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As much as we love family and friends visiting us in D.C. we’ll always be keen to travel and meet them in new places. Rich’s family were crossing the pond to see us for two weeks, we were all set on having a chilled week, so we avoided cities and looked for some serious pool time.

All being keen drivers, we looked for locations that had scenic routes along the way so we could tick off a famous ‘American Road Trip’ route whilst still being a short flight away from D.C.

We settled on Florida Keys knowing it was family friendly (we were traveling with a baby) and it ticked every box on our list. I had visited the Keys as a child but aside from fishing I couldn’t remember much else, so counted it as a new place.

The Keys were hit quite hard by Hurricane Irma so looking for a villa/house was quite tricky as we couldn’t tell how much of the islands had been rebuilt and where was best to stay. After A LOT of research and information from locals we decided to stay in Marathon, which is central between Key Largo and Key West, at Hawks Cay resort.

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The house we rented was set on the water and had a pier connecting it to the patio. I spent a lot of time looking out at our neighbours fishing, to see what they had caught and wondering if I could even remember how to fish after 15+ years since being taught. Most likely not, sorry Dad.

We didn’t venture out too much other than to the supermarket and to get ice cream from Sweet Savannah’s which sold some of the best ice cream I’ve ever tried! My favourite flavour was Bananas and Praline.

Key West is the busiest and the most popular place for tourists in the area, so we went on a day trip to see what it had to offer. Even though the area would suit a lot of people, we were glad to have chosen Marathon as it was a lot quieter with more space for greenery and scenic views. If you’re looking for a Spring break vibe, Key West is the place to be!

Hawks Cay Resort has several restaurants, however due to the hurricane they were still bouncing back and the majority were closed until a couple of weeks after we left. Anger and Ale was the main restaurant which we were all big fans of, their menu has everything you could want and the staff were so helpful and friendly. The restaurant is also open to non-resort guests so I’d recommend it if you’re visiting The Keys.

We picked the perfect time to visit (second week in June), as the area was empty, it felt like our own private resort! As we were leaving it got busier and busier with families filling the supermarkets, pools and restaurants in the area.

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I love Florida’s laid-back attitude, great scenery and never ending coast lines, and whilst we are keen to return, other parts of the Sunshine State are next on our list. Orlando is somewhere I have the majority of my childhood memories as we would go every summer, but Rich hasn’t been so I’m keen to go with him! Every time I see photos of Palm Beach it gets higher and higher on my list too, so hopefully next year we’ll be able to tick them off too.


If you are visiting the Keys soon and looking for a great place to stay, check out Hawks Cay Resort here.