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melinda1221 Feb 7th, 2013 03:14 AM

Family friendly Florida Keys?
We are planning a trip to the Florida Keys with my granddaughters, ages 6 and 10. We were thinking of staying in Key West but I am open to suggestions as to which one would be most family friendly. Also, any hotels or resorts?
Thank you for any suggestions.

dperry Feb 7th, 2013 04:09 AM

hello, i have a home in the keys and spend weekends there.
you may want to consider key largo. the marriott hotel is very nice and well located. in key largo there is a dolphin research center where you can swim with the dolphins. there is also a wonderful state park - John Pennekamp, from where you can rent canoes,kayaks, and take a glass bottom boat tour. snorkleing is also available there, and all over the keys.
Islamorada (the next village south of Key Largo) also has the Theater of the Sea, a small but very nice marine park with daily shows. there are some lovely art galleries in Islamorada. On Matacumbe Key (can't remember if it's upper or lower) there is a place called Robbies. It's on the bayside. they have a tarpon feeding show daily, and there are vendors selling touristy things. Your granchildren may like picking up souvenirs here. you can also have lunch and rent kayaks, etc.
i am not a fan of key west - much to crowded and often seedy.
however, you could take a drive down there for the day, from Key Largo.
the advtage of key west is the night life, but if you're travelling with your grandchildren that's probably not on your list.
if you go to key largo some of my favorite restaurants are:
Calypso (the best fish tacos you will ever have)
Snooks Bayside (good food, amazing view)
both are located at Mile Marker 100, just a few miles south of your hotel
hope this information is helpful

melinda1221 Feb 7th, 2013 02:54 PM

Thank you for that information. I was a little concerned about Key West and I think we will explore some of the possible places that you mentioned.
Thanks, again.

Teacherfish Feb 8th, 2013 02:57 AM

I love El Patio in Key West.El Patio Motel

800 Washington Street, Key West, FL 33040
It is far enough from the mayhem of Duval Street to be family friendly and close enough to walk to everything. They also have a bit of an unusual two bedroom combination, where you have to walk through one bedroom to get to a shared bathroom (its a private bathroom- but for the two rooms in your suite). It actually is cost effective and perfect for a family with young children. I think sitting on there patio rooftop and drinking Cuban coffee from the restaurant down the block is worth putting up with a slightly oldish motel.

Ozarksbill Feb 8th, 2013 04:52 PM

Our family rented a house for Thanksgiving on Cudjoe Key. This was as I recall 18 miles from Key West. Others can advise but there are lots of motels and condos for rent and also lots to do in Key West. For your granddaughters I recommend the Aquarium off Mallory Sq. and out on Duvall St. the Butterfly & Nature Conservancy. A fun eatery is Blue Heaven. Of course you will enjoy riding the trolley around the island. And there are sandy beaches.

Bill in Boston

SusanCS Feb 9th, 2013 03:45 AM

I think Key West would be the best place for activities to entertain children. There are some areas of Duval that can get rowdy at night, but you won't have the children out that late anyway.

The closest thing to a resort in Key West is the Casa Marina, which is a Waldorf property. The disadvantage to it, however, is that it's a little removed from other activities and you'd probably want a car.

In addition to the things already mentioned, there are glass-bottom boat rides and sunset cruises. The butterfly conservancy is fabulous!

familythattravels Feb 9th, 2013 05:57 AM


We are going to Key West next week to visit some friends. Our children are 8 and 9. We went for the day last year and the butterfly conservatory was a hit. There is also an aquarium we plan to check out. We are staying at the Casa Marina so I will write a trip report when we return.

familythattravels Mar 23rd, 2013 07:02 AM

Update - Went to Key West in February with our kids and stayed at Casa Marina. Loved the location and a one bedroom suite worked well for us. It is not inexpensive but the area is so nice you may want to research it. Good thing about the resort is they have a small beach - unusual for Key West and two clean pools with bar service on the beach - very nice but you do pay for it. If you go take the kids to Mallory Square just before sunset and watch the street performers incredibly entertaining. Have also done the butterfly conservatory and trolley tour both were worth it. Enjoy!

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