Key West with the family
our trip with teens
Last year we decided it would be fun to start taking family trips to warmer climates during the cold midwestern winters, so off we went to Key West, Florida in November. Forgoing the couple-friendly bed and breakfasts surrounding Duval Street, we opted for the Southernmost Hotel. It was a great decision! The kids, ages 12 and 13 at the time, loved the hammocks outside our room, as well as choosing from a couple of different pools if the beach wasn’t calling.
We'd like to note, also, that we went to Key West in the "off" season, which has its ups and downs. The up side is that everything was quite a bit less expensive, so we got a nice room at a very decent price, for example. The crowds were just not there, either, a great benefit when traveling with kids of any age. The only risk was the weather, which was a bit cooler than we would have liked. Being from the midwest, though, meant we were in our t-shirts and shorts anyway- can't pass that up when you're coming from 30 degrees!
There’s so much to do in Key West, and not all of it is drinking or trying to catch glimpses of the guys dressed like women and hanging outside the bars! The kids enjoyed a Ghost Tour from the La Concha Hotel, and after hearing about Robert the doll, we then had to make a trip to the historical museum near the airport to see him encased in glass. Freaky! The jaunt to the museum was made even more fun due to the fact that we did it via moped/scooter, which you can rent almost anywhere in town. I think we could have scootered all day, everywhere!
Meals were easy in our room with mini kitchen, although groceries aren’t cheap. We did enjoy the Cuban cafe near the hotel for breakfast and lunch, and even found a great buffet along Duval St. one night that didn’t cost us an arm and a leg.
For kicks, check out the Ripley’s Believe it or Not museum at the north end of Duval. It’s hilarious and weird!
We love caricatures, and there are a number of artists willing to draw you as you cruise down the street.
There’s also a great pet shop where the cutest puppies are in a pen just inside the store front window!
We’d recommend the Hemingway House for a great educational experience, and the Lighthouse tour is pretty cool, too. Smathers Beach is still the best for swimming and playing, and for getting a snack at one of the vendors parked along the street.
Don’t forget to watch (and photograph) the best sunsets in the world from the southernmost tip of the United States!