CELEBRATING MY 26th BIRTHDAY IN KEY WEST!

You have to know this about me,  I’m a huge fan of birthdays. Ever since I turned sixteen I’ve been traveling for mine and since then it’s become a tradition (going strong for 10 years!). I had planned an out of the country trip, but instead I got to celebrate my birthday by doing a road trip to Key West with a few of my best friends.

If you’ve been following me for a while you know Key West is amongst my favorite places in FL. I always say the keys are a hidden gem for us Floridians. It’s beautiful, welcoming, and it has a whole lot of character.

HOW TO GET TO KEY WEST:

Key West is close to a four-hour drive if you’re driving from Miami. Since I was taking my whole squad, I wanted the ride to be comfortable, spacious, and relaxing for all of us. Which is why I decided to take the 2018 Toyota Sequoia for the ride. If you have friends like mine, who don’t last on road trips and will complain about being uncomfortable, you’d consider taking this car as well – trust me. To my surprise, no one complained or felt the long 4 hour drive (even though we did a stop). I know it had a lot to do with the car. It has multiple cup holders, a tv to put movies, headphones, heaters on the seats, an amazing radio system, reclinable seats (that don’t bother the person behind you), and it’s affordability when it came to gas.

We only stopped once to refuel the gas on our way and once more on our way back from the keys. The Toyota Sequoia was the dream car to take during this trip. It didn’t make me miss my plane rides, and most importantly, everyone was happy during the drive. I was comfortable and relaxed for the entire drive while I got to enjoy the views from the scenic drive to Key West.

If you’re flying to FL to come to the keys, I would fly in to Miami International Airport, and rent a vehicle to do the drive. If you’re from FL, definitely do the drive!

I knew the forecast was going to be on our favor for the trip (thanks to the Floridian gods). Most times at the Keys when it says “showers,” what it really means is a minor storm for a few hours and voila! You’ve got yourself a killer-sunny afternoon. So when we arrived it was just as I remembered it… warm and tropical.

I know often times we freak out when we check the weather, but Key West is always-always tropical.

WHERE TO STAY:

We arrived to the charming 24 North Hotel. I immediately loved the exterior of it, because unlike most hotels, their elevator was outside! When you check-in on the inside lobby, there’s a welcoming area, but right outside of it you can see the pool, the coconut tiki, and the playground where they had jenga!

Traveling solo for as much as I have this year, I wanted to be with all my friends on this vacation. So I checked-in to a double queen bedroom (super spacious for a girls trip) overseeing the pool side. It was better than perfect! We may have struggled a bit to share mirrors when it came to getting ready, but we managed! haha…

My girlfriends and I all agree that the best part about the 24 North Key West was hands down their food. The breakfast options were amazing! As were the lunch fish tacos and the greek-grilled salmon salad I had. I’m not much of a fan when it comes to JUST DINING at hotels, unless the food is recommended, but I HIGHLY recommend eating at Coconut Tiki in the hotel. Being the foodie that I am, I will have to admit that I preferred dining at the hotel than having to go out for breakfast and lunch during my stay here.

The hotel also shares amenities with The Gates hotel, which means the Starbucks and the food truck outside can be used by any of the guest staying at these hotels.

WHAT TO DO IN KEY WEST:

  • Go sailing: my friends and I took a sunset catamaran that included light bites and drinks and we had the time of our lives. Nothing beats a Key West sunset while out in the ocean, I promise.
  • Walk the streets of Duval: Seriously explore Key West. Both tourist and locals hang out here, and you’ll occasionally run into musicians playing in the streets. (total New Orlean vibes)
  • Drag show!: My friends love going to a good drag show, and Key West had one of the best ones I’ve ever seen haha…
  • Ghost Tour: The most touristy item I would ever suggest, but this is sooooo popular in this little town that I had to recommend.
  • Cuba’s 90 Mile Mark: This is a historical land mark. This viewpoint is meaningful to a lot of my dear friends that are cuban. It reminds them of how close they are to home. Beware of the long lines and be sure not to skip the line for a photo!
  • Beach-it-out: There’s a few beaches in Key West since it’s not really known for that. There’s a few sandy spots you can hang out and enjoy an afternoon while enjoying the sunset. It’s my favorite thing to do.

I absolutely loved spending my birthday here. I hadn’t been back in a very long time, but I was reminded how much beauty we have just a few hours south of the FL peninsula.

Overall, If you’re looking for a place to vacation with your family, 24 North hotel is it. If you’re looking for the perfect getaway car for a huge family, the Toyota Sequoia is the best!

Now, where do I go for my 27th bithday? I want to be spontaneous! Any recommendation would be amazing!!!

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