Those that know me know that these things are 100% true. I love to travel, fish, blue water and I think that I should be considered a dual resident in Florida and Louisiana because I love them equally.
We've spent time in several parts of Florida that will come up on this blog but one of my favorite's hands down is The Florida Keys so I'll start there. I've done it two ways. First, a quick extended weekend trip where you get a straight flight into Key West, no car needed, use the hotel pickup and then walk, bike or shuttle wherever the wind blows you for a couple days.
The other way is to fly into Miami or Fort Lauderdale and rent a car. The drive down is magical if your not in a hurry. The scenery is beautiful and the little stops along the way provide quite the adventure. I'll provide a few of my favorite stops below.
Stop 1: Key Largo, Mrs. Mac's Kitchen
Get ready for the cutest restaurant ever, established in 1976. The environment is so fun, the food is fresh and delicious BUT what tops it all off is the Key Lime Pie or Key Lime Pie Milkshake. It doesn't even pay for me to try to describe it, just trust me and start booking your trip now.
Stop 2: Islamorado: Robbie's of Islamorado
This stop you can get a refreshing drink, souvenirs and "DRUM ROLL" feed tarpon. These amazing animals literally jump out the water to grab the fish out of your hand. Will this take you out of your comfort zone, absolutely. Will it make your heart pound, definitely. Will it make memories for you and your family you can't get any where else and won't forget, YEP!
Be sure to have someone video this for you, you will want to go back and watch (I mean laugh at yourself, trust me.)
Stop 3: Marathon, Turtle Hospital
If your looking for an educational stop during your trip with the family this is the perfect place.
It is also a good reminder for everyone on how much our decisions impact the environment. This facility focuses on rescue, rehab and release. I'm thankful for places like this!
Stop 4: Seven Mile Bridge/Bahia Honda State Park
Everyone talks about the famous Seven Mile Bridge where beautiful water surrounds you on both sides and you swear you are leaving the earth for a totally different place. You kind of are to be honest. For a moment there is nothing but you and the calm blue water. Before you get on the bridge you can stop and enjoy the Bahia Honda State Park. There is a beach, snack bar, kayak rentals and even a snorkeling tour daily. This is one of the prettiest places to watch the sunset.
Stop 5: Key West
This island is such a melting pot of cultures. The food consist of fresh seafood catches from nearby docks, latin influence dishes and lots of fun fruity drinks. The people are plentiful, the sun is warm, the music is flowing and the history runs deep. While you are there don't forget to take a photo at the Southernmost Point Buoy, pass by The Hemingway House & Museum, dip your toes in the sand, ride the Old Town Trolley and enjoy a rum drink while watching the beautiful sunset.
BONUS: If you like to fish then that is a MUST here. I highly recommend booking a guide before your trip and also don't skimp. I speak from experience. My first experience was horrible because we called a local marina the day before, got stuck with Mr. Personality (eye roll) who just wanted to prop up somewhere and have us catch sharks. NEVER AGAIN. Since then I've had the pleasure of fishing with several well known fishing guides that are worth every penny and will give you a trip to remember. If you want info just drop me a message, I'll happily share!
“To Travel Is To Live”
– Hans Christian Anderson
XOXO, Nicole (The girl trying to smile in this photo after getting her butt kicked by this Permit for way too long. Looks easier than it is but worth all the pain.)