miami + the florida keys
For many years as a kid, my mom and dad and I took an annual vacation to Key Largo. Since it'd been over 15 years since we'd been back, mom and I decided we were overdue for a visit to an old favorite place. From starting off the trip with a day in Miami, to enjoying the pretty drive through the Florida Keys, we ended with a couple days in sunny Key West.
We stopped into so many cute places - so I put together a little recap to both remember for future trips + help give you some ideas of places to go should you make your way down to the Keys!
We stayed at in Miami at Casa Faena, which was a gorgeous Spanish-style inn that sits right on Collins Avenue in South Beach. The rooms were beautiful, complete with hardwood floors and vintage wood bed frames. The location was great as we were steps away from the beach and lots of other great spots. We started our first morning there with the yummiest healthy breakfast at Dreamer, where we fueled up with smoothies and coffee for the day.
We then checked in to our hotel a bit early and spent some time walking along the beach, it was the perfect way to catch a little sun and kill some time before our tour of the Museum of Ice Cream! The MOIC is the most fun + cute traveling exhibit that I'd first heard about being in NYC, and since then it's been to San Fran and LA. While it's not your typical museum full of history and artifacts, it's a really fun way to spend a few hours walking through what feels like a Willy Wonka sort of dreamland place, with ice cream treats given to you throughout the tour by the friendliest workers, and instagram-worthy rooms are around every corner. (pic below - the sprinkle pool that we jumped in!)
Since it was a perfectly sunny warm day, after our ice cream filled morning we headed to one of my favorite Miami spots - The Standard - for lunch on the water. The whole menu is so good we decided to split the avocado toast and a raw lasagna. It was such a nice day we could have spent our afternoon there sipping delicious drinks and taking in the views, but we decided to move on to stroll around the Wynwood area, an arts district full of cool shops + art galleries + murals.
We found some fresh coconut smoothies from a street vendor and poked around some shops and markets for awhile before heading back to our hotel. That night, we decided on the most relaxing thing we could think of - ordering food in for night! I'd been wanting to try heathy casual spot Dirt, so we enjoyed some dinner delivery with a movie from our cozy room.
The next day, we woke up early and stopped at Jugo Fresh and Panther Coffee for some breakfast and caffeine before hitting the road to the Keys. While cruising through the Keys we made frequent stops - in Islamorada we hit up old favorite Lorelei for lunch on the water and walking around Village Square to shop around at Miss Monroe, uCumbe, and Boo Kee Sue Botanics, and picked up a fresh juice from a little food stand. A few more miles down the road, we stopped at Robbie's Marina where we walked out on the dock to feed their famous tarpon - and we lucked out with the biggest most beautiful manatee swimming by while we were there.
Another 1.5 hours in the car and we were already at our hotel for the next few nights - the Perry Hotel in Key West. The hotel sits right on a marina full of beautiful yachts and sailboats so the views are A+. We enjoyed both restaurants on the property - happy hour at the Salty Oyster and an amazing dinner at Matt's Stock Island Kitchen.
We liked the setting being just a bit outside of downtown Key West - where it super chill, clean, and relaxing. We spent some quality time reading by the pool, walking around the marina, and took a sunset sail on the When and If. We ventured into downtown to take in the nightly sunset celebration in Mallory Square, shop around for key lime everything, and had a great Mexican dinner at Amigos Tortilla Bar. We found a great healthy breakfast spot, Date & Thyme, that we loved so much we went 2 morning in a row, followed by times by cortaditos at the Cuban Coffee Queen.
One of my personal favorite things about Key West was of course the wild roosters that roam around the streets - you don't see that in many places! We came home sun-kissed, relaxed, and as always - ready to plan another trip back!