Me_Brett_8_2013Back in March of 2013, Southwest began their direct flight service from New Orleans (MSY) to Key West (EYW). My hubby has always been a huge fan of Key West, where I have only been there for a day trip as I’ve spent a lot of time in Islamorada. He has been wanting to go since he found out about this and we picked our 19th anniversary, in the heat of summer, as a good time to go. We live in Louisiana, we are used to the heat. And for the bonus…you get the ocean breeze!!! However, my hubby always says he would love to live there and I give him a big “N.O.” as I think I would go nuts (at least crazier than I already am). But, I certainly fell in love with it!

I’m a huge Foursquare fanatic and made a nice little Key West list of things we did for you to keep handy – after you read this post!
Key West Airport
We planned a 4 day weekend and left on a Friday at 11:10 and arrived in Key West 1:55 PM. We were on the beach before 3 with a cocktail and conch fritters! We returned on a Monday, departing at 2:25 PM and landed 3:05 PM. This worked out great for both of our schedules and the price, right now they are listed as $135 each way, but keep checking back before your departure as they will credit you the difference if the price drops. No such luck for us. As for taking kids along, we know the 3 teenagers would be bored unless they were doing water sports all the time. We will leave them at home!
Hotel: We stayed at The Reach, A Waldorf Astoria Resort. My hubby knows that the beach is my favorite thing and those are hard to come by there. This was perfect for us! We did not try and upgrade to a “beach view” room as I would rather be out on it, than looking from a balcony! The room was nice, clean and fairly basic, but the customer service, location, amenities and concierge service were excellent. It was off Duval, so it was quiet but so close to everything. They rent bikes there too – score! You also have full access to their sister site, Casa Marina, which is just a short walk away. We really liked their pool bar!

Transportation: Bike, scooter or walk. A cab from the airport is $8 a person and it is less than 20 min away from anything.

What to bring:
* Tip money!
* Casual clothes and smart shoes (I actually left heels at home). I brought dresses and casual, and ended up wearing mostly casual as I was riding a bike!
* Snorkeling/dive stuff if you have it

What to book:
* Sunset cruises (next time)
* Pub crawl – I did not want to really have more than a drink or 2 on Friday or Saturday as I wanted to feel great for water sports. They did not offer the crawl on Sunday, so we did our own on bikes.
* Snorkeling trip (next time doing the double dip). We used Fury.
* Waverunner tour around the island. We shared and had a great time on Barefoot Billy’s.
Where to Eat:
* El Siboney – where the locals eat and amazing Cuban food. We could have gone there every day! Conch chowder was fabulous (see picture)
* Blue Heaven – a huge local favorite for brunch and breakfast. Going to try the lobster benedict next time!
* Santiago’s Bodega – great tapas! Be sure to make reservations or be luck and get at seat at the bar like we did.
* Banana Cafe – we really liked it there for breakfast and want to try their key lime crepes next time!
* Martins – great tapas.
* Kermit’s Key Lime Pie – dipped in chocolate on a stick!
* Pizza Joe’s – we went there twice late at night!

What to See:
* Hemingway House – I want another Polydactyl cat!!!
* Other Museums – they looked awesome but we did not have enough time.
* A sunset and a sunrise (next time on the real early).
* Anything on Duval Street – lots of shops and restaurants and bars. Kind of like a little upscale Bourbon Street.
Sloppy_JoesWhere to Drink:
* Anywhere! There are tons of bars on Duvall Street and off of it. No shortage of places to imbibe with cool atmospheres!
* The Green Parrot
* Sloppy Joe’s
* The Rum Bar
* Captain Tony’s – hubby got a quarter in the fish’s mouth (good luck while on the island).

Below is a Key Lime Pie Martini from Martins.

As for bringing the New Orleans with me…when we were finished snorkeling, the boat captain told us we could take a “roadie” with us on the way out. I informed her that we call them “Go Cups.” Sitting next to a couple at the Flying Monkey, I asked my hubby if he wanted a “Go Cup.” The couple started laughing as they had been on the sunset cruise with the same captain that night and she told them she was now referring to it as a “Go Cup” and they al; started chanting it!

**** I did not get paid or compensated to write this post! However, if anyone would like to sponsor me on my next trip – I’m game. I’ll social media the entire thing!