Florida Keys

I have lived in the Florida Keys for the last 7 years.


Key West Aquarium

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Mamaofboyz on June 27, 2006

Small aquarium, but a good deal. There is a touch tank near the entrance and a side exhibit that holds tarpon and other fish. The tanks outside in the rear of the building hold the sharks. On clear days you can see quite a bit, if they are feeding when the keepers toss in bait it is an added bonus, otherwise you just watch them swim. Lots of variety for a small aquarium.
Key West Aquarium
1 Whitehead St.
Key West, Florida, 33040
(305) 296 2051

Petting Zoo

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Mamaofboyz on June 27, 2006

Under the county jail is a petting zoo that is a great treat for the kids. Its hours of operation are few, normally the first and third Sundays of the month. The zoo houses confiscated animals and others that have been on a trade/rotation program with other facilities in the state. Retired horses from the mounted police, cows, pigs, peacocks, birds, snakes, and rabbits. A chance for the local kids to see animals without having to go the distance to Miami.
Petting Zoo (Monroe County Detention Center)
5501 College Road
Stock Island, Key West, Florida, 33040
(305) 293-7300

Key West Ship Wreckers Museum

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Mamaofboyz on June 27, 2006

A walk through times past when the industry of ship wrecking was alive and strong here on the island. A bit of fun, lots to see, and the view from the tower is pretty cool.
Key West Shipwreck Historeum Museum
1 Whitehead St.
Key West, Florida, 33040
(305) 292-8990

Truman Little White House

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by Mamaofboyz on June 27, 2006

Not much for the kids, but a good look at presidential history for the adults. Well kept, and the picture of what it was in its prime. Hard to get a good tour, as the groups are shuffled from room to room, as in any house tour, and you often lose touch of what is being said.
Harry S. Truman Little White House Museum
111 Front St.
Key West, Florida, 33040
(305) 294-9911

Mel Fisher's Maritime Museum

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Mamaofboyz on June 27, 2006

Today's the day! Wish I could have found a treasure like that one! Beautiful layout of the actual process used to uncover the treasure. Definitely a must do on a trip to Key West.
Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum
200 Greene St
Key West, Florida, 33040
(305) 294-2633

Old Town Trolley Tours

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Mamaofboyz on June 28, 2006

See the island in a tour atmosphere that is around 90 minutes in length. The trolley makes stops throughout the island. Admission allows you to get off the trolley and wander through shops or sight-see and then get on board again. Although you can get off and back on again, a one-time round-trip is the price coverage. It is not island transportation. The tour train, on the other hand, makes stops, but you must re-board the train when it is time to leave. The two tours differ slightly, but I feel that the trolley is the better value, even though the prices are the same for both the trolley and train.
Old Town Trolley Tours
6631 Maloney Ave.
Key West, Florida, 33040
(305) 296-6688

Sunset Festival

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Mamaofboyz on June 28, 2006

Every evening, locals celebrate the beautiful sunsets that occur. The view from Mallory Square is unobstructed, and the entertainment can't be beat. It is a circus side show at its best. Fire jugglers, live statues, steel drum bands, and Dominique the Cat Man are just some of the sights to take in. The time? Sunset and the hour prior to it. It is definitely unique and a typical Key West oddity. There's no charge; just come and enjoy!
Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square
1 Whitehead Street, Mallory Square
Key West, Florida, 33040
(305) 296-4557

Botanical Gardens

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Mamaofboyz on June 28, 2006

This offers a wonderful look at the native plants of the islands. Over the last few years, the gardens have been redone, now including a boardwalk to guide you through most of the trails. It is growing by leaps and bounds weekly. Plants are very well-labeled and the paths are maintained, so there is no climbing through the brush to find the path. There is no charge for admission, although donations are accepted.

Depending on the time of year you visit, the bugs can be bothersome and the heat can become unbearable. Try going in the morning, while temps are down, and it should be fine. We go about once a month to let the kids roam without worry of what they fall into. There's nothing really poisonous that the kids can get into. Some free-roaming chicken, iguanas, and geckos often take more of their interest than the plants.

