The Florida Keys are a string of gorgeous tropical islands right off the southern tip of Florida between the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. The islands stretch 120 miles and provide an incredible vacation destination to travellers seeking fun in the Florida sun. The Seven Mile Bridge and the Overseas Highway connect Key Largo to Key West. The Overseas Highway runs 113 miles and it must be seen to believed.
The big difference with visiting the Florida Keys compared to the rest of the Sunshine State is the pace of life. While mainland Florida has fun parks and major cities to visit, the Keys are more laid back. If you want slow drinks at the end of the day, history, scuba diving, and deep-sea fishing, then you shouldn’t miss the chance to visit the Florida Keys.
So, what is there to do in the Florida Keys? Let’s explore some of the top attractions and destinations.
You should start your exploration of the Florida Keys on Duval Street in Key West. Duval Street is one of the most famous streets in all of Florida. It is where you will find a variety of cafes and restaurants, museums, and art galleries.
Every year, Duval Street hosts parades and events, allowing you to get to know the locals. Festivals include Hemingway Days and Fantasy Fest.
On Duval Street, you will find Key West’s most famous attractions. The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, Strand Theater, and Southernmost House are located on the street. Once you have explored Duval Street, you can set out to see the rest of the Florida Keys.
Bahia Honda State Park
Situated on a remote island on the Lower Florida Keys, Bahia Honda State Park is a perfect place to unwind while on vacation. The park is made up of gorgeous beaches and is home to wildlife, and the warm, crystal-clear water is great for swimming or kayaking.
Bahia Honda State Park gives you the chance to have a unique island holiday. Campsites are located in the state park, giving you the chance to sleep next to the ocean’s waves.
There are trails that snake through the park giving you the chance to hike or trail run. A nature centre is also on site, allowing you to attend activities set up by the park’s rangers.
Islamorada is made up of six islands within the Florida Keys. It is typically a stopping off point for travellers driving to Key West. Islamorada is home to a History and Discovery Center that gives you the chance to learn more about the region’s fascinating history.
If you enjoy water sports, then head over to the History of Diving Museum. It takes a thorough look at diving in the Florida Keys. The museum is home to the world’s largest collection of diving equipment. There are also historical artefacts and exhibits dating back centuries.
Dry Tortugas National Park
Dry Tortugas National Park is located in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. You will find it 70 miles from Key West, but it is only accessible by boat or seaplane. You can have an incredible adventure just reaching Dry Tortugas National Park. The park can be reached via an organised tour or by catamaran on a day trip.
Dry Tortugas National Park is an archipelago of seven beach-ringed islands. The national park is the location of the 19th century-built Fort Jefferson and the colossal fortification takes up one entire island.
The park is a popular destination for snorkelers and divers due to its coral and seagrass. There are also a number of shipwrecks around the national park. If you are looking for a cool, historical place to visit, then you cannot go wrong with Dry Tortugas National Park.
Ernest Hemingway House and Museum
Ernest Hemingway’s books are polarising. Some people love his work, while others don’t understand why Hemingway was so revered. Regardless, of where you fall on the Hemingway spectrum, the Ernest Hemingway House and Museum is a must-visit attraction in Key West.
Hemingway lived in Key West for just over a decade and was attracted to the region’s gorgeous weather. He lived in a Spanish colonial-style house that was built in 1851. The writer and his wife, Pauline, renovated the home and surrounding gardens extensively.
Today, its beauty remains and can be seen by visitors. The house and museum are perfectly preserved with many of its original furniture.
The Florida Keys are vibrant with wildlife, dreamy beaches, beautiful resorts, and adventure. If you are looking for something different on your next vacation to Florida, then book a trip to explore the Florida Keys.