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travel

Key West Travel Guide

We just got back from a long weekend in the keys and we had just enough days to explore the tiny island off of Florida. We actually flew into Miami and took a yacht from there to key west (but if you’re sea sick I do not recommend, I was almost the entire time!). It takes about 7 hours via boat, but you can also drive an easy 3 hours to Key west from Miami as well. If you are not into either of those options, there is an airport in Key West you can fly directly into too. We were in town for a friends wedding, so it was a huge group of us that got to enjoy hanging out! Unfortunately Hurricane eta was headed our way on Sunday so we had to hightail it out of key west and fly home a day early. The weather the first couple of days was perfect in the mid 80s and sunny! Below is everything we loved about the island.

Where to Stay:

  • The Perry Key West Hotel: This hotel was the perfect spot right before you go into downtown key west on Stock Island. It is about 3 miles from Duval St (where all the restaurants/bars are) and it sits on a beautiful marina. We chose this location because this is also where all the wedding action was all weekend! You can see a map of the location here.
  • What we loved about the hotel: They have on site bikes, Vespas, and golf carts you can easily rent. There are two pools facing the Marina. The rooms have balconies, and we loved being on the ground floor to walk straight out to the pool. The food is amazing at their main restaurant Matt’s Stock Island!

Where to Eat:

  • Coffee/Croissants: Croissants de France, so good!
  • Breakfast/Brunch/Lunch: Banana Cafe, Blue Heaven (heard this place anytime actually), MoonDog Cafe, Two friends patio, Salute on the Beach, Thirsty Mermaid.
  • Snacks: Stop by the Raw Machine for Acai Bowl, or smoothies in coconuts!
  • Dinner: Santiagos, Cafe Sole, Latitudes
  • Dessert: Tip: Get Key lime Pie everywhere you go! Stop by Better than Sex, a dessert bar restaurant and I was told to not even have dinner before this the portions are huge and that good! We drove by it but didn’t have a night free to go. We also stopped by Wicked Lick Ice cream and loved it!
  • Bars: All of Duval St, they are all open till 4am.

What to do:

  • Water Activities: See all the ones the hotel has to offer here. I’d recommend renting a private sailing tour, going snorkeling, or renting jetskis! There are a few restaurants nearby that you can drink and also rent jetskis from as well.
  • Beach: There are several options but we heard Fort Zachary Taylor beach was the easiest to access, and Smathers Beach.
  • Shop/Day Drink: Head to Duval St and plan to walk/bar hop to all the spots!

Hopefully we make it back soon to Key West <3

travel

The Hilton Orlando X Disney World Guide

We just got back from Orlando, or should I say Disney World, and man am I beat!  Doing Disney World with toddlers in a weekend trip is exhausting!  Lainey is at a great age (5) but Roman is still in that terrible toddler age (3) where a lot of meltdowns occur very often.  I was thankful for the days we spent at the resort more than the days at the parks this trip.  I do have a few tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years with toddlers I will share below, and you can read my last blog post on Disney with toddlers here!  You can also see all the behind the scenes videos on my Instagram story highlights here.

Where we stayed:  The Hilton Orlando (conveniently located 15 minutes or less from all the attractions, and 15 minutes from the airport!)  Here are several tips on the resorts site to help you enjoy your stay.

  • My first tip is where to stay when doing Disney with kids. I was pleasantly surprised how close this resort was too everything without being overcrowded by the holiday rush for Mickeys Halloween Party (which we did our last night).  Transportation can be arranged ahead of time with your concierge.
  • Book a resort with a water park & outdoor activities for downtime between parks.  The Hilton Orlando has two huge pools, a lazy river, splash pad, slide, and outdoor sports areas all over the property!  It felt more like a tropical vacation when we relaxed at the resort.
  • Plan your days and fast passes as far in advance as possible.  This is key with toddlers that have very little patience for rides and meals.  We filled up every morning at The Hilton Orlando’s daily breakfast buffet at The Bistro. The service and food was amazing!  You can do 3 fast passes per day per ticket.  I like to plan ours first thing in the morning to knock out all the key rides before lunch!  Make sure to mention rider switch if one child isn’t tall enough to ride!  Always go back to the resort to nap :).
  • Bring a Stroller and tie balloons to it as soon as your in the park to easily spot yours! We easily rolled the stroller back into our hotel room each night.
  • Tips specifically for Mickeys Halloween Party:  Arrive to the park early (they let you in as soon as 4pm day of).  Try to go mid week for less of a crowd.  Dress up!  Bring your own trick-or-treat bags!  Hit up the rides when everyone is grabbing candy, there are no fast passes during this time so barely any waits!  If you are visiting other parks, The Hilton Orlando has packages that include Universal Orlando & 4th night free! (Harry Potter was my favorite during Halloween)
  • Get the specialty drinks at the bar, from milkshakes for the kids to patron in a mini bottle, The Hilton Orlando pool bar had the best selections!
  • All and all we really enjoyed our convenient location & hospitality at The Hilton Orlando!  It was the perfect quick weekend trip to get the Disney bug out of our system 🙂  Thank you so much to the Hilton team for having us!