Key West Family Vaca
We had an absolute blast on our family vacation to Key West! B is such an awesome little traveler. We weren’t sure how she was going to handle her first flight as a toddler, but she did great! She even slept 90% of the flight going home, which was a HUGE thing for this girl.
We spent a lot of time at our resort The Reach Waldorf Astoria, playing at the beach, swimming in the pool, and even did quite a few dinners there because the restaurant was excellent. My in-laws have some very sweet family friends that started out as next-door neighbors, and their kids are all grown with their own families now. We were all in the same hotel so B had the luck of playing with tons of kids every day that we knew, including her cousin Skylar of course! When we did leave the hotel, we ate at some excellent places and did a few kid-friendly outings! I’m going to break it down by the food and family entertainment in Key West that we did, and what we liked/didn’t like about each. And then prepare yourself for tons of photos with outfit links on each!
A&B Lobster House - Mentioning this one first even though we ate there the last night because it made the biggest impression. If you’re looking for an upscale dining experience with a view, this is a great spot. They have a lot of great seafood dishes, but if you’re not into seafood they do steak and prime rib well also. I’m pretty sure their pre-meal bread is the best I’ve ever had. They bring it out with butter shaped like their A&B logo - enough said. Even their kids meals were fantastic. B doesn’t like mac and cheese, which I’ve recently learned, but I ordered it for her and ended up just trading half my meal for her meal. Let’s just say it was in the top 3 of my all-time favorites of mac and cheese.
Alonzo’s Oyster Bar - This one is a little more casual, but it’s actually the 1st floor of the same building as A&B Lobster House. I had a yummy lobster roll from here, and we also tried their oysters and crab leg appetizers. The food was pretty good, and the view is great if you’re outside.
Two Friends - Two Friends was closer to the Aquarium and Duval Street area, which is handy if you’re doing classic Key West touring. We stopped in there completely randomly to get lunch, and the food was just okay, but the Key Lime Pie was the best of the trip. They make it fresh every day, and it’s not too tart or too sweet. We tried a lot of pie, and this one was the winner hands down.
Hot Tin Roof - Okay, this place did not come with a kids menu - fair warning. Luckily for us, they were happy to make chicken strips, but B again just ate my food mainly instead. The view was INSANE of the ocean, though. And the food was my second favorite of the trip. It was an odd menu to order from, but a great upscale place with more adventurous and trendy food than A&B Lobster House which is more of a classic upscale dining experience.
Cafe Banana - We stopped here for breakfast one morning, and it was packed (a good sign in my books). The service was seriously unreal good. 3/5 of us got the Inside-Out French Benedict Crepe with Key Lime Hollandaise, and dang. DANG. Jordan and I were both raving about it days later.
Bad Boy Burrito - Can’t speak from experience on this one, but my sister-in-law and her friend said this was SO good. It was walking distance from our hotel, and from the looks of their menu, it would make an awesome lunch spot.
Ernest Hemingway House - I’m not a huge fan of his, BUT I do love a good historical house. I had read there were 40+ cats that lived on the property, and that weird little fact alone convinced me it would be a fun outing. The house is fun to walk through, and the gift shop was full of quirky treasures. B thought she was in a zoo - she kept trying to pet the cats, ha! Even if you don’t go on the tours, you can catch bits and pieces of info as you walk around because they run so often. Heads up, this was cash only!
Butterfly Garden - Jordan found this one! He read it was the number one tourist spot in Key West, and I think it was my favorite place we went. It’s full of butterflies flying around, and there are a few other animals there as well like flamingoes and ducks. You can go through as many times as you want, even if you leave the premises, if you keep the stamp on your hand. Also, fair warning, if you go with a little girl older than 5, expect to be in the gift shop for hours because it is Butterfly-topia.
Aquarium - This was probably B’s favorite. She loved watching all the fish, snakes, sharks, etc. and even though she wasn’t into the touch tanks, she enjoyed seeing bigger kids “petting” the sea life. This is a good A/C break for everyone, and kept our toddlers entertained for a solid half hour. It’s not a big aquarium with tons of exhibits, but I’ve definitely been in smaller aquariums.
Snorkel/Scuba - A big group went out snorkeling one of the mornings (I opted out - my Kansas stomach doesn’t handle ocean waves well) and said it was incredible. Key West is huge for scuba, as well, and Jordan’s planning on getting certified here in town next time because unfortunately getting certified on vacation just eats up too much of your time. Our hotel handled all the booking for snorkel and scuba.
We saw plenty of people doing the Conch Train Tours and Trolley Tours. Both of those sounded like good options for slightly older kids, but were too much of a time commitment for us. We ended up renting a large golf cart for two days, and used it as our own touring vehicle. Parking is kind of a nightmare, so typically our driver (Papa Jay!) would drop us off to shop and circle back later.
It was such a fun trip! We loved the time with B, and were so impressed with how well she did. She was a trooper on countless restaurant outings, napped like a champ, and swam like a fish. Honestly, as long as she was fed, she was happy, and we were constantly giving her treats soooo. She basically ate her weight in key lime pie and ice cream - overall was living her best life.
If you saw my stories, you know… there were roosters and chickens everywhere in Key West. It’s so common that a lot of bars, restaurants, and shops are themed around roosters. We even got t-shirts from Ron Jon Surf Shop that had roosters on the logo - had to!