Key West Journals

Key West with the Whole Family 2006

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A July 2006 trip to Key West by mtemail

Old Seven Mile Bridge Photo, Florida Keys, Florida More Photos
Quote: Taking the whole family to Key West can be a lot for fun for everyone in the group!

Key West with the Whole Family 2006

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Overview

arieal view of Key west Photo, Key West, Florida
Quote:
As an adult, I have been to Key West a number of times. Each trip prior has been filled with adult activity centered around Buffet Music, alcohol, and sunshine sports—not an idea which screams great family vacation. I have always loved Key West and have done a lot of the ‘activities’ and decided since my grandchildren have a strong interest in snorkeling this year I would plan a trip centered around group water activities. Without a doubt—this was the best family vacation we have ever taken. The primary reason is that when you do the child centered vacations (Disney, amusement parks, etc.) the adults enjoy the process but really, how excited can you get about seeing ‘it’s a small world’...Read More

Galleon Beach Resort

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Hotel | "Galleon Resort"

Galleon Beach Resort Photo, Key West, Florida
Quote:
The Galleon ResortThe Location of this resort is its best aspect!!! Located on the north end of the island it is waterfront, next to the Hyatt and within a block of Mallory Square. All of the Sebago waterfront activities start from the waterfront a block east of the location. A parking pass is included for one vehicle per reservation which is wonderful...but there are far more passes than spaces so parking becomes competitive so if you move your car out—there is a terrific chance you won’t get one when you come back...the parking is so very tight you need a couple of people out of the car directing into the tight spaces.Were had reserved a One bedroom (housing 4) and a hotel room (hous...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 19, 2006

Galleon Beach Resort
617 Front Street
Key West, Florida 33040
(305) 296-7711

Sloppy Joe's Bar

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Restaurant | "Sloppy Joe's"

Sloppy Joe's Bar Photo, Key West, Florida
Quote:
A standard in the must-do tourist locations of Key West is the restaurant/bar Sloppy Joe’s. Their website is www.sloppyjoes.com. This place is known for its ‘partying’ on Duval Street. Traveling with children I did want to take them there but the night life wouldn’t be a good choice...but the lunch crowd is mild and usually there is loud entertainment around the noon hour so the kids can experience the place without the wall to wall drunks!! The place of course has their ‘famous’ Sloppy Joe sandwiches which of course are a usual must do since you are there. They also have some really good Nachos if you are seeking an appetizer. During the early day...it is a great way to expose the childr...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 18, 2006

Sloppy Joe's Bar
201 Duval Street
Key West, Florida 33040
(305) 294-5717

Bahia Honda State Park

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Attraction | "Bahia Honda"

Bahia Honda State Park Photo, Big Pine Key, Florida
Quote:
Bahia HondaAbout a 45 minute drive up the keys from Key west is the Bahia Honda Park. In the keys, most of the snorkeling activities require a boat transport to the coral reefs where the best viewing occurs. Bahia Honda does have some great viewing close to the beach.There is a small admission charge per person...and they have a small store where you can purchase a diving flag. I recommend you get this without a doubt...the cost is either 20 or 25 dollars depending upon which model you choose...and not only provides a great safety marker, when you return home it makes a great room decoration for the child. Each time you go out snorkeling on a boat the boat displays a red flag ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 18, 2006

Bahia Honda State Park
36850 Overseas Hwy, Mile Marker 37
Key West, Florida 33043
(305) 872-3210

Garrison Bight Marina-Charters

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Attraction | "Captain Alma and Captain Tim"

Garrison Bight Marina-Charters Photo, Key West, Florida
Quote:
Most of the activities we chose for our group involved oceans and boats. What we found is that the trips we enjoyed the most were the smaller private charter trips rather than the full tourist charters. The prices are a little more but the experience is really worth it. The small boats usually have a 6 person limit. If you are traveling with a group of six or less than the cost really isn’t significantly higher than the larger group boats. All of the boats offer some type of snorkeling, sightseeing or dolphin watch activities depending upon what your group is seeking. One place to find these charters is through bestofkeywest.com. Additionally, look for people who have dealt with some of these captain...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 18, 2006

Garrison Bight Marina-Charters
711 Eisenhower Drive
Key West, FL
(305) 294-3093

Wild About Dolphins

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Attraction | "Captain Sheri - Wild About Dolphins"

Wild About Dolphins Photo, Key West, Florida
Quote:
This was return trip for me. I had taken a trip with Captain Sheri on a previous trip and had such a nice experience, I wanted to make sure I took the trip again this trip. She has a website at www.wildaboutdolphins.com.This is a very nice small boat experience. Her boats are certified for six passengers. She does have two boats, so she can accommodate up to 12 people. The price per person is reasonable, and her most usual trip is the dolphin watch. She is very well versed as to where the dolphins are and usually you will get to see plenty. The small-boat captains all seem to know one another and radio one another when dolphin pods are located. Captain Sheri was very hospitable and...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 18, 2006

