The Best ways to Enjoy the Florida Keys as a Family!

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The Florida Keys is an ideal vacation destination for families. The wide array of water activities in its very calm waters is a great place to start. It’s also surprisingly affordable. The local residents and business owners are very welcoming to families with children.

We began our journey by flying direct to Miami and then driving down the famous highway connecting the tropical Keys. We stayed in Marathon at the Hyatt Place Marathon Keys. This was a great central location. We were able to drive up to Islamorada as well as down to Key West, with reasonable distances both ways. The onsite restaurant, the Light House Grill, in the marina behind the hotel, is one of the best in the keys. It offers exquisite fresh seafood and relaxing views of the marina. The Light House Grill also gives massive discounts to guests staying at the Hyatt.
As a family, we enjoyed a sandbar and island hoping cruise with Fury Adventures Key West. We loved the sea kayaking, paddle boarding, and snorkeling! The very shallow calm waters make these family friendly activities. The guides provide Life jackets for toddlers. A Baby Bjorn (or a similar baby carrier) is a great to keep babies safe. Babies are too small for life jackets. My four year old will never forget these experiences! Make certain everyone has plenty of water to drink and make certain little ones have hats or shade. Excellent Food and fresh fruit is provided on the boat.
I went scuba diving on a coral reef about an hour off the coast of Marathon, Florida. This two tank, two site dive was full of tropical fish and bright corals. The colors were so vivid because the dive was at an average depth of 30 feet below surface. The water is warm enough that no wet suite or dry suite was needed. I went with Tildens Scuba Center on a Sunday. Sunday is ideal for diving if you would like to avoid crowds. Due to flight schedules, almost everyone is arriving or leaving the Florida Keys. I was the only tourist diving on the boat! My guide was also a marine biologist that worked at the local aquarium in Marathon. I couldn’t have had a better time!
There are so many amazing activities for families to do together. At Theater of the Sea in Islamorada, we painted with a dolphin! The animal shows here are amazing and the animals are very well cared for. Both our baby and toddler loved this. Sign up for Dolphin painting or swimming early as these unforgettable experiences sell out fast.
There are fantastic family experiences in many of the Keys around this area. The Aquarium in Marathon has great interactive animal experiences as well. Both of these aquariums have rescue areas for injured animals, but no required tours. You can see everything at your own pace. My 4 year old also loved it when we fed giant Tarpons by hand at Robbies Marina Islamorada. We did the easy hike at Bahia Honda Key and swam at the beach with its calm shallow waters. The sandy beaches in the Keys are typically small and pleasant, but not crowded even during high season when we visited.
As an avid reader and admirer of his work, I couldn’t miss visiting Hemingway’s beautiful historic house. Hemingway’s Home is an enjoyable tour for the entire family. The gorgeous famous pool in back was the first in the Florida Keys. There are adorable six fingered cats running around inside house and the grounds. These cats are descended directly from Hemingway’s six fingered cat and are very well cared for.

The sunsets in the Florida Keys are breathtaking. Bahia Honda was a great place to swim and watch the sunset. The lively atmosphere of Mallory Square in Key West is great place for some unique sunset photos. For a spectacular sunset, we enjoyed Lorelei Restaurant & Cabana Bar in Islamorada. The prices at Lorelei’s are very reasonable and the dinning view of the tropical sunset can’t be beat. Their live entertainment is an added treat. We enjoyed a fire dance along with live music at Lorelei’s. Speaking of dinning in the Keys, don’t leave the Keys without trying Hog Fish! A slice of key lime pie is also a must.

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