25 Best Things to Do in the Florida Keys!

Vacation Idea, a Dream Vacation Magazine lists 25 Great Things To Do in the Florida Keys

This week and next, we will share their list with you:

(we have used our own photos for attribution reasons)

25 Best Things to Do in the Florida Keys

The beautiful Florida Keys are a string of idyllic tropical islands off the southern tip of Florida that can easily be accessed by car along the amazing Seven Mile Bridge and the 113-mile Overseas Highway, which runs from Key Largo to Key West, Florida. The Keys are a popular vacation destination, offering brilliant sandy beaches, warm tropical waters, great hotels, and an abundance of marine life. In addition to all the marine attractions, there are also many historical locations to visit, where you can learn about the history and culture of the islands.

1.Bahia Honda State Park

Bahia Honda is a remote island on the Lower Florida Keys, close to the west end of the Seven Mile Bridge, which links the Keys to the Florida mainland. Bahia Honda State Park is one of the southernmost state parks and offers visitors an idyllic location to relax and unwind, surrounded by beautiful beaches, wonderful wildlife, and clear, warm waters. Everything you need for a beach holiday is right on your doorstep – there are campsites right on the edge of the ocean and a few stilted cabins overlooking the bay. You can bring a boat to launch from the boat ramp, and organized snorkeling tours to the reef are available. In addition, there are three hiking trails to explore and a nature center that offers ranger-led activities and talks.

Bahia Honda State Park, 36850 Overseas Highway, Big Pine Key, FL 33043, Phone: 305-872-2353

2.Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Established in 1980, the Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge fulfills a critical need to protect the last remnants of the natural habitat of the American crocodile as well as a collection of other creatures that call this part of the Florida Keys home. The refuge is located on Upper Key Largo, where it protects a diversity of habitats including hardwood forests, mangrove forests, and salt marshes, which provide critical breeding grounds for the crocodiles, the Key Largo woodrat, and Schaus’ swallowtail butterfly. Unfortunately, due to the sensitive environment, the refuge is not open to the general public and can only be accessed by volunteers and for research purposes.

Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge, 10750 County Rd 905, Key Largo, FL 33037, Phone: 305-451-4223

3.Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park

Promising to be an ideal day-trip for nature lovers, the Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park protects one of the few remaining large tracts of West Indian tropical hardwood hammock in the country, along with over 80 other species of protected plants and animals, including the endangered American crocodile. The park is well equipped to welcome visitors and features over 6 miles of trails, most of which are paved and suitable for bicycles, wheelchairs, and children’s buggies. As you make your way along the trails, you will have great bird watching and photo opportunities. There is also a self-guided nature trail, where signs will provide you with info on all that you are seeing. If you prefer, you can join a ranger-guided tour to learn all about the fragile ecology of the park.

Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park, County Rd 905, Mile Marker 106, Key Largo, FL 33037, Phone: 305-451-1202

4.Dolphin Cove

If you’ve ever dreamt of swimming with dolphins, Dolphin Cove on Key Largo is the logical place to live out your fantasy. The cove is located on a natural lagoon on the northernmost part of Key Largo and offers nature lovers the chance to get really up close and personal with a bottlenose dolphin. Your adventure will begin with a 30-minute boat ride through the backcountry, where you will be instructed about how to behave in the presence of dolphins before you head back to the cove and get your feet wet. In addition to the organized dolphin swims, Dolphin Cove also offers natural swim dolphin encounters, where you don a snorkel and swim freely with the curious and friendly dolphins – an unforgettable Key Largo experience.

Dolphin Cove, 101900 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, FL 33037, Phone: 305-451-4060

5.  Dry Tortugas National Park

Tourists walk along the sea wall surrounding Fort Jefferson February 15, 2016 in the Dry Tortugas National Park about 70 miles (113 km) west of Key West, Florida in the Gulf of Mexico. / AFP / Karen BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

There aren’t too many places on Earth where you can combine history with an amazing underwater world bristling with marine life. Located about 70 miles west of Key West, Dry Tortugas National Park is almost entirely covered by water except for a few small islands, one of which is home to historic Fort Jefferson, one of the largest forts every built, dating back to 1846–1875. After you have toured Fort Jefferson, you can enjoy all the underwater wonders of Dry Tortugas National Park – there are great bathing beaches and several excellent dive sites including reefs, wrecks, and shallow areas perfect for children and beginners. The only way to reach this amazing place is by scheduled ferry, private boat, or seaplane.

