Looking for an awesome place to honeymoon but don’t have a passport? You can still get that tropical beach vacation by heading to the Florida Keys!
The Florida Keys is a chain of islands that’s about 125 miles long. The drive alone is something fun to add to your trip, and you’ll be able to stop and enjoy some of the islands on your tour.
On one side of your drive, you’ll have the Atlantic Ocean, and on the other, you’ll see the Gulf of Mexico.
After our honeymoon in Aruba, we headed to the keys for a few days.
Day One Key Largo & Islamorada
We first started out in Key Largo after our flight into Fort Lauderdale. It was about an hour and a half drive from the airport, so it was pretty easy to get there.
Key Largo is the largest of the keys and has so much to offer. If you love to snorkel, you’re going to want to take a trip to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.
This state park offers awesome snorkeling over the reef, kayaking, hiking, glass bottom boat tours and so much more. Be sure to get there early to enjoy the whole day there. Check out all they have to offer here.
After spending the morning at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, we headed to a cruise on The African Queen. Sound familiar? It’s actually the same boat that was used in the filming of the 1951 movie, The African Queen starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn.
B and I actually hadn’t seen the movie at the time, but even not knowing what the movie was about, the captain made us very interested in the history of the movie, and we put it on our list of movies to see ASAP.
It was a beautiful ride on the canal and out into the ocean on an antique steamboat. This is for sure something we recommend adding to your afternoon!
We wanted to see some more of the islands that make up the keys, so we headed to Islamorada for dinner and to do a Tour and Tasting at Florida Keys Brewing Company. The Florida Keys Brewing Company is a place we would definitely be hanging out at if we lived here.
The minute you get to their building, you are surrounded by lots of local art with murals all around. Inside, you’ll find a tasting bar with so many beers on tap, and several board games to play with your friends. The beer gardens just outside the building has the perfect ambiance filled with lights and so much art everywhere you look. Be sure to stalk their events calendar!
You can even book a brewery tour, where they will take you out to their building across the street and show you their whole process.
Of course after the tour, we had to sit down for a tasting. We picked 6 of our favorites and got a sampler to share. We really enjoyed our evening here.
Chef Michael’s Dinner
It was actually my birthday, so we decided to head somewhere nice for dinner, and were recommended to go to Chef Michael’s for dinner. It’s a beautiful modern restaurant with delicious food. We enjoyed their seafood pasta and steak. And of course their chocolate cake for birthday dessert!
Driving the Keys
On Day Two, we headed back to Islamorada for one of my favorite activities of the trip…tarpon feeding!
We headed to Robbie’s of Islamorada which is the perfect stop for anything you need. They have a really cool open-air market, restaurant, all the ocean activities you can imagine, and tarpon feeding.
Now I had no idea what tarpon was before this, and feeding fish didn’t sound that exciting, but it ended up being one of my favorite activities of the whole trip.
We had brunch to get us going at the Hungry Tarpon and watched as people fed these fish. It’s a great place to enjoy the waterfront and have some sandwiches before or after you feed the tarpon.
Feeding the tarpon is actually one of the cheapest activities you’ll be doing on your trip as well. For just a few dollars a bucket, you get to walk out on their pier and feed the tarpon with a bucket of fish.
These tarpon fish look like mini sharks, and they will actually jump out of the water to get the fish you are dangling above! It is such a fun and adrenaline filled way to feed fish. We were laughing so hard, and trying to let them jump without them getting our hands. If you don’t do any other activities there, at least feed the tarpon…it’ll be a story to tell for sure!
After our exciting feeding, we headed to The Turtle Hospital for a tour.
On this tour, you’ll be “meeting” lots of rescue turtles and learning all about their stories and how the hospital is saving turtles and helping them get back out into the wild. You’ll even have a chance to feed the turtles towards the end of the tour. And we even got to see lots of baby turtles too!
Mile Marker 0 and Southernmost Point of the Continental US
The we headed on down to Key West. It was my first time there, so of course I had to do the “touristy” things and go take a picture at the huge buoy that marks “90 miles to Cuba”, “the Southernmost Point of the Continental US”. Pretty cool to be standing there. We also went and found “Mile Marker 0” where the highway begins.
Sunset Celebration and Key West Aquarium
Every evening, there is a “Sunset Celebration” in Mallory Square. We got there a bit early, so enjoyed the Key West Aquarium and had a drink at Margaritaville’s ocean side bar. We watched as cruise ships took off, and performers started coming into the streets for a big party.
