Summer vacations call for planning trips to exotic locations. On a hot summer day, there is nothing better than to cool off at the beach, admiring the glistening clear water of the ocean, and engaging in fun activities. If you are planning to travel to Florida, visiting the islands, Florida Keys will make it a classic yet, at the same time, a fantastic summer trip.
The Florida Keys is known to be the American Caribbean. It is a 120-mile string of islands with tropical temperatures, colorful coral reefs, and unforgettable adventures. We are sure that you can never get tired of exploring the Keys, alone or with family.
The Florida Keys has it all; from beautiful destinations, delicious food, historical places, water sports, underwater shipwrecks, to a variety of land and water wildlife. Moreover, this place has an enormous range of activities for visitors of all ages and interests. Depending on your choice, your time here can be as action-packed or as relaxed as you want it to be.
Whether you are planning a small getaway of four to five days or a week-long trip, the Florida Keys has enough attractions to keep you busy and entertained. This highly curated travel guide covers everything you need to know while traveling to the Florida Keys.
Language and Currency
The language commonly spoken in the Florida Keys is English, and the currency used is U.S. dollars ($).
When to Visit
The best time to visit the Florida Keys is between March and June. This is the time when the weather is perfect – not too warm or too humid. The crowd is tapered off, making the hotel and tourist attraction rates reasonable. The weather during July to November is very rainy and humid; there is also a risk of hurricanes. The area is most busy after the winter holidays.
It is recommended that if you live in Miami or near it, take a road trip and explore the whole Keys starting from Key Largo to Key West on the route. If that isn’t possible, regular shuttle services are also available from Miami International Airport to Key West. Rent a car from there if you want to explore more cities. Key West Transit is a city bus system that goes to all the areas in Keys for a super cheap rate.
Places to Go To
The Florida Keys have many cities with a bunch of unique things to do. Knowing where to go to before you arrive in the Florida Keys can help shortlist the best places to visit. Following are some of the most adventurous places to visit in the Florida Keys:
If you want to have the best overall experience, then Key West is the place you want to visit. Popular places to visit in Key West include; Duval Street, Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, Mallory Square and Southernmost Point along with Dry Tortugas National Park. The best place to stay in Key West is The Perry Hotel.
If you want to escape the city life and embark on an adventure, Key Largo is the place for you. Popular places to visit in Key Largo are John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and African Queen Canal Cruise. The best hotel you should stay at is Playa Largo Resort & Spa.
If you don’t want to drive all the way to Key West and enjoy just as much, then stay in Islamorada. Popular places to visit in Islamorada include Theater of the Sea and Keys History & Discovery Center. The best hotel to stay in this place is Amara Cay Hotel.
If you love to explore, then Marathon is the place you should consider. Popular places to visit here include Dolphin Research Center, Turtle Hospital, and Aquarium Encounters. The best hotel in Marathon is Tranquility Bay Beachfront Hotel & Resort.
Big Pine Key
If you are obsessed with nature, then Big Pine Key has a lot in store for you. Popular places to visit are Bahia Honda State Park and the National Key Deer Refuge. The hotel you can consider is Deer Run Bread & Breakfast.
To know more, check out our article on the best tourist attractions in the Florida Keys.
Festivals and Events to Know About
The Florida Keys are home to all the big and fun happenings. Also, these festivals tend to attract big crowds. So, unless you want to take part in these, we recommend avoiding the place in these times because the hotel rates are skyrocketing. Popular festivals and events in the Florida Keys include,
- Key West’s Fantasy Fest, which takes place in October. It features different costume themes each year and a parade with huge floats and music.
- Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square, which happens every day. As the sun starts to go down, vendors and tourists gather around to admire the golden sunset. Afterward, performers like fire jugglers, tightrope walkers, sword swallowers, and clowns put on a fun show.
Range of Pursuits
There are innumerable activities that you can take part in when visiting the Florida Keys. Some common range of leisure pursuits are,
- Kayaking through the mangroves.
- Riding the African Queen.
- Eating key lime pie.
- Devouring the fresh seafood.
- Seeing the Wild Bird Sanctuary and Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory.
- Interact with deer, sea turtles, and dolphins.
- Camping with LED Lanterns, tents and more or have a picnic at Bahia Honda State Park.
- Shop for souvenirs.
- Visit historical places like the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum and Key West Cemetery.
- Drink the local beer.
- Take a picture at Southernmost Point.
- Go for snorkeling or scuba diving.
- Witness real shipwrecks.
- Go for cruises and parasailing.
- Visit the Red Barn Theater to see a show.
To know details about all these activities and many more, check out our article on The Best Things to do in the Florida Keys.
In a Nutshell
The Florida Keys is the best place to unwind from your daily life and let go of everything; as you are on island time. If you have a hectic life, a getaway to the Florida Keys will refresh your spirit and cleanse your soul. There is so much just waiting to be explored here. All in all, it is the prime choice if you want to experience the best of everything and make everlasting memories featuring great landscapes.