When I was interning in Miami, my parents came to visit, and we spent a weekend in Key West. We drove down, it only takes a few hours, and stopped at various places along the way. The stop I remember most was, I think, on Indian Key. There’s a state park in a smaller key and you could, at one point, kayak out to it, but the Army Corps of Engineers had never rebuilt the dock after (insert a hurricane), so they weren’t allowing visitors at present. Instead, Dad bought us a couple of beers (before lunch) and a bucket of bait to feed the fish off the docks (a surprisingly fun tourist trap). I wish I remembered the name of the fish. Jack Creval and something that started with a “p” but sounded like a “t”. It was a lot of fun. My father remembers it very fondly.
We didn’t get to go out to the Dry Tortugas. We were going to fly, but the guy’s plane was broken. The person doing the booking let us know that the guy’s plane was broken most of the time, so maybe it wouldn’t be safe even if it were working. The ferry takes most of the day, and we didn’t have the time.
We stayed at a small place near Duval Street…I think it might have been on James Street? Adorable, but it did not have a kitchenette. If you want a kitchenette, you might have to go with a bigger property. Or Air BnB.