So, early one Saturday in May we flew into Miami, making one stop in Atlanta which was just long enough to get breakfast and a much-needed second cup of coffee. We picked up our rental car at the Miami Airport and we were off! Turned out we were lucky that we were only going as far as Key Largo that night, the traffic was terrible. We started baking in the sun sitting on the Overseas Highway with the top down. When we arrived in Key Largo, we stopped off for lunch at the Key Largo Fisheries Backyard, which is a counter service restaurant serving fresh fish right off the boats that dock behind the restaurant. I'd wanted stone crab, but didn't see it on the menu...later I figured out that you order it in the actual fish market, not the restaurant. We split our first order of conch fritters (when in the Keys...) and I had a chipotle shrimp wrap. There was live music and it was fun to watch the boats go by - including a huge 30+ foot tall houseboat that went by.
After our late lunch we headed to the Hilton Key Largo Resort to check in. The property is right off the Overseas Highway, but the noise is blocked by the thick canopy of trees. We checked in, brought our luggage up to our room, and then headed straight to the beach. The water was very calm, but the beach was kind of rocky (this ended up being true in Key West, too.) The Hilton Key Largo Resort has on-site water sports, ping pong and cornhole, a permanent food truck/shed, bar, and live music and s'mores around the campfire on Saturday evenings, all on the beach. The pool is separate from the beach area, at the front end of the resort. We checked it out briefly, but stayed at the beach. There was a wedding going on on one secluded part of the beach, but we lucked out because we could hear the steel drums for the hour leading up, which set the tropical/beach mood.
|View of the canopy and water from our room.|
We watched the sun start to set and made a s'more then headed to our dinner reservation.
The next morning we got up early and headed to the brunch buffet at the resort. It was Mother's Day, so for a small upcharge you could take part in the full buffet including mimosa, hot breakfast buffet, carving station, omelet station, fruit bar, cheese/meat plates, and chocolate covered strawberries. After breakfast we packed up and got on the road.
The Hilton Key Largo Resort is a beautiful property, our room and many of the main areas have been recently updated, and it doesn't feel stuffy or pretentious. We enjoyed our stay. We aren't sure how much there really is to do in Key Largo, if we'd had more time we had planned to snorkel at John Pennenkamp State Park, which is home to the largest living reef in the United States, but if you're not a snorkeler/diver, you may want to use Key Largo as a pass through on the way to Key West, like we did.
Next time I'll recap our drive from Key Largo to Key West and our first day in the Southernmost city in the U.S.
|I loved this whimsical little guy, and the lizard isn't half bad, either. I think they used to be lights or tiki torches, but we never saw them on while we were there.|