Homestead as a Gateway…..

Hampton Inn HomesetadMy husband and I are on a bit of mission. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, our great plan for the fun second careers of him as a scuba instructor and me as a freelance writer was well crafted and executed. The insanity of housing prices in the area when we relocated was not something that we foresaw, however, and that’s why we don’t currently live in Key Largo. But just as with us living in Homestead, the same can apply to tourists and we are attempting to convince the City and the Chamber to do a better job of marketing Homestead and Florida City as alternative lodging choices for people diving in Key Largo. No, I do not mean that I’m trying to take business away from the Upper Keys – love y’all down there.

What I mean is that the Upper Keys don’t always have rooms available, or if you have a mixed group of divers and non-divers, Homestead/Florida City are worth looking at. There has been an increase in the number of hotels along Highway 1 South (Dixie Highway) with a direct shot to Key Largo, especially where the Florida Turnpike ends and turns into Hwy 1 S. There are also new hotels on Campbell Drive close to Exit 2 off the Turnpike, not much further to drive. Homestead/Florida City has the distinction of sitting between two National Parks; the famous Everglades and Biscayne on the Southern Part of Biscayne Bay. There are other local attractions as well such as the unique Coral Castle, Monkey Jungle, the charming Cauley Square, the Speedway of course that has different events throughout the year, the picturesque Schnebly Winery and Brewery that uses exotic fruits, etc.,. For those who want something a bit different in lodging, the Everglades International Hostel ( might have rooms.

The drive to and from the city limits of Key Largo is 30 minutes give or take, but it is only a two-lane road most of the way, so being behind a slow mover can lengthen the time. It’s a lovely drive though as waterfowl wheel or perch and you move in and out of views of the water. Immersing yourself in Key Largo or the Upper Keys when diving Key Largo does make sense, but Homestead/Florida City may be a viable choice depending on your personal situation.


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