Top 10 Florida Keys Hotels for Families

By Nancy Schretter, Editor

Key West and the Florida Keys are the perfect spot for families to enjoy a tropical island family vacation - without leaving the United States. There's so much to see and do here, with activities to please every member of the family. While the Keys may not be known for an abundance of long white sand beaches, the region's outstanding natural attractions and funky island vibe creates a magic all its own. Visit once and you'll find yourself coming back time and time again.

Choosing the right place to stay is critical for families visiting the Florida Keys. The Family Travel Network staff has searched these islands for the best places to stay and found excellent family friendly options at all budget levels. Here are our top family hotel picks in geographic order – from the southernmost point of Key West all the way up to Islamorada.

1. Hyatt Key West Resort & Marina - Key West
The Hyatt Key West is perfectly situated right on the water near Duval Street, providing easy access to some of the best of what Key West has to offer. This luxury resort features rooms with private balconies and flat screen televisions, a heated outdoor pool and small patch of sand on the Gulf of Mexico, private sailboat excursions, loads of watersports rentals and equipment, bike and scooter rentals, and the award-winning Jala Spa and Hyatt Stay Fit gym. This pet-friendly property also provides Wi-Fi access in all guest rooms and public places. Address: 601 Front Street, Key West. For more information, visit www.keywest.hyatt.com. $$$

2. Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort – Key West
Looking fresh from its $43-million dollar renovation, Casa Marina combines stunning historic architecture with a fresh, tropical feel. In addition to regular rooms, the hotel also offers 1- and 2-bedroom oceanview suites perfect for families. Guests at Casa Marina can enjoy one of the nicest hotel beaches in Key West as well as two outdoor pools, watersports equipment rentals, bike and scooter rentals and much more. Kids enjoy the evening poolside movies with free popcorn. Address: 1500 Reynolds Street, Key West. For more information, visit www.casamarinaresort.com. $$$

3. Sunset Key Guest Cottages, A Westin Resort - Key West
Imagine staying on your own 27-acre luxury island just a 10-minute launch ride across the water from Key West. One part of the resort is set aside for full-time residents and the other is available for resort rentals. Guests check in at the Westin Key West Resort and Marina in Key West (where they have complimentary use of all facilities) and then are whisked away to their private island digs. Beach cottages here offer 1-, 2-, or 3-bedrooms, full kitchens, and lots of amenities. Sunset Key has a lovely white sand beach, tennis courts, an onsite restaurant and a pool. Address: 245 Front Street, Key West. For more information, visit www.westinsunsetkeycottages.com. $$$$$

4. Southernmost on the Beach - Key West
Water-loving families will be right at home at this lovely hotel with its Junior-size Olympic pool and white sand beach fronting the Atlantic Ocean. Each of the spacious rooms here has an ocean view and complimentary beach chairs, parking and Wi-Fi are provided as well. While kids will enjoy trips out to the hotel's private pier and playing croquet, parents can check out the many treatments available at the resort's spa. Address: 508 South Street, Key West. For more information, visit www.southernmostresorts.com. $$$

5. Hawks Cay Resort - Duck Key
Mega-family friendly Hawks Cay Resort is set on a 60-acre island loaded with activities. Families can take part in dolphin programs, chill on the beach at the resort's saltwater lagoon, enjoy fishing and snorkeling excursions, go sailing or waterskiing, and check out Hawks Cay's 7,000-square-foot Calm Waters Spa where special teen packages are offered. Five pools and a large saltwater swimming lagoon are available here. Camp Hawk, Hawks Cay's program for kids ages 5-12, was voted as the "Best Hotel Kids' Program" by Travel + Leisure readers. Teens ages 13-17 will love the resort's Teens Night Out programs and hang outs at The Cove and the Indies Club. In addition to the resort's luxurious guest rooms, families can spread out at the property's 2-, 3-, and 4-bedroom villas. Reserve all dolphin-related activities in advance since they are very popular. Address: Hawks Cay Blvd. at MM 61, Duck Key. For more information, visit www.hawkscay.com. $$$

6. Tranquility Bay - Marathon
This tropical Singh Hotel & Resort property sits on 12 lushly landscaped acres overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. All of the resort's non-smoking 2- and 3-bedroom homes have expansive water views, washers and dryers, 42-inch plasma TVs, CD and DVD players (with access to the resort's DVD library), and spacious porches for enjoying the breezes and sea views. Guests can enjoy a full array of watersports, including diving, snorkeling and fishing charters. The resort's themed Keys Kids Adventure Camp half-day program is available for young guests ages 5-15. Kids 10-15 years of age can receive discovery SCUBA certification. Address: 2600 Overseas Highway, Marathon. For more information, visit www.tranquilitybay.com. $$$$

