The Florida Keys offer the perfect destination for a laid back vacation with lots to see and do. From Key Largo in the north to Key West in the south this collection of islands between the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico has everything from pristine beaches and adventure packed back woods to quirky art galleries and world class fishing. With both historic bed and breakfasts to fine resorts everyone will find an accommodation that meets their style and their budget. As Florida Keys destination specialists Christopher Travel can help you plan the perfect itinerary to the Keys.
As the most northern of the Florida Keys, Key Largo is renowned for diving snorkeling and back country touring. It also features a lively waterfront scene with great restaurants and plenty to do.
Things to do:
- John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park: This underwater park is a great place to snorkel and dive. Glass bottom boat rides as well as kayaking and paddleboarding are popular ways to enjoy the plethora of wildlife both above and below the water.
- Spiegel Grove Ship Wreck: The Spiegel Grove is a 510 foot Navy ship that was intentially sunk to create an artificial reef off the coast of the Key Largo. The Spiegel Grove is the start of the 100 mile Florida Key Shipwreck Trail.
- Florida Keys Wild Bird Center: Enjoy close up viewing of some of Key Largo’s exquisite birds at this sanctuary and bird hospital.
- Fishing: Key Largo offers some of the best offshore catch and release sailfishing in the Florida Keys. Or go to nearby Everglades National Park for some backcountry angling.
Islamorada named the “Purple Island” after the bountiful purple bouganvilla flowers and purple sunsets, is the sport fishing capital of the world. The diversity of angling makes it unique among fishing destinations. Islamorada though has a lot more to offer than just world class fishing.
Things to do:
- Fishing: Obviously fishing should be included in any vacation to Islamorada. From beginners to experts there are lots of options.
- Visit a Catch and Cook restaurant: Chefs will take the fish you just caught and prepare it for your dinner. Talk about catch of the day!
- Scuba and Snorkel: The plentiful fish around the island make for great snorkeling/scuba diving. Visit the Eagle—an artificial reef from a sunken ship for a particularly good view of the aquatic life surrounding the key.
- Kiteboarding and paddling: These water sports are available in many locations around the island.
- Fossil Reef: Visit a coral reef above ground! This fossilized reef offers a unique and close up view of a fossilized reef.
- Morada Way Arts and Cultural District: This bustling downtown area is a great place for a stroll. Enjoy the many local artists who set up shop here in the evenings.
This Key was named by the workers on Henry Flagler’s railroad who felt that the nonstop work and fast pace of the construction schedule was like running a “Marathon”. Today you can drive over the modern seven mile bridge and see remnants of the old railroad bridge. Marathon is a family destination with classic island activities so you can relax and have fun.
Things to do:
- Pigeon Key: This little island along the seven mile bridge is a great place for history and railroad enthusiasts to learn about the colorful past of Marathon and the role of the railroad in its growth and development.
- Fine Dining: Enjoy Stone Crab and Key Lime pie at the waterfront.
- Golf: Florida Keys Country Club is a great place to tee up on an 18 hole course open to the public designed my Mark Mahannah.
- Fishing: Marathong offers a wide variety of options for anglers of all levels including off bridge, off shore, reefs and flats fishing.
- Crane Point Museum and Nature Center: Explore the wild bird center and turtle hospital.
- Beaches: Marathon has beautiful white sand beaches, gorgeous resorts and a wide array of water sports.
- For Runners: Every April the Seven Mile bridge is closed so runners can cross over the waterway from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean.
Big Pine Key and the Lower Keys
Big Pine Key and the Lower Keys are the eco tourism center of the region where wildlife reign supreme.
Things to do:
- Nature activities: Big Pine and the Lower Keys are natural wonders where birding, hiking, snorkeling and kayaking offer the best views of this wild wonderland.
- Bahia Honda State Park: Enjoy an afternoon on the perfect white sand beach relaxing in the sun. Named one of the top ten beached in America you won’t be disappointed.
- National Key Deer Refuge: Your whole family will love the adorable and unique Key Deer. These tiny deer are no bigger than a large dog!
- The Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuge: See the elegant and unusual Heron catching fish along the sea.
- Blue Hole: This abandoned quarry turned freshwater lake is one of the best spots to view wildlife in the Florida Keys. See alligators, turtles, birds and key deer. Learn a bit of history too as the quarry was used to gather stone for the Flager overseas railroad in the early 20th century.
- Looe Key Reef: This diving paradise also hosts an the Underwater Music Festival every year to promote reef conservation.
Key West is a picturesque destination steeped in history. Closer to Havana than Miami the island is both a popular cruise port and vacation retreat. There is plenty of sightseeing, shopping and relaxing on this little island.
Things to do:
- The Ernest Hemmingway House and Museum: Purchased for Hemmingway and his wife in 1931 the Spanish Colonial home still includes many personal Hemmingway touches. On the National Register of Historic Places the museum attracts thousands of visitors every year.
- The Little White House: Used as a retreat by six presidents it’s most notable resident was Harry Truman who spent 175 days here. Still a presidential site and available for current presidents to use a visit here will reveal the peace and solace that attracted Truman so much during Washington’s cold winters.
- Southernmost Point in the US: No stop in Key West is complete without a photo at this iconic point.
- Duval St: Do some shopping in the quirky and colorful galleries along this historic street.
- Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square: Enjoy the sunset from this perfect location.
The Florida Keys with it’s laid back vibe and a diverse array of activities both on and off the water is a perfect destination for a family vacation, guy/gals getaway or honeymoon. Come swim, hike, shop and fish. Learn a bit of history and most of all relax in the Florida Keys. Christopher Travel can help you plan the perfect itinerary for your interests.