Botanical Gardens
5210 College Rd
Key West, Florida
(305) 296-1504

Crane Point Hammock

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by Mamaofboyz on June 28, 2006

It is a 63-acre site that holds a few things: Adderley house, Children's museum, natural history museum, and wild bird center. Be prepared to walk, there is no easy way to navigate a stroller for the young ones. The children's museum part is okay. Lots of bugs in drawers and cases to look at. There are a few play areas where they can pretend to captain the pirate fleet. The natural history museum is nice, and the bird center is about the same. Overall, it was too much walking for young kids and not enough to keep their attention. The mosquitoes were horrific the two times that we visited, but it was a change of pace and something to see. Adults are $7.50 and children under 6 are free. Discounts apply for students. We attended with the kids ages 3 and 4. It was fun for them while we were indoors, but once out on the nature walk they were bored, hot, and tired.
Crane Point Hammock
5550 Overseas Hwy.
Marathon, Florida
(305) 743-9100

Bat Tower

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Mamaofboyz on June 28, 2006

Just a tower out in the middle of nowhere. But the story behind it is pretty neat. Built in 1929 to house bats brought into the area for the purpose of eating the mosquitos, the structure stands alone on the backside of the island. The bats are long gone, so no worries there. And the mosquitos are alive and well. Several stories conflict, but the basis of it is that the bats died and the idea behind the project was a flop. The kids liked to run free and see something neat, but didn't really understand what it was all about.
Perky's Bat Tower
Mile Marker 17
Key West, Florida, 33042

Ft. Jefferson /Dry Tortugas National Park

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Mamaofboyz on June 28, 2006

There are many ways to get there: fly, boats, ferries, etc. We took the trip aboard the Yankee Freedom. The price was $139 per adult and included entrance fees to the park. The fort is pretty cool, the water surrounding it is crystal clear and beautiful! Great snorkeling water! There are a few options for making the trip: day trips and overnight trips. The Yankee Freedom allowed us to leave at 8am and return by 5:30pm. A continental breakfast greets you. They serve a light lunch of sandwiches, chips, drinks, etc. They offer a tour of the park (40 minutes) and then provide snorkel gear to anyone who wants some. The hour trip that it takes to reach the park is comfortable in the cabin and decks.

The park was fun, the history of it was cool. There are also haunting tours of it if you want to experience it. The island has lots of shade, tables, benches, etc., so it is accommodating for everyone. It isn't overcrowded, although you'll want to claim your picnic spot early.

The kids loved the water and running free in the grass fields within the fort. Climbing to the upper level of the fort was not for them, but they loved the rustic feel of it all and the pretending of "holding down the fort" through the windows.

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

Dolphin Research Center

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Mamaofboyz on June 28, 2006

The center is available for the "Swim with dolphins" activity that is so hot today. The center is mainly a research lab, but they offer to educate guests as to their mission and about marine life. The dolphin paint shirts and do swimming tricks. It is a fun time for the older kids, and if you want to spend the extra $$$ to swim with them it would be an even better time! The kids were around 3 or 4 when we visited. So much for them not to touch and do, but they enjoyed watching the dolphin.
Dolphin Research Center
58901 Overseas Highway
Key West, Florida, 33050
(305) 289-1121

Key West Cemetery

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Mamaofboyz on July 3, 2006

There are maps available at local stores to guide you through the quirky oddities of the cemetery. It took us about 2 hours to walk around and see the sights. Granted, that was with children. There are many odd stones to see and many of them have a sense of humor. The cemetery is old and some stones are cracking, breaking, uplifting, etc. With flooding a major concern, many of the burial vaults, tombs, etc. are above ground. Items such as Roberts' "I told you I was sick" headstone, military memorials, vampire vaults, and one unidentifiable stone (a tree has grown around it) are just a few of the sights to see. If you are looking for a nice walk or bike ride, the cemetery is a change of pace.
Key West Cemetery
701 Passover Lane
Key West, Florida, 33040
(305) 292-8177

Southernmost Point

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Mamaofboyz on July 14, 2006

It is the southernmost point in the continental USA. A big buoy marks the location stating that you are closer to Cuba than you are to the mainland of Florida. A definite picture taking location, but a bit hectic with the traffic that goes through the area. The streets are not really accommodating for large vehicles although many still believe that they are! So, if you go, keep an eye on the young ones. Beautiful view of the ocean from there!
Southernmost Point Key West
Whitehead And South Streets
Key West, Florida, 33040

Boondock's Mini Golf

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Mamaofboyz on July 14, 2006

An eighteen hole mini golf course. Not much in the way of kiddie obstacles, more a well landscaped challenging course. You don't have to hit your ball through a clown's mouth, rather you must navigate it over a bridge or through a rock cave. They did a great job with the landscaping. Very relaxing and with the garden misters it is cool even in the heat of the day, but don't forget the sunscreen! Accented with Cavemen, it is fun for the kids. This is a newly opened activity for the Keys. Discounted prices for the next round and a chance to win a prize when you turn your ball in. They have putters of all sizes, so the kids will have the right one and can pick from about 10 different colored balls. Mom and Dad can carry a bucket of drinks around on the course, which is unique for a family activity.
Boondock's Mini Golf
Mile Marker 27
Key West, Florida
(305) 872 4094

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