Are Florida Keys worth visiting? If you are planning a family vacation, a solo trip, or a honeymoon to the wonderful islands of the ☀’Sunshine State‘ for the first time, you will undoubtedly have this question.
Located 120 miles south of Cuba, the Keys are the Sunshine State’s “key” attraction and are known for their white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and an array of watersports and activities like fishing and snorkelling, as well as the only living coral reef in the North America.
Yes! The Florida Keys are definitely worth visiting. A romantic getaway or a fun-filled family vacation, the Florida Keys have plenty of islands with unique features to suit all types of tourists—from thrill-seekers to those seeking the peace and quiet of the tropical islands—in the region.
Are Florida Keys Worth Visiting? Here are 21 good reasons why Florida Keys should be on your bucket list
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Are Florida Keys worth visiting for a family vacation?
Yes! The Florida Keys are unquestionably worth visiting as a family vacation destination. There are so many activities and places to visit in the Keys with children that you will almost certainly need to plan a second trip to fully explore the islands. From adventure theme parks to kid-friendly cafes to educational museum visits, Keys is an ideal destination for a family vacation.
Are Florida Keys worth visiting for a honeymoon?
The Florida Keys are a dream destination for newlyweds. Your Keys honeymoon can be as adventurous or as relaxing as you want it to be. You can watch the sunset on a beach in Key West while sipping a margarita🍹, go fishing🎣 in Islamorada, or go snorkelling🤿 and scuba diving in Key Largo or enjoy your romantic getaway in complete privacy on pristine beaches of Islamorada Key.
21 Good Reasons why Florida Keys are worth Visiting?
Explore the amazing John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park🏞
A visit to the keys would be incomplete without a tour of North America’s only living coral reef, located at the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo. Established in 1963, the Pennekamp State Camp is the United States’ first underwater park, dedicated to providing tourists with a variety of experiences.
Dive into the turquoise waters of State Park to observe and learn about the mesmerising living coral reefs. If scuba diving gives you nightmares, you can always enjoy snorkelling in the Gulf of Mexico’s crystal-clear waters.
Take a fascinating dive at the Spiegel Grove Wreck🤿
Do you enjoy scuba diving? If you answered with a resounding Yes!, you will have a great time at the Spiegel Grove Wreck. This fascinating Wreck, located deep beneath the waters of Key Largo, provides an amazing underwater tour of the decommissioned USS Spiegel Grove⚓, which was sunk in 2002 to create an artificial coral reef.
The Grove Wreck is nearly two football fields long, providing plenty of underwater adventure opportunities for diving enthusiasts. The thrill of diving alongside local fish species such as horse-eye jack while surrounded by beautiful furry reefs and barracuda is unparalleled.
If you’re new to diving, the many experienced diving instructors at Spiegel Grove will take you on an unforgettable Spiegel Grove tour.
Take a tour of the Everglades National Park🐊
One of the best parts about visiting Key Largo is getting to see the amazing Everglades National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the largest wetland in America, and is home to the famous American alligators, Wood Storks, and the Florida bear.
The Everglades National Park spans 13000 acres of breathtaking wetlands, swamps, pine flatwoods, sawgrass prairies, and freshwater sloughs nourished by Lake Okeechobee.
For nature lovers, a trip to the Everglades should be at the top of your Keys vacation itinerary. Hundreds of plant species, mangrove swamps, pinewood trees, native birds, and, of course, the fearsome American alligators and crocodiles call the park home.
The Everglades trip is not only ideal for couples, but it is also a fantastic destination for families. After all, what kid wouldn’t jump at the chance to watch an alligator or a crocodile up close?
Learn about the diving history at the History of Diving Museum🏛
If you enjoy diving, you will enjoy every minute spent at the Diving History Museum. This museum, located on the island of Key Largo the ‘Diving Capital of the World’, displays artefacts and diving equipment dating back to the early twentieth century.
Even if you are not a diving enthusiast, this entertaining and interactive museum filled with old diving breathing equipment will pique your interest in scuba diving.
Enjoy fishing in the ‘Sports Fishing Capital of the World’🎣
If you are truly passionate about fishing, Islamorada is the place to be. Islamorada is a fishing enthusiast’s paradise, as it is also known as the ‘Sports Fishing Capital of the World,’ as it is home to the world’s largest fishing fleet per square mile.
Islamorada’s proximity to the Gulf’s deep waters has endowed it with an abundance of marine life and an astounding underwater ecosystem, making it one of Florida’s premier vacation destinations.
Even if you despise fishing, there are plenty of other activities available, including water sports excursions such as diving and snorkelling, dolphin sanctuaries, and tourist amenities such as adventure parks, tropical-themed bars, fine dining establishments serving delectable seafood, and plenty of tranquil beaches to unwind with a cocktail in hand.
