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Old 05-28-2004, 10:23 PM   #11
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Reef, stay away from the "Aquarium" in Key West. As a matter of fact, be wary of any attraction in downtown Key West--they offer very little bang for the buck. A few things you might want to check out however is the Butterfly Observatory, and the Sunset Festival.

As far as restaurants go, there are many many excellent places to eat. One place you absolutely must dine at is actually on Summerland Key, called Mangrove Mammas (I think mile marker 20). For things to order from any restaurant--I wouldn't recommend the warm-water lobster, but I definitely would recommend the sea scallops--I have never tasted something quite so delicious. I actually ordered scallops from 3 different restaurants, when usually I try something different every night.

I would not recommend staying on Key West. It costs a lot of money. I also wouldn't recommend camping--the mosquitos will eat you alive! My wife and I got an entire beachfront house about 20 minutes outside of Key West for less than a hotel stay! We went through these people, http://www.sugarloafrentals.com/index.html, and they were great, the house was great, and the scenery was amazing. The place has a dock where we saw barracuda every day under the shade and I saw a nurse shark one evening. It's good if you want a place to stay for a week or so, but if you are staying overnight, it's better to find a hotel just outside of Key West.

The only place we wanted to go but didn't was the Dry Tortugas, which is an island off the keys.

If diving isn't your thing, perhaps you would like to snorkel? My wife and I went diving with Looe Key ( http://www.diveflakeys.com/ ) but they also have snorkelers that go along for the ride. It was awesome--it's a nature reserve, so all the flora and fauna is pristine.

HTH and drive safely!
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Old 05-28-2004, 10:41 PM   #12
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Wow lots of great responses 8) Thanks for all the recomendations!

LOL no I'm not a diver. I feel more like food than a swimmer when it comes to the ocean. I was raised on chlorine.

Sounds like Balltimore is hard to ignore. I did visit there once, and had dinner at Planet Hollywood on the board walk. I assume this is the same area you spoke of QTOFFER?

I looked at a hotel on Key West, The Hilton, $1000 a night. Um I don't think so. lol

Williamsburg, and either epcot, or mgm are somewhat in the plans, but i also like the idea on Newport News I might have to chk that out too.

Any Good LFS's (LOL) to poke around in?

Thanks For all the help.
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Old 05-29-2004, 12:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shawmutt
you might want to check out however is the Butterfly Observatory
Yup, beautiful! Go there too if you are in the area. If you like butterflies at least.

-brent
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Old 05-29-2004, 10:28 AM   #14
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I will join everyone and recommend Baltimore and the Inner Harbor, too, as well as Williamsburg and Jamestown (you can't get more basic American history than Jamestown!) and Virginia Beach has the Virginia Marine Science Museum, which is very interesting.

Pennekamp is a great place to visit. They have snorkel trips that don't take you very far away and probably glass-bottom boat tours, and I am positive all the boat trips are handicapped accessible.

Have fun, and I'm jealous!
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Old 05-29-2004, 10:45 AM   #15
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Oh, and the place I missed when we went down to the keys:

http://www.dolphins.org/

Baltimore Aquarium is awesome, I'm still trying to get in there as a volunteer!
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Old 05-29-2004, 12:55 PM   #16
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Also check out Theater of the Sea is Islamorada. Very nice, like a smaller version of sea world.
http://www.theaterofthesea.com/

If in the Myrtle Beach area, the Ripleys Aquarium is excellent, however crowded during the summer.
For snorkeling check out Looe Key. You can catch dive ops off Big Pine that will take you out. Its a nice reef with some shallower spots for good snorkeling. When I dove there, every trip had a group if snorkelers on it.
Paradise divers are a smaller op, no cattle boats.
http://www.paradivers.com/
have a blast!! Of course anytime one can get out of Cleveland weather, its a good thing.
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Old 05-29-2004, 04:56 PM   #17
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Everybody has had a lot of great suggestions. I'm going to add visiting Savannah, GA (beautiful seacoast city, lots of history, southern mansions, huge live oak trees, etc.), St. Augustine, FL - same thing. Not as beautiful as Savannah but loads of history and things to see, and a fort if you're into forts. And if you want to see an old-time Florida tourist attraction, go to Marineland, just south of St. Augustine. I think it's still open - it struggles financially because it's so old and can't compete with Sea World. But it has its own kind of charm.

Definitely the Butterfly Conservatory in Key West, and the Hemingway House is also really good. And you've got to do sunset at Mallory Square at least once. Tons of good restaurants all along the keys.

Check out this web site: http://www.fla-keys.com/
It'll give you loads of info and you can check out some places to stay.

Have a great time. 8)
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Old 05-29-2004, 07:06 PM   #18
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Don't froget the aquarium in Gatlenburg. It's good.
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Old 05-29-2004, 07:52 PM   #19
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Quote:


Don't froget the aquarium in Gatlenburg. It's good.
yup Ripley's. It has a touch pond with some big hermit crabs in it.
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Old 05-29-2004, 08:12 PM   #20
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Actually they have changed it. It's now a "the abyss" setup. Haven't been since they changed it. When I was there last fall they had a place where you could actually touch the mantis's also.
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