accommodation available in the park itself (not really). I haven’t fully scoped how to spend our day in the Everglades, but this Florida Rambler blog has been very helpful. While we’re in the area, we plan to have dinner at Schnebly Redland’s Winery, which has come up a fair few times during my research, and take a look at the Robert is Here fruit stand.

Finally we’ll be making our way back to Miami for a stay at The Plymouth  on South Beach, before jetting back to London.

Do you have any recommendations to make my trip even more memorable? I’d love to hear from you if so. Otherwise, come back in March 2019 to hear how my southern Florida road-trip went – or follow me on Instagram!

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