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Relax on the mesmerizing Anne’s Beach⛱
The primary reason for a Keys vacation is to relax on one of the Keys’ numerous tranquil white sand beaches with turquoise waters. Anne’s beach is one of several iconic Keys beaches that is ideal for relaxing while swimming and kiteboarding in its crystal blue waters.
Anne’s beach is named after environmentalist Anne Eaton and is located on Lower Matecumbe Key. The shallow and warm waters, combined with the gentle waves, make it ideal for swimmers of all abilities, including children.
The beach features numerous tourist amenities, including restrooms, outdoor showers, parking lots, and picnic areas, as well as a charming half-mile boardwalk that offers breathtaking views of the mangroves and wetlands that line the shores.
Explore the colorful history of Islamorada at Keys History and Discovery Center🏛
If this is your first visit to the Florida Keys, your Keys vacation would be incomplete without a visit to the Keys History and Discovery Center.
This fascinating museum, located inside the Florida Keys Conference Center, is dedicated to preserving and educating tourists about the colourful and glorious history of Islamorada and the Keys islands.
The museum occupies nearly 7,500 square feet of waterfront space and includes a magnificent state-of-the-art movie theatre designed by the same firm that designed the Salvador Sali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Treat yourself with exotic seafood🍤 in Morada Bay Beach Café
The Morada Cafe in Islamorada is an incredible spot for delectable seafood and exotic tropical cocktails. The café is a popular destination for families with small children because it features a waterfront resort with plenty of exciting activities to keep your children entertained.
Dining here would be a treat for fans of Netflix’s Bloodline, as the majority of the scenes were shot at the cafe’s affiliated resort.
The cafe is set in a picturesque setting on Florida Bay, with breathtaking views of the Florida sunset and waters. Reserve a table and arrive prior to sunset to enjoy to-die-for seafood against the backdrop of a Florida sunset.
Visit the Florida Keys Turtle Hospital
Have you ever heard of or seen a sea turtle-only hospital? Your visit to the lovely tropical island of Marathon will provide you with an opportunity to do just that.
The Florida Keys Turtle Hospital is a must-see attraction on Marathon Key. It is the only non-profit facility of its kind in the world dedicated exclusively to the rehabilitation of endangered sea turtle species.
Observe how the compassionate veterinary staff cares for and heals sick and injured sea turtles. Additionally, the hospital offers tourists the opportunity to feed the turtles and educates visitors about the impact of human intervention on this endangered species’ natural habitat.
Relax on the laid-back Sombrero beach⛱
Sombrero beach is the place to be for those who prefer to spend their vacation time away from the hustle and bustle of crowded Keys tourist attractions and instead spend their time basking in the sun and taking in the views of the sea in tranquility.
Sombrero beach is a hidden gem in the Florida Keys. Unlike other well-known Keys beaches, Sombrero Beach embodies the Florida Keys’ laid-back vibes; it is quiet, less crowded, less commercialised, and offers breathtaking views of the Gulf.
As a result, Sombrero beach is ideal for couples and families with small children alike, with activities such as snorkelling, swimming, and paddleboarding available to individuals of all ages.
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Go fishing on the Catch ‘Em All fishing charter🎣
Those who enjoy fishing will find plenty of opportunities to do so in the Florida Keys. Marathon Keys’ proximity to the Gulf of Mexico’s deep and abundant marine life ensures that you leave with a delicious catch to satisfy your hunger.
Captain Jeff Shelar of Catch ‘Em all fishing charter offers a variety of fishing excursions for tourists. A wide range of fish, such as barracuda, billfish, tarpon, marlin, sailfish, and various types of tuna, are targeted by Catch ‘Em All’s fishing trips.
There is a “No fish, no pay” policy in place at Catch ‘Em All, which ensures that every tourist leaves satisfied with their catch.
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Explore the Keys wildlife at the Florida Keys Wildlife and Environmental Area🐢
The Florida Keys Wildlife and Environmental Area, which is located in Monroe County, is home to more than 6000 species, including federally listed animal species such as Key Deer, Lower Keys striped mud turtles, Key Largo cotton mice, and silver rat mice.
Its diverse wildlife and outdoor recreation opportunities include activities like hiking, biking, canoeing and paddling such as stand-up paddleboarding. For families and couples alike, the Florida Keys wildlife park has enough activities to keep you occupied for an entire day.
Enjoy snorkelling in the Bahia Honda State Park🤿
Bahia Honda State Park is a popular tourist destination on Big Pine Key. It is known for its pristine white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, picturesque nature trails, campsites, and marina, as well as for having one of the most snorkel-friendly reefs in the United States.
