If you fancy taking a trip to Florida but would like to also escape the hustle and bustle of Orlando’s many theme parks, then the Florida Keys may be a great choice for you. You can drive from Orlando or from Miami, with the latter being closer of the two.
With its sparkling blue waters and temperatures on average reaching 30℃ in the summer months, it is easy to see why it has been dubbed the ‘American Caribbean’ by locals and tourist alike.
The Keys are a long string of tropical islands, stretching a stunning 126 miles off the Southern tip towards Cuba, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Known for it’s relaxed and laid back lifestyle it’s a perfect place to vacate for all ages.
The area is famous for fishing, diving, and boating, and with the Keys multitude of islands, beaches and reefs you have access to some of America’s only living coral reefs which hold an abundance of marine life beneath its crystal clear waters. Other attractions include Duval Street’s many bars, Mallory Square’s nightly Sunset Celebration and the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum.
Places to visit
Key Largo, known as the ‘diving capital of the world’ is the largest of the Keys and is home to many dive companies offering you the chance to explore sunken shipwrecks and come face to face with its fascinating marine life through one of its many diving and snorkeling guided trips.
One of Key Largo’s biggest attractions is the John Pennekamp Coral Reef, State Park. The very first undersea park in the States, it covers 70 nautical miles for those keen to dive or snorkel to get a closer look at the reef and its many creatures. If you would prefer t stay on dry land you can enjoy the view from one of the glass bottom boat tours or walk one of the short nature trails.
Islamorada or the ‘Village of Islands’ is located just south of Key Largo has a reputation for its world-class sports fishing. Its position within the chain of Islands is closer to the Gulf Stream than any of the other Keys which makes it a popular area for fishing. Each season welcomes new fishing tournaments and many celebrities and politicians have visited the area over the years to partake in sports fishing such as Winston Churchill and George Bush.
Marathon is considered the heart of the Keys and has a selection of relaxing resorts to choose from. It is also home to some of the best boating activities around and if you want to get involved in some actioned packed activities there are jet-ski tours, paddle- boarding and even swimming with dolphins at the Dolphin Research Centre which is great for families.
Key West is the Southernmost Point of the Keys and subsequently is known as the ‘Last Resort’. Its popularity lies in it’s diving and snorkeling opportunities but is also home to beautiful beaches and historical homes belonging to famous figures such as Ernest Hemmingway.
If you are looking for some nightlife then head to Duval Street in downtown Key West where you can choose from a great selection of restaurants and bars.
The Keys is a place where anything goes with its laid back attitude to life where you are encouraged to relax and it enjoy everything this stunning place has to offer.