On checking out of Homestead I drive through the Everglades to the west coast of Florida and check into the Best Western Naples Plaza Hotel ($96, 2nghts), must’ve been the best value deal I got any stay in US.
I did have one unnecessary guest, on taking a shower I nearly had a heart attack/broke a leg when a frog jumped from it’s hiding position behind the shower taps. It took a good 15mins to safely capture it in a container and let the frightened fella out the patio doors.
There’s some lovely coastal areas north of Naples along the Gulf of Mexico coast. From Naples I head back through the Everglades and turn south towards the Keys, travelling c200 miles to Marathon. The drive over the bridges linking the strips of land that make up the Keys is spectacular. I stay at Boatman’s Sombrero Resort & Marina ($176, 2nghts) and add another night in the area at The Anchor Motel ($89, 1nght).
It’s an amazing place but the heat at this time of year really doesn’t encourage movement of any kind, some lazing/reading on beaches is about as energetic as I get, first thing in the morning and later in the evening it’s more bearable and Marathon isn’t far from Key West, which is the southernmost point in the continental US and only 90miles from Cuba.
Ernest Hemingway is a former resident of Key West and while there I have to try some Key Limes Pie – absolutely delish of course!
Beautiful buildings and spectacular sunsets!