Simply put on your snorkelling gear and dive into the water to observe majestic corals, or take a tour of the visitor centre to learn more about the local ecosystem and ocean wildlife.
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Learn about the endangered Key Deer🦌 at the National Key Deer Refuge
The Big Pine Key and No Name Key are home to the endangered Key Deer, a subspecies of white-tailed deer native to the Florida Keys with a population of approximately 800 animals.
The National Key Deer Refuge is an 8542-acre National Wildlife Refuge located in Monroe County. It is home to these endangered deer species as well as 21 other endangered plants and animals that thrive in the Refuge’s natural habitats of upland forests, wetlands, and marsh.
Indulge in a rejuvenating massage💆🏻♀️ at the Angelic Moon Holistic Day Spa
If you’re exhausted from a night of partying on the beaches or doing fun Keys activities, the Angelic Moon Holistic Day Spa is the best place to detox and rejuvenate yourself from all your stress.
At the Angelic Spa, you will be treated with natural, certified organic, and fair trade ingredients, as well as certified professional masseuses who take a holistic approach to treating the whole person as well as their environment.
The Lower Keys🏖
Go on a romantic Kayak Eco Tour🚣🏻♀️
The Lower Keys, while not as well-known as the other keys, are still underappreciated tourist destinations, particularly for couples seeking a tranquil romantic setting. A Kayak Eco Tour in Summerland Key is one of the best ways to spend your romantic time in the Keys.
The Florida Key Kayaks and Eco Tours company offers an incredible kayak tour of Summerland Key’s beautiful and pristine backcountry. They also rent kayaks, which you can take to some of the most pristine and private spots on the island and paddle back in the downwind.
Shop for unique gifts at the Out of the Blue Gallery and Gifts🎁
The Out of the Blue Gallery and Gift Shop in the lower keys is a one-of-a-kind gallery and gift shop with tropically themed artefacts, decorative items, and jewellery made by local artisans.
The shop also has a section dedicated solely to children’s books, games, and toys, making it a one-of-a-kind destination for people of all ages to return with a Key souvenir.
Take a tour of the Ernest Hemingway’s Home🖋
Great artists and personalities from all over the world have been hypnotised by the beauty of the Florida Keys, including Ernest Hemingway, who was enchanted by the Keys’ picturesque landscape and made it his home.
The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, located on the iconic Key West, is a Spanish-styled colonial architecture that was once the great writer’s residence in the 1930s. The colonial style roof and interiors of this home have been preserved and restored to their former glory.
It’s easy to feel like you’ve stepped back in time with the meticulously preserved interiors of the house, including artefacts, furniture, and a beautiful garden, where Hemingway wrote classics like ‘A Farewell to the Arms,’ and ‘The Snows of Kilimanjaro.’
The museum’s main attraction is a living link to Ernest Hemingway’s past: six-toed polydactyl cats. They are the direct descendants of Hemingway’s famous cat, the Snowball, which was given to him by a sea captain after he first saw it.
Visit the Southernmost point📍
Key West is the final and largest of the Florida Keys, as well as the location of the Continental U.S.’s southernmost point. It is 90 miles from Havana, Cuba, and is marked by an 18-foot-high concrete buoy.
This point is easily identified by its brightly painted red, yellow, and black buoy with the words “90 miles to Cuba, the Conch Republic, Southernmost Point, Continental U.S.A, Key West, Home of the Sunset.”
Get up and leave early to avoid standing in a long line and to capture Instagram-worthy photos of yourself alongside the iconic brightly painted buoy.
Mallory Square Sunset Celebration🌅
The Florida Keys are famous for their spectacular sunsets, and Key West is the best location to catch a glimpse of the sun setting over the Gulf of Mexico.
Mallory Square Sunset Celebration is one of the most popular (and free) events in Key West, where visitors can watch the sun set beyond the horizon and paint the gorgeous setting of Key West in vibrant colours.
Apart from the sunset, you can groove to the tunes of street performers who perform to large crowds each evening, with cruise ships docking as a backdrop to this magnificent event.
Treat yourself with delicious tropical food🍤 at Lagerheads Beach Bar
After a long day of adventurous excursions and typical Keys activities, it’s time to unwind with some mouthwatering seafood and a refreshing glass of margarita.
The Lagerheads Beach bar is one of the best places to indulge in delicious Keys seafood, particularly the iconic Key Lime Pie dish, while sipping a margarita and admiring the stunning views of the Gulf.
This beachside bar with tables on the sand is ideal for families with children. Your children can have a great time on the beach while you relax with a tropical cocktail and take in the breathtaking views of the Florida Bay.
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