Key West Highlights 1 – Bikes, Sailing & Seafood

///Key West Highlights 1 – Bikes, Sailing & Seafood

Key West Highlights 1 – Bikes, Sailing & Seafood

Get ready for some fun in the sun with my Key West Blog… because what makes for a better Monday than a trip to Florida!  This post includes some great tips if you want to take a trip yourself someday.

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

Hello! Hello!

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

So without further ado… here we goooooo…..

Key West Blog

Key West Blog Day 1

Our first full day in Key West was Saturday and I was itching to get out of the hotel and explore.  This is my third trip to Key West so I already knew the best way to get around is bikes!  The hubs and I rented bikes right away to keep for the trip and wasted no time taking them for a few laps around the island.  It’s such a great way to see the sights and get exercise.  In my opinion riding bikes everywhere is one of the funnest parts of visiting the island.

After working up a bit of an appetite, we stopped by DJ’s Clam Shack for a quick lunch.  This very simple restaurant is one of my favs in town and was featured on Diners, Dives and Drive-Ins!  The food isn’t fancy, but it is really good.  Best clams I’ve ever had!

We also got an order of cracked conch. I generally really dislike fried food, but cracked conch is SUCH a unique treat that I made an exception.  It was totally worth it!

Next we found our way to a local beach.  There was a musician playing beach music and it was quite relaxing.  You can never go wrong when palm trees are involved either!

There aren’t many beaches on Key West but if you ask around you can find a few to hang out on.

After sitting around for awhile, we decided to do a little more exploring.  Key West’s first legal distillery was on our agenda for this trip, so we decided why not!  When in rome…?? haha!

The Hubs got such a kick out of this.  I’m hardly an expert on different types of rum, but I liked all of theirs… lol!

After the rum tasting we explored some of the marina area.  We ended up sitting and listening to more live music and had a great time.

I ordered a Passion Fruit Mojito which was my favorite drink of the trip!

Before we knew it, sunset time creeped closer and we made our way to Mallory Square.  If you aren’t familiar with Key West, there is a big party every night at Mallory Square.  The sunsets are some of the most spectacular I’ve ever seen.


I got a couple great shots on the first night!

I also loved this wider view!  I’m considering making a wall of my sunset photos in my house and these might make the cut.

After sunset, we went back to our hotel to get dressed for dinner.  We walked to Antonia’s, which is an Italian restaurant on the island.  Even though the restaurant is Italian and it’s not an obvious choice for a tropical vacation, they feature lots of fresh seafood and creative menu items.  I’ve been there twice now and it’s one of my favorites.  Their chef is amazing.

This time my two favorite dishes were the calamari, which was grilled instead of breaded and fried.  So unique and tasty.

My other fav was these delightfully seared scallops with homemade pasta.  I am such a sucker for homemade pasta.  If it’s on the menu, I have to order it.  This version totally exceeded my expectations.

After dinner we went to bed early and enjoyed some sleep!  We aren’t much for late night partying.

Key West Blog Day 2

Day 2 of my Key West blog started off with a morning run!  The Hubs has been running on the treadmill a little and even came with me, which made me so happy.  He’s not a big fan of running so this was a really big deal. The Key West Half Marathon was in town so we stopped and cheered on runners for awhile to break up the miles.

For brunch we went to one of the ocean view hotels, Casa Maria.  I wanted to see palm trees and water and this view delivered!  The food probably wasn’t the best on the island, but that was a fair trade for the view.  We ordered off the menu and shared a smoked salmon eggs benedict and sweet potato pancakes.

It was so relaxing so we enjoyed a second pot of coffee/ tea while people watching.  I love a leisurely vacation breakfast.

After brunch we stopped by our hotel pool for a bit before heading back out on our bikes!

We went back to the marina area because our afternoon was booked with one of the highlights of the trip.

The hubs booked a sailboat charter for us to go out on for a few hours in the afternoon!  I love being out on the water, so I was super excited.

The boat was so pretty and fun!  There is something so charming about a sailboat.

Key West was also hosting a sailing competition while we were there, so we found ourselves in the middle of dozens of beautiful sailboats doing their practice runs for the big race, which was later in the week.

It was pretty exciting to pass through all these racing boats.

The Hubs and I both wanted to make it out to the reef to snorkel, but sadly the water was too choppy and cold.  It would have been over an hour in really rough waters to get there.  We tried to head in that direction, but I started feeling motion sick, so we cut our losses and went back to a sheltered cove to enjoy a more peaceful afternoon.

I missed snorkeling, but this was much more relaxing!  The water was pretty cold anyway so I was also glad I didn’t have to get in it.