But, our luck, we noticed it was about to rain! So before the sun actually set, we had to rush off to our car.
We did not make it in time before the streets were flooding from the storm. But of course we parked our car for only a certain amount of time and we had reservations for dinner, so we embraced the craziness of the weather and walked the 7 blocks we had left. We were drenched! But it made for one of our highlight memories from our trip. Laughing and dancing in the rain!
Of course we had to go change and try to dry off before heading to dinner.
Matt’s Stock Island Dinner
B and I ended up having dinner at our all time favorite restaurant we have been to in Florida! The food was ah-mazing! Matt’s Stock Island cannot be beat! Now, we aren’t food bloggers, and for good reason…we just love food, and its hard to pick it apart. But when you have both of us raving about the food and talking about all the tastes, and savoring everything we can…then you know we have found the jackpot.
When we came home and told our families about our honeymoon, we told them about our top 5 activities…AND this restaurant! No joke!
I cannot recommend them enough. All of their food had such rich flavors. Be sure to get The Commodore for Two! It’s an amazing set up in a fisherman’s tackle box, filled with shrimp, oysters, lobster tails or crab legs, tuna tartare and yellowtail snapper ceviche.
B doesn’t even like seafood, and he kept commenting on how delicious everything was. (He didn’t try the oysters though, so I got all those to myself!)
It’s for sure a restaurant you will be talking about for a while.
On day three, we booked the coolest excursion/tour that had everything included…the Ultimate Adventure with Fury Water Adventures.
This tour included snorkeling, parasailing, an inflatable waterpark, and jet skiing all in one! Complete with breakfast, lunch, and an open bar at the end of the day. And it’s crazy affordable for all you get.
Again, we went on the off season, and it had poured the day before, so we were waiting to see if the tour was actually going to go out. Lucky for us, it did. Lots of people cancelled, so it ended up being just a small number of us on the catamaran, and we definitely weren’t complaining.
We started by eating breakfast and lathering up with the provided reef safe sunscreen, and took a ride to the inflatable park on the water. There, we were able to go jet skiing and parasailing along with the floating water park.
Our group headed parasailing first, and it was such a great ride. Our captain even dipped us in the water (just our feet), but it was a wild experience. We had such a great “flight” up there and were so happy to check another off our adventure bucket list together.
They also take photos of you up in the sky and you can purchase these when you get back to your boat, so be sure to bring some extra money in case you want to purchase those, as well as a tip for your parasail captains.
Up next was the water park. I was a little unsure if I was going to actually do it, but we were able to go out by ourselves and go at our own pace. It was actually a lot of fun…and took a lot of strength to climb on all the inflatable climbers.
Finally, it was our turn for jet skiing. They have a large round course planned out in the water, and it’s kind of a ride behind the other type of deal. However, we were given full reign when they saw we knew how to drive jet skiis and we were able to go at our own pace and not have to wait behind others, which made it fun. Obviously stick to the rules and drive safe, but it was a fun time.
The last thing on our trip was snorkeling. We had a long ride out to the reef and trying to pass the storm, but we actually got hit the entire way there. We got in the water to snorkel, and not 5 minutes in, the tide started to shift, so we all had to come back up.
One of the staff did show us a sea urchin which was pretty cool. We took the ride back to the marina, and they served us an open bar.
We enjoyed watching the storm follow us as we tried to outrun it, but it ended up catching us right at the end. The captain was awesome and did an amazing job getting us in before it got too crazy.
We even saw a shark swim right by us on our way back. That was one of the highlights of the trip for sure! Seeing a shark in the wild…too cool!
After our tour we enjoyed walking through the streets and checking out some of the local shops and restaurants.
Parking is kind of crazy on Key West, so we used some parking apps to help us find the cheapest spots to park our car for the day.
On our fourth day, we packed up and headed to the airport. It’s another beautiful drive back through all the islands, and you can find more fun places to stop on your way.
Do note that the drive will take a bit longer than you may expect…and DON’T SPEED! Speed limits are enforced like I have never seen before throughout the Florida Keys.
Just be sure to slow down and enjoy the ride while you’re there.
There is so much to do and see in The Florida Keys, that we’ll have to come back to see even more! Check out some other things to do in the keys here.