Does the winter weather have you down? It is time to start thinking about spring break and summer vacations. This week we are talking about another warm-weather destination, the Florida Keys. Bryanna Royal from Crazy Family Adventure has spent a month in the Florida Keys and shares her tips for visiting the Florida Keys with Kids.
ON THE PODCAST
00:32 – Talking with Kim and Tamara about Florida
06:25 – Talking with Bryanna
09:55 – Florida Keys
11:30 – Not about the beaches
12:10 – Getting around the Keys
13:05 – Where to stay
16:30 – How long to stay
17:28 – When to go
19:43 – Must do activities
30:10 – Day trips
33:49 – Campgrounds/Hotels
37:14 – Food
40:30 – Final tips
41:51 – Where to take a family photo
42:02 – Bryanna’s favorite travel gear
45:37 – Where Bryanna is going next
ABOUT BRYANNA ROYAL
Bryanna, her husband, 4 kids, and dog sold everything, bought an RV and our traveling full-time around North America. If they aren’t out climbing mountains, hiking to a waterfall or playing at the beach they are most likely at the local donut shop trying to find the best donuts in North America! They write about things to do with kids at the destinations they visit, full time family travel and working from the road at www.crazyfamilyadventure.com.
TIPS FOR VISITING THE FLORIDA KEYS WITH KIDS
- There is more to the Keys than just Key West. The Keys are made up of five destinations; Key West, the Lower Keys, Marathon, Islamorada and Key Largo. If you really want to get the most out of the Keys you should think about maybe doing a road trip, where you can hit all of the Keys rather staying and experiencing only one of them.
- Be aware that the Keys are not about the beaches. The Keys are surrounded by a coral reef, which messes with the white sand beaches that come to mind when thinking of Florida. This means there are a lot of great snorkeling spots that you can do right off of the beach.
- Since the Keys are so long, you shouldn’t try to stay in one of the Keys and drive to explore the rest since you will be spending a lot of time in the car. It is also not a great drive at night since the roads are mostly two lane.
- Hawks Cay Resort is a great resort to stay for families located in Duck Key.
- You could definitely visit the Keys in a week, but if you can spend ten to fourteen days, that would be the best. If you are able to spend at least ten days for your trip you will really get to explore each of the Keys at a more relaxed pace.
- You can still have some really great weather if you visit the Keys in the Winter or Fall but be prepared, it could always turn rainy and overcast.
- Must do activities in the Florida Keys could include:
- John Pennenkamp Coral Reef State Park is a great place to visit. They offer glass bottom boat tours, kayaking, and much more. This state park is located up in the northern Keys.
- If you are going into Marathon, Florida, you should think about checking out the Turtle Hospital where you can see all of the turtles that they are rehabilitating. They also have a surgery area, that if they happen to be conducting a surgery there is a window where you can see and learn what they are doing.
- There are also locations in the middle Keys area were you can rent a pontoon, or even just go kayaking.
- When you get to Key West, the best activity you should think about doing is a tour through Fury Adventures. They will take you out on a big boat for six hours and do activities like snorkeling, jet skiing, parasailing and more. This is a great way to get out on the water!
- If you want to spend some time off of the water the Key West Aquarium is a great spot to do that. This is a small aquarium but has a lot to offer like signing up to feed the shark! If you are really interested in this, make sure to ask the front desk as soon as you get there to see if they are doing it that day and get your kids or yourself on the list.
- The Shipwreck Treasure Museum is a really cool place to visit. They have a lot of different artifacts from shipwrecks that happened in Key West and their basement is actually below sea level.
- There is also the Florida Keys Eco – Discovery Center that is free to go to and it is a great place to go to learn more about the reefs, area and the ecosystem!
- If you like to see the sunset you should check out the Sunset Festival on Mallory Square Dock. You can definitely bring your kids but be prepared for loud people and some crowds.
- If you are interested in exploring a little bit out of the Keys you should think about visiting Dry Tortugas which is an island that has an old fort on it. You have to take a ferry to get there and the trip takes about two hours, but it is so beautiful! If you are really feeling adventurous you can actually camp out on the island. You will need to bring all of your supplies with you but it would be a great experience.
- If you are thinking of camping in the Keys you should check out the State Parks for their campgrounds but for some of these you will need to book at least eleven months in advance.
- In Key West there is a place called Island Dogs Bar and Lagerheads Beach Bar are both great places to eat the beach bar you can literally eat your food with your toes in the sand! Then by the seven mile bridge in Marathon there is a place called the Sunset Grille which has a pool in the restaurant and you can sit and relax with your food or even a cocktail while your kids enjoy swimming.
- You will find a lot of supplies you will need while you are there. For example snorkeling gear, if the place does not provide it there is always places you can rent the gear you will need.
- Since the weather can be unpredictable be sure to pack layers!
BEST PLACE TO TAKE FAMILY PHOTO
Bryanna suggests that you take your family photo at the southernmost point of Florida, but be sure to go early in the morning or you could be waiting in line for a couple hours to get your picture taken. If that doesn’t matter to you, taking a family photo on any beach with the ocean behind you will be a great photo!
FAVORITE TRAVEL GEAR
Bryanna loves to wear her Adidas sandals because they are so comfortable and easy to slide on and off. When she is not wearing those she like her plain black flip flops that you can dress up if you want too.
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