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Best Tollbooth Miami 2006 - Card Sound Bridge

Paying a $1.50 toll on a highway can be fun. Seriously. Don't believe us? Then take the other route to the Keys. On Card Sound Road, after about ten miles of cruising through the never-never land of mangroves, you will come to what could be the world's cutest toll plaza. Forget the Florida Turnpike toll moment -- ten or twelve booths, the scramble for change, the worrying about the dude behind you (i.e., Am I in the SunPass lane? Does he have a gun?). No such worries at the Card Sound Bridge -- there's only one tollbooth. And there's no android change-giver here; there's a real-live human. You can actually talk to the guy. Suggested small talk: "Where's a good place to get conch fritters?" "Who's the weirdest guy to ever drive through here?" Take your time. You are in the middle of nowhere. In addition to the quaintness and mellowness, the thing that makes the Card Sound toll plaza worthy of recognition by the National Register of Historic Places is its signage. No green metal expressway placard here. The Card Sound sign reads, "Welcome to the Fabulous Florida Keys," in a cursive typeface that is a rare, perfectly preserved example of Sixties-style Florida Tourism Font. So vintage, so kitschy, such an appropriate gateway to the Keys.
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I am looking for David Richards, he works at the Key Largo Tollbooth.


In reference to asking the toll booth attendant where to get the best conch fritter: It is about an eigth of a mile east of the toll booth @ Alabama Jacks. This is the ONLY conch fritter I will eat, and I am a Local and Native of Miami (Since 1977!) Grab a basket of 'em, dash on some Tabasco Sauce and grab a cold beer while watching manatees copulate. (Skip the cocktail sauce, it's always frozen.)