When most Americans consider jetting off to a tropical paradise, they in all probability consider locations like Jamaica, Cancun, or The Bahamas. But do you know there’s a gorgeous tropical vacation spot near residence that you simply don’t have to pack your passport for?
For Americans itching to get a style of the tropics with out leaving the nation, they don’t need to look far, as the right vacation spot lies inside straightforward attain — The Florida Keys 🌴.
Combining a number of unimaginable locations in a single, The Florida Keys deserves a high spot in your journey bucket checklist.
From the snorkellable Key Largo to the quirky Key West, there are countless alternatives to make your tropical goals come true in The Florida Keys.
The Perfect Florida Keys Itinerary
There are so many unimaginable locations to remain when visiting the Keys it may be troublesome to select one. The straightforward resolution to that is, in fact, to select all of them! There is one thing in The Keys for everybody, and each Key is price trying out.
It’s additionally extremely straightforward to see every thing The Florida Keys has to supply with out breaking the financial institution.
For the final word Keys journey, we extremely counsel flying into Miami, renting a automobile, and road-tripping via The Keys. Best of all, there’s no have to make the trek again to Miami when the holiday sadly involves an finish. Simply drop your rental automobile off at Key West International Airport and fly residence from there!
Key Largo & Islamorada
The first cease in your journey can be Key Largo, top-of-the-line locations to name residence for a number of nights on a journey via the Keys.
For an ideal spot to name residence base, you’ll be able to’t go fallacious by checking into the Reefhouse Resort & Marina.
@traveloffpath Reefhouse Resort & Marina – The good residence base to discover Key Largo🤍 #floridakeys #onlyinthekeys #keylargo #florida #travellife #traveloffpath #summervibes #traveling ♬ Me gustas tú – Tbp🙏🙏🙏
The resort is central to Key Largo’s high points of interest, like John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, and it has a lot to do on the property, with an incredible pool, a non-public seaside, and scrumptious meals. Plus, you’re only some minutes away from Islamorada, that means you’ll be able to expertise 2 Keys in a single throughout a keep on the Reefhouse Resort.
One of the highest issues to do in Key Largo (and the remainder of the Keys for that matter) is to go diving or snorkeling. Don’t fear when you forgot your masks; the Reefhouse Resort & Marina has a dive store proper on web site!
Speaking of diving, don’t let your self move on the chance to get underwater whereas in Key Largo. This space is residence to among the greatest scuba diving and snorkeling spots within the U.S. and isn’t to be missed!
If you will have by no means tried scuba diving and wish to be taught, there isn’t a place higher. If you’re already licensed, you’ll love attending to discover the distinctive underwater panorama the Keys supplies.
The common depth when diving within the keys doesn’t usually transcend 30 toes or so, that means you’ll be capable to spend loads of time on the underside saying hey to sting rays and turtles.
If you’re questioning the place to strive diving, give Horizon Divers a name and inform them what you’re searching for. You can simply get your self on a morning 2-tank dive to discover the shallow reefs and shipwrecks within the Upper Keys National Sanctuary, and also you’re assured to have a great time.
@traveloffpath There’s a lot extra to see underwater in The Keys! . #onlyinthekeys #soulcenteredgetaway #floridakeys #diving #travel ♬ Explore The World 2.0 – Brainheart & Sis
Don’t Forget To Eat
You is not going to go hungry within the Keys. There are so many unimaginable locations to seize a chew to eat that we might write a novel itemizing all of them out. However, there are a number of that you simply undoubtedly shouldn’t miss! Key Largo has top-of-the-line locations to seize a chew, the well-known Fish House.
The Fish House has regionally sourced seafood that’s to die for, all served in a unusual “keys-style” restaurant. Just give them a go to and also you’ll see what we imply. This is the right spot to seize lunch after a morning dive and it ought to undoubtedly be in your checklist of must-dos.
Plus, there are many alternatives to seize some images with family and friends.
@traveloffpath Best spot for an after-dive lunch within the Keys. . #onlyinthekeys #soulcenteredgetaway #floridakeys #diving #travel #foo ♬ Strawberry – Prod. By Rose
An Evening In Islamorada
If you’re staying on the Reefhouse or someplace close by, make sure you schedule a day/night to go to Islamorada. This is the Key immediately under Key Largo and is shut sufficient you could test it out with out having to swap lodges.
There are 2 stuff you undoubtedly want so as to add to your checklist of must-dos in Islamorada, and each are scrumptious.
Firstly, no go to to the Keys is full with out spending a while at The Florida Keys Brewing Company. As you’ll be able to think about, house is a prized commodity within the Keys, which is a part of what makes this brewery so particular.
The Florida Keys Brewing Company brews all of their beer proper on-site and is likely one of the solely native breweries that may actually say their beer is made proper within the Keys.
