Diaries Magazine

Sightseeing Sundays-The Florida Keys

By Shawndrarussell
This weekend we had an epic wedding four day event weekend in Islamorada, the top of the Florida Keys. Here are 5 misconceptions I had about the Keys, and why they were dead wrong.
#1: It would be polished and snooty. It was much more Margaritaville than Hilton Head, with tacky bright colors everywhere, run down seafood joints lining the coasts, and run-down houseboats anchored off-shore. But all in an awesome, Caribbean-vibe way.
#2: The people would all be old. I thought that the Keys were where old people went to retire, but this party area has people of all ages flocking to it. Next week is Bartenders' Week just to give you a clue that this gorgeous area is fun for all ages.
#3: Not having waves would make the ocean suck. Errrr, wrong! Although I love some good waves, not having waves coming up to the shore is actual perfect since most people are hanging out on boats all day. We did a deep sea fishing trip (I caught a tiny fish, and Gary caught three!), and we rented a six-person boat that we anchored in a sandbar in the middle of the ocean (can you say SWEET?!). No waves=better boating fun.
#4: They would have unbelievable seafood. Now, I only have one restaurant to base my information on, and I was exhausted and sunburned so I might not have the full story. Our meal was good, but nothing to write home about. I have had better seafood in Savannah. But I need to taste test some more when we go back to the Keys (we really wanted some stone crab, but they were out. Maybe that's why I was a little bitter?).
#5: Everything would be super expensive because everyone who goes to the Keys is super rich. Err! Wrong again. Sure, some things were unreasonable (like $10 drinks at the Tiki Bar or $35 for dinner "specials"), but both of our boating adventures were very, very reasonably priced and provided tons o' fun that I would have been willing to pay even more for. My friend also found this unbelievable two-story, two-bedroom condo complete with a full kitchen, living area, and a pool that jutted out over the bay side, giving us awesome views--all this for what you would typically pay for just a hotel room.
We LOVE the Keys and now want to make it an annual long-weekend trip--fun in the sun guaranteed!

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