Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Places to go on your trip to the Keys // Key West, Florida

Back in March (before the Covid lockdown began) Brent had a 2 day school in Key West for his work and my in laws were in town...So they offered to watch the kiddos and told me to tag along with him to get a mini vacation out of his schooling. How could I say no?
If you're a stay at home mom .. any opportunity to get a break.. you need to take it. Am I right?
Trust me, you will be a better mom because of it. Take my word on that.
Where we live here in Florida is about 45 minutes from the beginning of the keys and 3 hours from there to Key West.
The drive is beautiful.
I could stare at the bright blue water forever and never get bored.. that's just me though.

When we arrived I was on my own since Brent had his class and I enjoy that though. Anytime for some peace and quiet I am all for. I don't think I have been that way my whole life. I use to not go anywhere alone .. since being married to a man in the military I have learned how to do things alone. I think that just comes with the territory. I hit up a local coffee shop of course since it was early in the morning.
When I go places that are different I don't just hit up Starbucks because I can get that anytime.  I do my research and find out what the locals like and I go from there.
The first coffee shop I went to was called Coffee Plantation.
It was a cute older home that was transformed into a coffee shop. The employees and the owner were so friendly and the coffee was delicious. So that was a win.
If you walk around the island be prepared to see roosters everywhere. They keep their distance but you can hear them everywhere. I kinda liked it.

It was such a cute town to walk around in. All of the different shops, restaurants, and the beautiful old homes kept me entertained.
My husband was able to meet up with me a little later and we again searched the internet and read some reviews to find a local restaurant that was still serving breakfast when we came. I do research on stuff like this because there is nothing worse than going to a restaurant to buy food only to be disappointed.
We ended up at a little restaurant called Banana Cafe. It did not disappoint. We both had the Eggs Benedict and I would highly recommend that. The service was fantastic and this cafe also was in an old home that was transformed into a restaurant and it was perfect.
I mean 3,794 reviews and almost 5 stars.
Yeah, you must be doing something right.

We ended up staying at the Hilton Garden Inn. The hotel is what my husbands work set him up in. If I were planning a trip then I would most likely be looking for an airbnb to stay in. This hotel was really nice though! I was pleased. The rooms were updated and the pool area was so nice. They actually gave us 2 free drink coupons to use at the indoor bar or the poolside bar. Then we were lucky because a group of ladies were leaving that day and did not have time to use their drink coupons so they gave us theirs. It's the little things right?

The only downside to staying in this hotel is that it is a little bit outside the downtown area. It would have been nice to just walk out of the hotel and walk around but we had to take an Uber over a few blocks to the downtown area. No big deal for the price of this hotel, but if I were to go again I would like to be within walking distance. Just something to keep in mind.

Mallory Square is a famous pier in Key West so my husband and I decided to head that way for the sunset. It was beautiful and slightly busy. They had some entertainers there that you can watch. They really interacted with the crowd. Not sure how that will play out since Covid 19. It was also fun seeing all of the big ships that were moored up on the pier and of course, the sunset was beautiful.

Next up, we headed to go eat at the Boat House. It was a short walk from Mallory Square to this restaurant. It was so nice to be right on the water. The food and service was amazing as well.
Of course we had to end the night at Key West's Key Lime Pie Co. It did not disappoint. Key Lime Pie Co was busy so you know that is always a good sign. My husband and I shared a slice of the key lime pie. It was absolutely delicious.

The next morning, we hit up Cuban Coffee Queen and oh my word... hands down.. the best coffee I have had. I have craved that coffee since being there. It has wonderful reviews online and it lived up to that. Such a sweet little outdoor coffee shop. 

We headed home after getting coffee. We had to stop and take in the scenery (and get another coffee) in Key Largo.

It was a short trip to Key West and we did not get to see everything we wanted to see, but I know we will be back within the two and a half years we are stationed here. We feel pretty blessed to live so close to Key west for this tour and I know I want to go back with my kids and do one of the many tours they offer or maybe even rent a boat. Overall, we had a great time and every restaurant we went to did not disappoint. That is my point in sharing this information with you. I hope anything I shared can help you when you are looking to plan a trip to the Keys.

Corinne Guynes

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