The Florida Keys

Florida Keys

I had always heard great things about the Florida Keys but I had never been. To be honest they never really made it to my “must see list”.

Recently I found myself looking for a family getaway and I didn’t want to spend a ton of money. I  searched flights first and found great prices on flights from my local airport in Providence, Rhode Island to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

I started researching what we could do in the area. Well, what do you know… the keys popped up! (Click here to read an overview of our vacation including our hotel and rental car.)

The keys were a great place to visit! It was the first time our boys got to see tropical waters and awesome sea life.

Here are the places we enjoyed…

Bahia Honda State Park~ WOW, is really all I can say! It cost us $10 to get into the park but once we were in we had access to beaches, concessions, restrooms, showers, and nature trails. The  beach was amazing. When traveling to the keys you have to remember that the beaches are not large and they are often rocky and full of seaweed. Bahia Honda State park had awesome beaches. The beach did have a bit of seaweed on the shore but nothing major and the beach wasn’t really wide, but it was wonderful. We chose to spend the day at Sandspur Beach which over looks the Atlantic Ocean, it was a great decision. Don’t be fooled by the first parking lot, keep driving…….the second lot was farther down the beach and it allowed us to get away from the crowd, even though it wasn’t busy at all. Once we got on the beach it was like being on a private island!

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AGAIN, AWESOME!!! The water was shallow and clean and the sand was perfect for two little boys to play in

 

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Anne’s Beach~ It was a great place to stop for a quick walk or picnic lunch. The boardwalk was nice, but the beach was covered with seaweed. Unfortunately each time we stopped it was high tide and there was little to no beach. So if you plan on going be sure to check the tide.

We stopped one night on our way back to the hotel and we got to see a ton of ghost crabs crawling out from the sand, which my boys LOVED!!

I was a bit disappointed as I had read a lot about Anne’s beach and it wasn’t what I expected. I think the trick is to be sure you go at the right time of day.

Spirit Snorkeling~I was really nervous about taking our just five year old on a snorkeling trip, but  Spirit Snorkeling was great. They were very helpful and the explained everything to the boys in great detail and were more than helpful. I can’t say enough of good things about them. We had a ton of fun. I am so happy that we chose to go and we didn’t let Liam’s age stop us. If you are a first time snorkeler or you have young kids Spirit Snorkeling is a must!

We went out on a great boat ride once we reached our snorkeling location we jumped right in! The fish were amazing and the colors under the water were breath-taking! Just awesome!!

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They gave the kids noodles to help them float which worked out great.DSCF4026

 

Here are a few of the restaurants that we ate at and really enjoyed.

One of the worst parts for me on vacation is trying to find a place to eat. I really enjoy having a few names of good places to go so I thought I would share some with you! PS~ All of the restaurants we are at wer kid friendly!

1. Porky’s, Marathon, FL ~ We ate lunch at Porky’s before we left on our snorkeling tour, it’s right next door. The atmosphere was fantastic! One of the highlights was watching the pelicans catch fish in the harbor.

This guy came to visit us while we were eating! Pretty cool, right?!?!DSCF4011

We had a few appetizers for a quick lunch. The BBQ wings were awesome and the coconut shrimp was great too. I wish we had gone back for dinner or had been able to eat a larger lunch because the menu looked tasty! We were going snorkeling so I didn’t want to eat too much since we were going to be on the boat and we would be swimming. I wish we had waited and gone after the trip!!

By the way, the key lime pie was featured on the travel channel so how can you not give it a try, right?

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2. Hobo’s, Key Largo, FL~ The stuffed shrimp was delicious and the mahi mahi fingers we had were a great change of pace from your average appetizer! My hubby got the yellow tail snapper and it was also delish! The food was great and so was the service!

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3. Alonzo’s Oyster Bar, Key West, FL~ This restaurant had a great atmosphere also and even though we couldn’t sit outside we were very happy with sitting inside. The food was great and so was the service. The Yellow Tail Snapper New Orleans was seriously the best meal we ate on our entire vacation. The dessert was outrageously delicious! We got the key lime pie and the peanut butter torte. I really need the recipe for the peanut butter torte I have been dreaming about!!

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4. Key Largo Conch House, Key Largo, FL~ Talk about an awesome setting for a restaurant! I would recommend making a reservation to eat here. The restaurant is small and had very limited seating. We made reservations the night before and I am glad we did. The conch fritters were the best! We tried conch fritters at many of the other restaurants that we ate at and none of them compared to the ones at the Conch House. I could have eaten them all myself, I really had a hard time sharing!

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Have you been to The Keys? I would love to hear about the places you love!! Please comment below! I can’t wait to hear from you!