@traveloffpath It’s unattainable to not have a great time right here! . #onlyinthekeys #soulcenteredgetaway #floridakeys #beer ♬ Don’t Stop Me Now – Remastered 2011 – Queen
Aside from how unimaginable the beer is, the property itself is eclectic and welcoming. Everyone you meet can be pleasant and good, and also you’ll be surrounded by unimaginable art work, superb beer, and a welcoming vibe.
After a beer or two, you’ll really feel like a daily and possibly begin considering a transfer to the Keys 😅.
After a tour of the brewery, head proper throughout the road for an incredible sundown dinner at Morada Bay Beach Café. This was considered one of our favourite dinners within the Keys. Not solely was the meals unimaginable, it was lovely. Even your water comes out dressed to the nines!
And not solely was the meals scrumptious and exquisite, the surroundings was beautiful as properly. We discovered ourselves pulling out the digital camera to attempt to seize the sundown as it could paint a special image of the night for you each couple of minutes.
If you wish to really feel like you’re consuming dinner in a wonderful portray, that is the place to do it.
The higher Keys are lovely, and we already can’t wait to return, however you’re lacking out on among the most iconic sights within the Keys when you finish your journey there.
After spending a while trying out Key Largo and Islamorada, make sure you pencil in a number of days to go down probably the most lovely stretch of freeway within the U.S. to Key West.
And there’s no have to rush; there are nice locations to cease off for a chew to eat or take within the surroundings alongside the way in which.
We left proper at round lunchtime, so we made a cease in Islamorada for a scrumptious meal on the Oceanside Safari Restaurant and Lounge — make sure you strive their particular Mojito with contemporary mint!
It’s the right method to cap off your lunch and can depart you feeling refreshed and relaxed.
On your approach all the way down to Key West, you could end up staring out of the window on the ocean round you.
There is not any different freeway within the U.S. that provides fairly the identical feeling because the Overseas freeway, and also you’ll be glad you determined to drive via the Keys.
Be certain to cease off on the finish of a bridge or two to take all of it in and seize some images.
@traveloffpath This is the prettiest the drive within the USA fingers down. #onlyinthekeys #soulcenteredgetaway #floridakeys #travel ♬ Golden Hour: Piano Version – Andy Morris
Before you make all of it the way in which to Key West, think about stopping at Bahia Honda State Park for a seaside break. There are award-winning seashores and lovely stretches of sand to arrange camp for a number of hours. If you will have snorkeling gear, undoubtedly make sure you discover what’s within the water as properly!
Pick The Perfect Hotel For You
After catching some solar and sand, you’ll be prepared to go into Key West to your resort (of which there are a lot!).
Depending on what you’re searching for throughout your keep in Key West, there are tons of resort choices to fit your wants. Much of Key West’s motion is centered round Duval Street, so in case you are coming for the nightlife that could be the place you wish to look.
However, we needed to be shut sufficient to the motion to get pleasure from all Key West has to supply with out being proper within the thick of it. We needed to get pleasure from Key West however keep someplace that felt like its personal secluded space away from the remainder of the island.
The Capitana Key West was the right place to name residence that achieved precisely what we have been searching for.
@traveloffpath The Capitana is one of the best residence base for exploring Key West. . #onlyinthekeys #soulcenteredgetaway #floridakeys #travel ♬ My Addiction – Alex Guesta
From the second you test in you’ll be able to really feel the calm and enjoyable power of The Capitana.
If you’re staying in the principle resort constructing, you’ll have unimaginable views of the pool and seaside out of your room, however for a extra intimate expertise, we opted for the Two Bedroom Cottage.
Many individuals who come to Key West dream of packing up and transferring there after visiting. Staying in a cottage permits you to really feel such as you already do!
The property is a good escape that you could possibly spend your complete journey having fun with when you needed to, and it’s nice for each kind of traveler and social gathering dimension.
Spend the afternoon sipping cocktails by the pool or get energetic and check out your hand at some badminton. Either approach, you’ll love your keep at The Capitana.
Key West Is Endless Fun
You’ll have hassle deciding what to do with your self as a result of there are countless alternatives to have an incredible time in Key West, however allow us to enable you out by sharing some can’t-miss experiences:
There are loads of firms providing sundown sails, and when you stroll to the Marina, you’ll see indicators for all of them. We determined to go out with Sebago Key West and would completely do it once more!
You’ll head out to the beat of a dwell musician whereas the (included) drinks begin to stream, and the breeze from the ocean will cool you down earlier than taking in a beautiful sundown from a singular perspective.
Keep a watch out for dolphins and turtles. If you’re affected person, you’ll probably spot a number of.
@traveloffpath Amazing method to see one other facet of Key West with Sebago Key West’s Sunset Sail. . #onlyinthekeys #soulcenteredgetaway #floridakeys #travel #sailing #boat #sail #floridakeys ♬ Sun Goes Down (feat. Jasmine Thompson) [Radio Mix] – Robin Schulz
Dolphin Watch & Snorkeling
Speaking of dolphins, when you’ve by no means seen them up shut and private, then you must undoubtedly exit on a dolphin watch. We went with Honest Eco, and can’t advocate them sufficient.
