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St. Thomas/St. John vs. Florida Keys
January 27, 2008 11:37AM
Hello Everyone,
I have a question that I could really use feedback on. I've lived in St Thomas for a year & a half. I am now back in Pennsylvania, where my wife is going to school. But I know she would someday like to return to the island life. Living in St. Thomas, I'd say that I'm pretty familiar with life there. But I've never been to the Florida Keys. I'm wondering what the pros & cons are of living in the Virgin Islands compared to the Florida Keys. Any feedback at all would be greatly appreciated: the cost of living, the beaches, the locals, the conveniences, etc. When I worked in St Thomas, it was at an insurance agency. I actually found the job within a week of moving to the island. And it was literally a five-minute walk from my apartment. I wonder if I could find a deal like that in the Keys. Also, I noticed in St Thomas that you have some seedy areas, but they are only a couple minute walk from some million-dollar homes. Things are really close to each other...since it's a micro-version of America. I wonder if there are areas like that in the Florida Keys as well. As I Said, ANY insights would be appreciated. Thanks for reading!!
avatarRe: St. Thomas/St. John vs. Florida Keys
January 27, 2008 01:48PM
The Keys are more "American" in my opinion. Also very flat. You can drive away from the Keys. As you know, you'd have to fly from here to Florida.

~Trade~
Re: St. Thomas/St. John vs. Florida Keys
January 27, 2008 04:16PM
I looked at the keys a few years ago and decided it wasn't for me.

Check out this "Trip Adviser" forum on Key West.

If it doesn't transfer you can google it.

[www.tripadvisor.com]
Re: St. Thomas/St. John vs. Florida Keys
January 27, 2008 05:50PM
If you are a water person, Ocean type not pool, doe's the word "Shark" mean anything to you. Also different parts of the Keys have restrictions on renting your house. I can't remember exactly what is was but at the time I thought is was a little over the top. Check with the Realtors in the area your looking.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/27/2008 06:03PM by Lizard.
Re: St. Thomas/St. John vs. Florida Keys
January 27, 2008 11:55PM
Housing can be pretty expensive in the Keys. I had considered moving there myself but decided against it because the cost to rent was prohibitive for me. There are rough areas in the Keys just like anywhere else. It is more Americanized as stated before. Each Key tends to have it's own flavor. I really liked the Islamorada area almost half-way down. The nice thing is that you do have more conveniences...like being able to avoid rock fever by driving up Route 1 to Miami or anywhere else. It's flatter but just as tropical. It can get kinda cool. I remember I took a trip down there last October/November and it was in the 50's at night with a brisk wind. Wasn't expecting it and had to run to K-Mart to get a sweat shirt. The down side is in case of an evacuation like for a hurricane...there's only one road in/out. I've been stuck in the weekend traffic and it's not so fun. There are parts of the road that are 2 lanes but much of it is one lane. The worst part being between the mainland and Key Largo for traffic. I think they are working on a solution for that though.
Re: St. Thomas/St. John vs. Florida Keys
January 27, 2008 11:57PM
I checked out the Keys too at one point, and wasn't very impressed. The only places to work would be in Key West or Key Largo. Key West would be a great place to move if you are a gay man, not too good for straight single women.....Key Largo really only has hotel type work. It is expensive there, and definitely not more to do than in the V.I. The only good part is that you can get in your car and drive to Miami if you want to for shopping/night life, but it is still quite a way to do too often.
Also , it seems like almost every hurricane that passes from the islands towards the USA affects the Keys to some degree.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/28/2008 12:42AM by Sabrina.
Re: St. Thomas/St. John vs. Florida Keys
January 29, 2008 09:30AM
Thank you all so much for your input. I REALLY appreciate it.
Also, I heard that there really aren't sandy beaches down there. Does anyone know if that's true or not...
Re: St. Thomas/St. John vs. Florida Keys
January 29, 2008 09:47AM
We rented a house in the Keys 2 years ago. I wasn't very impressed. It is all flat and the water isn't the brilliant blue that you see in the caribbean. Key West was a neat town to visit, but my teenage boys were a little shocked at how open the gay community is with how they dress and public displays of affection. I'd have to agree with Sabrina, great place to live if you'r gay.
avatarRe: St. Thomas/St. John vs. Florida Keys
January 29, 2008 10:38AM
EddieChick,

You heard correctly, most of the beaches, are narrow, and rocky. I do not find the beaches, for the most part, in the keys very attractive. I prefer Caribbean beaches.

