What a welcome to paradise this was... But before I get into all that Key West has to offer, let's start at how we prepared for this trip.
I generally like to check the prices for flights to random places while I'm bored at work. So, one day when I checked, the flights to Miami were about $88 roundtrip! And it just so happens that I had an opportunity to partner with a hotel in Key West, The Gates Hotel (we'll get into more details later). On top of that, my boyfriend has been screaming for a vacation for a few weeks so it was just the perfect time! ...I got the tickets!!
Surprised my other half and immediately he was just as excited. This trip featured a lot of firsts. My first time visiting Key West, my boyfriend's first time visiting Miami, and our first trip as a couple... how exciting! And the planning began...
We made sure to check the current state of daily covid cases by state and city, as well as wear cloth masks over the disposable ones, gloves, and of course, hand sanitizer always on deck whenever in public areas.
fast forward to DAY ONE IN THE KEYS!
Our flight got into Miami International Airport around 11 am. We rented a stunner, white mustang and it was off to Key West (approx. 3 and 1/2 hours drive). I created a mini itinerary of places to visit prior to the trip but once we got there and saw how much there is to do, it was hard to not want to do everything!
WHERE TO STAY -
As I mentioned, I had the opportunity to partner with The Gates Hotel and we had such a lovely time! We checked into the hotel around 5 pm and were given hand sanitizer and complimentary water on entry. On route to our room, we could see the local bar, Rum Row. It was filled with lively chatter and drinks going around. A few steps to the left, there's a comfortable pool area with lounge chairs and cabanas for guest's use. In addition, there's a neighboring hotel, 24 North, of which amenities are also open to guests! We stayed in the deluxe king room which was really clean and comfortable, check out my full room tour on IGTV!
WHAT TO DO -
As for us? We wanted to explore Key West food and nightlife a little. One place on my list to visit was... Conch Republic Seafood (known to have the best conch)! For starters, we had the crab cakes and conch fritters with a side of rum punch, of course. I'm slightly allergic to conch (the irony, I know!) so my focus was on the crab cakes which were good. We later had the stuffed shrimp and the st. Kitts pasta. I was more a fan of the pasta tbh.
We spent the rest of the night roaming Duval Street, which is very similar to the vibe of Bourbon Street in New Orleans, a whole lot of music, laughter, drinks, and a ton of fun! We even walked by the world's smallest bar, an ice cream shop that sells chocolate-dipped key lime pie *mind-blown*, even a strip cluurrbb! Key West really be lit!!
DAY TWO IN KEY WEST!
We got an early start to the day with a delicious breakfast at Blue Heaven. I had the lobster 'blt' benedict while my boyfriend had their lobster & grits. I was not a big fan of the grits but both lobsters were well cooked and the benedict overall was just mouth-watering!
Our lyft driver from the night before told us about Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park close by so we thought to take a walk on the beach after breakfast but with Florida weather, you just never know. It was absolutely gorgeous when we got there! It's a bit of a stone-filled beach but the views are totally worth it.
After a few hours on the beach, we returned to the hotel to rest up and get ready for dinner. Tonight's choice was an infamous seafood restaurant on the river known as the A&B Lobster House (catching a pattern here?). Yeah, we loovveee an excellent lobster dish and this place DID NOT disappoint! The service was impeccable! And although we were wary about sitting indoors, they made sure to seat guests tables apart. For starters, we had oysters rockerfeller. They were so delicious and juicy! I then had their butter-poached lobster dish (my mouth is just drooling at the thought of it) and my boyfriend had the lobster thermidor (mushrooms & black truffle). After dinner, we strolled along Duval street, as it is known for the nightlife but since covid, most places close at 10pm or 12am the latest.
We spent the rest of our last night in Key West driving along the coast fresh after a little rain. We got up super early the next morning to check out and gear up for our drive back to Miami.
If you follow me on social, you know we spent the last day of our trip in Miami, which I'll feature in my next blog post! Stay tuned!
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Thanks for reading! xo