When you’re traveling with the kids, you want a family-friendly destination that has plenty of activities you can all enjoy together. Visiting the Florida Keys is one such option. This chain of islands may be popular for partying, but there are plenty of resorts and attractions where you won’t have to contend with raucous 20-somethings. Just follow these tips.
Choose a Family-Friendly Resort
Image via Flickr by romanboed
Many resorts in the Keys are incredibly friendly for both children and adults. Hawks Cay Resort on Duck Key has tennis courts, a beach, and the opportunity to go swimming with dolphins. If you want some “me time” at the on-site spa, there are supervised activities available for kids ages 5 to 12 and for teens ages 13 to 17.
Islamorada is another great place to stay, especially if your kids enjoy fishing and snorkeling. When you check out the accommodations, you’ll notice the high ratings for Cheeca Lodge & Spa. At this resort, you can make use of the fishing pier, go on a family fishing trip, or try parasailing together. Teens can make use of the Xbox arcade or the game room. If you want to slip away to the adult-only pool area, your child can make new friends at the resort’s Kids Night Out program.
Visit Kid-Friendly Attractions
Spend a day or two island hopping, and take in some of the sights outside your resort. At Key West, you can ride the Conch Tour Train and pass by popular attractions like the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum, Key West Aquarium, and the Key West Shipwreck Museum. Kids ages 12 and under ride for free, and you can visit the attractions of your choice after the tour.
If you and your children love animals, consider stopping by Big Pine Key to look for Key deer, an endangered species. In Marathon, you can take an educational tour at the Turtle Hospital and feed the rescued sea turtles. Theater of the Sea, located in Islamorada, lets visitors interact with rescued animals like dolphins, cats, crocodiles, sea turtles, and a great horned owl.
Know Where to Eat
You’ll need to grab a bite to eat while you’re out sightseeing. One spot worth visiting in Key Largo is The Buzzard’s Roost. It has a marina right next to it, and the restaurant has a cool option called Hook & Cook. You can bring in the fish that you (or your child!) caught, and they’ll cook it for you, so long as you’ve cleaned and filleted it already.
If you’re in Marathon, Fish Tales Market & Eatery offers a casual atmosphere and menu items like fried coconut shrimp and lobster bisque. Kids can order fries with their choice of chicken fingers, fish fingers, grilled cheese, or hot dog.
Islamorada is home to the cute and colorful Midway Cafe & Coffee Bar. It has vegetarian and gluten-free options, a create-your-own-sandwich option, and fresh-roasted organic coffee. Last but not least, you must visit Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe. It’s famous for its chocolate-dipped, frozen key lime pie on a stick.
Whether you’re traveling with your toddler, school-age child, or teenager, a vacation to the Florida Keys is definitely doable.