Florida Turnpike

The Florida Turnpike Payment System.

The Florida Turnpike is the fastest way to get to the Florida Keys Highway (US-1).

In only 3 to 4 hours you could get from Miami, or any part of South Florida to anywhere in the Florida Keys!

How is this possible now?

The Florida Turn Pike has implemented the new electronic toll payment system starting on the Brower | Miami-Dade county line and ending on the mile marker 0 of the Turn Pike in Florida City (that means that you don’t have to stop to pay toll charges after you get to the Dade | Broward County line, making your road trip faster)

It would it take longer if it wasn’t for this technical improvement on the toll highway system!

Before this you would have to stop at every toll payment booth along the Florida Turnpike and pay with cash.

This meant, slow down, wait on lines, stop, roll down the window, sweat under the South Florida summer heat, pull your wallet out and…What if you forgot your wallet home…trouble!!

A picture will be taken of your car’s license plate as you drive through these lanes and later they will send you a bill on the mail that you can pay by check or credit card from the comfort of your home.How does the Turnpike’s electronic toll system works?

Photo cameras above will take the license plate picture.

The paper bill will arrive shortly after your license plate had been recorded by the system and an account is open for your records.

What about rental cars?

Rental cars companies are using the prepaid program called Sun Pass that let you drive through a designated lane of the road (Sun Pass lane) without having to stop, just make sure that you drive through this designated line when you get to the point.

Look for the Sun Pass signs at all the toll points and also make shore with the rental company that is prevailing and up to date.

Also is a good thing to check for insurance and liabilities when renting a car before you get on the road…and don’t forget to fill the gas tank!

The speed limit is 75 miles- hr and normally you will not run into heavy traffic, making the trip faster. Most important is that you don’t have to stop, and this makes the trip safer and easier.

*For more information you can call the (TP) information center at 1 800 749 PIKE (7453) or check their web site.


Big Pine Key

Big Pine Key…
Where Mother Nature Rules!

Big Pine Key and the Lower Keys are just perfect nature retreats. If you like camping, walking on nature trails, viewing the wild life and being in places that civilization has not mess up yet, this is the place!

This vast and quite area of the Florida Keys has a relaxing and restful atmosphere. Good for bicycling, kayaking on the shores, good diving sites, one famous beach, and other attractions.

One of the main attractions is the Bahia Honda State Park and Beach.

The Lower Keys are the home of the famous Key Deer (this beautiful animal is protected by law) it’s considered an endangered species.

This small size deer can be found wandering around this whole area, backyards, side roads, fresh water ponds and almost everywhere else around Big Pine and the Lower Keys.

Other species that are protected and can be observed at the National Wild Life and Key Deer Refuge like the Great White Heron.

The Key Deer.

This is the reason why the speed limits on these highways are being enforced on the areas of the Lower Florida Keys. So driving careful here is important, the deer is prone to cross the roads without warning.

Big Pine Key, is all a group of different areas and many islands joined together by road, or accessible by boat or by small air planes. Located around the mile markers 29 to 33 of US 1, more precisely at 23 miles south of Marathon Key (pass the section of the new 7 mile bridge) and not too far from Key West only 30 miles south.

It’s a family oriented community with a strong heritage base on eco-tourism, wildlife and nature preservation.

Along the US 1 on the grounds of Big Pine and the Lower Keys you’ll find many prime quality bars and restaurants.

It’s a fun ride on Scenic Highway across the bridges from the Marathon to the Lower Keys areas.

Make a stop here on your way to the most southern point on the US!

We also find hardware stores, pharmacies, boat sales, shops and other important businesses along US 1.

The Golden Margarita Restaurant.

At the Winn Dixie shopping center on US 1and Key Deer Road Blvd+Wilder Rd junction you’ll find restaurants, Radio Shack and the Key Deer Refuge visitor’s center.

The visitor center has exhibits on the wild life of the region and all the information about Big Pine and the Lower Keys.

Tourist information and visitors centers are the best places to stop for any information that you might need when traveling throughout the Florida Keys in general.

There are one or more centers on any of the major towns here.

The Visitor Center.

View of the Bahia Honda State Park, Calusa Beach  and a section of the old railroad bridge.

Bahia Honda State Park.

