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We want to visit down town Miami! Being an avid fan of Google Earth I find that the town seems unsafe to park even my toad town and if not unsafe it will cost me a bundle to park. I am looking for anyone that has experience with the area and have some good suggestions as to were to park the rig an take the car down town or just how to explore the are on our bikes?

Edited by homelesshartshorns

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It has been perhaps 10 years since we were there but we didn't find it that unsafe but we left our RV where we were staying so between the two facts, our information probably wouldn't be much help. My one thought that may help is to only take your towed into the city. 

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Your concerns are valid.  Majority of parking in Miami are garages and I avoid taking the f450 dually downtown. There are some surface lots and street parking is hit or miss. Budget 30 bucks a day  for parking .If you're looking at Miami beach it gets worse,  I usually park at the convention center surface lot then walk to Collins ave. Google maps filter for parking is your friend.  

There is  huge homeless issues in Miami,  and crime is realistic of a huge city.be vigilant of your surroundings , stick to the tourist areas and you will be fine.

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Just a thought, I have never used Uber but it seems to be very popular. Maybe you could park in the suburbs and take a Uber into town. Or check to see if there is public transportation like a subway or trolley. I have only driven thru Miami on my way to Key West once so I have no idea what is there. 

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It has been ten years since we were there as well. We lucked into a metered parking spot right outside the diner at which we wanted to eat. We did nothing else in town that visit. Earlier we went on a cruise out of Miami and stayed in a hotel just south of the boardwalk where an art deco renaissance was in process. Some people parked their RV in a locked storage lot and came back to find it trashed. How much do you want to visit Miami?

Linda

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Ok thanks for the heads up on Miami. Next is how to plan to see Key West? I would like drive out there in the rig and park for the day and drive back, but I see no good places to park for the day. Are there such day use places? I also figure I might park at one of the sites at Long Pine Key and drive the toad out there for the day... Again any suggestions are appreciated?

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On 11/24/2019 at 5:27 AM, homelesshartshorns said:

We want to visit down town Miami! Being an avid fan of Google Earth I find that the town seems unsafe to park even my toad town and if not unsafe it will cost me a bundle to park. I am looking for anyone that has experience with the area and have some good suggestions as to were to park the rig an take the car down town or just how to explore the are on our bikes?

If you're hearing that downtown is unsafe why do you want to go there?  Take the RV there?  Bike there?

Then drive the RV to Key West for a day?  

If you really want to do Miami and Key West I'd suggest you park at a RV park along the keys and take your vehicle for siteseeing.

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It's been a while since we visited Key West, and the last time we did we stayed at Boyd's Campground in Key West.  Sites were okay for us but for big rigs it might be a little tight.  Key West is not a place for a day trip, unless you aren't interested in the evening activities.

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Key West for a day involves a lot of night driving, especially in an RV. Find a campground, and plan on a couple days to see the sights and catch your breath. You don't have to stay on Key West, necessarily, but it helps minimize the driving around at the expense of nightly rates. 

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From Miami to key west is about a 4 hour drive. The overseas highway  is about 100 miles long  from key largo to key west with many small towns and 35 mph speed limits. Its a 3 hour drive. Base at some places like big pine key rv campground would put you within driving distance to see the southern keys...very popular location in the winter months so with out reservations you may have issues finding spots...and expensive 

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Parking in Key West is very difficult at the best of times. During the height of snowbird season it's surely worse. And as mentioned for Miami I don't know if I'd want to take my F450 DRW down many of those streets.

Unlike Miami, which I cannot see visiting anymore. We got on the surface roads a couple of years ago and it took us 90 minutes to go less than a mile. And I lived there for years as a kid. The zoo is far south of town these days, the beach was great but I haven't set eyes on it for years and that was before the urban outdoorsmen invasion. But recent reports about cars being intentionally rammed to get people to stop so they can be robbed has removed all desire to go back and see the old home. Probably leveled by now anyway.

Key West is at least interesting and so far as we've seen fairly safe. And the sunset is something work seeing once. But you need to camp somewhere and drop the RV. It might be possible to drop the RV at some roadside pulloffs along some beaches down there where the road is practically on the beach. But I would not drive off and leave it there. It could get towed or vandalized or even stolen.

