Good gosh do I love Key West.
I first went to Key West in February of 2020. A friend & I drove down from Miami, spent a day, & then headed off to another island. We vowed to return as soon as we could. Then, you know, March of 2020 came.
Fast-forward through all those crazy months to June of 2021 & we made it back, & we've already said we'll be back again soon. Key West has just the right vibe for people looking to enjoy good food, good drinks, independent shops, history, live music everywhere, & water views at every turn (it's a pretty small island).
This time, we got a great flight deal from Jet Blue & flew straight into Key West. If you can, I highly, highly suggest it. First of all, the drive from Miami is about 3 hours. Second of all, the Key West Airport is a small airport that's a real throwback, & you're immersed in the island immediately (you can grab a drink the second you enter the airport :) ).
If you want to get right into the island vibe, grab that drink & start walking. If you stay at Hampton Inn, you can WALK to your hotel from the airport-- it's .4 miles away, & you can walk along the water the whole way. The hotel itself has a nice pool, a great poolside bar/restaurant, & VIEWS. The breakfast was better when Covid wasn't a thing, but it's still ok, & you can always get coffee in the lobby (#1 reason why I love Hampton Inn :) ). They also offer a free shuttle to the Duval St area, so you don't have to worry about getting a car or Ubering.
After checking in & having a relaxing drink by the pool, I'd suggest heading to Duval Street for shopping, entertainment, & dining. Without question, our favorite dinner spot is Fogerty's. It's popular & right in the middle of everything, but we've never had to wait to eat. The food is wonderful. We got the bruschetta the first night & it was SO GOOD (& a smart idea if you're also having one of their alcoholic drinks). The salads were fantastic, too.
For brunch, I suggest Blue Heaven. Get there early... or at least don't get there too hungry. It's busy, but worth the wait for yummy food & the coolest atmosphere. We listened to live music while chickens wandered around. It's not gross like it sounds (I may have made a TikTok there if you don't believe me :)-- I"m @BeyondMomJeans). It just feels chill because that's how Key West is. Chickens are all over the place, & even though I'm not a big bird fan, I found myself cheering on little chicks as they crossed the street. Everyone's kind to everyone here.
I think that's the main reason why I love Key West so much. I've spent time in tons of beach communities on the East & West Coast. They tend to fall into two categories: honky tonk or snobby. Either they're selling you American flag string bikinis (not the look for me) & bongs or they're selling you $50 lobster rolls & making you feel like you may not be worthy of that lobster roll.
Key West is neither of these things. Yes, I'm sure I could have found a bong & an overpriced lobster roll somewhere on the island (don't buy Maine lobster in Florida, btw- that's just weird). That's not Key West's thing, though. Key West's official motto is "One Human Family," & they live that motto. The vibe is relaxed & friendly. There's good food, good drinks, good music, ocean air... pretty much everything you need to unwind & reset.
I'm so grateful to have you here with me. I LOVE being a mom, but I'm trying to still be "me" while being a mom, & this blog has been a tool for me to figure that out. Hopefully it's that for you, as well. I look forward to hearing from you so that I can make this blog meaningful for you. Thanks for being here!