The Florida Keys and Key West envelopes you with its warmth and beauty and encourages you to embrace its wide open spaces. Find out more here.
In the Florida Keys you are a world away from the theme parks of central Florida, in a place that envelopes you with its warmth and beauty and grants you permission to shed the worries of the real world you just left behind!
The turquoise blue waters that surrounds Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, Big Pine Key and Key West is a treasure trove both above and below. Divers and snorkeler’s splash down into the only living coral reef in North America to discover nature’s idea of an aquarium, while fishermen anticipate the challenge of catching their dinner and kite surfers await the caress of the light trade winds.
1. Key Largo: Dive/Snorkel at John Pennekamp State Park – the crown jewel of the state park system and the first undersea park in the U.S., John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park encompasses approximately 70 nautical square miles and the coral reefs and their associated marine life are a divers and/or snorkelers dream!
2. Key Largo: Kayak and explore Everglades National Park- it is the only eco-system of its type in the world with the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, it boasts rare and endangered species. It has been designated a World Heritage Site, International Biosphere Reserve and a wetland of international importance. Key Largo is considered to be the Gateway to the Everglades.
3. Islamorada: Fishing – Sport Fishing Capital of the World – Take a charter boat out to one of the only place on Earth where it is possible to catch a sailfish in the morning, and then venture into the backcountry in pursuit of bonefish, permit, tarpon, snook and redfish in just inches of water.
4. Islamorada: Robbie’s Marina – A nostalgic destination reminiscent of why some of the most talented artists, writers, fishermen and presidents have called the Florida Keys home. Robbie’s rests peacefully among coconut palms with shimmering views of the nearby islands where the unspoiled Florida Bay and the exquisite Atlantic Ocean converge. With free entry, a private sandy beach, fabulous restaurant serving fresh local food and quaint art and craft pavilions one cannot help but understand why so many artists have chosen this place to immortalize in paintings. The kids will also love feeding the enormous tarpon!
5. Marathon: Dolphin Research Centre – Bring your family to meet with the family of dolphins and sea lions. Spend an hour or stay all day learning about these incredible marine mammals. Dolphin Research Centre, a not-for-profit research and educational facility offers several exciting daily presentations demonstrating the dolphins’ high flying athletics, dolphin education fun facts, dolphin research, new behaviour training, medical behaviours, and much more. Enjoy dolphin swims and other encounters, as well as other fun chances to touch a dolphin.
6. Marathon: Turtle Hospital – visit the Turtle Hospital and see how they rehab injured sea turtles and return them to their natural habitat, learn how they conduct and assist with research aiding to sea turtles and work toward environmental legislation making the beaches and water safe and clean for sea turtles.
7. Big Pine Key: Visit Bahia Honda State Park and Recreation Area at mile marker 37. With its white sandy beaches and abundant wildlife, Bahia Honda Key frequently makes the list of most beautiful beaches in America.
8. Big Pine and the Lower Keys: spending a half day or full day exploring the backcountry waters off the lower Florida Keys. Encounter key deer, sea turtles and dolphins in their natural habitat as well as explore the Great White Heron National Sanctuary.
9. Key West: Sunset at Mallory Square – celebrate the end of the day at Mallory Square where every evening you can enjoy free live music and street entertainers, art and craft stores and enjoy a cocktail as the sun goes down.
10. Key West: Day trip to the Dry Tortugas National Park – Explore a 19th Century Fort and snorkel crystal clear water with incredible marine life. Almost 70 miles (113 km) west of Key West lies the remote Dry Tortugas National Park. The 100-square mile park is mostly open water with seven small islands. Accessible only by boat or seaplane, the park is known the world over as the home of magnificent Fort Jefferson, picturesque blue waters, superlative coral reefs and marine life, and the vast assortment of bird life that frequent the area.