Montego Bay, Jamaica

My hubby and I just came back from a tropical paradise vacation in Montego Bay, Jamaica!!! Neither of us had ever been to the island and neither of us had ever taken time away from the Wisconsin winter to visit the beach… so we thought what better time than the present?! It was worth every penny.

We stayed at an all inclusive resort, Sunscape Splash. This was perfect for us because it was on the lower end of the budget but was a serious bang for our buck. It was an incredible resort for a four night trip.

Our first morning waking up in Montego Bay we decided we needed a little adventure. We booked a taxi from our resort to The Hip Strip, which was an adventure indeed. The Hip Strip is a busy street filled with shops, vendors, food, and tours. This was the perfect souvenir stop and we had fun experiencing the hubbub of downtown.

img_9080

Toward the end of The Hip Strip is Margaritaville. This place was a blast! The view was incredible, the drinks were yummy, and the energy was unreal even in the mid-morning. While it was a bit on the touristy side, my husband and I were able to find a little spot all to ourselves to enjoy our surroundings. The water was a gorgeous aqua color when the sun came out and the view of the mountains instantly stole my heart.

Another adventure, and definitely the stand out of our trip, was an excursion to Chukka Good Hope. This was unlike anything either of us had ever experienced. First of all, the ride there was an experience in and of itself. We had a bus driver who pointed out sights throughout the two hour trip to Falmouth all the while playing Bob Marley and making me slightly nervous driving up through the mountains on tiny unpaved roads. I don’t know about you, but I love learning the ins and outs of an area I visit so this was a highlight of the trip for one. Once we got to Good Hope, that’s when the real fun began. It was one flat rate to build your own adventure throughout the day. We opted for dune buggies, floating down the Martha Brae river, a tour of the estate, lunch, and rum tasting. My personal favorite was the estate tour because of the view. I’ve never been to a jungle, mountain-filled area so this blew my mind.

 

img_9217img_9232

It was such a great trip. We really needed some time away and everything about our time in Jamaica was just easy. Along with these few adventures, we definitely spent a fair amount of time soaking up the sun at the resort with tropical drinks in our hands. It was nice to get out and have some fun but also sit back and relax.

We decided that some day we will go back to Jamaica to check out Negril and Ocho Rios, since those areas seem to offer different things. Prior to our trip we had heard mixed reviews about Montego Bay, but our trip was amazing. Not a single complaint. So if you are looking for some adventure with beautiful surroundings I would highly recommend a trip to Montego Bay, Jamaica!!!

Key West, FL

As you may have seen in a recent travel post, this summer I was fortunate enough to take a trip with my family to The Florida Keys. One of my favorite parts of the vacation was our day trip to Key West, which was so much fun! To start, the actual drive down is gorgeous. I have seen it on many “things to do in your lifetime” lists and would recommend that you add it to yours. The famous Overseas Highway is how you actually get down to Key West. From our hotel in Key Largo, which is the northernmost Key, it took a little over two hours by car… and you need to do it by car. I promise that you won’t regret it. It’s a one road in and one road out kind of deal and the scenery will take your breath away. It literally feels like you are driving on water because the ocean surrounds the road. Amazing!

Since most of the family members we were with had been to Key West before, we first stopped at a few of their go-to’s including El Mason De Pepe, a Cuban bar and cigar shop, and Hogs Breath, a famous bar that has the yummiest drinks and a fun atmosphere. From there, we visited The Southernmost Point in the US and Mallory Square… two essentials on the island.

We spent most of our day sight-seeing and exploring what Key West has to offer, a lot of which is located on Duval Street. Downtown is filled with unique shops, bars, and restaurants. We went to Flying Monkey’s Saloon for frozen drinks, the original Margaritaville for lunch, and Sloppy Joe’s for a live band. Needless to say it was a good day on Duval!

Other notables from our Key West trip included US 1 Mile Marker 0 and the Key West Lighthouse, both historic and must-sees in their own special way. We ended the day with a beautiful sunset on the island as we drove away. Sunsets in Key West are a nightly celebration and likely the biggest must-see of them all.

Key West is truly one of those places you have got to see and experience for yourself. There is a rich history to tell about the island… everything from pirate ships to famous poets and lots of things in between. I know I will be back again to see some things that didn’t quite make our day trip itinerary. There is so much to do and see that you won’t be able to get to everything in one day, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try! If you get the chance to go, GO!!!

Have you ever been to Key West? Anything I missed? XOXO