John – 15
The Half Shell Raw Bar is one of many good places to dine in Key West. The Raw Bar is set right on a dock area with a nice view of the ocean/marina area. During the time that we ate, we sat right next to the water and saw millions of beautiful fish swimming around trying to grab at every little bit of food that falls in the water. The Half Shell Raw Bar is a good place to eat if you are looking for fresh seafood. The prices are a little high, but if you are looking for good, fresh food then this is one of the places to eat!
One of the best things they had were oysters on the half shell. The oysters were some of the best I have ever had. They had a nice freshness to the taste; you could still taste the saltiness of the seawater on them. You can see the people shucking and opening the oysters near the back of the restaurant where the main bar is.
The Half Shell Raw Bar is a popular place to eat on the island, and I would recommend getting there early or making a reservation so you don’t have to worry about not getting to sit down or spending a long time waiting.
Another recommendation for an appetizer is the peel and eat shrimp. The shrimp also has fresh taste – just like it came out of the ocean and has not been sitting out for a while. The peel and eat shrimp is one of the best on the island and is the perfect size to eat. For my main dish I ordered shrimp that was grilled. The grilled shrimp was amazing and tasted really good. The shrimp was cooked perfect and was the best tasting shrimp I had on the island and our whole trip to Key West. It has some spices, almost like a barbecue on it that was amazing.
Hadley – 12
When we where in Key West we went to the Half Shell Raw Bar. The restaurant is right on the water. It is the sister restaurant Turtle Kraals another good restaurant. When we ate there, we asked if we could sit on the water, and we got to sit with a view of the marina and the ocean. They have many different types of seafood to eat. Obviously they have some of the best oysters, and you can even watch the guys shucking them. We had some oysters, but also some peel and eat shrimp. For our main meal, I got the fried shrimp. They also have many different sides you get to choose from. For the pick two, I got my favorite was the Cuban bread. It had a good taste it; was like spicy garlic bread. The Half Shell Raw Bar, always has a fish of the day. When we were there, they had grouper and dolphin fish. It was one of the best places we ate at the whole vacation. My mom got the grilled shrimp and my dad got the grouper. They both said theirs was very good. While we ate our oysters, we threw out some food to the fish and there was a big rainbow type fish swimming next to us that was really cool. We didn’t have a reservation but it was very busy there, so i would definitely recommend getting a reservation if possible. All the food was very good and you could definitely tell that it was fresh because we had ate at places later and could tell it wasn’t very fresh because it had a weird taste. The Half Shell Raw Bar is definitely good place to eat.
Barnett – 10
The Half Shell Raw Bar is the place to go if you like seafood. The restaurant overall was a great restaurant to eat at. You can sit by the water or at the bar. I had the fried shrimp, and I thought it was good because it was just crisp enough and the shrimp was fresh. The grilled shrimp kabob was also good because it has spices, and it is grilled perfectly. The shrimp was also really juicy and had good flavor. The waitress we had was bad because she had to go to an appointment and didn’t tell anyone that she was leaving. Finally, we had to ask someone where she was. But the second waitress we had was better – she found out to take care of us. The cooks were good because they got our food out fast and had good recipes. The place had licenses plates all over the walls. If I were you I would go there to try it; this is my opinion. If I had the chance I would definitely go back again.
John – 15
One of the things you have to do while in Key West is go snorkeling. The best trip to take for this is a Danger Charter. Danger Charters is a half-day or a full-day trip. During the trip you will be snorkeling, sailing, and kayaking. But, if you are looking for a romantic trip there is also a wine and sunset trip. During the half-day trip and full-day trip you and 20-25 other people will be on board a 65 foot traditional style schooner. After the sail boat heads out of the bay and into an open area the sail boat stops and allows you to start snorkeling for a while. Then you head back onto the boat and go to the mangroves and kayak out there. After that you head back into the bay and end the journey. The difference between the full day trip is that the full day trip you stop and eat lunch at a sandbar. One of the best things about the trips is that they give you snacks and drinks that are included in the price. For the sunset sail trip you head out on the boat and watch the sunset while drinking a variety of wines. The sunset trip is voted the number one thing to do while at Key West. The prices for the trips are 80 dollars for a half-day trip. The ages are 4 and up. For the full-day trip the cost is 110 dollars and for the wine and sunset sail is 80 dollars. The sunset and wine sail is from ages 4 and up so if you have kids you can bring them along as well. The times depend on the month that you go and the time of the year that you take the trip. If you head to Key West, this is one of the number one things you should do on the island. The Danger Charters boats are less packed as others we saw going in and out of the harbor. They like to give you a crew that is nice and makes sure you are OK during the whole trip.
Hadley – 12
When we were in Key West over Christmas, we went on a Danger Charter. The boat you are on is a sailboat. We did the half-day trip. On our boat there was about 21 people, so there is lots of room. They provided snacks and drinks. You can either go on a half-day or a full-day trips. The half-day cost $80 for the AM trip, and for the PM trip it is $85. For the full-day trips, then it is $110 per person. What you do on the trip is leave at 9:00 or 9:30 in the morning and come in at about 2 or 2:30. Then the afternoon leaves at around 2-3 depending on the months you are there. For the full-day trip you leave at 10AM and come back at 4-4:30 depending on the month. On the trip you get to go snorkeling and kayaking. They take you out pretty far and give you snorkeling gear and you jump on in. Since we were there in December, the water was pretty cold, but you got used to it. We got to see lots of things like, lobster, a morel eel, lots of fish, a barracuda, and much more. Then you get back on the boat, and they take you over to a little mangrove island. You get to go kayaking and learn about the mangroves, about the birds, and some history of the island. We even got to seen a shark. Around the island there are lots of fish the little sharks like. If you are ever in Key West and need something to do, Danger Charters are really fun and you get to learn a lot. I definitely recommend Danger Charters.
