Key West Highlights 2 – Turtles, Beaches & Pie on a Stick

///Key West Highlights 2 – Turtles, Beaches & Pie on a Stick

Key West Highlights 2 – Turtles, Beaches & Pie on a Stick

Hi everyone!

I’m continuing my Key West blog today with more highlights from my recent trip, including ideas for if you ever go yourself!  Did you miss round one?  Make sure to read this one first.  I’ll be here when you come back!Key West Blog - the best things to do see eat and drink

When we left off the Hubs and I just ended a wonderful island day complete with our own sailboat ride and seafood dinner… I’ll pick up day 3 from there.

Take me to Key West! Love this travel post! Click To Tweet

Key West Blog (Part 2!)

Key West Blog Day 3

My Key West blog day three starts off with an early morning wakeup call.  We got up early because we wanted to spend the day seeing and exploring other parts of the Florida Keys.  This was our third trip to the area in recent years and we had never even made it our of the historical area of Key West.

Since we flew in we started by picking up a car at the airport.  After a few signatures we were off on the open road!

We made a few stops along the way north to see some of the sights.  The old railroad bridge was really beautiful in a strange way.  It hasn’t worked since the 1935 Hurricane that devastated the area.

I thought this shot of the old and new bridges really brought life to how much the areas have grown in the past 100 years.

We decided to make the longest part of our drive first, going past Marathon to our northernmost stop Hawks Cay for lunch.  Hawks Cay is home to a resort we had heard about, so we decided to check it out!

We shared some poke and a fish sandwich for lunch with really pretty views.

The resort even has a dolphin area… which you know I watched for a long time!

After lunch we made our way back to Marathon where we explored Sombero Beach.  It’s a really pretty public beach!  The Keys aren’t really knowns for their spectacular beaches, but I thought this one was of the best we saw on our entire trip.

Next up was the TURTLE HOSPITAL!!!  Now in the sake of full disclosure, one of the main reasons I wanted to explore the rest of the Keys was to see the turtle hospital.  I have always adored sea turtles, so I was beyond stoked to check out their conservation efforts.

The Turtle Hospital is a real, working non-profit that rescues turtles in the wild, provides care and releases most of them back out to sea.

Our tour guide told us all about the different kinds of sea turtles and showed us the many pools where they keep and rehab the turtles.

I could have watched them all day long!  If you are in the area and love animals, I highly recommend taking the tour.  By the end of it I wanted to drop everything and move to Marathon just to volunteer there. Lol!

After the Turtle Hospital we continued our drive south to Bahia Honda State Park.  By then it was getting late in the day, so we walked a few trails and along the beach.  It was a little to cool to even think about getting the water, but it was still nice.

It was a pretty area and I could see why so many people loved it, although I felt the beach area at Sombero was better and free! Bahia Honda did have an entry fee.

Next on the agenda was exploring Big Pine Key.  They are known for having wild Key Deer, which are actually endangered.  We didn’t have to look hard for them at all as they were walking just about everywhere.

Our other stop on the way to Big Pine Key was the No Name Pub.  It’s a dive bar with a crazy amount of dollar bills hanging from the walls.  Rumor has it there is close to 75,000 dollars!  It was a fun place to stop, but not my favorite bar because of the cigarette smell and lack of a water view.  I felt a little claustrophobic in it.

The Hubs and I could not resist adding our signed bill to the collection though!

For dinner we stopped at Stock Island to try the famous Hogfish Bar and Grill.  We shared Hogfish Tacos and Grilled Hogfish with tropical fruit salsa.  Hogfish is a mild white flaky fish that tastes a little like snapper, but sweeter.  It was a really tasty, fun and authentic stop!

We finally made it back to Key West, returned our rental car and crashed in bed!  We sure know how to jam pack a vacation day with fun, but we wore ourselves out.

Key West Blog Day 4

Our last day in Key West involved a lot more relaxing than day 3!  We woke up late and went for a bike ride around the island for a little exercise.

