I went down to celebrate my birthday in the Florida Keys, which is also known as the Conch republic. I haven’t done any international travel yet-heck, I didn’t even have a passport yet- and wanted to celebrate my 40th birthday somewhere tropical. I drove down from Minnesota to the Keys, which may seem crazy but it gives you a lot more to see and experience, like being able to stop at random places to eat and to see all the new scenery.
It was great driving through the Keys and being able to see all the tropical colored buildings and Palm trees. Mainland Florida has palm trees but it’s different when you know you’re in the Keys. The only bad thing was seeing fast food chains that are all over the united states and other countries. In my opinion they should be banned from the Keys because they ruin the experience of a tropical experience. Overall the Keys are a great place to go and everyone should experience them at least once in their life.
Bahia Honda State Park:
This park is off of the Bahia Honda Key and it is a place to check out. My reason for stopping here was because there are at least two beaches here, one touches the Atlantic Ocean, and the other touches the Gulf of Mexico. The Atlantic one was a better-looking beach because you could see the beautiful sand of the beach, plus the water was soo beautiful. The Gulf of Mexico beach was full of seaweed when I was there, so it wasn’t as impressive, but it was my favorite of the two beaches because of the view of the two bridges coming together on the horizon. There is also a gift shop there which is always nice.
The Key of Marathon is about the half way point of all the Keys and has the start of the 7 mile long bridge. It also has “Sombrero beach” on the south side of the Island. Sombrero beach is really beautiful in the morning, definitely a must see.
Marathon has a place that sells “Conch salad” which was one of the best foods I’ve ever tasted in my life. It has soo much flavor and has a sweet taste to it.
No name Key:
Yes, this is the name of an actual Key, it is off of “Big pine Key.” There isn’t much to see off of these two Keys unless you like to see the wildlife, and I didn’t see much of that there either. I was lucky enough to see some “Key” dear off of No Name Key though, and that is definitely worth it. They don’t get that big, they are fairly small when they are full grown.
Now for the big one, Key West. It is where most people go to and yes, it is crowded. Don’t let that deter you though, it is well worth it. The Island is home to great attractions and experiences. This is where you will find the 90 miles to Cuba marker on the South-west section of the Island. From there it is closer to Cuba than it is to the mainland United States, or so they say. I didn’t measure how far it is to Key West from Mainland Florida. Key West has lots of restaurants and shopping opportunities. If your timing is good you can even see a cruise ship docked at Mallory square, which is on the North-West section of the Island. Most of the businesses are in that same area. One of the great things in my opinion was the animals walking around, where else can you eat your meal with animals around. While in Key West don’t forget to try the Conch fritters, they are pretty good if you go to the right place.
My only regret about the Keys is that I didn’t have enough time to see and do more. Although most people tend to go straight to Key West, I think it would be great to go to one of the more relaxing Keys that are located in the center. I definitely plan on going back there some time. Not too soon though, because even though I didn’t have a passport when I went there before, I have one now and I am definitely going to be doing some international travel first. Thanks for reading and look for my next blog that should be coming soon.