When planning for wedding travel, whether bachelorette parties, honeymoons, or destination weddings, our newest obsession is The Florida Keys and Key West! Full of romance, adventure, and unbelievable experiences that will make you want to visit again year after year! We had the pleasure of exploring The Florida Keys and Key West on a recent trip! And while parts of our trip were sponsored, all opinions shared are my authentic and personal experience. We are going to share our best advice to making the most of your Florida Keys Honeymoon adventure!
Touring Keys to the Keys
While there is no wrong way to see The Florida Keys & Key West, here are our favorite stops along the way! For honeymooners, a full week is the perfect amount of time to see the best of the Keys; however we could have spent a month there and still not experienced it all! We love our seafood, so we made sure to hit up ALL of these restaurants for the freshest catch for dining! We recommend Key West for those visiting for a long weekend such as a bachelor outing or ladies weekend away!
Did you know that Miami International Airport is only a quick 1 hour drive from Key Largo? Flights from the DC region are inexpensive and with flights out of IAD and DCA, you can be in sunny Florida in under 3 hours. The Florida Keys are best seen with the top down, so our splurge tip is to always upgrade to the convertible! We were in and out of Enterprise Rent-a-Car in a flash. With rentals in the terminal at Miami it was breeze!
Travel Tip: The Keys live on “Florida Time” which is something that came very foreign to this high-anxiety DC driver. Remember that you’re on vacation and slow down, enjoy the sights, and know you are not going anywhere fast in the Keys!
After flying into Miami, hit the road for the hour drive through parts of the Florida Everglades towards Key Largo. This quiet beach town is a great start to the trip for its idyllic resorts, boating community, and ability to unwind and settle in to vacation time. We checked into our accommodations at the secluded and ultra posh Dolphin Point Villas. Varying in size from single cabanas to entire 8 bedroom houses, these colorful villas boast wrap around porches, coastal luxury furnishings, and a private dock stocked with SUP Boards and Kayaks for guest use! We adored this resort not only for the gorgeous rooms, but for the Dolphin Sanctuary in their back lagoon. Offering animal experiences including dolphin art interactions and swimming, talk about a cool add on perk to the property!
Travel Tip: Make sure to pick up art painted by the dolphins as a unique honeymoon keepsake! And if your thinking about destination weddings, they have options on site for intimate weddings and receptions!
What is the first thing that you think of when dining in the Keys? Key Lime Pie of course! We snagged pie slices and delicious fresh grouper entrees at the local hot spot Fish House. Kitchy sea inspired décor, warm service staff, and delicious flavor profiles has us loving our first meal in Key Largo. Fun Florida Keys fact: most restaurants have a “You Catch – We Cook!” policy. Bring in fresh caught off the boat fish and they will prep and prepare for you in house! Talk about reaping the rewards of a day at sea!
Kick off your first full day in The Florida Keys with a boat excursion out of John Pennekamp Corral Reef State Park for snorkeling on one of the regions many unique reefs. The Keys are one of the top dive and snorkel locations in the States and on our trip we saw everything from Conch to tropical fish in every color of the rainbow. The State Park is also home to kayak rentals, sandy white beaches, and nature trails; so make sure to hang out after your excursion!
When we heard the historic boat The African Queen was located in Key Largo, we knew it was a must do! The refurbished vessel originally seen in the Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart movie of the same name is a unique experience for the movie lover in everyone! Complete with historical background, this hour tour heads out to the ocean for a scenic tour of the area in a one of a kind steam boat.
After your cruise, enjoy our favorite part of every day in the Florida Keys, sunset. Candy colored sunsets overlooking the water is best seen at Sundowners in the Upper Keys. Sit on their sprawling deck under bistro lighting for the tastiest end to the day.
Traveling Tip: Try the Bayou Pasta if you are not a seafood lover! Delicious Cajun cream sauce pasta pairs perfectly with a crisp glass of wine ending the day in heaven!
Time to explore the local fun of the Upper Keys! First on the list is the most amazing shrimp tacos of your LIFE at The Hungry Tarpon. We loved The Hungry Tarpon so much we went back twice during our trip. Found at Robbie’s Marina, this restaurant is surrounded by vendor shops full of cool local artisan pieces such as paintings, metal works, and trinkets. During lunch on their waterside patio you will likely hear the shrieking of guests feeding the Tarpon off the adjacent docks. Ranging at 6 feet long, these bad boys jump out of the water to dangling fish at the hands of brave tourists. I don’t think I have ever been more terrified leaning over that dock staring into the huge mouth of these mammoth beasts waiting for the fish snap! Absolutely scary yet hilarious experience I’m glad to say I did once!
After feeding the Tarpon, head over to Florida Keys Brewing Company for a refreshing break from the heat. This local brewery infused their beers with regional flavors like citrus, key limes, and honey.
Travel Tip: Barbara Originals was my favorite memorabilia from the trip. Her paintings are one of a kind, and can be shipped home for easy traveling. At Florida Keys Brewing Company, Honey Bombed Blonde is the go to favorite. Grab a growler for the road!