Wild About Dolphins
6000 Peninsula Avenue
Stock Island, Florida 33040
(305) 294-5026

Dry Tortugas National Park

Attraction | "Dry Tortugas"

Dry Tortugas National Park Photo, Key West, Florida
Quote:
Dry TortugasSeventy miles off the west coast of Key West is the national park of the Dry Tortugas. You can get to the island one of two ways; by a large tourist boat or by seaplane. I recommend the Seaplanes of Key West trip without a doubt . . .this is our second time of taking the trip and with great advice we took the 2 pm flight, this is a TERRIFIC time to fly because you arrive just as the large tourist boat is packing up to return to Key West. This gets you on the island when no one else (with the exception of those who are camping there--but that number is very small) is there. It gives you a private tropical island with the most spectacular water views... The setting is just beautif...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 18, 2006

Dry Tortugas National Park
70 Miles West Of Key West
Key West, Florida 33041

Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square

Attraction | "Mallory Square"

Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square Photo, Key West, Florida
Quote:
Mallory SquareKey West is ALL about the daily sunset festival. The focal spot of this is Mallory Square. The area on the northwest corner of the island is the location of Mallory Square. Starting about 2 hours prior to sunset the local street venders and performers start their set up. The food venders are primarily aimed at those food items which can be held in one hand while a drink is in the other. There are jewelry and art stands which have lots of choices of interesting items. One particularly interesting item for us was the individual who was selling art bottles which were essentially flattened bottles with the labels in tact—they were very interesting.The highlight is...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 18, 2006

Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square
1 Whitehead Street, Mallory Square
Key West, Florida 33040
(305) 296-4557

Sebago Watersports

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Attraction | "Sebago Sports 6-Hour Adventure"

Sebago Watersports Photo, Key West, Florida
Quote:
Sebago Sports (www.keywestsebago.com) offers a 6-hour power sports trip. Essentially this is a day geared at doing all of the Key West water sports in one day. Since the kids had not done all of these activities, I thought it would be a very good way to do it all. On that level, it is a good way to be exposed to a full gambit of water activities: catamaran ride, snorkeling, kayaking, jet skiing, water trampoline, parasailing...along with an on-board lunch. You board the catamaran for a ride out to the snorkeling spot, which is filled with other boats from other companies at the same location. The boat we were on had about 80 people on board, so there are a LOT of people sharing your day with you. The...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on August 18, 2006

Sebago Watersports
200 William Street
Key West, Florida
(800) 507-9955

Sebago Watersports

Attraction | "Sebago Sunset Cruise"

Sebago sunset Cruise Photo, Key Largo, Florida
Quote:
Sebago Sunset CruiseLots of companies do this type of tour. Sebago is as good as the larger competitors. You are taken out on a very large catamaran. The view is stellar, the sunset is great. They market it as the champagne cruise—and there was champagne (as identified on the bottle) but tasted like no champagne I have ever tasted (and I have had very cheap champagne)...the bottom line—since there are other competitors. I would shop around and pay less next time —rather than paying the premium price for the ‘champagne’...the ride alone was very nice but the environment created that not the Sebago company. The trip last just over an hour...you start out heading out to the ocean...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on August 18, 2006

Sebago Watersports
200 William Street
Key West, Florida
(800) 507-9955

Old Seven Mile Bridge

Attraction | "Seven Mile Bridge"

Old Seven Mile Bridge Photo, Florida Keys, Florida
Quote:
I found that when flying down from Ohio the most cost effective location was into the Fort Lauderdale Airport (an hour north of the Miami Airport). We took a full vacation in that area and drove to Key West in a rental car. The drive is about 4-5 hours (from Fort Lauderdale) and remember there is only one road in and out of the Keys so is there is an accident, excessive traffic, etc. this may be a far longer trip. Plan you time at less ‘peak’ times and you will be much happier!!! The drive down the Keys is really a beautiful drive. There are various areas along the way you can stop to further enjoy the outstanding views. One of the most interesting aspects is seven-mile...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 18, 2006

Old Seven Mile Bridge
Mile Marker 47
Pigeon Key, Florida 33050
No phone available

Garrison Bight Marina-Charters

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Attraction | "Snuba"

Garrison Bight Marina-Charters Photo, Key West, Florida
Quote:
Our group was very excited to try this experience. There is only one company in Key West which provides this activity. Their web site is www.snubakeywest.com.Essentially this is a blend between snorkeling and scuba. An oxygen tank is floated on top of the water and the swimmer has an individual tube which allows them to remain in the water for the entire experience. Swimmers are taken in a group of 6 (three floats with two tanks each) and this group is essentially a pod which has to stick together. Our group loved it—the boat can accommodate two groups of 6. Each group of six had a diver who provides the instruction and stays with the group while in the water. Everyone in our group had ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 18, 2006

Garrison Bight Marina-Charters
711 Eisenhower Drive
Key West, FL
(305) 294-3093