Kayaking the Keys and Cruising South Beach

Monday – May 28, 2012 –

Today it was goodbye to Key West, but my brother and I had another adventure in store for us. We decided to stop on Big Pine Key for some kayaking at Florida Keys Kayak Tours. Jeff and I had been kayaking before, but we needed some more experience before doing it later in the year in Antarctica. Nevermind this would be a totally different tropical experience!

Jeff and I rented our own kayaks for a couple of hours for our own self-guided tours. We had a great time, but the weather was scorching hot. Also the current was strong, so we stayed close to the harbor, canals and marshes to avoid being pulled out into open water. We had a great time and it was a relaxing way to spend the morning. Then we grabbed lunch at a café on Islamorada on the way back. We also saw some endangered Key deer on No Name Key.

Key deer

Key deer

That evening we arrived back in Miami. We headed to South Beach, a place I have always wanted to visit. It truly is one of the glitziest party destinations in the world. I have never seen so many Ferrari’s, Aston Martins and Lambos in my life. We saw tons of dance clubs and swanky patio restaurants on Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue. Then we checked into our hotel on Ocean Drive, the Park Central, which we found online. It was pretty nice and had the typical patio pool and rooftop terrace. I have never really stayed at a boutique hotel before, so this was different with all of the art and decorations. Not my usual cup of tea, but definitely unique. Aparently Clark Gable and Rita Hayworth stayed here back in the 1930s.

Park Central Hotel in South Beach

Park Central Hotel in South Beach

We then walked down palm-lined Ocean Drive, across from the Atlantic Ocean. We passed Lummus Park and the Miami Beach Boardwalk and walked all the way down to the north end of the Avenue. Then we decided to eat dinner later at the 11th Street Diner instead of an expensive restaurant. The burgers and shakes were amazing and hit the spot. Not too bad on the wallet either! It was a great first evening in Miami.

11th Street Diner

11th Street Diner

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