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Our weekend in the Florida Keys...


I didn't think I would ever get as many questions about a trip as I did about the Disney Cruise last year....but let me tell you...you all had so many questions about our weekend in the keys!  So I decided to skip right over our Bahamas trip from this year and write up a Keys blog post first!

I'll keep it short and sweet!

We live in Tampa so we were able to make the drive with the girls.  It took just over 5 hours and we stopped once in Naples for some coffee and donuts.  We did meet up one day with my Uncle who flew down and he flew into Fort Lauderdale and rented a car to drive to Key Largo.  (Key Largo is the first key)

Like many of you my husband and I had been to Key West before kids and that trip involved mostly drinking and eating and drinking our way around the island.  Heading down with the kids I knew this trip would be a little different.

I chose Key Largo for the main reason that it was A.) Closest and B.) We had never been.




On Key Largo we stayed at a waterfront resort called MB at Key Largo .  (This hotel was previously managed under the name "Dove Creek Lodge")

This side of the island took the hit during Hurricane Irma but they have done an awesome job repairing and restoring.

Coconut trees lined the beach area and brand new outdoor furniture made the hotel grounds a perfect place to relax.  There is a small pool and hot tub as well.  We stayed in the "Key Lime Suite" which had amazing water views and a huge corner screened in balcony.  Every morning the hotel has a free breakfast for everyone as well that included...juices, coffee, yogurt, fresh fruits, toasts, bagels, hard boiled eggs and cereal.  The hotel was very family friendly and the girls made lots of friends playing at the pool in the afternoon.  

The beach at the hotel doesn't have "beach access" but the kids could still play in the sand and lounge in the chairs and the hammocks.  They also offer the guests free use of the kayaks and some other water equipment.  




Directly next door is a well known bar/restaurant called "Snappers".  They had amazing fresh seafood and we actually ate here multiple times.  In the evening they had live music which was great because once the kids went to bed we could hear it on the balconies of the hotel with some wine.


Now as far as what we did in the keys besides RELAX...

There are lots of state parks you can venture to all within miles of eachother.  


We chose to go to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.  This is also where you take the glass bottom "Princess" boat out to the reefs. DO This! It's not your average glass bottom boat like in the Caribbean.  I loved how the kids all sat around the glass bottom so no one is pushing and shoving to see.  Everyone gets an awesome view. 








We also drove about 17 minutes down to Islamorada.

 Here we played on the beautiful beach at Founders Park.  The water was gorgeous and set in a more lagoon like location  making it perfect for 
the kids.  The entrance fee is a little high (per person) but worth it.  There are also two large playgrounds for the kids to play on.

The other beach I wanted to go to but was still closed from Irma was Annes Beach.  This place looks magical and I hope it reopens soon! If you are planning a trip make sure to check it out! 

So basically my family and I wake up early even on vacation so in the mornings is when we would head out in the car and explore around the beaches and the boats.  We would grab lunch and spend the rest of the days at the hotel lounging around the pool and relaxing in the lanai.  Having the restaurant nextdoor was super convenient and the girls also loved watching all the boaters pull in for dinner.  We tried to go to a famous  place called the "Big Chill" but it was St. Patties day and the traffic to even get there was crazy so we skipped it.  Maybe next time.  If you want to make the drive to Key West it is about 2 hours from Key Largo.  



The Keys are so laid back and you basically never need to even change from your bathing suit and coverup the entire day.  It's a relaxing island vibe vacation in the US!  We had a great time and so did the girls.  When we go back I think we will book more of a resort hotel though since this trip we did more exploring.  One place I always have my eye on is Hawks Cay.  

I hope this helps answer some questions!  Let me know if you plan a trip down to the beautiful Florida Keys!!

XOXO
Tracy

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