Dante
Re: St. Thomas/St. John vs. Florida Keys
January 29, 2008 11:46AM
I'm not sure what you mean by narrow. Do you mean the amount of sand you walk to until the water? On stx the beaches are rarely crowded. At places like cane bay on the weekend you may see 30 or 50 people but thats a busy weekend. You don't need the big beaches because you rarely have the crowds, which is an idylic dream for most beach lovers. Yes most of the beaches are rocky so you need good swim,snorkel shoes. But there are wonderful sink into them sandy beaches as well, the snorkeling is just usually not as good at the sandy ones, so you pick your poison so to speak.

No one else has mentioned it but I find homes in the keys to be far and away more expensive. More on the level of stj prices. As beautiful as stj is I couldnt take the cost of living so I'll just keep vacationing there.
avatarRe: St. Thomas/St. John vs. Florida Keys
January 29, 2008 03:01PM
Betty,

When stating, "...most of the beaches, are narrow, and rocky..." Dante was referring to the Keys, not STX.
avatarRe: St. Thomas/St. John vs. Florida Keys
January 29, 2008 04:08PM
Correct, I was referring to the Keys. I like the beaches on STX because of all of the reasons Betty mentioned smiling
Re: St. Thomas/St. John vs. Florida Keys
January 29, 2008 04:37PM
the gay community on key west revived the island economically when everyone else was ignoring it and are pretty much responsible for the boom area it has turned into, same with p-town and fire island, and pretty much any inner city depressed areas that once were run down. gays and yuppies
Re: St. Thomas/St. John vs. Florida Keys
January 29, 2008 08:21PM
There are nice beaches in the keys. My favorites being on Bahia Honda. There is a sandy beach on Key West near the fort but they imported the sand from the Bahamas. It's still decent though.
Re: St. Thomas/St. John vs. Florida Keys
January 31, 2008 01:14PM
Morna,
Have you seen the beaches in the USVI or BVIs - fantasy islandesque? There is nothing that compares to them in Key West...not even close.
Re: St. Thomas/St. John vs. Florida Keys
January 31, 2008 06:34PM
so, from what i hear, the florida Keys are as expensive as St. John, but not nearly as pretty. and the only beach they have is man-made? that sounds pretty lame. does anyone know any advantage to living in the Keys then, apart from being able to drive to Florida (which isn't really an advantage, if you ask me)...
Re: St. Thomas/St. John vs. Florida Keys
January 31, 2008 06:37PM
close to miami and cheap airfare to anywhere in the world
Re: St. Thomas/St. John vs. Florida Keys
February 01, 2008 05:23AM
Also the architecture is great. And it is flat, really good for bicycling and lots of sidewalks for walking.

We thought about retiring there, but decided the winters are too cold and the summers are too hot.
Re: St. Thomas/St. John vs. Florida Keys
February 01, 2008 03:44PM
jlee0408, yes...I live here. I've also traveled to the Keys several times. I think the beaches here are nicer but I like the Keys as well. There are beautiful beaches on Bahia Honda...have you been to Bahia Honda? It's a park, the entire Key is a park and very pretty.
Re: St. Thomas/St. John vs. Florida Keys
February 01, 2008 04:03PM
Advantages to Key West I would think would be the stateside amenities like being closer to family and friends, sidewalks, bicycle lanes, good libraries, Starbucks, good health care, police that actually come when your home is broken into or you are robbed, real movie theaters, Barnes and nobles, shopping, real theater, same culture, and on and on. The VIs are not third world but its far from stateside as well. So if you want a big change with less amenities but wonderful beaches and great climate you come here.
Re: St. Thomas/St. John vs. Florida Keys
February 01, 2008 06:36PM
Yes Morna ,I have been to Bahia State Park, it's okay but not breathtakingly beautiful.
Re: St. Thomas/St. John vs. Florida Keys
February 01, 2008 08:03PM
Jlee0408, I respect your opinion but I think it's very pretty in it's own way. It may not have mountains but it's nice. I wish I knew how to post pics or else I'd show some of the beach pics I have from the Keys. The last time I was there I saw a manatee there in the marina. Unfortunately, they don't come around here...Puerto Rico, yes, but not to the VI.
Re: St. Thomas/St. John vs. Florida Keys
February 01, 2008 10:20PM
However they do ( the FL Keys and the USVI) share two common problems as I see it! No NFL Football Team and not so good pizza!!
Re: St. Thomas/St. John vs. Florida Keys
February 02, 2008 03:25AM
STX has Lost Dog, so I don't think they share the pizza problem. I have never been to the Keys, but I have been to the Bahamas and many other tropical places. If you want to compare places to the Antilles, you should start with Tahiti, Maldives, Belize, Hawaii, Whitsundays. The gulf of Mexico is not the Caribbean.
Re: St. Thomas/St. John vs. Florida Keys
February 02, 2008 05:55AM
aschultz,
You're from the west coast, what would you know about good pizza!

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