7. Conch Key Cottages - Walker's Island
Families can stay on their own private island in the Florida Keys without breaking the bank. Conch Key's 1- and 2-bedroom cottages have screened-in porches and access to hammocks, barbeque grills, and a small private beach. The resort's concierge can arrange a variety of off-site tours and activities. Address: Walker's Island off U.S. 1 at MM 62.3, Marathon. For more information, visit www.conchkeycottages.com. $$

8. Pines and Palms - Islamorada
This moderately priced, pet-friendly resort offers large rooms as well as 2- and 3-bedroom cottages with full kitchens, Atlantic Ocean views along with a small private beach. Families can enjoy the heated freshwater pool, free wireless, and free dockage for boats up to 32 feet in length. Address: US 1 at MM 80.4, Islamorada. For more information, visit www.pinesandpalms.com. $$

9. Cheeca Lodge & Spa - Islamorada
This upscale family friendly resort set on 27 beachfront acres has a focus on sports of all kinds. The resort offers guests the use of its 9-hole golf course, six tennis courts, kayaks, bicycles, fishing rods and more. In addition, the resort arranges its own fishing trips, eco-tours, snorkeling and sailing excursions for families who want to enjoy all that the Florida Keys have to offer. The resort's Camp Cheeca program is available for kids ages 5-12. The 5,700-square-foot Spa at Cheeca offers a wide variety of therapies and treatments. For an in-depth review of Cheeca Lodge, see this article on The Family Travel Network. Address: US 1 at MM 82, Islamorada. For more information, visit www.cheeca.com. $$$$

10. The Islander Oceanfront Resort – Islamorada
The pet-friendly Islander Resort offers families oceanfront rooms, suites and Lanai Villas set on 20 tropical acres. Guests have access to two oceanfront swimming pools, a 1300-foot private coral sand beach, and a picnic area with grills. Kids will enjoy checking out the local marine life from the resort's 200-foot lighted fishing pier. An on-site watersports center supplies motor and sailboat rentals, aqua cycles, rafts and snorkeling gear as well as bicycle rentals for those who want to explore the area. Address: US 1 at MM 82.1, Islamorada. For more information, visit www.islanderfloridakeys.com. $$

For campers, one of the best places to stay in the Florida Keys is Bahia Honda State Park, located at MM 37. This state park is set on over 500 acres of land and offers 80 campsites as well as 3 duplex cabins ($-$$) that can hold up to 8 people. The park has two award-winning beaches, extensive facilities, and a number of activities including kayaking and snorkeling excursions to Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary. A marina with boat slip rentals is also available. For more information, visit www.floridastateparks.org/bahiahonda.

It's always nice to find a great inn that welcomes children, especially in an exciting location like the Florida Keys. If your family is on a budget, take a look at the Southernmost Point Guest House in Key West. Each room ($$) is a bit different, so talk with the inn directly to determine which one would be the best choice for your family. The beach is located just a block away from the inn – chairs and towels are provided for guests. This is a good choice for families on a budget who want to experience all that Key West has to offer. Address: 1327 Duval Street, Key West. Visit www.southernmostpoint.com for more information.

If you are traveling with teen or young adult children who are perfectly happy peacefully reading under a palm tree, consider The Moorings in Islamorada. This 18-acre former coconut plantation features a breathtakingly beautiful 1,000-foot private white sand beach that has served as the setting for many photo shoots, commercials, and an occasional movie or two. The resort has fully-equipped 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom cottages and houses ($$$-$$$$$) that will accommodate families, a large outdoor heated pool, tennis court, non-motorized watersports and more. The beach and tropical setting are divine. For more information, visit www.mooringsvillage.com.

For those who don't want to drive too far down the Keys, the Key Largo Bay Marriott Beach Resort is a great family-friendly choice. Located on 17 acres of waterfront less than an hour from Miami, the Key Largo Bay Marriott offers upscale rooms and deluxe two-bedroom suites ($$-$$$) perfect for families. Kids will enjoy the resort's heated pool and private sunning beach, while parents can pamper themselves at the full-service spa. For more information, visit www.marriottkeylargo.com.

If You Go:

  • For more information on Key West and the Florida Keys, visit www.fla-keys.com.
  • If you are looking for things to do in Key West, make sure to read this article on the top 10 Key West activities and attractions for families on The Family Travel Network.

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