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 dwelling that you simply don’t must 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 unbelievable locations in a single, The Florida Keys deserves a prime spot in your journey bucket checklist.
From the snorkellable Key Largo to the quirky Key West, there are infinite alternatives to make your tropical desires come true in The Florida Keys.
The Perfect Florida Keys Itinerary
There are so many unbelievable 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 value testing.
It’s additionally extremely straightforward to see all the pieces The Florida Keys has to supply with out breaking the financial institution.
For the final word Keys journey, we extremely recommend flying into Miami, renting a automobile, and road-tripping by way of The Keys. Best of all, there’s no must 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 dwelling from there!
Key Largo & Islamorada
The first cease in your journey shall be Key Largo, probably the greatest locations to name dwelling for a number of nights on a journey by way of the Keys.
For an ideal spot to name dwelling base, you possibly can’t go flawed by checking into the Reefhouse Resort & Marina.
@traveloffpath Reefhouse Resort & Marina – The excellent dwelling 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 prime sights, like John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, and it has lots to do on the property, with an incredible pool, a non-public seaside, and scrumptious meals. Plus, you’re just a few minutes away from Islamorada, which means you possibly can 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 should you forgot your masks; the Reefhouse Resort & Marina has a dive store proper on website!
Speaking of diving, don’t let your self cross on the chance to get underwater whereas in Key Largo. This space is dwelling to a number of the greatest scuba diving and snorkeling spots within the U.S. and isn’t to be missed!
If you’ve gotten by no means tried scuba diving and need to study, there isn’t a place higher. If you might be 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, which means you’ll be capable of spend loads of time on the underside saying whats up to sting rays and turtles.
If you’re questioning the place to attempt diving, give Horizon Divers a name and inform them what you might be on the lookout 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 won’t go hungry within the Keys. There are so many unbelievable locations to seize a chunk to eat that we may write a novel itemizing all of them out. However, there are a number of that you simply undoubtedly shouldn’t miss! Key Largo has probably the greatest locations to seize a chunk, 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 pictures 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 might be staying on the Reefhouse or someplace close by, you’ll want to schedule a day/night to go to Islamorada. This is the Key straight under Key Largo and is shut sufficient which you could test it out with out having to swap inns.
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 possibly can think about, area 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 without doubt 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 unbelievable the beer is, the property itself is eclectic and alluring. Everyone you meet shall be pleasant and good, and also you’ll be surrounded by unbelievable paintings, 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 unbelievable, it was stunning. Even your water comes out dressed to the nines!
And not solely was the meals scrumptious and delightful, the surroundings was attractive as nicely. We discovered ourselves pulling out the digicam to attempt to seize the sundown as it could paint a unique image of the night for you each jiffy.
If you need to really feel like you might be consuming dinner in an exquisite portray, that is the place to do it.
The higher Keys are stunning, and we already can’t wait to return, however you might be lacking out on a number of the most iconic sights within the Keys should you finish your journey there.
After spending a while testing Key Largo and Islamorada, you’ll want to pencil in a number of days to move down essentially the most stunning stretch of freeway within the U.S. to Key West.
And there’s no must rush; there are nice locations to cease off for a chunk 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 — you’ll want to attempt their particular Mojito with recent mint!
It’s the right solution to cap off your lunch and can go away you feeling refreshed and relaxed.
On your manner right down to Key West, you might end up staring out of the window on the ocean round you.
There isn’t 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 by way of the Keys.
Be positive to cease off on the finish of a bridge or two to take all of it in and seize some pictures.
@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, contemplate stopping at Bahia Honda State Park for a seaside break. There are award-winning seashores and beautiful stretches of sand to arrange camp for a number of hours. If you’ve gotten snorkeling gear, undoubtedly you’ll want to discover what’s within the water as nicely!
Pick The Perfect Hotel For You
After catching some solar and sand, you’ll be prepared to move into Key West to your lodge (of which there are lots!).
