Travel Postcard: 48 hours in the Florida Keys

Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:41am EDT
 
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By Verna Gates

KEY WEST, Fla (Reuters) - The Florida Keys are the end of the road, where the legendary U.S. Route 1 stops for the ocean at mile zero, a classic American road trip.

For many, it did end here, a place where ships crashed and wreckers saved sailors and kept their cargos. Grand homes reflect the glory days of found treasure, while the carefree lifestyle captures the spirit of the wayfaring rogues who trolled the rich waters.

Visitors usually fly into Miami and take the traditional 162-mile scenic drive to Key West on Route 1. Reuters correspondents with local knowledge help visitors get the most out of a weekend trip in the area.

Friday

Noon - Stop for lunch at Mrs. Mac's Kitchen at Key Largo and try the grilled fish Key Lime pie. www.mrsmacskitchen.com.

1:30 p.m.- Visit the Turtle Hospital, one of the few veterinary clinics that rehabilitates the massive reptiles. A tour passes by the surgery suite and the ponds where non-releasable turtles live. www.theturtlehospital.org.

3 p.m. - Make a stop at Hawks Cay Resort at Duck Key to enjoy their Dolphin Connection in which four friendly swimming mammals like their flippers petted. www.hawkscay.com.

4 p.m. - Rent a kayak and paddle past your new dolphin friends, who will swim alongside. www.hawkscay.com.   Continued...

 
Busker Will Soto walks a tightrope at the sunset celebration in Key West, Florida, in this file photo taken in 2007. The sunset celebration at Mallory Square is a daily ritual for visitors to this subtropical island at the bottom of the Florida Keys. The Florida Keys are the end of the road, where the legendary U.S. Route 1 stops for the ocean at mile zero, a classic American road trip. REUTERS/Bob Krist/Florida Keys News Bureau/Handout