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My soon-to-be bride wants to go down to the Keys to fish and hang out. June/early July.

Suggestions on guides? Places to eat? Places to stay?

We are taking the trip by car in a convertible sports car, the entire Gulf coast of Florida. Any suggestions about that trip? Looking to see old Florida and the forgotten coast on the way and spend about 10-14 days total.

Peace and TIA for any advice.
 

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If coming over to coast, I would say you can take Hwy 19 south to Spring Hill cut over and pick up 75 follow it to Hwy 41 Gator alley , Hwy 19 below Spring hill is grid Lock this time of year with all the visitors from Up N.

I am not fond of Key West ,enough said , for a fun night, place looks like hell, food is great and lot of fun stop in at the ""Hogfish Inn "" over on Stock Island,if you can get on base the Sunday brunch at Trumbo point is very good, lunch at Hog's Breath saloon good place to stop in, As I say I am not a big Fan of Key West, Best I can say
 

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I went fishing with Capt Mike (fishnkw.com) last month. He is the best captain I have booked down there. He put us on the permit (there were about 40 we could see on the wreck) and took time to help me with my cast net skills. The fish weren't biting too well that day as we heard from the other captains. We hooked up a permit, mutton snapper and nice cero mackeral.

El Siboney-best Cuban
Ana cuban Cafe-great coffee, breakfast
Garbo's Grill-"taco Truck"
Bad Boy Burrito-awesome, fresh ingredients, not a big dining area.
 

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Right now, like TinCan wrote, I'd avoid US19 south of Spring Hill, like the plague, but by June/July, the snowbirds will be long gone and 19 will be drivable.

I'd stop at Tarpon Springs and enjoy the sponge docks and good Greek food on Dodecanese. Next must stop place is Sanibel and it's beaches. South of Sanibel is Ft Myers and the winter homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford which have museums and botanical gardens. After Ft Myers, get on I 75 and get off 1 exit after the toll plaza, it's about 10 miles, and go south to SR 41 Tamiami Trail to continue east. You could go South thru Naples and Marco, but I don't think it's worth the time. There's a lot more Everglades to see on the Trail as opposed to 75 aka Alligator Alley. When you get to Krome Ave, which is the western most N/S main road to by-pass Miami, turn South and go thru Homestead and Florida City. If you like Mexican - there is a restaurant El Toro Taco in downtown Homestead, diagonally across the street from the police station which I highly recommend. Eventually you will get to US 1 and continue the 129 mile drive from Florida City through the Keys. Depending on where you stop in the keys, there's several good restaurants, depending on what you want, breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Breakfast in Key Largo I'd stop at Harriettes. Dinner Key Largo I go to the Fish House.

Breakfast - Islamorada I like Mangrove Mikes - a lot of local guides eat there. Dinner Islamorada - Marker 88 is spendy but worth it. Green Turtle Inn is also good. I've also heard good things about Ziggy's Mad Dog, but have not eaten there.

Breakfast - Key West - Do not miss Pepe's on Caroline St. Dinner - Key West There's too many places to choose from. I like the Hogfish Grill or the Rusty Anchor, both on Stock Island. Bobalu's at MM11 is not a bad place to eat either but it's primarily a lunch spot. Best pizza in the Keys.I have not been to the A&B Lobster House in a long time, but it was always good and have not heard anything bad about it, I just never get here anymore.

Guides - Once again there's too many to choose from.And a lot depends on what you want to catch. Flats/Back Country/Wreck fishing in the Gulf, Offshore trolling or live baiting. Islamorada - Flats and Back Country - Dick Hagood http://www.islamoradafishingguidesandcharters.com/guide_dick_hagood.php

Offshore - I'd fish with Rob Kilgore http://www.fish-killgore.com/ or
Ron Greene http://www.daytrippercharters.com/main.html

Key West - There is none better than the Delphs http://www.delphfishing.com/ Capt Mark Schmidt is a friend and I have fished with him long before he became a guide http://www.captmarkschmidt.com/ Bob (R)T Trossett or any of the Veach's are good too http://www.keywestproguides.com/capt_veach.shtml

I've probably forgotten something, so ask another question and I'll check back
 
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