While the Florida Keys may be best known for happy hours and colorful sunsets, the string of tropical islands off the southern tip of Florida have much more to offer. The Keys have some of the best fishing, diving, and beaches in the world, perfect for lovers of outdoor adventure
For those who want to take it slower, the archipelago also offers a broad range of state parks, historic sites, water tours, art galleries, and museums. Make your stay in the Keys your best experience yet by trying these popular island activities.
Spend a week (or longer) enjoying the good life in the Florida Keys. A quiet getaway at a local resort may be just what you need to unwind. With so much to do and see, your resort getaway can be as relaxing or as action-packed as you’d like. Explore the island or stay in bed all day while enjoying a direct view of the sweeping coastline – it’s all up to you. No matter how you choose to spend the getaway, you won’t be disappointment.
Snorkeling is a favorite pastime in the Florida Keys by both locals and tourists alike. Discover what lies beneath the ocean’s turquoise waters which is also home to the third longest barrier reef in the world. Some of the best snorkeling spots in the Florida Keys include Fort Zachary Taylor, Dry Tortugas and Fort Jefferson, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, and Bahia Honda State Park. Note that nearly all snorkeling done in the Florida Keys is by boat, as there are very few shore snorkeling areas.
Kayaking is an exciting way to explore the Florida Keys, whether it’s by ocean, the shallow Florida Bay, or through the various channels surrounding the islands. In the Upper Keys, there are many places to bring your kayak for a day of fun, such as the Card Sound Road Bridge, Florida Bay Outfitters, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, or the Harry Harris County Park. If you’re visiting the Middle Key, try Long Key State Park, Curry Hammock State Park, or Sombrero Beach. If you’re staying in the Lower Keys, the Spanish Harbor Boat Ramp and No Name Key are excellent options.
If you prefer to sit back and relax as an experience captain navigates the water, sign up for a water tour. Key West and other islands in the Florida Keys offer a variety of cruises, sailing, and water tours which allow you to explore the water surrounding the islands. There are many different types of water tours to choose from, from brunch and dinner cruises to sunset cruises and dolphin and whale watching expeditions.
The Florida Keys is home to a number of state parks that offers patrons breathtaking views. Within the 125 mile long chain of islands are nearly a dozen state parks that provide waterfront views, beaches, nature trails, and various activities throughout the year. From the Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park to Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park, these are destinations you will surely want to visit during your stay in the Keys.
Brush up on your history of the Florida Keys by visiting some of the islands’ most notable historic sites. The Harry S. Truman Little White House in Key West acts as Florida’s only presidential museum, while Fort Jefferson in Dry Tortugas National Park is the largest all-masonry fortification in the western hemisphere while also serving as a federal prison during the Civil War. West Martello Tower, Curry Mansion, The Oldest House, and Higgs Beach African Graves are also noteworthy historic sites.
The Florida Keys offers some amazing dining options featuring fresh ingredients, a variety of seafood dishes, and some of the best craft cocktails you’ll ever taste. If you’re in the area and are looking for a bite to eat, there are some great places to try, such as: Pierre’s in Islamorada, Angler & Ale at the Hawks Cay Resort, or Snapper’s in Key Largo. While seafood is the Key’s specialty, you can also find a range of other cuisine ranging from American classics to French fusion.
If sailing is on your bucket list, know that you’ll experience some of the best sailing adventures in the Florida Keys. Whether you want to go solo with just your thoughts to keep you company or you prefer a boat of your closet friends and family, sailing through the Keys is one of the best ways to explore the area. And thanks to the Florida Key’s subtropical climate, sailing is possible year-round.
Fishing remains one of the most popular pastimes in the Florida Keys. However, unless you are a long time resident you may not have a boat you can use to enjoy fishing at its finest. Fortunately, the area offers charter boats for fishing adventures. When visiting the area, consider chartering a small boat and enjoy a full day of fishing and relaxation. Troll the blue waters for sailfish, kingfish, marlin, wahoo, and other great catches.
The Florida Keys’ many museums and art galleries are where you’ll find information and artifacts about the islands’ history, as well as other interesting exhibits. Some of the must-visited venues include the Key West Art & Historical Society, Earnest Hemingway House, Martello Gallery-Key West Art and Historical Museum, Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum, and the History of Diving Museum. The Florida Keys inspires many artists and much of their work can be seen in the various galleries, including the Gildea Contemporary Gallery, Lucky Street Gallery, and the 7 Artists & Friends gallery.
There’s no shortage of fun things to do, see, and explore in the Florida Keys. Whether you’re staying in the Upper, Lower, or Middle region, each area has its own variety of indoor and outdoor activities. Be sure to check out these top activities and attractions while in the Florida Keys.