Isabelle has been talking about going travelling ever since we picked up “Babar Looses His Crown” from our local used bookstore this past summer. In the story, Babar and his family go to Paris, where he loses his crown and they spend the day visiting all the sights looking for it. She’s been talking about going to Paris ever since and it makes my travel-loving (and Paris-loving) heart so happy. I’ve vowed to take both kiddos to Paris when we go to Germany this summer to visit family but, in the meantime, I thought it would be nice to take Isabelle on a little mother-daughter trip. She’s at an age now where she makes for a great travel partner (whereas Nicky isn’t quite there yet), so it really was amazing to get that easy family travel experience that I’ve honestly never experienced before now (even though I’ve travelled lots and love exploring the world with my kids). Plus she hardly ever gets one-on-one time with me, which was so good for both of our souls.
I wanted warm weather and decided Key Largo would be perfect. Beach, ocean, warm sun, and not a heck of a lot else to do but relax and enjoy our time together. We spent four full days in the area (plus two travel days) and it really was a slice of paradise. Below is a little video of our time together. Bear with me, I’m new to videography so things are a little shaky and maybe not quite so elegantly edited. I want to start doing more videos on here (especially of our travels) and this was a bit of a test run for me.
I also took a ton of photos (of course). Here are a few of my favourites from our trip. I also shared a few tips on where to say, what do do, and where to eat near the bottom of the post.
The sunsets in the Florida Keys are seriously so stunning. I’m working on a follow-up post about all the best spots to catch the sunset in the Keys, so stay tuned for that.
WHERE TO STAY
Rock Reef Resort . We stayed at this budget-friendly resort and absolutely loved it! I had initially booked a standard room which was not so great (aka tiny, dark, and right next to the highway), but luckily they still had one of their beach cottage rooms available which was fantastic. A separate living room and small kitchen which allowed us to make our own breakfast and lunch, as well as allowed me to stay up past Isabelle’s bedtime to do some work in a room with light (what?!) and raid the fridge whenever I felt like it (maybe not so great haha).
Key Largo Cottages . Another budget-friendly option that has larger cottages to accommodate larger families. They don’t have a pool but they are located next to my absolute favourite restaurant ever (Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen – see below).
Marriott Key Largo Bay Beach Resort . If you’re looking for something a little larger, with more amenities and a bit more of a luxurious feel, the Marriott will give you that whilst also staying kid-friendly.
WHAT TO DO
John Pennecamp Coral Reef State Park . The Florida Keys are home to the only coral reef in the continental US and John Pennecamp covers approximately 178 nautical square miles of coral reefs. It also happens to be America’s first undersea park. Glass bottom boat tours, beautiful beaches, and endless snorkelling opportunities exist in this beautiful park.
Dolphin’s Cove . Whilst you have to be 7 or older to swim with the dolphin’s here, younger guests can still come in and watch for free ($10 for adult observers) which is still plenty exciting for little eyes.
Building Sandcastles . Location? Any beach in the Keys. Because, really, is there anything more fun for little kids than to play for hours in the sand?
WHERE TO EAT
Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen . This was, hands down, my favourite restaurant we frequented. So much so that we went three times! Twice for dinner and once to pick up some of their absolutely amazing key lime pie to take back to the resort with us. They opened a second restaurant but if you’re okay with crowds, opt for the original one (further north east) – it’s got so much more character and charm. Plus the walls are entirely covered in license plates from all around the world (we were very fittingly seated next to the Canada section on our first visit) and the ceiling is covered in American dollar bills (and a few Euros and CAD for good measure).
Key Largo Conch House . A delicious seafood restaurant serving their award-winning conch fritters, which I did not try because I was trying to stick with more paleo choices (key lime pie counts as paleo, right? :P). What I had instead was the grilled Mahi topped with pico de gallo and, oh my goodness, it was probably the best fish I’ve ever eaten.
Key Largo Chocolates and Ice Cream . A warm-weather vacation isn’t complete without a little ice cream, amirite? The ice cream is super delicious (albeit melted a little too quickly) with a ton of flavours to choose from. They also offer a free baby cone which Isabelle quickly traded with my regular-sized cone. Haha. But! I love the idea of the mini treats for little kids.
Have you been to the Florida Keys before? What’s are your favourite places?