Published on September 29th, 2013 | by Charu Suri
11 Florida Keys through Instagram (PHOTOS)
Our family visit to the Florida Keys last week was nothing normal. Two vegetarians and a toddler visited an area best known for its seafood, and instead of doing what most people do (fish, broil a grouper, or snorkel in the third largest coral reef in the world), we chose to eat delicious vegetarian food, ride a glass-bottom boat, and scout out the best key lime pie in town!
Our Florida Keys adventure began in bluer than bluer Key Largo, which is known as the dive capital of the world. Having taken a flight from Newark Airport and landing in Miami at around 11 pm, we drove for about an hour in search of our comfortable digs at the Bay Harbor Lodge, where we had a waterfront cottage with a garden that was pulsing with birds of paradise (the floral variety). It?s true what they say: US-1 road is as flat as a pancake but incredibly beautiful. Even though we drove at night and couldn?t see very much, we knew we were driving right next to some of the most stunning coral waters in the world.
It?s also true what they say about the Keys: each region has its special style, a je ne sais quoi quality about it that is completely personal. Although there are many islands that make up the archipelago, the Keys are divided into regions: Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, Lower Pine Keys and Key West. We found out quickly enough that most people just head straight to Key West, but this is a big mistake. There are so many wonderful things to do in the Upper Keys: in fact, the richness is astounding.
To do the road trip that National Geographic described as one of the road trips of a lifetime (referring to the 161 mile drive from Miami to Key West) without a great soundtrack would be one of life?s egregious errors: a pulsing rhythm (we listened to everything from The Beatles to the ?80s pop radio) is one of the drive?s key pleasures. Along the drive we saw many impromptu beaches, cays in the middle of the ocean (kayak accessible) and saw some spectacular sunsets.
Here are some of my Instagram photos from our four-day savory trip to the Florida Keys:
A sunset in Islamorada (the fishing capital of the world)
Our view from a Waterfront Cottage at Bay Harbor Lodge in Key Largo
Kristie, co-owner of Key Largo Chocolates, smiles as she shows us how many key limes go into making her famous pies
Erika and I enjoy sunshine on a boat from John Pennekamp State Park, Key Largo
We enjoy playing with ?Tatum,? the youngest dolphin at Hawk?s Cay Resort
A sunrise at Pigeon Cay, right before the famous Seven Mile Bridge in Marathon
Erika and I enjoy a moment in front of the Ernest Hemingway House in Key West
The best slice of Key Lime Pie, at ?Key West Key Lime Pie Co.? on Duval Street
Anne?s Beach, a gem we found near mile marker 71
One of the several sparkling pools at Hawk?s Cay Resort, Marathon
A Key Lime Mint Mojito at Hawk?s Cay Resort
Setting sail past red, black and white mangroves at John Pennekamp State Park