The best part of traveling is not only meeting new people on our travels, but reconnecting with old friends. As part of our honeymoon over three years ago, my husband and I decided to join a group from our church on a mission trip to Honduras, Mexico. Kind of a weird gesture, but we thought what better way to start a marriage of serving each other than serving others.
On this trip, we met some amazing people along the way. One of the young ladies who was there with her church and I quickly started a friendship that has continued over the years with encouraging cards, texts, phone calls, and she even made a visit to stay with us in Tennessee. When we decided to take our adventure to Florida I knew we had to go visit this friend and see her stomping grounds, the Florida Keys!
We stayed at the beautiful Point Of View Key Largo RV Resort. The weather was gorgeous and so was the waterfront view from our RV. We chose Key Largo because not only was it a reasonable drive to both Miami and Key West, but it is a family friendly area with plenty to do!
One of the benefits of traveling to an area where you know someone is all the insider recommendations. What better way to visit than like a local. My friend Rachel, whom we visited, did an awesome job of planning out some fun things for us to do.
Snorkeling & Scuba Diving -Key Largo calls itself the dive capital of the world and with very good reason! One of my favorite highlights of our trip was the Florida Keys Dive Center. If you are in the area you have to check this place out. Rachel’s family owns this dive center and these are some great people and a good time for sure! I had never been snorkeling off a large boat on the ocean, so this was an exciting adventure.
What made this even more memorable, was getting to experience this with not only my good friend and husband, but my mother and brother who joined us on this trip as well. Having the people you love at your side while you try new things together makes wonderful memories we will cherish for years to come.
Marine Wildlife – Theater Of the Sea is not Sea World but could possibly be like it’s little sister, or maybe a distant cousin. Either way it is worth a stop. Family owned and operated since 1946, Theater of the Sea is one of the oldest marine mammal facilities in the world. Scheduled parrot, dolphin, and sea lion shows are among the few attractions you can enjoy at this park. Because it is a smaller operation, you get really close seats to all the interactive animal shows and you have great chances being picked to play on stage with the animals.
Don’t forget to check out the guided marine life tour and a bottomless boat ride to complete your visit. If that isn’t enough fun packed in one day, access to a lagoon beach is offered where snorkels are for rent. If you have ever wanted to swim with the dolphins, sea lions, or sharks this could be the place for you to check it off your bucket list!
Another wildlife visit Rachel said we had to do was feed the tarpons at Robbie’s. This hidden gem was so much fun! These are some massive and hungry fish. It’s such a adrenaline rush feeding them off the pier as crazy as that sounds.
You can purchase buckets of feed and get their food as close to these Tarpon depending on how “brave” you are feeling. We chose to feed these fish at a safe distance, but others there were more daring and would see how close they could dangle food over these fish. These fish literally will jump out of the water for the feed so watch your appendages when it comes to these guys. If you are feeling adventurous, this is a must do if you are in the area or heading to Key West.
Beautiful State Parks – Bahia Honda State Park has some of the best beaches in the Florida Keys. If you have never been to the Florida Keys then I must confess I was a little surprised at the shortage of actual “beaches” in the area but still even due to it’s lack of competition this is a beautiful area to visit.
This park has camping, kayaking, fishing, bicycling, snorkeling, and swimming. Not to mention the beautiful views and history that makes it a great family getaway. It can get crowded due to the small amount of actual “beach area” so get there early and stake your claim on one of the beach side picnic tables and enjoy a lunch and break from the Florida sun under the canopy.
Unbelievable Sunsets – Key West Sunset Celebration Mallory Square, in Key West, has one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world. So beautiful in fact, it requires a a nightly celebration including street performers and food stands to witness this experience of the sun setting over the water.
The waterfront near Mallory Square draws a crowd of sungazers, so grab a seat along the seawall to experience one of the most famous fiery and breathtaking sunsets you don’t want to miss.
We grabbed our sunglasses, took the top off the jeep, hit start on our playlist and started our 113-mile drive on Highway 1 from mainland Florida to Key West to witness this celebration. This drive in itself offers AMAZING scenery that will put you in sensory overload and makes a great road trip.
Southernmost Point on the Continental US -While you are in Key West, don’t forget to make a stop the Southernmost Point beacon at mile marker zero to grab a must-do photo op. What is so cool about this stop? Not only a great view, but you have made it this far so why not?
The Florida Keys offers so much fun in the sun, beautiful reefs and views, amazing food, and good company! This place will leave you counting down the days until your next trip back.