For brunch we went to a Key West classic, Blue Heaven.  It’s a charming restaurant where the tables are in a garden, roosters walk around and there is often live music!  We did have to wait, but since it was a Tuesday not too long.

I got banana pancakes and loved every bite!  So fluffy.

Here’s our rooster friends…

After brunch we got our beach stuff and went to Fort Zachary Taylor State Park.  The beach area in the park has chair and umbrella rentals, which are a requirement for our fair skin.

The beach is a bit rocky, but nice for Key West standards.  We enjoyed catching up on reading and just relaxing after a couple of days of running around.

After wasting most of the day we rode our bikes back to the hotel.  I stopped this gem on our way home and made a little pit stop!

No trip to Key West is complete without chocolate dipped Key Lime Pie on a stick!  Now I know you are thinking… “cheesy Julie…”  But don’t knock it until you try it!  This treat is beyond delish and so much fun.

Our last day in Key West ended with another Mallory Square sunset party.  It was actually the clearest day we’d had on our trip and the sunset was so different.

What a perfect ending to our trip!

Key West is such a fun place to spend a few days.  It gets the rep for being a “party” place, but the Hubs and I enjoy it because of it’s quirky nature, good food and never ending fun things to do.  It has a fun vibe that grows on you.

If you are looking for a warm vacation that involves more than just lazy days on the beach… this place is for you even if you are over your going out days.  My only small complaint for visiting in January is it’s still a little cool (especially the water temp) in my opinion to actually get in the water and enjoy it.  But that still didn’t keep us from having a great time and loving this wonderful corner of our country!

Want more Key West blogs? Check out my other trips…

Key West Highlights Part 1 – Sunsets, sailing and seafood

Key West Mini Vacation

Key West Sunsets

Key West in Fall

As always, you can find this Key West blog post later and help me by pinning this your your favorite pinterest board!  Thanks bunches!

Key West Blog - the best things to do see eat and drink

Key West Travel Guide- The best things to do, see, eat & drink Click To Tweet

Thanks for stopping by today! Tomorrow I’m sharing my favorite healthy Super Bowl recipes all in one convenient place!

I’m linking up to City Trippin, Thinking Out Loud Thursday and Marvelous Monday.

Your turn!

Any Key West favorites to add to the ones I went to?

Want to move to Marathon with me and rescue sea turtles?

By | 2017-08-15T14:03:52-04:00 February 1st, 2017|Florida Travel, Travel|38 Comments


  1. Laura January 11, 2020 at 1:57 pm - Reply

    Hey! What company did you rent your bikes from? We are flying there Friday and will be there for 5 days without a car.

    • JulieWunder January 12, 2020 at 1:47 pm - Reply

      Hi Laura! There are several spots just on the far end of Duval Street. We just walked up when we got there and didn’t need to book ahead of time. I highly recommend getting bikes there– SO much fun.

  2. Julie Glover March 29, 2018 at 11:36 am - Reply

    Loved your blog about Key West!
    We are planning our trip in June.
    Where would you recommend staying?
    It’s our first visit. Thanks! 🙂

    • JulieWunder March 29, 2018 at 11:55 am - Reply

      We’ve had great experiences at the Almond Tree and H20 Suites! Have fun!

  3. […] Last week I was lucky enough to spend 5 days in Key West, including a day trip to explore the rest of the Keys!  I (of course…) took way too many photos so I decided to divide this Key West blog into two posts.  They both include highlights on the trip, and things to add to yours if you are planning.. including my favorite eats, drinks and things to do on the island.  Also catch Part 2 […]

  4. kimmythevegan February 14, 2017 at 7:40 pm - Reply

    Oh how fun! The dolphins!!! An the sea turtle hospital – that is so cute =D Utterly heart warming.
    The deer are so cute too. It looks like you guys had such an amazing time =)
    The key lime pie looks good – you are so adorable!

