Think of Florida and no doubt Mickey Mouse and Co along with thrill rides, water parks and huge crowds are the things that most come to mind. While Orlando certainly has a lot to offer and is an unbeatable entertainment destination, there is so much more to Florida than theme parks and cartoon characters if you are willing to don your adventure cap and hit the road.
The Florida Keys are a string of tropical islands stretching out off the Southern tip of Florida towards the Caribbean. Once home to Ernest Hemmingway they are awash with sunshine, views, rum and a chilled out, hip atmosphere. I would recommend visiting on a road trip, as it is the only way to truly experience the views and breath-taking scenery.
The drive from Miami to Key West is worth the journey alone, taking in 110 miles over 42 bridges on the famous overseas highway. It is one of the great American road trips and is most definitely bucket list material! Hire a convertible, drop the top down, turn the volume up and take in some incredible sights. There are several stops you can stay at along the way, or you could base yourself at a particular Key and explore from there. Personally, I would prefer to do a couple of nights at each, but it would depend on your personal preference and who you are travelling with, whether it be as a couple, with friends or as a family.
Key West is obviously one of the most popular places to stay with such history and culture, a blend of US, Cuban and Bahamian. Showing a different side to Florida the Conch Republic is also known for its Key Lime Pie, pirates, water sports and live music – lots of live music! Duval Street on Key West is particularly famed for its Jazz, Cuban and Salsa music on a mile long stretch of vibrant bars. Pop in and grab a cocktail to watch the famed sunsets on the Florida Keys for a truly memorable experience.
There are also family resorts on the keys so don't be afraid to take your younger ones along to experience what this amazing place has to offer. It may offer you some well-earned time out after the fun filled, non-stop action of Orlando and the kids will love it I promise. Take a break from the norm and make memories to last a lifetime in this unique destination.