The captain even made us this super fun fruit and cheese tray to munch on.

Somehow the Hubs and I ate almost the whole thing… lol! Don’t get between us and our cheese.

Finally it was time for sunset and we cheered to another great day on island time!

Sunday’s sunset was a little cloudy, but still pretty.  I loved the way the beams of light came out from the clouds.  Watching it from the boat made it extra special even with the clouds.

After sunset we went back to our room to get ready for dinner.

Since we’d had way to much cheese and fruit, we opted for a lighter dinner of a few seafood appetizers at Deuces’ Off the Hook.  These Key West pink shrimp were super tasty.

We also ordered some stone crab since it was in season. Delish!

Our second day ended much like our first… with an early bedtime!  We might be the only people who vacation in Key West and are still in bed by 10!

Coming Up

My Key West blog continues HERE with two more fun days including a trip to Marathon.  Let’s just say a Turtle Hospital and Dolphins are involved!!!

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

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

Thanks for stopping by today! Tomorrow I’m sharing a healthy twist on guacamole for game day!

Your turn!

Have you been to Key West?

What’s your favorite winter vacation spot?

By | 2017-12-29T14:57:33-05:00 January 23rd, 2017|Florida Travel, Travel|47 Comments


  1. Chris Horton May 16, 2019 at 4:06 pm - Reply

    This is a much better travel recap than most. It’s refreshing to see not only that you visited a location or ate somewhere, but provide more detail about those places. Not just “We went here.”, but tell us about what is actually there and why you should go and some of the features of that location. Thanks for the pics of the sunsets in Key West. Forgot how beautiful it was there. We saw our sunsets from a boat with Nautical Quest Adventures the last time that we went and it’s just as amazing from the ocean as it is from the shore.

    Do you have any suggestions about whether it’s smarter to book a hotel or give Air B&B a try?

  2. jenni September 3, 2018 at 8:01 am - Reply

    So peace place…just awesome place was this i never been visited to this place definitely i gonna visit this place….so glad to read this blog! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Katie August 15, 2017 at 8:52 am - Reply

    Looks super fun! Going there in 2 weeks.. Cant wait! Thanks for sharing.. now to see all your other posts about Key West πŸ™‚
    XO, Katie |

  4. kimmythevegan February 9, 2017 at 10:36 pm - Reply

    Julie, I am so sorry about your grandma. It’s always so tough to lose someone we love.

    It sounds like you had an amazing vacation. I have never been though, but I definitely want to check it out now – it looks so gorgeous!
    “I generally really dislike fried food” I wish I was like that… I like it too much and just try to avoid it as best I can πŸ˜‰
    You too in some amazing sights and had fantastic food. The boat ride looks like the best part. And the sunsets are so gorgeous.
    I love that you guys cheered on runners at the race too – that is awesome!
    I’m glad you had a nice time.

  5. Elizabeth (Wander Mum) January 27, 2017 at 9:54 am - Reply

    Sorry to hear about your grandmother. Your trip looks wonderful especially the sunsets. Wow! Would love to go one day. Thanks for linking #citytripping

  6. Lisa @ Lisa 3D January 26, 2017 at 3:39 pm - Reply

    Sounds like you had a great time! Love the shots of the sunset too.

  7. Jasmine @ makingrestorations January 26, 2017 at 9:09 am - Reply

    Sorry to hear about your grandmother, but it looks like your approaching it with the best attitude

  8. Umberta January 26, 2017 at 5:29 am - Reply

    Looks like a perfect & lovely trip!!

  9. Andrea on Vacation January 25, 2017 at 1:11 pm - Reply

    I heart DJ’s Clam Shack like no other. That and there is a food truck in Key West that I dig. Looks like a warm and fun vacation. It is so nice to get out of the cold weather sometimes! πŸ™‚

  10. Cathy (Mummytravels) January 25, 2017 at 8:30 am - Reply

    The Keys always sounds so beautiful- and look blissfully chilled out. #citytripping

  11. Debbie January 24, 2017 at 2:07 pm - Reply

    Love your travel posts. I visit sanibel island every year. Im planning on going to the keys this year. What hotel would you recommend? I went to marathon two years ago and had the dolphin experience-it was awesome

    • JulieWunder January 29, 2017 at 7:45 pm - Reply

      Sanibel is sooo lovely!! We had a great experience at H20 Suites. They literally just opened– we were the first people in our rooms. I think we got a pretty good rate too because of that. I’ve also really enjoyed staying at the Almond Tree. Hope you enjoy your trip.

