KEY WEST TRAVEL DIARY (PSSST...IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT SPRING BREAK AND PARTIES) - Live Free Warrior | #livefree
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KEY WEST TRAVEL DIARY (PSSST…IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT SPRING BREAK AND PARTIES)

Also known as Cayo Hueso, Key West is a 2-mile-by-4-mile island located at the southernmost tip of the continental U.S. at the tail end of the 120-mile-long Florida Keys island chain, just 90 miles from Cuba.

 

Formalities and latitudes aside, Key West actually reminds me a bit of visiting Miami. You mention you going there to someone who’s visited and the immediate response is, “you have to check out this bar, this restaurant for ribs, and have a drink at XYZ pub!”

 

Hmm…not for this wellness warrior. No thanks! As you know, I’m in search of all things fun, healthy and fit to share with you on my travels. Here’s what we discovered, and I think you’ll be as pleasantly (and healthily) surprised as we were!

Getting to the Keys

TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS. Of course, you can fly in directly to Key West (EYW), but if you’re coming from the Miami area, it’s a really beautiful road trip to take.

 

Drive time from Miami Beach to the downtown of Key West takes anywhere from 3 h 45 min, but can take upward of 5+ hours if you don’t get the timing right—see below!

 

I’ve also heard you can take a ferry over if you’re coming from the West Coast side of Florida. The Key West Express takes you from Key West to Fort Myers, if that’s your origin.

TIPS. If you’re driving from the Miami area, pick a time to leave during off hours. Getting on the road before 8:30am is recommended, but being that there’s one road in, and one road out, pack a good playlist just in case there’s some traffic! Check out @livefreewarrior on spotify for some inspiration.

Accommodations

24 NORTH HOTEL. A hidden gem hotel that’s right at the point of entry when you arrive (officially) in Key West. A peaceful haven that’s clean, fresh, new, welcoming and conveniently located to every point of access Key West has to offer.

 

Nope, I don’t work for this hotel, I just really fell in love with it! There’s complimentary parking for your car, a huge downstairs community space, a beautiful pool, fitness center, deck for yoga (see below!), restaurant on site with one of the friendliest chefs we’ve met, and there’s a Starbucks attached to the hotel! No drowsy trekking to a coffee shop in the AM for this coffee lover 😉

 

The rooms feature everything you could need, including a hair dryer (one less thing to pack!) and a mini fridge. You’re conveniently located 5 minutes away from a Publix Supermarket as well, so getting some fresh fruit snacks is an easy check on your healthy list.

THE YOGA DECK. We took advantage of this outdoor space to practice and film some yoga sequences while we were visiting. 24 North Hotel features daily classes as well booked through their concierge, and the mornings are so peaceful to practice between the palms overlooking the pool waters. I’m imagining an evening flow would be ideal during the sunset, which are unbeatable in Key West!

24 North Hotel, 3820 North Roosevelt Blvd Key West, FL 33040
(305) 320-0940 reservations@hotel24north.com

Foods

DATE & THYME CAFE. A really impressive cafe and market with all my nutritional geek food comforts of home! From Vega products, Navitas dried fruits and powders, Kombucha, GoMacro nutritional bars, to fresh salads, juices and quinoa bowls, their menu is impressive that can feed even the pickiest of allergen tastebuds.

 

One of the best parts, it’s a cafe and a market in one! So, you can purchase some produce to take back with you, or fuel you for the rest of your journey. Unfortunately, we got here a little late right before they were closing, so I grabbed an organic Honeycrisp apple and Kombucha for the road.

SUGAR APPLE ORGANIC MARKET. Aisles and aisles of food porn for this health and wellness nut! This market is a bit bigger than Date & Thyme, and has things like coconut flour, oils, and organic lotions for you to purchase. It’s like a one-stop-holistic-shop for nutrition dorks like myself.

 

Grabbing a bag of Kamut Puffs for the road, and a fairly priced tall green juice for Javi, we even met the owner of Sugar Apple, who was happy to tell us about where he farms the fresh tumeric from.

Outdoor Play

BIKING. Once the car was parked, that was it! Renting some bikes through the concierge at 24 North Hotel was easy, with the option for a full day or 24 hour rental. With these gorgeous shores and sunshine, it was great exercise and bike trip to work out legs a bit. Definitely bring water and sunscreen, because it does get hot when you’re biking back midday!

BEACHES. When you’re that close to the beach, who needs a car? A 20 minute pedal from the hotel and we arrived at Smathers Beach, which is just past the Key West Airport. It’s a half mile long, man-made beach, and has every water sport you can imagine to ride or experience, along with public bathrooms. See the button below for more beaches you can explore in Key West.

FILMING. Yo. We’re a production team. Of course, we’re filming everything while we’re there! All in good play, to share and create for you! Here’s an out-take from one of the interviews I was doing at the 24 North Hotel, just right of their outdoor restaurant.

Exploration

DOWNTOWN. Meeting locals and fellow visitors, experiencing cultures and environments, seeing the sunsets, and taking in the views—part of the “alive” feeling I get when traveling to new places. It’s always a fun adventure to connect with others visiting for their first time, like we did in this first pic. Heck, they even let me photobomb their group photo! Such a fun crew.

 

Mallory Square and the sunset were two of my favorite photo opportunities. Ways to get downtown include driving (of course), biking, taxi, or (even better) the free shuttle running every half hour from the 24 North Hotel (and The Gates Hotel, part of the 24 North Hotel Group) that brings your right in to the heart of the downtown action.

Sweet Discovery

THE GREEN PINEAPPLE WELLNESS CENTER. In the center of all the craziness Key West can hold, there is peace, zen, and om. The Green Pineapple was my sweetest discovery on this trip, unexpectedly finding a place that hosts: a full yoga schedule, sharing regular workshops for wellness, mindfulness, and yoga. A health-conscious menu that features coffee, tea, wine, and desserts. A spa with organic inspired body treatments, therapeutic massage, and hydrating facials. Complete with life coaching programs, workshops and creative events. And, it has a retail store with the feeling and calm vibes of Anthropologie, which leave any well-designed, creative mind inspired.

Heading Home

PIT STOP. Time for a stretch! In need of an afternoon coffee before our 4-hour drive back home, we stopped at a Starbucks along the way in Islamorada. Our pit stop recommendation, even more than the coffee? STRETCH! Move those legs, pop on a Live Free Yoga Sequence, and move ‘yo body to get energized and pain-free from all that sitting in the car.

 

Until next time (eh-hem JUNE!), Key West! We came, saw, and loved you!

Want to experience this adventure? There’s still a few spots left for our June Key West Retreat. Check out the details in the link below:

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