Planning a 10-day road trip from Virginia the last week in March. Target destinations are Key Largo (for coral reef snorkeling), Everglades and Sanibel Island. We want to do as much nature focused activities as possible - turtles, snakes, gators, birds, dolphins, etc.
Plan to power drive straight to East Coast South Florida first. (Night 1) - stay near Homestead to save on cost, then head to Key Largo in morning and explore? (Nights 2/3) on Key Largo - Marriott or Hilton points can cover accommodation fees, so I need suggestions on good Key Largo hotels from those brands. Or is it worth going all the way to Key Largo immediately and staying for all 3 nights??
Know that we want to snorkel in Pannekamp. But there's so many options. What else do we want to do to take in the nature? We're not going to spend time at the pool soaking up sun. We want to be out to experience the wildlife, etc. Is Biscayne National Park a worthwhile destination? Lingering Hurricane Damage? Wild Bird rehab center? A drive down to Bahia Honda, which I'm hoping might be open in 3 months?
Then leaving for West Coast and cross state via Route 41 and do airboat rides, boardwalks, etc en route to Sanibel Destination. Is having one full day to cross the Everglades and do some basic activities enough time?
I've read through all the posts. You guys are great, and I'm hoping you can help me narrow down the Key Largo leg of our tip. Please let me know if you don't think it's worth it if we can only do 2-3 nights on Key Largo. We can always come back from a longer stay on Key Largo, but we have to spend time this trip in Sanibel. We can always make a day trip of the Everglades from Sanibel and go back and stay in there too.
THANK YOU and Happy New Year!!