Florida Keys

The Best Road Trips is a weekly summer series highlighting our favorite getaways from major cities all over the United States.

Miami is one of the U.S.’s most celebrated metropolises, a Cuban-influenced coastal city on the Southern tip of Florida, known as the “gateway to the Americas.” But Miami’s wild reputation and glamorous lifestyle can really wear on the locals (and their bank accounts). With its high-brow art scene, luxurious shopping, and A-list clubs, Miami is an energetic, ultra-lively hub for young partiers and jet-setting tourists — but to escape the rowdy scene, southern Floridans have several spots to flock to within the Sunshine State for some much-needed R&R. Put on you sexiest string bikini (or Speedo), pack your bags, and jump in the whip — we’ve got some miles to cover.

Road Trip #1: Miami to Key West

  • Total Driving Time: 3 hours, 11 minutes
  • Distance Covered: 161.7 miles
  • Take This Trip If: It’s been too long since you’ve last passed out in a hammock with margarita in hand.
Key West is known for extreme leisure

Key West is known for moving at an...errr... leisurely pace.

Casa Marina Resort is island luxury at its finest.

Eden House boasts beautiful grounds at an affordable price

There’s a reason even the most sunny of Floridians love visiting Key West: Its laid-back atmosphere and beautiful surroundings make it one of the best vacation destinations in the country. Miami residents may get their share of water sports and authentic Cuban cuisine, but Key West maintains a much slower pace. The island boasts warm weather year-round thanks to its Southernmost U.S City status, which even steamy Miami can’t compete with. For a supremely luxurious experience, the Casa Marina Resort, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, offers a sophisticated setting while maintaining a chill vibe with its poolside bar, beach hammocks, and lush grounds. Although not quite a steal, the Eden House is offers a variety of amenities at a fraction of Casa Marina’s price. Within the beautiful grounds, guests can enjoy complimentary happy hour, outdoor pool (make sure to apply your FREE sunscreen!), koi ponds, hammocks, or barbecue on the small rolling grill. What more do you need for some fun in the sun?

  • Top Driving Tip: Be prepared for Seven Mile Drive to the Keys to feel like Seven Hour Drive. The bridge spanning the Florida Keys is usually heavily congested, but does offer some of the most scenic views of the Altantic Ocean just about everywhere.

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Marina at the Bitter End Yacht Club

Marina at the Bitter End Yacht Club

Some people plan summer road trips. For others, a summer adventure involves sailing or yachting on the high seas. But long boating trips are no fun without stopping to see the sights on land and stretching out your sea legs.

Luckily, these nine hotels, in beautiful locales ranging from the Caribbean to the Northeastern U.S., are situated right on marinas — so yachties can park and fuel up both their bodies and their boats. Some resorts, such as Hawks Cay Resort in the Florida Keys, let boaters sleep on board and still access all of the pools, restaurants, and activities on-site — all for no more than the docking fee.

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Monday Morning Ahhhh…

by Rachel on March 19, 2012

We’ll kick off the impending start of spring with another amazing, relaxing Oyster Shot — this time from the picturesque shores of Key Biscayne, just south of Miami, Florida. Like its sister hotels, the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne offers travelers impeccable service — and since it’s not in South Beach, expect a quieter, more tranquil crowd around, ideal for our Monday morning. So as we always say, sit back, take a deep breath, and soak in the goodness that is Key Biscayne.

Beach at Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne -- Florida Keys

Beach at Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne -- Florida Keys

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New on Oyster: Florida Keys

by Carolina on March 12, 2012

Beach at the Marriott Key Largo Bay Beach Resort; Florida Keys

Beach at the Marriott Key Largo Bay Beach Resort; Florida Keys

We just returned from the Florida Keys, which is home to one of the largest barrier reef systems in the world. It’s as close to the Caribbean as you can get in the U.S., and most visitors come here for incredible snorkeling and scuba diving, the great weather, and the partying, of course. Though it can get rowdy (especially on Key West), the vibe is mostly laid-back. Check out some of the hotel highlights from our trip after the jump>>

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Your Monday Morning Ahhhh…

by Rachel on February 27, 2012

This week’s moment of Zen comes courtesy of the Cheeca Lodge and Spa in the Florida Keys. Don’t you just wanna sit on the edge of the deck and dip your toes in the ocean? Go ahead! Now take a deep breath, sit back, relax and soak in your Monday Morning goodness.

The beach at Cheeca Lodge and Spa; Florida Keys

 

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