6.  Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum

Considering the wonderful weather and superb location, it is unsurprising that one of America’s most honored authors fell in love with Key West and called the island home for more than 10 years. Ernest Hemingway drew inspiration from the remote and beautiful island and bought a Spanish colonial-style home here that was originally built in 1851. Ernest and his wife Pauline extensively renovated the old home, restoring it to its original charm and adding the exceptional luxury (in those days) of a swimming pool and lovely gardens. Today, visitors can go on a guided tour of the home, which has been exceptionally well preserved as a museum and contains much of the original furniture and fittings. Read more or Things to Do in Key West

Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, 907 Whitehead St, Key West, FL 33040, Phone: 305-294-1136

More: Things to Do in Florida, Places to Visit in Florida, Florida beaches, Florida vacation spots, Orlando to Jacksonville

7.Florida Keys Eco Discovery Center

Florida Keys Eco Discovery Center

The Florida Keys Eco Discovery Center is essential viewing for anyone visiting the Keys and will give you a remarkable insight into the essential role of marine conservation in this very special ecosystem. The Discovery Center is educational and fun for all ages and features over 6,000 feet of fascinating interactive exhibits, including one dedicated to introducing visitors to Aquarius, the world’s only underwater research laboratory. You will be able to see an enormous reef tank filled with living coral and tropical fish and learn about the unique habitats found around the Keys. On your way out, you can pop into the gift shop to buy some really unusual gifts to take back home. The good news is that there is no admission fee and parking is free.

Florida Keys Eco Discovery Center, 34 East Quay Rd, Key West, FL 33040, Phone: 305-809-4750

 

8.Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail

Riders enjoy the Long Key Pedal-Paddle 2010 event. Photo by Jeff Kauffman

Running parallel to US Highway 1 (designated a National Scenic Highway), the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail is a (mostly) paved 90-mile trail that stretches from Key Largo to Key West, inviting and encouraging walkers, hikers, skateboarders, and cyclists to come and enjoy superlative views. Along the way you can drop a line to fish for your supper from several fishing bridges and there are also launch areas for kayaking. The trail offers access to a large number of Keys’ attractions including the Everglades National Park, Biscayne National Park, Crocodile Lakes National Park, and several more. If you would like to camp along the route, you will find private campsites as well as campgrounds in some of the national parks.

More: Romantic restaurants in Miami, Best Family resorts in Florida, Spring Break Florida

9.Florida Keys Wild Bird Sanctuary and Rehabilitation Center

Located in the Upper Keys close to Key Largo, the Florida Keys Wild Bird Sanctuary is a great place to get really up close some of the many marine birds that are being cared for here. The sanctuary is dedicated to rescuing injured wild birds and nursing them back to health so that they can be released back into the wild. In addition to providing a haven for these birds, the center also strives to enlighten visitors about all the dangers that confront our feathered friends and how we can play a part in protecting their environment. You can look forward to seeing many free-ranging wild birds, possibly including pelicans, ibises, cormorants, and even storks. It’s an ideal outing for families and avid photographers.

Florida Keys Wild Bird Sanctuary, 92080 Overseas Highway, Tavernier, FL 33070

10.Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

Originally built around 1898, Fort Taylor saw active duty until 1947 and contains the largest US collection of sea-coast cannons, dating back to the Civil War. The historic fort is located near the southern tip of Key West and is adjacent to a beautiful beach that is popular for picnics, swimming, and snorkeling; be warned – you will need water shoes to walk on the finely crushed coral sand. You can learn about the history of Fort Taylor and its part in the Civil War by joining the guided tour, which is offered at 11:00 am each day. The top of the fort offers great views out over the ocean and there is a small on-site aquarium to visit before you leave. Read more

Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park, 601 Howard England Way, Key West, FL 33040, Phone: 305-292-6713

11.Harry S. Truman Little White House

© Harry S. Truman Little White House

The façade of the Harry S. Truman Little White House hides a fascinating history that commenced way back in 1890, when the building was used as the naval headquarters for the Spanish-American War, and later during the first and second world wars. From around 1946, President Harry S. Truman began to use the building as his “Winter White House,” where he was often visited by both military and political figures on urgent matters of state. Today, the historic home is operated as a museum, where you can go on a guided tour to gain an insight into the life and times of President Truman and his successors, who came to Key West to relax and recharge during the dark years of the Cold War. You can also go on a botanical tour of the surrounding gardens, where tropical trees and shrubs abound.

