In addition to lounging by either the pool or the beach, we also did some sightseeing while in the Keys! Other than enjoying the beauty of Sombrero Beach daily (the sunsets were stunning as you can imagine), we also visited The Turtle Hospital in Marathon and took a day trip down to Key West (a little over an hour drive one-way from Marathon, where we stayed).
Little known fact about me: I LOVE SEA TURTLES! They're protected, so you can't get close to them if you spot one in the ocean, but that doesn't stop me from wishing I could get a turtle high five. ;) I only saw sea turtles at the hospital, but they do release rehabbed turtles back into the ocean via Sombrero Beach, and the streetlights lining the beach at night are red so as to not confuse the turtles if they come back to lay eggs/once the babies hatch (they follow the brightest light to find their way back to the ocean and white/yellow streetlights lead them astray). I really enjoyed visiting the hospital; we toured the property and got to "meet" the turtles staying there right now. Some of them are permanent residents (because they're too hurt to be released back into the wild) but a lot of them will be released again at some point. :) It's worth visiting if you're ever in the area!
Key West probably needs no introduction. ;) How can you go to the Keys and not make a stop in Key West?! There is SO much to see and do; it's impossible to fit it in all in one day! We managed to visit the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum (and cats!), Margaritaville (when in Key West...ha), Southernmost Point, the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, the Key West Lighthouse, Kino Sandals, Lilly Pulitzer, Sloppy Joe's Bar, and Mallory Square. My boyfriend, brother, and I went bar-hopping that night after my boyfriend wasn't able to fly out. (FYI: Fat Tuesday's bouncer might claim your real, government-issued ID is fake, so beware.) We visited on a Wednesday because the cruise ships dock on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It was fairly busy during the day still, but it wasn't bad at night; it was almost too dead in the bars! I think technically mid-July is the off-season, though.
The day we went to Key West, the high temperature was in the low 90s, but the heat index was about 102°F with the humidity! I have literally NEVER sweat so much in one day in my life, lol. It was so gross. I really wanted to snap outfit photos while there but after just an hour I was dripping with sweat! Definitely plan to drink a ton of water if you go in the summer (especially if you drink a healthy amount of alcohol, too, haha). Otherwise, it's a very walkable little city. The architecture in Key West reminded me a lot of New Orleans, which was fun/interesting to see!
Sunset from Sombrero Beach over the mangroves
The Turtle Hospital, Marathon
Hemingway Home and Museum
Duval Street, Key West
Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory
Key West Lighthouse
"Embracing Peace" by Seward Johnson
Sunset and thunderstorm in Key West