John – 15
Going down to Key West, or any of the Keys, is a long and trying drive. But, on the way down is a great place to stop and take a break and stretch your legs. The amazing place to stop is a turtle hospital. The Turtle Hospital is located in Marathon Key. It is a great place for every age and enjoyable for all. The Turtle Hospital has a tour that happens every hour starting at 9am and running to 4 pm. The cost for children ages 4-12 is 9 dollars and for adults is 18 dollars. Throughout the tour you will get to not only see turtles but learn more about them and how to save them. At the beginning of the tour you will view a slideshow that shows how turtles end up in the hospital. After the slide show, you head into one of the bigger tank areas; they have two tanks that are filled up with water and these hold some of the turtles they have. Once you are done there, the tour heads out to the other areas to visit the more tanks. In this area there are around 23 individual tanks and the largest sea tank – which holds 100,000 gallons of water. The tank (which used to be a pool) is filled and circulated by the sea water that flows in and out of the pool. At the hospital you will get to see turtles ranging from 12 permanent to 60 injured turtles that are there for rehabilitation. All in all the Turtle Hospital is a great place to stop and view turtles and learn more about them.
Hadley – 12
The Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Florida was a place where we stopped on our way down to Key West. This was a really good stop; it was fun and you got to learn a lot. The Turtle Hospital is a not-for-profit organization. You can take tours from 9am, 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, and 4pm. The tours cost adults $18.00 and children (4-12 years old) $9.00; children under 4 are free. When you go, you get to watch a slide show at the beginning telling you the types of turtles you will get to see. The instructor will also tell you about some of the diseases these turtles are facing. Then they will take you outside and you get to meet the turtles. During the whole tour you will get to see about 40-60 turtles depending on how many they have. Sometimes they won’t have as many because they have released them. We got to see a lot because this winter some of the turtles didn’t get to warm enough water quickly. They were stuck in New England and sent to the Turtle Hospital to save them. If you are ever near Marathon, Florida, it is definetly worth the money and time. And it is a great cause.
Barnett – 10
When our family was traveling, we stopped at the Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Florida. If you go on a tour – which I suggest – the admission for four years and under are free, then four to twelve years old is nine dollars, then the cost for over twelve or adults is eighteen dollars. First they take your tour group into this room to see a slide show about why the hospital and turtles are there and the types of turtles that there are. Then they will take you to see some turtles and tell you their names. Plus they will explain why the turtles are there. For example, Bubble-Butt has bubble-butt syndrome. The Grinch got hit by a boat. After that there is Frumpy, which is sad, because he got hit by a boat and half his shell broke off. Two other turltes, Mickey and Tink, also have bubble-butt syndrome. If I ever got to drive thru Marathon, Florida again I would go to The Turtle Hospital again.
John — 13
The Fish House is a good kid friendly place to eat. The specialty is sea food, and it is located by the bay. The Fish House is part bar, part is outside, and part in a screened-in patio. When you sit out in the screened-in area or the deck you can look out over the river and see fish swimming about. They have an old fashioned sign to put your head through and look like a mermaid, a woman, or a little kid. When you sit outside it is nice and everything is available to you. There is no electric lamps outside, so on a cool night you should sit in the screened patio. The screened patio has fans, and it also has better lighting than outside at night. My favorite thing to eat there are the fried clam strips. They are big clams and have more meat than breading. They taste kind of buttery but are really good and delicious. I also picked their french fries, which I think are some of the best. They are really crispy and have a really nice crunch to them. For appetizers we get the hushpuppies and the peel and eat shrimp. The hushpuppies are really good and are served with the best honey butter I think there is. The peel and eat shrimp are really good too, but I really like the hushpuppies better. The shrimp taste like salt water and are spicy but when dipped in their cocktail sauce it is really good. Their cocktail sauce is one of the best; it is not to spicy or to sweet at the same time. So in all the reasturant is really good and a kid friendly place. It is a good place to eat year round, and I recommend eating outside in the nice warm Florida sun.
You should go to the Fish House. If you want really good fish and shrimp. I had the fish, and chips, and they were really good. The appetizers that I had were peel and eat shrimp and hushpuppies. The peel and eat shrimp – I can finally peel on my own. It has salt and really good spices on it. I like the hushpuppies with butter on them. They are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. I order off of the kids’ menu. The chips are really French fries instead of potato chips. The fish is good because it is good fish meat. It is served in a frisbee that you get to take with you. You should try to sit outside. It is nice outside, and you can see the water, and there is a good breeze. It is a place that you should go and try. It is one of my favorite places in Florida to eat.
Hadley — 10
The Fish House is one of my favorite places to eat. You can sit in the screened in porch or outside. The food there is really good, but for an appetizer you should get the peel and eat shrimp hot instead of cold and the hush puppies. For your main meal get the clam strips. The peel and eat shrimp are good — the only bad part is you have to peel it before you eat. The hush puppies are also really good! I especially like them with the butter they give you. It is a honey butter that is delicious. Now the clam strips are my favorite thing to get! They are good with tarter sauce and coctail sauce. The tartar sauce is homemade and a little different than many places. The cocktail sauce is not too hot and not too spicy. When you get there you might have to wait a little bit, when we went at 8:00 one time we had to wait 20 minutes fo the screened in porch. The Fish House is right on the water so you can look at the water while you eat. The Fish House is a little bit expensive so you might not want to order a lot. But with the view and the good food, it is worth it!