Harry S. Truman Little White House, 111 Front Street, Key West, FL 33040, Phone: 305-294-9911

12.John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Possibly one of the most popular attractions of the Florida Keys, the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park was the first underwater protected park in the US. The park covers an enormous area of around 70 nautical square miles, comprising open water, spectacular coral reefs, on-shore mangrove forests, and tropical hammock forests. The entire area is an irresistible playground for nature lovers, who can spend hours exploring the abundantly populated coral reefs using snorkels or scuba gear. Visitors who prefer not to swim can still enjoy the bounty from the comfort of a glass-bottomed boat. Other activities include canoeing, kayaking, swimming, short hiking trails, camping, and picnicking.

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, 102601 Overseas Highway, Key Largo, FL 33037, Phone: 305-451-6300

13.Jules Undersea Lodge

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to spend the night in an underwater lodge, the time has come to experience this wonderful adventure for yourself. Jules Undersea Lodge is no gimmick – the cottage-sized lodge is located 30 feet below the surface of Key Largo Undersea Park, comprising a fully equipped kitchen, comfy beds, hot showers, and even a TV. The only catch is that you have to scuba dive down to the hidden entrance of the lodge, which means that this adventure (including undersea pizza delivery) is restricted to registered scuba divers. Even if you don’t plan to enter the lodge, you can still have a lot of fun learning to scuba dive in the calm, protected waters of the Undersea Park.

Jules Undersea Lodge, Key Largo Undersea Park, 51 Shoreland Dr, Key Largo, FL 33037, Phone: 305-451-2353

14.Key West Aquarium

Key West Aquarium is an absolute must-see attraction for all marine life enthusiasts during a visit to the Lower Florida Keys. The aquarium features several interactive exhibits, one of which includes an actual indoor mangrove forest where visitors can learn about the essential role of mangroves to the Florida Keys ecology. You can expect to see a wide variety of marine life, including game fish, sharks, tropical fish, turtles, jellyfish, and colorful reef fish. Children can enjoy the experience of touching and even holding all the curious creatures in the touch tank, as well as finding out what a shark’s skin feels like at the petting tank. Be sure not to miss the regular interactive shark and stingray feedings.

Key West Aquarium, 1 Whitehead St, Key West, FL 33040, Phone: 888-544-5927

15.Key West Art and Historical Society (KWAHS)

Roberta Marks artwork, “Orange Ball.”

Although the Florida Keys are all about sun, surf, and an abundance of marine life, the Key West Art and Historical Society is keen to showcase the historic and cultural side of the Keys. Their three beautifully preserved museums are open to the public daily (except for Christmas Day). At Fort East Martello, you can see a collection of Civil War relics and even meet the Ghosts of East Martello. The lovely old customs house contains two floors of exhibits recording the Keys’ history and culture, while the lighthouse and keeper’s quarters showcase the island’s maritime history and offer great views from the top of the lighthouse.

Lighthouse and Keeper’s Quarters, 938 Whitehead St, Key West, FL 33040, Phone: 305-296-3913

16.Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory

When you need a break from beaches, watersports, and swimming, the beautiful natural surroundings in the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory will show you another side of life on the Keys. The conservatory is home to a very impressive collection of plants, birds, trees, and waterfalls, which provide a habitat for hundreds of brilliantly colored butterflies. You can spend some time photographing some of the beautiful butterflies and birds in the peaceful atmosphere of the conservatory before learning all about the lifecycle of butterflies in the learning center. If you would like to take some of the magic away with you, visit the Wings of Imagination art gallery and the gift shop.

The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, 1316 Duval Street, Key West, FL 33040, Phone: 305-296-2988

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25 Best Things to Do in the Florida Keys

Disclaimer: All information provided should be independently verified. Before going on your trip, be sure to consult with your travel agent.

 

We Hope You Will Stay With US!

KEYS CARIBBEAN LUXURY RESORT VILLAS & MARINAS 
Whether you contemplate visiting the Keys for vacation or some of the many fishing and cultural activities going on all year around-Anytime  you are in the Keys: Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall……  STAY WITH    KeysCaribbean Luxury Resort Villas & Marinas IN OUR AMAZING PROPERTIES THROUGHOUT THE KEYS-

You will be glad you did…


In The Upper Keys:

In Key Largo and Islamorada, where KeysCaribbean Luxury Resort Villas and Marinas has the exclusive location -Mariners Resort Villas & Marinas

In The Middle Keys: 

In the Middle Keys, KeysCaribbean Luxury Resort Villas and Marinas has the Village at Hawks Cay Villas on Duck Key, Indigo Reef Resort Villas & Marina and the Coral Lagoon Resort Villas & Marina vacation rentals in Marathon

In The Lower Keys: 

In the Lower Keys, KeysCaribbean Luxury Resort Villas and Marinas has the Coral Hammock Resort Villas and Kings Point Marina & Condominiums vacation rentals

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