One of the things I love about living in Florida is the option to take a few days and venture to other parts of our beautiful state and feel a different vibe.
We love to see unique, beautiful places and explore different cultures and cuisines.
So last month, we took a mini-vacay and traveled to Key West. The drive (even with gas prices so high) was an adventure.
Traveling from the west coast to the east coast and crossing the Everglades on Alligator Alley allows me, as a passenger in the car, the opportunity to count gators! From the safety of our car, I could view dozens of their long-armored bodies lounging on the banks of the marsh, especially on a cooler, sunny day. I counted 16 gators during our 45 minutes crossing. Note that the roadside is fenced off due to accidents between the wildlife and cars throughout the years. The fence protects not only the gators but also the endangered Florida panther.
We usually break up the trip and spend one night in Miami before making the 3-hour drive through the Keys to Key West! We love traveling the long Overseas Highway passing through the many keys known for their coral reefs and the turquoise water.
Key West is the southernmost point in the U.S., lying roughly 90 miles north of Cuba. A trip to the landmark buoy is always a must for a selfie. The Southernmost Point buoy is an anchored concrete buoy marking the southernmost point in the continental United States, the lowest latitude land of contiguous North American States. It is 18 feet above sea level. The large painted red, black, and yellow buoy was established as a tourist attraction in 1983 by the city at the corner of South Street and Whitehead Street. Today it is one of the most visited and photographed attractions in the United States.
While there, we love to take in all the pastel-hued, conch-style houses, roosters roaming the streets, and the town's laid-back vibe.
Get ready to try delicious dishes that make Key West a famous destination for foodies, like fresh seafood from conch chowder to spiny lobsters and pink shrimps.
But, of course, my favorite Key West foods are key lime pie, hogfish, and Cuban sandwiches!
A few places not to miss in Key West include; Southernmost Point, Duval Street, Hemingway’s home (I spotted several Polydactyly cats), Hop-on-Hop-Off Trolley for self-tours, Mallory Square for sunsets, the Oldest house, and aquariums and lighthouse. Many of these places can be accessed by a quick bike tour (we rent bikes at our hotel), walking, or trolleys or tours.
A trip to Key West should also include getting on the water and seeing some of the most transparent blue waters in the state! There are many charters for boats, kayaks, jet skis, paddleboards, catamarans, snorkels, diving trips, and many more options!
There aren’t many beaches in Key West, but a few we like that are usually calm with clear waters are Smathers Beach, Higgs Memorial Beach, and Fort Zachary. You can enjoy the sun, sand, warm water, and activities like swimming, snorkeling, and fishing.
Enjoy! Text or email me for other helpful Florida Living tips!
As a realtor and writer, I love exploring and sharing my adventures in a blog format!