Because the Keys are not known for beaches, we booked a hotel that had a small private beach. We spent a few afternoons lounging on a beach blanket and were able to pick up some inexpensive snorkeling supplies from the local grocery store.
We booked a suite so that we would have access to a kitchen. With the money we saved cooking for ourselves most evenings, we were able to splurge on an extravagant dinner out at a local "hot-spot".
We spent one evening in Key West, watching the sunset from the southern-most point of the United States, and enjoyed local mojitos and street performers. The vacation was full of sun, fun and relaxation.
Experienced naturalists can show you the various plants and animals that live in the gardens. Over 23 species of butterflies live in the one acre butterfly habitat. See turtles, iguana, egrets and other wildlife as you explore the gardens on the convenient boardwalk.
The whole family will enjoy this "one-of-a-kind" tropical forest and garden with its hidden pond and lush courtyard waterfall wall of orchids.
We kicked back on the beach, tried the glass bottom boat, fished, and snorkeled. I have never had such a relaxing vacation. We did not feel like we had to rush to get anywhere.
The Ernest Hemingway home and museum in the heart of Old Town Key West is a treat. It’s easy to see why Hemingway felt inspired to write while residing there.
Today the grounds are beautiful and there are tons of cats that live there. Key West also has trolleys, trains, and city tours. You can go to the aquarium to see the ocean life. There is also one of the first lighthouses built on the East coast.
The scenery as you drive along the Keys is gorgeous. It’s such a different feeling than navigating the freeways in Southern California.
Whether we want to shop, lie out on the beach, fish, or sight-see - we are able to do it all there! When visiting the Florida Keys, we always stay in Key West, which offers a plethora of shopping, dining, and entertainment options.
However, when we’re looking for a day or sheer relaxation in a true paradise, we head to Bahia Honda State Park – just a little less than an hour north! Pristine white beaches, crystal clear water, and covered in lush Coconut Palm trees.
Bahia Honda has wonderful staff that is always happy to assist us in making our wildest "marine" dreams come true – whether that be scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, lobster hunting, or deep sea fishing. What more could you possibly ask for with vacation ideas?
You can fish from the shore or go for the deep sea fishing on a charter boat. There are lots of charter fishing trips to be had so you have lots of choices.
The private Sports Fishing Charter trips are the most expensive but this will get you a shot at the big game and offer overnight excursions that take you to places like Dry Tortugas, Bahamas, and Cuba.
Another way to go is the so called Backcountry Charter. This involves lighter faster boats where you use a rod & reel, live bait and a light line. Snapper, sailfish, tarpon, tuna and sharks are the take here.
A less expensive way to go is the Key West Party Boat Charter. Here you join a large group, head out into the ocean and drop your line over the side. The boat crew will chum the water and there’s usually lots of action with yellowtail, grouper, and mahi mahi.