But this is the worst time of the year to visit the area. Go between the end of April and November. It can be toasty but there is almost a good seabreeze. We have visited several times in May and never felt overheated. And the keys deserve a few days visit. If nothing else take the snorkeling/scuba boats out to the reefs and swim for several hours. It's an unforgettable experience.

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We have been to Key West several times and enjoy ourselves a lot. Check out Cudjoe Key as a place to park the rig. There is Venture Out Resort there and it is only 20 miles to Key West from there. Parking is easy as putting your credit card in a parking meter on Duval Street, and then starting see what ever you want to see, and you will see it all.

:rolleyes::rolleyes:

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Be aware that old town Key West has limits on vehicle size. We camped near by and had Enterprise bring us a car since we weren't towing when we went there and our RV was too big to drive into old town.You do want to be camped close enough to be able to stay at Mallory Square for sunset. Going the first or last day of "shoulder season" will save you money while still having good weather.

Linda Sand

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Check out Larry and Penny Thompson Memorial park and campground on the West side of Miami. We stayed there for a few days when we were en-route to Key West. Use Google maps to view the CG layout, it is very clean and neat, other campers are cordial and friendly.

Key West, since I'm retired military we stayed/dry camped at the navy CG for a month on the island of Key West. Other than the Navy there is no camping on the island,you must stay on one of the upper islands. They have become so busy, reservations are required now. The island is so busy during winter months you  can get around quicker on a bicycle/scooter than an auto., and much easier to find a parking place.

Edited by Ray,IN

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3 hours ago, Ray,IN said:

Check out Larry and Penny Thompson Memorial park and campground on the West side of Miami. We stayed there for a few days when we were en-route to Key West. Use Google maps to view the CG layout, it is very clean and neat, other campers are cordial and friendly.

We stayed there and liked it as well but it was so long ago I wasn't sure that was still the case. Details of our Miami visit here: https://sandcastle.sandsys.org/2009/05/miami-area/

Linda Sand

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8 hours ago, sandsys said:

We stayed there and liked it as well but it was so long ago I wasn't sure that was still the case. Details of our Miami visit here: https://sandcastle.sandsys.org/2009/05/miami-area/

Linda Sand

What you said about large vehicles and downtown Key West  is right, I was driving my dually towing our40' 5er, missed the turn to the Navy CG and wound up on Duval street. Thankfully there are a lot of courteous drivers there who gave me room to maneuver corners until I reached the correct  street corner.

Edited by Ray,IN

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We explored Miami Beach using public transportation (buses). We parked on the street in North Miami Beach and took the bus down to South Beach. We didn’t go to downtown a Miami or any of the neighborhoods on the mainland. Never felt unsafe and enjoyed both the International atmosphere and the amazing architecture, evolving from Art Deco to modern. The beach is beautiful and there is an amazing variety of restaurant opportunities to sample.

I would also take the RV down the Keys. It would be easy to spend a minimum of 4-5 days exploring. You would probably need reservations during peak season though.

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Here is my secret for parking an RV and toad for the day in Key West--drive straight in to Fort Zachary Taylor State Park on the far southwestern corner of the island. (You don't want to drive your big rig around much of the town because the roads are narrow.)  There is a dirt parking lot, just past to the paved parking lot that will accommodate big rigs, and the entrance fee for the state park is $6.50 per vehicle!!  (I paid only $4.50 because I was a single occupant of my vehicle.) The dirt lot is almost to the beach.  The person at the entrance booth will direct you.

Then enjoy a walk around the fort and the beach, and then get out your bikes, as I did and enjoy a day of bike riding, or walk out of the park and call an Uber or cab to take you to the main tourist area, or walk there--it is really not too far. 

Or I suppose you can find a campground and just take your toad in, but I have no toad, so have to drive my 32" vehicle around.  The state park was a terrific find.  I had called ahead to ask about parking a motorhome there, and they were very helpful.  Cheapest and safest parking in Key West! 

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