They defined a lot about Key West’s dolphin inhabitants and you could possibly inform they cared a fantastic deal in regards to the dolphins and ensuring the expertise was a fantastic one for each people and dolphins.
We have been fortunate sufficient to have some dolphins come proper as much as our boat to say hey, and it was a bucket checklist merchandise of mine. I’m a little bit of a sucker for animals, and this expertise was surreal. I’ve all the time beloved dolphins and been amazed at their intelligence; I’m not ashamed to say I teared up having them so shut — there’s no expertise fairly prefer it.
If you’re on the fence a couple of dolphin watch, go forward and guide it, particularly if heading out with Honest Eco.
@traveloffpath What an unimaginable expertise with Honest Eco in Key West. . #onlyinthekeys #soulcenteredgetaway #floridakeys #travel #boat #diving #dolphin ♬ These Memories – Hollow Coves
The Hemingway House is a basic vacationer attraction in Key West, however there’s a great motive for it. The home itself is beautiful, and the historical past behind it’s fascinating.
Most individuals comprehend it as Ernest Hemingway’s former residence, however earlier than Hemingway owned it, it as soon as belonged to Asa Tift, one of many richest individuals to ever dwell in Key West and probably the most well-known wrecker within the space.
Even if the historical past of the house isn’t your factor, it’s enjoyable to see what number of kitties you’ll be able to spot across the property, all of whom are UNESCO world-heritage protected and allowed to roam the property at will.
@traveloffpath See what number of kitties you’ll be able to spot on the Hemingway House in Key West. . #onlyinthekeys #soulcenteredgetaway #floridakeys #travel #keywest #hemingwayhouse ♬ I’m Just a Cat – Simon and the Astronauts
Many of one of the best issues to do in Key West are in or on the water, and a kayak tour is considered one of them.
You’ll see all types of wildlife from nurse sharks to starfish, and get to be taught in regards to the significance of the mangroves and their significance within the ocean ecosystem.
Kayaking via the mangroves makes you are feeling fully minimize off from the world in probably the most lovely approach and is an expertise you must strive no less than as soon as. For a considered one of a form expertise, we went with Lazy Dog Charters.
@traveloffpath See a singular facet of Key West throughout a Kayak tour with Lazy Dog Charters. . #onlyinthekeys #soulcenteredgetaway #floridakeys #travel #keywest ♬ Adventure of a Lifetime – Coldplay
Food Walking Tour
I can’t cease occurring meals excursions! Seriously, they’re one of the simplest ways to find out about a brand new vacation spot and a good way to get the lay of the land in the beginning of your journey.
Not solely do you be taught in regards to the space geographically, however additionally, you will depart with an enormous checklist of all one of the best locations to eat and drink. Aside from the meals, you’ll additionally be taught in regards to the tradition and historical past of the realm.
In Key West’s case, you’ll by no means be quick on historical past, tradition, or meals to pattern. Around each nook, there’s one other story ready to be advised and a brand new one able to unfold. There is a lot fascinating historical past in Key West, and it’s definitely one of the crucial distinctive locations within the U.S.
To get probably the most out of this expertise, we went with Key West Food Tours, and the tour didn’t disappoint.
@traveloffpath Food excursions are a good way to get to know a vacation spot, particularly Key West! . #onlyinthekeys #soulcenteredgetaway #floridakeys #travel #foodie ♬ Don’t Worry Be Happy – The Hit Crew
Food, Food, And More Food
We stated above that you simply wouldn’t go hungry within the Upper Keys, and the identical holds true in Key West. There are 1,000,000 meals choices which are all unimaginable, every with their very own distinctive Key West aptitude. Certainly don’t limit your self to our checklist, however a few of our favorites embody:
- Half Shell Raw Bar – If you’re keen on oysters, that is your spot! Right within the Marina, you’ll be able to get pleasure from your meal realizing you’re consuming among the freshest seafood cash should buy.
- Milagro – Chef Kevin has labored with Michelin Star cooks for many of his profession and took that have to create a restaurant with 5-star delicacies in an informal, bistro atmosphere. The meals is deliciously decadent in a extra laid-back setting — in true Key West style.
- Blue Heaven Key West – The most iconic brunch spot in Key West and a particular should. Not solely is the meals scrumptious, however you’ll really feel such as you stepped into one other world the second you cross the edge of the doorway.
No Keys Experience Is The Same
It’s an unlucky reality of life that each trip should finally come to an finish, however some locations are price endlessly repeating. The Florida Keys is certainly considered one of them.
There is a motive so many vacationers come right here time and time once more, and each go to to The Keys will reveal one thing new and thrilling.
We beloved our time in The Keys and, like so many others, can be coming again the primary probability we get!
**Travel Off Path was a visitor of The Florida Keys, who helped with the creation of this itinerary by internet hosting a few of our lodging and points of interest. Our opinions, suggestions, and recommendations stay our personal.**
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This article initially appeared on TravelOffPath.com