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Road Trip Florida : Key West

Road Trip Florida : Key West

Our last leg of the road trip was Key West, the last town at the tip of Florida Keys. A quaint little town were people come to celebrate the sunset. You can literally walk the length and breadth of this town. This is the southern tip of Continental USA.

We reached late in the evening so we headed straight for the Malory Square were all the visitors congregate to celebrate the sunset.

 You can watch street performers keeping the visitors engaged prior to the sunset. This is also a nice place to watch people and engage in street photography.

As the sunset approached, the entire mood around here got vibrant. People were out in the sea positioning themselves for the sunset.

Those at shore also maneuvered themselves into advantageous position to witness the sunset. There was anticipation and excitement in the air awaiting the sunset.

During your visit, do make it a point to walk the Duval Street. This is the most happening place here,  strewn with bars, restaurants and curio & gift shops. You can also see many old time architecture around here.

If you have time to spare, do make a visit to Hemingway House and the butterfly garden. Both are unique and worth a visit.

Hemingway House, this is were the noble laureate wrote books such as “ Fare well to Arms” and “The old man and the sea”. You can also spot many decedents of famous Hemingway Cats who are well cared for.

I found this butterfly garden very exciting.

The visit here was the grand finale of our road trip across Florida. The most exciting and enduring part of our trip was driving back to Atlanta, a distance of 786 miles in one go made possible by grit, determination and stamina of my lovely daughter Shruti who drove for 18 hours to accomplish this feat.

Road Trip Florida : Islamorada, Florida Keys

Road Trip Florida : Islamorada, Florida Keys

During our road trip through Florida we visited Islamorada. People come here for fishing, deep sea diving and snorkelling. Islamorada is part of Florida Keys.

The Florida Keys are a string of tropical islands stretching about 120 miles off the southern tip of the U.S. state of Florida, between the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico (refer map above). They’re known as a destination for fishing, boating, snorkelling and scuba diving. The southernmost city of Key West is famous for Duval Street’s many bars, Mallory Square’s nightly Sunset Celebration and the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum.

A Fishing Boat
Shruti & Kids returning after snorkeling session

When you are driving through Florida Keys, it’s like driving on a strip of land bisecting the sea.

The Seven Mile Bridge

At Islamorada while Shruti my daughter and her children engaged in adventure sports, I got busy with my camera. Sharing few snaps of the place.

Before checking in to the resort where we were to stay, we visited the ‘Theater of the Seas’ to watch a dolphin show. The Dolphins put up an amazing show.

Mojo, my grandson

This is the cottage we rented and stayed in. This was a nice resort with beautiful seascapes.

Islamorada lends itself to some pretty seascapes.

The sunrise and sunset here are amazing too.

While walking along the seaside I came across these Iguanas and birds.

While at Islamorada, do make it a point to visit the ‘Robbie’s’. This is a nice place to enjoy some hearty breakfast, engage in Tarpon feeding and enjoy watching the pelicans waiting for their share of fishes.

Next we moved on to Key West, the southern most town in the Florida Keys. More about it in my next blog.

Beaches and Streets of Miami

Beaches and Streets of Miami

When you think of exotic holiday destinations, Miami is sure to cross your mind. Miami is one of the most sought after destinations in USA and the world over. It is famous for its white sand beaches, glamourous life style and colourful neighborhoods such as Little Havana and Wynwood Walls and offcourse the Bayside Market. Miami is also gateway to the Everglades National Park and the Florida Keys about which I will be discussing in seperate blog posts. We were in Miami in June 2019 and explored its famous landmarks. Sharing few of my snaps taken during the trip.

The first thing you would like to make a beeline for is the Miami Beaches. We visited the North Beach. This beach has good eating places and vast expanse of white snad beaches.

South Pointe is another place from where you get a good view of the skyline.

To appreciate the beauty of Miami’s skyline, you need to drive through its streets, pause for a moment and take a look. Here’s what I got through my lens.

Another unique outdoor destination featuring huge, colorful street murals by artists from around the globe worth visiting is the Wynwood Walls. I enjoyed the freaky art around here.

My Grand Children in the Fore Ground

At the end of the day you must head for the Bayside Market to enjoy its exotic ambience, view the skyline by night, enjoy the free music and binge at one of its many restaurants.

Little Havana is another quaint neighborhood of Miami which is worth a visit. Check out my blog post Click Here .

Road Trip Florida : Little Havana

Road Trip Florida : Little Havana

Little Havana is a quaint part of Miamai where Cuban culture prevails and a visit to this part of the Metro is a must if you are on a visit to Miami. We did that during our road trip across Florida in June 2019.

You need to first visit the Visitors Center where you can get all the details about the place.

There after take a walk along the street which is full of color and has a vibrant outlook.

The quaint shops have something on offer for all.

Do make it a point to visit the cafes and restaurants along the street, these are unique in there layout.

This place offers many options for street photography. Sharing few snaps through my lens.

This place is also famous for its Cigar Company outlets.

The Domino Park is a local attraction where people get together to play Domino and discuss politics. A great place to be and watch people.

If you like watching people or you are a street photographer then this place is a must visit.

Road Trip Florida : Everglades National Park

Road Trip Florida : Everglades National Park

Our main attraction during our 10 day road trip across Florida was to experience the Everglades National Park.

Everglades National Park is a 1.5-million-acre wetlands preserve on the southern tip of the U.S. state of Florida. Often compared to a grassy, slow-moving river, the Everglades is made up of coastal mangroves, sawgrass marshes and pine flatwoods that are home to hundreds of animal species. To me it appeared to be a vast sea of grass and water.

There are four visitor centers which give access to sections of this National Park, we could only visit one.

When at Everglades you must indulge in an Aeroboat ride, its a thrilling experience.

You are sure to spot alligators while at the everglades.

The images above and below were taken by Shruti my daughter with her iPhone. The Alligators get pretty close when you are in the Aeroboat.

Boardwalks lead into the swamps, take a walk on these to spot alligators and other reptiles and birds.

Cuban Brown Alone
Green Iguana

If you are interested in watching wildlife then you must stay here for at least a week and visit all visitor centers of the park.

Road Trip : Visiting St. Augustine

Road Trip : Visiting St. Augustine

Shruti my elder daughter took us for a 10 day road trip across Florida which turned out to be a thrilling experience. The first location which we visited was St. Augustine. It took us about 06 hours to get there by road from Atlanta. We stayed at Southern Oaks Inn which gave us a vintage experience.

St. Augustine is a city on the northeast coast of Florida. It lays claim to being the oldest city in the U.S. Founded in 1565 by the Spanish this city is known for its Spanish colonial architecture.

The fort named, Castillo De San Marcos,Stands tall along the bay. You just cant miss it. It is believed to have been constucted to protect St. Augustine from the pirates.

Well preserved colonial buildings are beauty to watch and walk around.

If you are on a short tour and want to see everything then I suggest you take hop on and off trolley tour.

For a colonial experince take a walk in St Georges and adjacent streets post sunset.

Another building worth having a look at is the Lightner Museum. The front portion is the city hall and the museum is at the rear.

When here do make it a point to walk around the Flagler College and soak in its splendour.

The Light House Museum is another place worth visiting.

The best place to spend some time here in the evening is the Riveria. Take a ride on the horse carraiges too.

Three generations at the oldest house in the USA.

While here do make it a point to visit the Cathedral Basillica, the oldest church in town, the intereiors are beautiful.

There is much more to St. Augustine and I plan to make another visit.