Sightseeing, boating, kayaking, snorkeling, beach camping and more are all on one big package when we are at the Bahia Honda beach and park…nice place to visit.

Also you can visit the Blue Hole and the Sugar Loaf Key Bat Tower which are nearby, or some of the other attractions of Big Pine Key.
This is where You and I come to hide away from the big city “psycho neurotics” or simply to said “craziness“of modern life…It’s all natural here.

Breathe the clean air and relax to the max in Big Pine Key!

Reviews Travel Stories

Reviews, Travel Stories and Some Florida Keys Experiences.

These are the reviews and personally lived events of people who came to the Florida Keys and had a positive experience, and certainly hope that your time here will be as good!

Some reasons why we go to the Florida Keys every year.
by Martha & Family
(Louisville, Kentucky, US)

These are some of the main reasons why we come to the Florida Keys every year in the first place. To snorkel and scuba dive in the reefs of Pennekamp’s Underwater world, kayaking along the shore line, catch tropical fish in the morning and cook at the camp sites of Key Largo or the Lower Keys.

My husband loves fishing, my two sons snorkeling and I do scuba diving every now and then.

Last year we headed up for the wacky under water music festival of Big Pine Key, visited the Little Palm Island Resort and eat lunch at the great restaurant there, took of pictures of the key deer in the Big Pine Key areas where the deer wander at down, and we also visited most of the historic places in Key West, the Hemingway House, Fort Zachary and its beach, the Ship Wreck Museum, the Art and History Museums. More recently this year we attended the Marathon Seafood Festival and Sombrero Beach in Marathon Key.

We love Key West but this year we are going to be in Islamorada since my husband wants to graduate into the big fishing league and probably compete in some of the tournaments there.

But we know that when we go to the Florida Keys it’s going to be fun on the sun.
Chao! See you there.

Martha Middleton & family from Louisville, Kentucky.

A young key deer that we found at the Little Palm Island Resort.

The Southern Most Hotel in Key West

by Jim & Sara
(New York City.)

I want to tell you about the Southermost Hotel in Key West.
We booked this hotel through Expedia. It was one of the nicest hotels we have stayed during any of our vacations in the Florida keys. If we come back to Key West we would stay there. Convenient and within walking distance to Duval Street, the Southermost Point, Beach and Bars. We visited the Hemingway House and the Key West Historic Light House at once!
It was a memorable vacation!

Jim and Sara.
From New York.

Southernrmost Hotel

Our review of Coral Lagoon Resort in Marathon, Florida Keys.

by Frank and Judy
(of Kenner, Louisiana)

We really enjoyed our stay at the Coral Lagoon Resort and Marina in Marathon, Florida Keys for our honeymoon! We were deciding between Key West and here and I am so glad we chose this waterfront resort for many reasons. Besides that we had visited Key West before during the Fantasy Fest, and this was something new and different for us.
We loved all the restaurants in the area, the marina, the outdoor pool, beach beds, the service, high speed internet access is available etc. Besides the resort is close to Sombrero Beach, the Dolphin Research Center, Crane Point, walk over the 7 Mile Historic Bridge and to other places of interest in the Florida Keys or go fishing if you like; we couldn’t not have had a more enjoyable experience. We stayed in a normal guest room with balcony, kitchen with refrigerator, microwave, cookware and ditches and Housekeeping was available daily.
Overall, a great experience and fantastic service!

Judy and Frank.

Coral Lagoon

Our time at “Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort”

Just had a great three days stay at the Beach side part of the Tranquility Bay Beach Resort in Marathon, Florida Keys. I had no idea the resort had so much to offer.
My husband and I stayed here, it’s a beautiful resort and the staff was great. We met several very nice people vacationing like us, they all very friendly right off the bat.
We stayed near the warm water beach side which was beautiful, sandy beach, great lagoon swimming pool and a beautiful landscape. It was also nice though to go on a fishing trip and go over the other areas of the Keys, so much charm, we ate dinner at the main resort’s restaurant both nights and also at the Island Fish Co, and had great meals. Loreley Cabana Bar Restaurant in Islamorada was outstanding. Sunset Grille and Bar in Knights Key was also outstanding and fun.

All personnel we encountered were very friendly. We did walk around quite a bit, rented kayaks and two Yamaha wave runners, had a great time!

Can’t wait to go back someday soon!