Here in Miami, we are not only lucky to have beautiful beaches and sunny weather (almost) all-year-round but we also have a lot of other gorgeous destinations just a car drive away. One of my favorite Florida road-trip places is the Florida Keys. The drive over the Seven Mile Bridge is a treat in itself as you get to see breathtaking views of the water and landscapes. Here are some suggestions for family fun in the Florida Keys.
Key Largo is the first Key you will enter when making your way down from Miami. And there is plenty of family fun to find in Key Largo! We recently bought a Groupon for the Key Largo Princess Glass Bottom Boat. It was a ton of fun! This 2-hour cruise takes you through the water of the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park where you get to see the beautiful marine life through the boat’s glass bottom. Rather get inside the water? No problem at all. Key Largo has plenty of opportunities to go snorkeling. And there is a lot to see in the world’s largest artificial coral reef such as the Christ of the Abyss statue and underwater life.
If you are in Key Largo, I highly recommend treating yourself to a delicious Key Lime Pie On A Stick popsicle from Blond Giraffe Key Lime Pie Factory. That place takes the key lime game to a new level. Not only do they sell the most delicious key lime pies but all sorts of key lime products ready to wow your taste buds.
Just south of Key Largo, you will find beautiful Islamorada, my favorite Florida Key. One of the must-dos there is to visit the Theater of the Sea. It is such a fun place to take your kids to. They get to see lots of animals and even hop on a quick glass-bottom boat ride. The admission includes animal shows with parrots, dolphins, and sea lions. For an extra charge, you even get to swim with them.
Since we love it so much in Islamorada, I surprised my husband for his birthday with a boat ride at A Family Fun Boat Tour. We did the four-hour trip and every minute of it was so much fun. They provide life jackets even for babies and kids as well as a cooler. The tours are customized and you get to decide where the captain takes you. We spent our time on the fun Islamorada sandbar and concluded the day with a quick eco-tour through the mangroves in the Florida Keys.
To end the day, I highly recommend eating at Lazy Days. The view of the sunset is gorgeous. There is a small beach where the kids can play and watch the pelicans that like to chill around there. Plus, the coconut fried fish and frozen drinks are delicious!
Marathon and Grassy Key
Two things should be on your to-do list when making your way down South: The Dolphin Research Center (Grassy Key) and The Turtle Hospital (Marathon). The Dolphin Research center is a non-profit and educational dolphinarium where you get to book encounters with dolphins and sea lions. The Turtle Hospital in Marathon is a very unique institution. This small non-profit organization is dedicated to the rehabilitation of endangered sea turtles. They rescue, rehab, and release sea turtles in the Florida Keys. Visitors can book a tour around the facility.
On my previous trips to the southernmost Key, I got the impression that Key West is a drinking paradise and popular Bachelor(ette) party destination. So when I had to go there for work, I was inclined to go without my family. But last-minute, I decided to go with my husband and son, and it ended up being an amazing fun time for our family. We stayed on Stock Island just north of Key West at the Perry Hotel. Not only is it a gorgeous boutique hotel but if you get to snag a room on the first floor, you can enter the pool right from your balcony.
We ventured out to Duval Street and surrounding areas and visited the Hemingway Home & Museum. My son loved to watch the six-toed kitties. Another popular family-friendly destination is The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, a tropical paradise with hundreds of butterflies and birds.
What is your favorite thing to do in the Florida Keys? Let me know if the comments!