  12. Lolo January 24, 2017 at 2:00 pm - Reply

    Looks like a lovely trip! I visited Key West when I was 18 with my parents and it was fun. Would love to go back and explore more! #CityTripping

    • JulieWunder January 29, 2017 at 7:43 pm - Reply

      Hope you get a chance to go! Thanks for stopping by!

  13. Clare (Suitcases and Sandcastles) January 24, 2017 at 9:47 am - Reply

    I’d love to go to the Florida Keys one day. All that seafood sounds so delicious! Great place for running too, by the sound of it. #citytripping

  14. Katy January 24, 2017 at 8:15 am - Reply

    I’ve not been to Key West but sailing around as the sun sets sipping champagne looks idyllic to me! #citytripping

  15. Kristy from Southern In Law January 24, 2017 at 12:36 am - Reply

    It looks like you had such an incredible trip! What a beautiful place – and beautiful weather! Who said it’s winter in the northern hemisphere?! πŸ˜›

    • JulieWunder January 29, 2017 at 7:40 pm - Reply

      haha! I don’t think it’s ever winter in Key West! Love it!

  16. Annmarie January 23, 2017 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    I have never been to Key West but it looks absolutely beautiful! So happy you were able to enjoy your weekend there πŸ™‚

  17. Patricia @Sweet and Strong January 23, 2017 at 1:08 pm - Reply

    First of all I am so sorry for your loss and thinking of you and your family!

    And I’ve never been to Key West, but have been talking about booking a FL trip this summer. Is Key West your favorite? Your pics sure are amazing and seems like a great time!

    • JulieWunder January 29, 2017 at 7:39 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much. Favorite in Florida??? It’s at the top of the list. It depends what you are looking for though. If you want nice pretty beaches, I’d go to the Gulf (Marco Island, Siesta Key, Sarasota, ect…) Key West is really fun and quirky though… wonderful food. E-mail me if you need any tips/advice.

  18. Anita tipton January 23, 2017 at 12:41 pm - Reply

    Very beautiful photos

  19. Blane Sherer January 23, 2017 at 11:47 am - Reply

    I knew there would be some
    sunset shots ( smile ).
    Very nice.

  20. Emily January 23, 2017 at 10:55 am - Reply

    I love vacation recaps…. Those sunsets are absolutely jaw dropping; I can’t describe how amazing they are. God’s beauty in painting the sunsets and creating this world is indescribable.

    You had such a wonderful time together; it’s neat to see all the things you packed into two days. πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to read more.

  21. Lisa B. January 23, 2017 at 10:34 am - Reply

    Key West is one of my husband’s and my favorite places! I enjoyed reading today’s blog immensely because it brought back lots of memories! Thank you!

    • JulieWunder January 29, 2017 at 7:34 pm - Reply

      Ohhh I’m so glad! It is such a fun place. I’ll have more from the trip this Wednesday.

  22. [email protected] January 23, 2017 at 9:34 am - Reply

    I have only been to Key West once and it was only for the day because it was off of a cruise ship. Looks like you had a lot of tasty foods there. We have a few restaurants in Va Beach that were featured on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives. I have never tried grilled calamari, sounds interesting.

    • JulieWunder January 29, 2017 at 7:34 pm - Reply

      It’s a fun place! I think the bikes and food wins it over for me.

  23. becky January 23, 2017 at 7:43 am - Reply

    The Passion Fruit Mojito sounds fabulous and I love your photo of the champagne toast at sunset…cheers!

  24. Hold up–you’re from the south and you don’t like fried food?

    Looks like an amazing trip. I’ve got the Key West half marathon on my list for next year! I haven’t been for about 20 years, so I’m excited to go back!

    • JulieWunder January 29, 2017 at 7:32 pm - Reply

      haha! I know! Crazy, huh! The race looks really fun. The medal and shirt were awesome!!!

  25. heather @Lunging Through Life January 23, 2017 at 7:10 am - Reply

    I’ve never been but I wouldn’t think it’d be hard to fine beaches. How crazy! Love the sailing and cheese tray. What a fun time away.

  26. Susie @ Suzlyfe January 23, 2017 at 6:59 am - Reply

    Sending you lots of love, always.
    when are you guys going to swing by Chicago and pick us up? I’ll take the wing!
    I am definitely an in bed by 10 pm person. Grandma status, and proud of it.

  27. Mary Beth Jackson January 23, 2017 at 6:12 am - Reply

    What a great week to visit the keys! Such a beautiful place! When we went we walked the entire time and I so enjoyed it! We might stay out late once in a blue moon if we find some fun music to listen to but I am with ya on the 10pm bed time! That sailboat trip looked fantastic! I would love to do that!

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