After enjoying the micro-brewery it was water time. And if you are lucky, a manatee sighting! They are all over the warm Florida waters, and we were stoked to have a gentle sea cow roll up on us one day for a visit! Don your brightest tropical colors to match the Instagram worthy dinner destination that is Morada Bay Beach Cafe! Sandy white beaches, brightly colored tables, and another gorgeous Key Largo sunset await you. Caribbean and island flavors pair for a delicious cuisine showcasing local seafood and fare. We lived for their Conch fritters!
Pack up, put the top down and hit the road… we are heading to Key West! I say take the slow road and stop off at Bahia Honda State Park for gorgeous beaches and local nature trails! We popped into Big Pine Key to see the itty bitty (adorable!) Key Deer. Miniature versions of our furry friends, these are a fun off the beaten path find! Don’t forget to wave to Fred, who is growing in the old seven mile bridge and is a testament to the heart of The Keys resilience even after Hurricane Irma.
Once you arrive at glorious Key West, check into the boutique Marquesa Hotel, located just steps from Duval Street and the Waterfront. Covered in lush foliage, nondescript entrances, and deluxe amenities their new Marquesa 414 expansion was the epitome of luxury living. Sexy deep soak tubs, plush down bedding, private balconies and patios off from their gorgeous pool lounges make for honeymoon perfection. Every inch of their boutique property is carefully curated and presented with the guest experience in mind.
Looking for culture, unique dining, and gorgeous tropical scenery? First Flight Island Brewery is the spot for you! Originally the birth place of Pan Am World Airways, the historic building has airline memorabilia mixed with the charm of outdoor Palm Tree Garden dining. The reason we love this hidden jewel so much? The food was epic! Bold flavors and simplistic components pull together for mouth watering options. Every course was better than the one before. And I would die for another try at the Pan Seared Scallops on Truffle Risotto!
No trip is complete without living up the local nightlife, and Duval Street is where it is at. Iconic Style? Hit up Captain Tony’s Saloon the reported Ernest Hemingway bar hangout! Adventurous ideas? Seek bodies at the Garden of Eden a nude (optional!) bar full of local “sights”. Music Scene? Sloppy Joe’s for great drinks and bands/DJ’s regularly! Fun for all? Aqua Key Club Drag Shows!
Travel Tip: We know how hard staying hydrated on a Bachelor(ette) trip is, so preplan for Hangover Hospital once during the week. Traveling medical professionals come and give 45 minute IV bags to cure all your dehydration and hangover woes right to your hotel room! We may have had a visit from their team and I can say it had us right as rain for a day on the ocean after a long night of “local research!” Trust us your squad will thank you for it later!
Adventure time!!! Key West has an abundance of activities from water sports to historic museums and tours. We opted for more water fun with Fury Water Adventures given it was a balmy 90 degrees during our trip. Parasailing was my personal favorite of our Fury tours. We saw Sea Turtles on our flight, and quite frankly the team at Fury was always personable, fun, and had us feeling safe on the water. We also highly recommend taking an island flight with Air Adventures. Being able to see sunken shipwrecks and local historical sites from above the island was such a unique experience. With a variety of tours available, the helicopter experience is also an affordable honeymoon experience not to be missed!
Since we conquered the air on our big adventure day, we wrapped up with a sunset sail aboard the Appledor Schooner. The sunset sail takes you out in the crystal clear waters for dolphin spotting, enthusiastic crew, light fare and unlimited drinks (WIN!). We loved this intimate experience and it was top of our Honeymooners Must Do list!
Where is dessert you ask? Well, get ready for decadence because you will not want to miss out on the intimate sexy dessert hot spot, Better than Sex. Low mood lighting, rich velvet banquette seat intimate tables of 2-3 guests, with the menu is a tongue in cheek play on sexy desserts and after dinner cocktails. Walk ups are rarely taken so make a reservation in advance on Open Table!
Travel Tip: Go for the red wine rim job. Chocolate rimmed red wine cocktails to spice up that honeymoon time with your new spouse!
End your week of sunny Florida fun seeing the iconic sights of Key West such as the Hemingway House & Museum, Conch Train Tours, and stop into Mallory Square for local artisans craft stalls and nightly performers!
Traveler Tip: Everyone must see Mile Marker 0 and Southern Most Point Landmarks for a photo. Make sure to allocate time for these as the lines are often a little long, and without much shade. Bring a water with you or hat for shade! Also offer to take a group’s photo. I bet they will return the favor so you don’t have the selfie. Such a fun experience!
End the trip with one last perfect Florida Key West sunset at Latitudes. A small island across from Key West proper, the resort has its own ferry to wisk you away for fine dining and the southernmost sunset in the States. Start with a Key Lime Martini and enjoy the culinary art that the Chef and team at Latitudes brings to the table each night. We truly believe this is the perfect way to end your last day in Heaven!
We opted to cruise the 3.5 hours back to Miami on our adventure. Stopping at favorites again (Hungry Tarpon Taco’s!) and picking up souvenirs we wish we bought (Turtle Museum shirts!), we enjoyed the last of the Florida Sunshine before boarding our flight home. However, Key West has a full service airport. With daily services back home, you want to make the most of your last day staying on the Key! Either way, we know we will be returning soon and this trip left us with a lifetime of memories that will never be forgotten! A very special thank you to The Florida Keys and Key West Tourism for working with us to create such a memorable experience. Visit their incredible guided website for even more Florida Keys Honeymoon tips and advice!