We have always talked about going BIG for our 10 year anniversary…we just neglected to actually make plans. After a January like no other — Sticky started a new job at the beginning of this year… while I am absolutely thrilled and excited for him, it has definitely been an adjustment at home (to say the least) — we needed a vacation like no other. February 1st came and we knew we had to be somewhere warm, relaxing and gorgeous come our actual wedding anniversary. We decided why not Key West… I am so glad we didn’t have a plan because Key West turned out to be exactly what we needed.
If you know my man and I you know that we love to eat and drink. (Don’t we all?!) We also like to walk ridiculously fast and far no matter where we are….but we won’t go into that. Often times I get asked where we recommend staying/dining at some of the places we have visited. I thought why not make it easy and post all of our favorites while they are fresh in my mind.
So here are our recommendations along with some annoying vacation iphone pictures (didn’t even get the big girl camera out…I was on full vacation, take it all in mode – and it was great).
24 NORTH – Key West, Fl
A modern, easy to find hotel located close to the entrance into Key West. Bright and clean rooms (light is big for me – dark hotels give me the creeps) with a gorgeous hotel pool and fantastic outdoor bar. Free internet, parking – as well as a fitness center. It is not located super close to the main drag of Key West but there is a free shuttle that we used our entire stay. (Shuttle wasn’t perfect as far as being on time – some drivers better than others – but all in all it worked great for us.)
THE DIPLOMAT Beach Resort – Hollywood, Fl
We had quite the drive to the airport so on our way home we opted to spend one night near Fort Lauderdale. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much as I knew this was our last day of vacation. Sticky really shocked me with this one though. Absolutely GORGEOUS hotel located right on the beach. So much to do on property, but close to many fabulous things as well. Rooms are bright and super swanky. (The carpet was so lovely!) And even though we were not with our children it was evident this would be a fun beach hotel to bring the kids to.
BAGATELLE, Key West, Fl
This came HIGHLY recommended and for good reason. Excellent food, service and location. We had our official anniversary dinner here and I don’t think it could have been more perfect for us. Be sure to make reservations – the porch is where it is at as far as people watching.
LATITUDES, Sunset Key (right off Key West)
Make your reservations NOW for this place (outside table). Just a short ferry ride to the private island of Sunset Key – this restaurant is your view of the ocean. We could only score lunch here, but I am sure sunset is absolutely breathtaking. Our lunch was incredible with the Key Lime Martini being the best I have ever tasted.
GARBO’s GRILL, Key West, Fl
We love us some fish tacos and this was the place that most online sources said was the best…and they could not have been more right. Tucked behind a bar called “Grunt’s” you’ll find the silver bullet of Garbo’s food truck. Super friendly people and out of this world taco fare.
DJ’S CLAM SHACK, Key West, Fl
Fun little place, located right on Duval St, serving up New England favorites (lobster rolls, clams) as well as local fare (conch fritters, fish tacos). If your belly is wanting something sinful and/or fried (with an ice cold beer to wash it down) this is your stop.
HURRICANE HOLE, Key West, Fl
Our first night in the Keys we landed in this fun, local establishment per a recommendation from the hotel. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect – we had been traveling all day with an earlier lunch stop that was less than desirable. Much to my surprise – and delight – Hurricane Hole was just the place we needed. You can tell that it is a local favorite – that’s the best kind of place – and the food was wonderful. Located right before you get into Key West.
SNAPPERS, Key Largo, Fl
Our lunch stop on the drive back up the Keys. Lots of outdoor waterfront seating with a fun, laid back atmosphere (honestly all of the Florida Keys had this vibe). The winner here though was the tuna nachos. Oh my goodness, so yum!
SARDELLI’S, Hollywood, Fl
We ended the trip at this hot spot in Hollywood. The menu, setting and scene were all very Florida sexy. (So yeah, you’ll want to ditch the flip flips and shorts here.) Worth the stop though if you are looking for something luxurious and special.
W H E R E W E D I D N ‘ T M A K E I T (but were told not to miss)
ROOSTICA, Key West, Fl – pizza
BLUE HEAVEN, Key West, Fl – great menu and best key lime pie (so we have been told)
Side note — If you are seeing a lack of “beach images” that is because we didn’t technically go to a beach – although we certainly could have. Laying out on the beach is something Sticky and I can do for about 15 minutes before we get restless (I know, we are weird). Key West though is perfect for beach goers, foodies, water sporters and people watchers alike. There is definitely something for everyone.
It’s so good to be back with the kids and in the groove…but we definitely need more breaks like this one in our lives. Our marriage (and our sanity) deserves it. Hopefully the next 10 will bring many, many more.
Cheers to the married life!