Tag Archives: key largo

Oceanic Painted Dive Center

Oceanic Painted Dive Center

This is one fantastic and beautifully painted building! You absolutely can’t miss it being smack dab in the middle of the divided road in Key Largo.

Located at Mile Marker 99.2 is this “In Your Face Oceanic Mural”! This is one place that you must stop your car and walk around this incredible 4-sided find… I assure you, this painted building is well worth several photographs!

For a fee, this PADI certified Dive Center can get you fixed up with the correct gear needed for an underwater adventure so that you can see the REAL LIFE equivalent of the paintings!

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A Boat Hotel Anyone? (Boatel)

The Boatel “Stress Relief”

This is on my to-do list for sure! Though I’ve not done this, I have stopped by and walked into one of them docked here.

FLOATING BOATELS!

You can rent your floating boatel for the night, weekend or week here at Mile Marker 103.3 on the left southbound in Key Largo. You will see the sign for this and others like this on billboards at the entrance of highway US-1. This one is aptly named “Stress Relief” and would be a great change of pace from your standard run-of-the-mill hotel or motel. So do yourself a favor and spice up an evening of leisure upon one of these floating home away from homes beginning at $75 a night… go ahead, surprise your loved one with a unique night out waking to the salt air, ocean view hide-a-way for two! I’m sure you’ll be justly rewarded for your generosity! :-)

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The Florida Key’s Newest Shark!

Seen here is one of the Florida Key’s newest sharks to make its appearance on tourist laden US-1. Located at Mile Marker 82.3 bayside where you’ll see it in the parking lot by the Sunset Inn pictured here.

Its ominous steps & railings look more like your last steps to the gallows than a tourist trap! 🙂 As always, these type of FREE PHOTO-OP attractions are erected with one purpose in mind… and that is to get potential customers like you and I to stop by and see it with hopes of you also walking into their shops after your photo-op with Jaws Jr. Well, I’m sad to say that their marketing ploy failed this time as my compadre and I simply posed for the picture (seen below) and then bolted back into the car scurrying our way back home.

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Wish You Were Here!

Where can you find one of those “Wish You Were Here” signs in the Florida Keys? Have no worries, I’ve found it for you! These type of signs are popular sights in vacation hot spots all around the world.

What a great photo to send on your I-Phone back to your friends and family stuck somewhere in the freezing cold! Or simply stand on either side of the sign, snap your photo, then email it to anyone you’d like rubbing in the fact that you’re in paradise while they’re wearing a Snuggie! That’s what I’d do! 🙂

You can find this “Wish You Were Here” sign painted on the exterior portion of the wall of Popp’s Motel at Mile Marker 95.5 bayside of US-1 in Key Largo.

    

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Bayside Marina & Boardwalk

An absolutely beautiful place to stop with PLENTY of things to do & see for ALL types of travelers! Just the view itself is spectacular as you can tell by the provided photos. At the marina alone, the walkway entrance is an eye-catching pagoda-looking arched roof worth a photo no matter what. Being called a marina, you won’t be denied a string of multi-sized boats tied to a picturesque pier with an ocean background. The parking lot is too an incredible sight that includes an awesome tree shown below that sticks out like a sore thumb and can’t be missed just feet away from the pagoda entrance.

Here’s the BONUS part! Not only do you get the above sites for FREE, but in the same parking lot to the marina you’ll fill other parts of your vacation to do list. To the immediate right is the Morada Bay Surf Bar written about in a previous blog. To the immediate left is another prior blog favorite of Ernest Hemingway’s Boat ‘Pilar’ on display inside of the World Wide Sportsman superstore. Also inside the superstore is the wildly popular Largest Fish Tank in the entire Florida Keys.

To find this ‘MANY THINGS TO DO IN ONE PLACE’ simply go to Mile Marker 81.4 on US-1 bayside. Too simple my friends! Enjoy soaking in all of the many views! Don’t you dare leave this parking lot without doing ALL 4 OF THEM! 🙂 You’ll thank me I promise!

    

    

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The 18-Mile Stretch Bridge

No, the bridge isn’t 18-miles long but rather refers to the distance from the beginning of the Keys at Florida City to Key Largo and is simply known as ‘The 18-Mile Stretch’. Growing up as a child and traveling on vacation the road from Florida City to Key West was for the most part 2-lanes, 1 northbound & 1 southbound with no division between them. That all came to an end in 2005 when a 7-year project began to cure some of the ailing problems faced by the existing Keys highway system.

The awesome feat of engineering was a proposed seven-year project that cost a whopping $265 MILLION dollars and set forth in four stages. By far the most obvious stage of the project was the 65-foot high bridge over Jewfish Creek as seen up close in the above photo that re-opened the water passage to Surprise Lake restoring natures flow. Other projects included the entire 18-miles being divided by concrete barriers to prevent head-on collisions. Another stage was widening the 18-miles of the northbound lanes shoulders to accommodate emergency evacuation conditions during severe weather such as hurricanes. And the final stage was devoted entirely to the wildlife which would be fenced off in both directions from crossing the roadway while safely being diverted under the road in strategic positions called box culverts. Believe it or not, several of the projects were ongoing at the same time while NEVER ONCE closing all lanes which is  absolutely incredible! The 18-Mile Stretch has since been completed with all the headaches associated now in the past… Thank goodness!

So when you travel this absolutely beautiful stretch of wilderness road called ‘The 18-Mile Stretch’ just think oh let’s say 10 years back when it was in fact a 2-lane multi-directional road with NO lane barriers and NO wildlife fences… for me, that is so very easy to do!

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A Florida Keys Paradox!

This is crazy funny to me, talk about a paradox. Despite popular belief that a paradox is ‘Two Doctors’… get it, ‘Pair of Docs’ 🙂 sorry, couldn’t help myself, it actually means a ‘Contradiction’. This is one of those things you might see on a late night TV show being made fun of by Jay Leno or Conan O’Brien.

I pulled over on the shoulder of the road to photograph the ‘Florida Keys Wildlife And Environmental Area’ sign. From the front it appears that all is normal (below). But what I saw when walking to one side of the sign from a different angle surprised the heck out of me! Take a look at what I saw in the background behind the main sign (above). The sign on the chain link fence reads: NO DUMPING, THIS TRASH SIDE CLOSED PERMANENTLY.

You can find this paradox of a sign ‘Environmental Area’ or ‘Trash Dump’ on the left side of the road at Mile Marker 93.7 on US-1 South directly across from the Wild Bird Sanctuary blogged about last year.

    

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