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8.05.2016

5 Quick Stops in the Florida Keys

5 Places to See and Eat in the Florida Keys


One of the biggest benefits of living on the Southern part of the Treasure Coast, is the opportunity to drive down to the Florida Keys for a long weekend.  Scott and I love to explore different areas, but we always seem to be drawn to, and find the most joy out of, the less crowded spots.  These five quick stops in the Keys are no exception- and you will still have plenty of time for relaxing on the beach!

Fort Zachary Taylor, Key West


Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, Key West, Florida

Time to Explore: 1 1/2 hours including lunch.  Fort Zachary Taylor used to actually sit on the coast of Key West, but due to the receding ocean, there is now a nice little beach attached to the park, which was very crowded.  We only ran into a handful of people while exploring the fort.  The dark rooms were a welcome break from the heat.  Swing in for a bite to eat at the small takeout located between the beach and fort called the Cayo Hueso Cafe.  While it's a little pricier for the portion size, the profits go to the Florida Park Service and you don't have to fight for a parking spot.

7 Mile Bridge, Marathon, FL to Little Duck Key


View of the US 1 bridge running from Big Pine Key

Time to Explore: As long as you want, maybe longer!  Okay, so this may be a little more well known, because you have to drive it to get to the lower keys!  While probably not much fun if you're in standstill traffic, we had no problem any of the 4 times we crossed it.  The views from the bridge are amazing, and you can enjoy them from the comfort of your air conditioned car.  Or, if you want to be extra adventurous, there is a section of the old bridge on the north side that allows you to walk, bike, and fish.

Bahia Honda, Big Pine Key


Bahia Honda State Park, Big Pine Key, Florida

Time to Explore: 30 minutes, without sitting on the beach.  Get here early- 8 or 9am to get a prime spot on the beach and enjoy some quiet time before the crowds.  There are a number of short walking trails; the section of old bridge is my favorite for the views.  If you've got more stops planned, or don't like crowds- get out by 11:30! When we left, traffic was backed up on either side of US 1 trying to get in!

Sparky's Landing, Key Colony Beach


Time to explore/ eat: 1 hour or so.  I seriously only picked this place to eat because the name of it was "Sparky's!"  Most spots to eat throughout the keys are marinas, like Sparky's.  The drive out to this little key was easy, but felt less known due to it not being on the main/only thoroughfare.  It gave us the opportunity to see a lady walking her gorgeous golden retriever, who was proudly holding on to a coconut!  The portions and drink were the best we had in the short time we visited the keys.  When the check came, they included a Sparky's sticker that now resides proudly on my Kindle(affiliate).

World Wide Sportsman, Islamorada


Ernest Hemingway's boat, Pilar, in Islamorda, FL

Time to explore: 30 minutes (more if you're with a boy!)  Perhaps the biggest surprise exploration came within the Bass Pro/ World Wide Sportsman in Islamorada!  A boat that I thought was just a prop for display purposes, turned out to be Ernest Hemingway's.  Take a short tour inside the Pilar, which also houses some of Hemingway's belongings, and try to ignore the racks of clothes on all sides.

These 5 quick stops along the Florida Keys give you a chance to stretch your legs while taking in the history and lifestyle of the area.

What are your favorite spots to visit in the Keys?

Linking with Bright on a Budget /Cup of Tea / Della DevotedSeptember Farm / The Farmer's Wife, and Meet @ the Barre

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