The latest edition of Lonely Planet Miami & the Keys was published on June 15, 2021, after a 3 year gap. The next edition is already planned for December 2023.
Miami & The Keys follows the same style as Lonely Planet’s main Florida guide book and other similar books like the Rough Guide to Florida with a small selection of photographs at the start of the book. Whilst the Rough Guide has a few monochrome images illustrating the rest of the book, the Lonely Planet book uses colour though the non-glossy paper means they are not that vibrant.
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The book had previously been written solely by Adam Karlin who also co-wrote the Florida Lonely Planet book. These days it is written by Anthony Ham, Adam Karlin and Regis St Louis. Throughout the book there are their recommended top choices.
The whole book is broken down into four main headings; Plan Your Trip, On The Road, Understand and Survival Guide.
The Plan Your Trip section covers a suggested list of the 15 top experiences of the region including sampling the Miami nightlife, looking for alligators in the Everglades and travelling on the Overseas Highway Road. Remember this is not “CSI Miami” where everyone who steps into a nightclub or goes out in the Everglades ends up dead!
New for the 2021 edition is a pull-out passport sized “Just Landed” card which gives important information for anyone flying into Miami International Airport with information on wi-fi, ATM cash machines and transport options.
There is then a useful overview of general information including monthly events to help you plan your trip followed by a few suggested itineraries of varying lengths.
The main part of the book is On The Road and is split into three chapters covering Miami, the Everglades & Biscayne and finally Florida Keys & Key West with an overview map, sights and activities, tours, festivals, accommodation, eating, entertainment, sports and shopping. Free attractions such as museums are highlighted. There are over 32 maps in total.
Each entry is well described with its address (plus website), telephone number, opening days/times and admission prices. For the restaurants there are details on typical price and type of cuisine. For the hotels, there is information on budget, access to Wi-Fi, air conditioning etc.
There is also a full colour pull-out map of Miami inside the back cover with Metromover route guide, street index and top sights and then a few local two-tone maps within each regional chapter.
The writing style is easy going and does not pull any punches. The coverage is good though not as comprehensive as some other guides. This is understandable when you consider the number of entries in the book and its relatively small size.
The last two chapters provide a comprehensive directory with useful information on everything from business hours to advice for women travellers and a separate section on transportation both to the region and getting around including typical bus and train fares. There is also a section on Miami today, local culture, cuisine, outdoor activities, wildlife and the history of the region.
Overall the Miami & The Keys (Lonely Planet) guide book provides a good introduction to the south east of Florida.
Note that this guide book is re-published every couple of years so you can often pick up a bargain if you don’t mind a previous edition of Miami & The Keys (Lonely Planet).