Fall in Love with the Florida Keys

Have you ever just wanted to escape from reality and forget about all of your troubles?  Well, the Florida Keys is the place to get away from it all!  Just south of Miami, you can travel the Overseas Highway across multiple bridges, jumping island to island, until you get to Mile Marker 0 in Key West.  You will see some of the most beautiful blue water, experience exhilarating adventures, savor delicious food, and snap breathtaking pictures.  Even though Hurricane Irma tried to steal their thunder, the Keys have bounced back with a vengeance.  Whether you have a day, a weekend, or a week, there is always time to slip down to the keys – where local is the way of life, every establishment is described by their Mile Marker location, and your furry friend is welcome everywhere!

Ocean view from the Florida Keys beach.

At the top of the keys is Key Largo – one of the most populated Keys in the stretch.  This is where your journey begins and there is so much to do, you will never get bored. For fun with the family, try John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park where you can chill on the beach, go on a snorkeling adventure or paddle around in a SUP or kayak.

As the sun starts to set, head to Bayside Grille for incredible views and delicious cocktails. Definitely try their refreshing and colorful Rum Runner, you won’t be disappointed.  Moving on to dinner, try DiGiorgio’s Cafe Largo, where you can enjoy as much seafood and pasta as you’d like.  One of the most recent re-openings since Hurricane Irma is Snappers Key Largo. Their Sunday Brunch is a popular spot where you can eat some delicious Crab Cake Benedict while sipping on a mimosa.

Three craft beers on a wooden table

Next, head further south to Islamorada – check out the Charter Fishing boats at any of the local marinas for a fun day of tarpon fishing on the flats or deep sea fishing for Marlin and Sailfish. After you explore the marina, visit the Islamorada Shrimp Shack and have one of their baskets with locally caught fish fingers, fries, and hush puppies.  Save room for the daily-baked, Banana Bread Sundae.  If craft beer is your thing, you have to try Florida Keys Brewing Co, Smelly Butt IPA, and Islamorada Beer Company  Islamorada Ale.  For sunset, head to Lorelei’s to enjoy live entertainment, a beautiful sunset, and a dish of freshly made Tuna Nachos.

Aerial view of the Gulf of Mexico showing a dock.

Heading to the southern section of the Keys, I recommend starting with the Conch Train Tour. This area has the most notoriety and first-time visitors will fall in love with Key West. This train tours you around the whole island.  You will see a lot of hidden gems along this scenic train route. Keep notes about the sites you want to re-visit after the train tour is complete.

Eggs, bacon, potatoes and croissants on a white plate.

For some daytime adventure, rent a bike and ride around the local streets while you soak up the sun.  It is so easy to get around on a bike and everywhere you go there are bike racks or light poles to chain them to.  Grab a quick breakfast at Croissants de France for some of the best pastries you have ever tasted. Insider’s tip, go back after 4 PM and all of the pastries are half off. The infamous Duval Street is a popular attraction, stroll around and grab lunch at Sloppy Joes while listening to live entertainment.

Continue walking around this area to discover locally owned shops like Good Day on a Happy Planet which has an array of little things you never knew you needed.  The best sunsets in the United States can be found at Mallory Square.  The interactive street shows are so much fun and the grand finale is the beautiful sunset in the background.  After a long day touring the area, you must have dessert at Better than Sex – A Dessert Restaurant.  The atmosphere, chocolate-rimmed drinks, and their decadent desserts are exactly what you need!

orange and blue sunset over a dock in the Florida Keys.

There is so much to see and do in the Florida Keys.  The locals are friendly, and the shopping, dining, and views are one of a kind experiences. Get away from your every day and create lasting memories in the Florida Keys.

Brown haired woman posing for a picture.

This post was written by Hilton Suggests Team Member, Tracy N. Are you interested in traveling to Florida Keys? Let us know if we can help you with any other recommendations. Tweet us for more great local travel tips!

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