Our Time in the Keys

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

A week ago Sunday, my oldest son and I were texting.  One thing led to another and before we knew it, we decided to take a quick road trip to the Florida Keys.  (You may have seen the Instagram post?) . Some of the best trips are last minute, right?  We had the best time even though it was super short, considering the time it took to get there.  There's nothing like 13+ hours in the car to make you a little punchy with giggles and such.  We listened to podcasts & music, chatted, and snacked our way down & back.  On the way home we decided that the days had flown by - so I guess that means he had a good time, lol.  I know I did!

I had never been to the Keys before, but T had been once a couple of years ago.  We really didn't have any plans for when we got there, other than T wanted to fish.  For the most part, we spent lots of time on the beach in state parks and drove down to Key West one of our days.

We arrived the evening of July 4th and saw the most amazing sky on the way into Marathon, FL where we stayed three nights.

We visited Sombrero Beach a couple of times.  The beaches there are different from what this North Caroline girl is accustomed to.  There's lots of grass and seaweed that made me a little nervous; especially after we spotted a couple of sharks and a stingray(!).   It's also easy to sink into the sand - maybe I should've packed hip waders?  

Curry Hammock State Park was probably my favorite park.  Most parks have kayak rentals making exploring the coastline and sandbars even more enjoyable.  You can see all sorts of fun things like sea cucumbers, lobster, tarpon, starfish, etc.

Long Key State Park was another nice day trip.  We were the only ones there.  The park offered a long beach access and walking trails.  I think you can camp there too.

We spent a day in Key West and I could've stalked houses all day!  So many charming homes and palms everywhere - my love language!  I just love the tropical landscape!

We also hit up a few restaurants in Key West.  The food there is so good, especially if you like Cuban/Carribean fare.  First, we popped into Waterfront Brewery for a beer flight and a snack of conch ceviche (highly recommend!).

We stopped by Fisherman's Cafe for a bucci and plantains.  It's a fun little walk up spot tucked in under the trees with a couple of stools and a high table. 

Did I mention that chickens and roosters are everywhere?

The waterfront area is a flurry of activity with boats coming and going, tours, and fishermen bringing back their catches. 

Where we ate in/near Marathon

Island Fish Company - waterfront dining - delicious fish tacos & blackened grouper

Sparky's Landing - waterfront & live music.  Try the conch fritters.

Porky's - a quirky little bbq & seafood restaurant with waterfront dining.  Blackened mahi-mahi was delicious!

Where we ate in Key West

Waterfront Brewery - waterfront brewery/restaurant with rooftop dining.  Try the conch ceviche.

Fisherman's Cafe - .75 bucci (espresso) & plantains.  The island bowl looked delicious!

Conch Republic - waterfront dining, happy hour, live music - check, check, check

Fogarty's - a great little spot tucked in under the umbrellas and palm trees with a view of all the street activity.  We shared a yummy shrimp wrap.

Things to do near Marathon

Long Key State Park

Sombrero Beach

Curry Hammock State Park

Bahia Honda

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