Florida Vacation Spots

The Florida Keys

Best Florida Vacation Spots - The Florida Keys

Map of the Florida Keys

The Florida Keys are one of the best Florida vacation spots.  If you are looking for a tropical getaway, the Florida Keys are definitely the place for you.  This beautiful set of islands stretches 120 miles off the southern tip of theFlorida peninsula and are connected to the Florida mainland by US Highway 1 beginning with Key Largo and ending at mile marker zero in Key West.   All along the way, you will be delighted by the tropical beauty that abounds in the keys.

 

Key Largo Beach

Key Largo

Key Largo is the northernmost key and is filled with great things to do.  Key Largo is home to  two Florida state parks (John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and Dagney Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park)  and as well as the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.   John Pennecamp Coral Reef State Park is a marine preserve encompassing 70 square miles of coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangrove swamps, as well as a popular beach and marina.  This is a diver and snorkelers paradise.  One thing not to be missed at the park is the famous Christ of the Abyss bronze statue which is located underwater.   Dagney Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park is home to 84 protected species of plants and animals, including wild cotton, mahogany mistletoe and the American crocodile. There are quite a few things to do in Key Largo including sportfishing, snorkeling and diving.  At the end of the day, you can relax at one of the  places to stay in Key Largo, including the unique Jules Undersea Lodge, the world’s only underwater hotel.  There are also an assortment of great places to eat and drink in Key Largo.

 

 

Theater of the Sea in Islamorada,Florida

Theater of the Sea in Islamorada,Florida

Islamorada is a “Village of Islands” comprised of six islands and is famous for its sport fishing where you can catch an assortment of species including sailfish, dolphin, wahoo, snapper and grouper in the deeper Atlantic waters, or you can go flats fishing to catch bonefish, permit, tarpon, snook and redfish.  It is truly a fisherman’s paradise.    There are lots of things to do in Islamorada.  Children and adults alike will both enjoy the Theater of the Sea, where you can get an up close look at some of the native Florida wildlife.  You can even swim with dolphins, sea lions, and sting rays.  Don’t miss a trip to Robbie’s Marina, where you can stop for a cold drink, a hot meal, some great shopping and best of all you can feed the giant tarpon that swim around the docks.   And if you are looking for a fun place to watch the sunset, the Lorelei is a great choice and easy to spot when you see the huge mermaid shaped sign on the side of the road.  There are some amazing places to stay in Islamorada, as well as great bars and restaurants.

Dolphin at Hawks Cay Resort

Dolphin at Hawks Cay Resort

The next stretch of islands is known as the Marathon area.   Conch Key is a great place for fisherman to stay.  Hawks Cay Resort, located on Duck Key is a great place for families, fisherman, or a romantic getaway or wedding.  This huge luxury resort has it all – you can even swim with the dolphins there.  You can also swim with the dolphins at the Dolphin Research Center located on Grassy Key.  When it is time to unwind, there are some fabulous places to stay in Marathon.   Marathon is also home to many great restaurants and bars, as well as some of the best key lime pie in the Keys.

7 Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys

7 Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys

When you leave Marathon, you must cross over the Seven Mile Bridge to get to the Lower Keys.   Views from the top of this bridge are spectacular.  You can also get a great view of Pigeon Key from the bridge.  Pigeon Key is a small island rich with history dating back to when Henry Flagler was building the Key West Extension of the Florida East Coast Railway.  Just  a little further down US1, you will find Bahia Honda State Park, which has some of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the keys.  You can also take a cruise from Bahia Honda State Park to Looe Key, which is a coral reef rich with sea life and perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving.   The next stop along the way is Big Pine Key which is famous for its Key Deer.  Here you can explore the National Key Deer Refuge which is made up of 9,200 acres of land, and is the habitat for hundreds of species.

 

 

Southernmost Point in Key West

Southernmost Point in Key West

Key West is the most famous of all of the Florida Keys and marks the end of US Highway 1.  This is also the southernmost point in the continental United States.  Key West is packed with things to do, like fishing, shopping, or taking in all the beautiful architecture while enjoying a trolley tour around the island.  Key West is an epicurean paradise filled with amazing places to eat.  And if you are looking to have fun, Key West bars are some of the best in the country.  Don’t miss the sunsets at Mallory Square, which are truly spectacular.  There are amazing places to stay in Key West including an assortment of luxury resorts, bed and breakfasts, and unique hotels.  Key West has some beautiful beaches and is also the perfect place for weddings.  Key West is truly spectacular and always a fun time.

The Florida Keys are really a great place to get away from it all, and kick back and realax.  It is also a great place for adventure, and enjoying nature.  The Keys are great for families, friends and are also a great romantic destination.  The Florida Keys are a perfect location for a beautiful destination wedding.   No matter what type of vacation you are planning, the Florida Keys has it all.