Florida Keys Travel Guide
The coastline provides a variety of activities for the whole family, both educational and recreational – but most importantly fun. Ocean activities include snorkeling through reefs, or viewing sunken ruins, including the Christ of the Abyss in Key Largo. Ocean lovers can also take surfing lessons, fishing tours and set off on other water adventures.
There are also conservation programs and workshops, along with dolphin encounters for those keen to learn about the Keys and the natural ecosystem. Visitors can also take eco-tours or drop by the Key West aquarium for a fun and educational day.
For those whose main objective is relaxation – and who can blame you in this beach paradise? – there are a plethora of wellness centers and spas to chose from when visiting the Florida Keys.
When planning a visit to the Florida Keys, there is something for everyone: nature, adventure, relaxation, learning – and even theater and shopping as well.
Grab a beer and discuss the day’s haul at this rough-and-ready bar.
Key West natives take their nightlife seriously, though not literally, as many begin their reveling at 3 p.m. Join the party early at this indoor-outdoor martini bar; three-man bands and solo guitarists serenade fortysomethings under a shimmering disco ball.
Take a guided snorkel tour near Bahia Honda State Park, to spot barracudas and stingrays.
Key West has attracted its fair share of vacationing presidents (Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Carter among them), and the memorabilia displayed at Truman's former winter residence turned museum immortalizes every presidential visit.
A popular area activity, the Butterfly & Nature Conservatory has more than 50 species of butterflies and 20 species of exotic birds all housed under the glass dome greenhouse.
Don't miss the summer regattas held here.
Spend the day at the 1850s park (don’t miss the fascinating antique desalination plant). Here, you’ll also find one of the few beaches in Key West with showers and picnic tables. Tip: bring waterproof sandals—the beach is pebbly.
Almost every item in this ocean-themed shop is covered in seashells. There are handmade sand dollar– and starfish-rimmed mirrors and frames, along with gorgeous sea-glass chandeliers, all of which come wrapped in tissue paper decorated, yes, with shells.
It's a shame to come to Hemingway's tropical hideaway and not take the official tour, which start every 10 minutes and are led by a ramshackle group of stand-up comics turned literature lovers.
This three-acre green that housed the railroad builders who constructed the Seven Mile Bridge to Key West in 1912 is now a charming museum complex surrounded by grassy fields and shady palm trees.
This annual arts exhibit of contemporary, large-scale outdoor sculptures and installations started in 1995 as an informal exhibit. Now, it showcases emerging and established artists from around the world.
Self-proclaimed environmental artist Nancy Forrester is the mastermind behind this oasis off Simonton Street. Like a patch of rainforest, it has dense foliage, squawking birds, and plenty of hidden nooks.
Just off the Overseas Highway, Robbie’s Marina is a boat rental and tour company cantilevered over the Florida Bay waters. Possible activities include deep-sea fishing, kayaking through the mangroves, and snorkeling in the nation’s largest barrier reef.
A jazzy live band accompanies the rough-looking bartenders, who serve $3 brews to a wide range of characters beneath twinkling green lights.
Yacht owners tie up their boats and grab seats on the wraparound porch at this marina bar and slurp Key lime–garlic oysters during happy hour (4–6:30 p.m., when starters and drinks are half-price).