    • JulieWunder March 4, 2017 at 10:47 am - Reply

      Thanks Kimmy! We had a great time. You’d love it!

  5. Elizabeth (Wander Mum) February 10, 2017 at 6:19 pm - Reply

    The beaches look so beautiful and the turtle hospital such a great organisation. Not a bad place to visit in January! Thanks for linking #citytripping

  6. Ahila February 9, 2017 at 7:47 am - Reply

    The turtle hospital sounds like an amazing place. Would love to visit it as well as watch out for the Key Pine deer and try out a key lime pie on a stick! #CityTripping

  7. Mandy February 7, 2017 at 10:59 am - Reply

    Key West looks like such a fun place to explore! Living as close to Florida as I do, I will have to get down there at some point. The heat in Florida and humidity really detract me from the idea of going. Your pictures make it seem worthwhile, though. 🙂 Thanks for sharing. #citytripping

    • JulieWunder February 13, 2017 at 6:38 pm - Reply

      It was actually nice and breezy there! Such a fun place to visit without leaving the country!

  8. Kristy from Southern In Law February 2, 2017 at 8:27 pm - Reply

    It really does look like such an amazing vacation! I would have wanted to spend all day watching those turtles too! So cool!

  9. Edye February 2, 2017 at 11:44 am - Reply

    Key West has officially been added to my travel bucket list! Between the turtle hospital and the banana pancakes, I think I caught a glimpse of heaven. Glad you had a lovely time, Julie <3

  10. Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy February 2, 2017 at 11:29 am - Reply

    We’ve been to Key West a couple of times, but never explored that much! Of course the first time was just a cruise stop. I think we ate at Blue Heaven the last time we were there, actually — I don’t remember chickens, but the food was really good!

  11. Autumn February 1, 2017 at 9:00 pm - Reply

    Oh key west, I hope to get to see it someday. Your vacation looks awesome, thanks for the tips!

  12. Patricia @Sweet and Strong February 1, 2017 at 11:28 am - Reply

    Aw the sea turtles remind me of when we had three little turtles in college, they were so cute! Love them! And so fun you were able to drive around and enjoy some of the sights. And I am literally drooling over all the delicious meals! I love seafood!

  13. Emily February 1, 2017 at 10:15 am - Reply

    These recaps leave me craving beach time and going to see turtles… Those deer are so cute too; can you tell I just love animals?

  14. Sana February 1, 2017 at 9:50 am - Reply

    Looks like a beautiful trip! Happy Wednesday!

  15. Blane Sherer February 1, 2017 at 9:45 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing your trip.
    I especially liked the Turtle Hospital.

  16. Key West is like being in the Carribean without the hassle of international travel. Such a quaint town and you too are so cute

  17. Andrea on Vacation February 1, 2017 at 8:21 am - Reply

    MMMMM….poke! I didn’t know about the turtle hospital. I will have to check that out next time. Getting out of the downtown area of Key West is a must- there is a lot of cool stuff around.

  18. [email protected] February 1, 2017 at 7:26 am - Reply

    Such beautiful pictures. I would love to go back to Key West to visit more than just the afternoon off the cruise ship. But I do remember getting a key lime pie stick. It was delicious.

    • JulieWunder February 1, 2017 at 8:31 pm - Reply

      It’s a wonderful place, especially just beyond that cruise area!

  19. heather @Lunging Through Life February 1, 2017 at 7:04 am - Reply

    What a fun trip! I love the pie on a stick. I’ve never been to Key West but definitely seems like a place I’d want to visit.

  20. Susie @ Suzlyfe February 1, 2017 at 6:50 am - Reply

    You guys are just the cutest. I love that you can steal away like this!

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Copycat Panera Strawberry Caprese Salad recipe-

Be inspired!


Get healthy recipes, fitness inspiration, travel and twin antics in your inbox! 


Guaranteed to make you smile.

You have Successfully Subscribed!