Discover the Florida Keys: An Island Paradise Close to Home
When you think of tropical island destinations, chances are you think of Hawaii, Bora Bora, St. Lucia, or the Virgin Islands. And, of course, these are all FABULOUS islands for a dreamy vacation. But did you know there’s an island paradise awaiting you closer to home – and you don’t even need your passport!
Strewn like a handful of jewels off the southern coast of Florida lies the Florida Keys. This 125-mile-long chain of small islands is the perfect destination for anyone wanting a taste of island life without having to learn a new language or get a visa. Whether you are looking to soak up the sun on their beautiful beaches or dive into thrilling adventures, there's something for everyone to enjoy. Each of the Keys has its own unique personality, from decadent Little Torch Key to quirky Key West. Unsure which is for you?
Here’s a breakdown of four of our favorite Florida Keys.
Perched at the top of the Florida Keys, Key Largo is a world-renowned travel destination for scuba divers, snorkelers, or anyone wanting to explore the big blue sea. There are diving options for all levels, from deeper wreck dives for advanced divers to “Discover Scuba Diving” one-day courses for beginners.
Key Largo is also an ideal destination for stand-up paddleboarding, thanks to its vast mangrove forests and serene waterways. With the option to paddle on either the ocean or gulf side, Key Largo provides an ideal setting to enjoy this popular sport.
For those who prefer to stay above the water, board a catamaran for a sunset sail, complete with tasty snacks and refreshing libations. Or take a canal cruise on the legendary boat, The African Queen, that was made famous by the Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn movie of the same name. Want a peek at the reef but don’t want to get wet? Hop on a glass-bottomed boat tour and enjoy the best of both worlds.
If dining by water is something you enjoy, Key Largo has that covered. While there you should dine at Sundowners - an island favorite for lunch and dinner. Here you can enjoy fresh seafood, steaks, and bbq ribs - all while enjoying a show-stopping sunset view.
Looking for island life without the crowds? Then head down to Marathon, near the middle of the Keys. While not as busy as Key West or Key Largo, Marathon has no shortage of beauties to explore and attractions to see. Venture out for a day of fishing with one of the many local friendly fishing tour guides. Check out the Dolphin Research Center and learn more about these aquatic friends, visit the Florida Keys Aquarium, or spend an afternoon at the Marathon Air Museum.
Prefer something a little more active? Rent a kayak and explore the mangroves at Curry Hammock State Park – you might even spot a manatee! Bahia Honda State Park is also well worth a visit, offering some of the best snorkeling and beachcombing in the Keys.
Enjoy a tasty meal after your activities at one of Marathon's best restaurants - Herbie's Bar & Chowder House. Their fresh shrimp or mahi-mahi tacos, and craft beer, will not disappoint.
And before you head home you should absolutely take a drive over the incredible seven-mile bridge. This engineering marvel connects the Middle Keys to the Lower Keys and offers a breathtaking view of the stunning blue water. We highly recommend that you don’t miss out on this very cool experience!
Little Torch Key
Looking for something even more private and luxurious? Look no further than Little Torch Key. This hidden treasure of the Florida Keys is the ultimate in upscale island getaways. There are still plenty of options for fishing and watersports, but the big draw is the adults-only Little Palm Island Resort with its pristine white beaches and vibrant ocean views. Be sure to visit the island's Spa, an opulent spa with a dazzling array of treatments – how does a “Four Hands Massage” sound? Or maybe a “Margarita Key Lime Pedicure?” Trust us – this is the perfect place to be pampered in style.
After all that pampering, be sure to visit the legendary Kiki’s Sandbar & Grille for mouthwatering beachfront, ‘toes-in-the-sand’ dining. Enjoy their delicious fresh seafood dishes and happy hour drinks – accompanied by some live island music. You’ll thank us.
If you’re looking for more options for nightlife, activities, and a sense of adventure, Key West is the place for you. This southernmost Key is the ultimate island escape. Visit Ernest Hemingway’s house and marvel at the six-toed cats or sip a margarita in Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville restaurant. Be sure to spend an evening at Mallory Square, where there’s a nightly sunset celebration, complete with an entertaining array of street performers. Head out on the water on one of the many catamaran snorkeling tours or a sunset cruise. And don’t forget to get a slice (or several) of delicious Key Lime pie. And if you're feeling a little extra 'wild' while on vacation, head to Kermit's Key West Lime Shoppe to try their delicious frozen, chocolate-dipped slice of key lime pie on a stick. It's sweetly divine!
Any trip to the Florida Keys is going to be a delight. Dazzling white sand beaches, and endless turquoise water teeming with vibrant sea life, friendly locals, breathtaking sunsets, and mouthwatering fresh seafood followed by lots of key lime pie make any trip to the Keys one to remember.
For the ultimate Florida Keys getaway, why not get in touch with us to plan the perfect island vacation for you? The only thing better than a trip to the Keys, after all, is a trip where you don’t have to do any of the work.
Now that’s our idea of paradise!