Get Away to the Keys

A picture perfect view in Key West.

Don’t you just love the Florida Keys?  To be at the southernmost point in the U.S. surrounded by water is pretty cool.  There is so much to do:  beautiful scenery, great food, and an interesting history.  The vibe is laid back and high energy, all at the same time.

Mike and I have been to the Florida Keys several times, usually about once a year.

Our cute vacation rental in Key West.

On our last visit we stayed at a vacation rental at 518 Catherine St. at Key West.  It was perfect!  Great location, just walking distance from shopping and dining…including our favorite spot Ambrosia.

On our first visit, we stayed in Key Largo at the Key Largo Bay Marriott Beach Resort.  It too was a great location, with dining options and things to do on the property.

A local hanging out!

There is so much to see and do when in the Keys. Since I don’t swim, my favorites are land based. Here are some of my favorite things to do while there:

  • Visit the Little White House in Key West.  This was Harry Truman’s hangout while he was president.  It is still decorated as when it was used by President Truman.  A great tour.
Hemingway’s Key West home.
  • The Hemingway House in Key West.  It is a beautiful home and inspired me to read and reread some of his work.  Maybe it is time to write the great American novel!
  • Conch Train tour.  It provides a great overview of Key West. The little houses are so cute.
  • Walk Key West’s Duvall Street.  Food, bars, art galleries and gift shops line the street.  There is something for everyone.
  • Take the ghost tour known as the Trolley of Doom in Key West.  Visit historic sites such as Fort Martello, meet Robert the Doll, and learn about the ghost and goblins that haunt Key West.
Lots of beautiful ocean views along the scenic drive to Key West from Miami.
  • Drive the scenic overseas Highway From Miami to Key West.  It is about a three and a half hour drive, depending on traffic.  Along the way are some beautiful views, the 7 mile bridge and some great entertainment spots.
Our lunch view at Sundowners.
  • Eat at Sundowners in Key Largo.  Every time we go or come from Key West, we always stop at Sundowners for a bite to eat.  It provides a great view and good food.
This is a fun and enjoyable experience for the entire family!
  • Theatre by the Sea in Islamorada.  This is a great stop for the entire family.  There are glass bottom boats, iguanas, birds, dolphin shows, stingrays, etc.
  • Eat Key Lime pie!  Every place you eat offers a take on key lime pie!  And I don’t think I have had a bad one yet!  Yum!
  • Watersports.  You name it…from parasailing, deep-sea fishing, swimming with dolphins to sunset cruises…there are lots of options to enjoy the sea!
  • Mel Fischer Maritime Museum in Key West.  Offers history and artifacts such as items taken from sunken ships.
  • Key West Lighthouse. Who doesn’t like a lighthouse?  Climb the stairs to see exceptional views of the area.
There is a beautiful view everywhere you look!
  • My personal favorite is rest and relax!  Enjoy the sun, great food and the laid back lifestyle of the islands!

My favorite places to eat in Key West include:

This is not my favorite sushi roll at the Ambrosia, but it is the rest of the family’s favorite! Taste is great, but the little octopuses don’t really do it for me!
  • Ambrosia which is a sushi restaurant on Simonton.  Everything we have eaten there has been fabulous.  The crab dumplings, volcano roll and fried banana ice cream are included in my dream dinner!
The La Veggie Galette at La Crêperie in Key West.
  • French food at Croissants de France (you have to try the almond croissant) and Le Crêperie (sweets and savory) are the two we have tried. I believe there are five French restaurants on the island.
A macaw at New York Pasta.
  • New York Pasta is a bit tricky to find,  but the food is really good.  I am still craving the seafood risotto that came as a side with my grouper.  The other fun tidbit about this restaurant is that they have pet birds.  Macaws and parrots are at home with wild hens, doves and grackles.
  • Pinchers on Duvall offers some tasty appetizers and a great view of folks on Duvall.  It is fun to hang out and watch the crowds.
  • Seafood restaurants are everywhere , and I haven’t experienced a bad one yet.  There are also several ice cream shops, so of course I love being there!
Here, chicky, chicky!

The island has lots of hens and roosters running around.  They tend to do their own thing, but we did learn that they like shrimp and will steal them off your plate if you give them a chance.  Otherwise, they won’t bother you.

My new friend and I at New York Pasta.

There is something for everyone in the Keys, in particular Key West.  If you don’t want to spend the time driving from Miami, check to see if there is a direct flight from your airport to Key West.

Be ready to adopt the island lifestyle.  There is no need to rush!

A beautiful old church on Duval in Key West.
Highway drivers get a great air show each morning from the Naval Air Station in Key West.
Hemingway’s office where he wrote.
A Hemingway cat enjoys the shade.
Flamingo mailboxes are too cute!
There are lots of ideas to gain from vacation rentals. This trip it was the under counter, remote-controlled lighting.

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