Like most folks in the Northeast, going to Florida was the easiest way for us to catch a break from winter. We started our vacation at our family-owned condo in Cape Canaveral, with the goal of driving to the Keys with our then nine-month-old. Though most we knew of Key West was its reputation as a loud party town, it turned out to be an ideal destination to travel with a baby.
Where to Stay in Key West
We booked two nights at Lime Tree Bay Resort in Long Key, halfway between Miami and Key West. We stayed at a condo type unit with bedrooms, kitchen and living area. It was nice to enjoy the luxuries of a hotel such as maid service with the comforts and space of a house rental.
Highlights on Our Day Trip to Key West
The drive to the Keys across the seven mile bridge amidst beautiful views of the calm Atlantic was an anticipated adventure by itself.
We had mastered the art of road trips with baby by traveling since our son was three months old, so he was comfortable and my husband and I were relaxed. The total drive through the Keys is about three hours; basing ourselves close to the mid point in Long Key enabled us to have a full day of sightseeing in Key West.
The historic seaport was our first stop for a casual lunch, as it was close to the free public parking garage. There were several restaurants to choose from, and every place we contemplated was very welcoming toward our baby. They offered space for strollers, high chairs and kids’ menus.
After evaluating a number of tour options, we settled on Conch Train Tours, dsciding that the open-air train would be the most entertaining and comfortable for our little one. There were several babies already on board and the driver was very helpful in loading/unloading the stroller. The baby was fascinated by the yellow train and the fresh air helped him nap easily while the adults enjoyed the sights. This was the best way to cover a lot of ground while learning about out the city’s colonial architecture and distinct neighborhoods from a local expert.
The hop on/hop off tour was the most flexible way to sightsee with an active baby. When he got too tired of being confined, we were able to accommodate his needs without missing out on the tour. The tour also helped us decide on landmarks (Ernest Hemingway House and Key West lighthouse) and areas of the town (Bahama Village) we wanted to focus on a future visit.
One of our stops was for the obligatory photo at the southernmost point in the United States. After the tour we got dropped at Mallory Square, an entertainment hub with restaurants and souvenir shops. The atmosphere in the early evening was festive with live music and relaxing tourists but not rowdy.
We left Key West and headed back toward Long Key around 8pm, when the real party scene was getting started. This trip gave us a glimpse of this city’s history, culture and natural beauty. We left with a wish list of activities for our next trip to Key West and the realization that this city is so much more than a party town