Depending on what you might be on the lookout for throughout your keep in Key West, there are tons of lodge 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 which may be the place you need to look.
However, we wished 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 wished 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 dwelling that achieved precisely what we have been on the lookout for.
@traveloffpath The Capitana is the perfect dwelling base for exploring Key West. . #onlyinthekeys #soulcenteredgetaway #floridakeys #travel ♬ My Addiction – Alex Guesta
From the second you verify in you possibly can really feel the calm and enjoyable power of The Capitana.
If you might be staying in the principle lodge constructing, you’ll have unbelievable 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 lets you really feel such as you already do!
The property is a good escape that you can spend your entire journey having fun with should you wished to, and it’s nice for each kind of traveler and get together dimension.
Spend the afternoon sipping cocktails by the pool or get energetic and take a look at your hand at some badminton. Either manner, you’ll love your keep at The Capitana.
Key West Is Endless Fun
You’ll have bother deciding what to do with your self as a result of there are infinite alternatives to have an incredible time in Key West, however allow us to make it easier to out by sharing some can’t-miss experiences:
There are loads of firms providing sundown sails, and should you stroll to the Marina, you’ll see indicators for all of them. We determined to move 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 movement, and the breeze from the ocean will cool you down earlier than taking in a stunning sundown from a novel perspective.
Keep an eye fixed out for dolphins and turtles. If you might be affected person, you’ll probably spot a number of.
@traveloffpath Amazing solution to see one other aspect 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, should 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 suggest them sufficient.
They defined a lot about Key West’s dolphin inhabitants and you can inform they cared a fantastic deal concerning 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 whats up, 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 cherished 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 might be on the fence a couple of dolphin watch, go forward and e book it, particularly if heading out with Honest Eco.
@traveloffpath What an unbelievable expertise with Honest Eco in Key West. . #onlyinthekeys #soulcenteredgetaway #floridakeys #travel #boat #diving #dolphin ♬ These Memories – Hollow Coves
The Hemingway House is a traditional vacationer attraction in Key West, however there’s a great motive for it. The home itself is attractive, and the historical past behind it’s fascinating.
Most folks comprehend it as Ernest Hemingway’s former dwelling, however earlier than Hemingway owned it, it as soon as belonged to Asa Tift, one of many richest folks to ever dwell in Key West and essentially 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 possibly can 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 possibly can 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 the perfect 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 study concerning the significance of the mangroves and their significance within the ocean ecosystem.
Kayaking by way of the mangroves makes you are feeling fully lower off from the world in essentially the most stunning manner and is an expertise you must attempt a minimum of as soon as. For a considered one of a form expertise, we went with Lazy Dog Charters.
@traveloffpath See a novel aspect 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 happening meals excursions! Seriously, they’re one of the best ways to find out about a brand new vacation spot and a good way to get the lay of the land at the start of your journey.
Not solely do you study concerning the space geographically, however additionally, you will go away with an enormous checklist of all the perfect locations to eat and drink. Aside from the meals, you’ll additionally study concerning the tradition and historical past of the realm.
In Key West’s case, you’ll by no means be brief on historical past, tradition, or meals to pattern. Around each nook, there may be one other story ready to be informed and a brand new one able to unfold. There is a lot fascinating historical past in Key West, and it’s actually some of the distinctive locations within the U.S.
To get essentially 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 one million meals choices which might be all unbelievable, every with their very own distinctive Key West aptitude. Certainly don’t limit your self to our checklist, however a few of our favorites embrace:
- Half Shell Raw Bar – If you like oysters, that is your spot! Right within the Marina, you possibly can get pleasure from your meal realizing you might be consuming a number of 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 off-the-cuff, bistro surroundings. The meals is deliciously decadent in a extra laid-back setting — in true Key West vogue.
- 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 ultimately come to an finish, however some locations are value 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 cherished our time in The Keys and, like so many others, shall be coming again the primary likelihood 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 sights. Our opinions, suggestions, and strategies stay our personal.**
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This article initially appeared on TravelOffPath.com