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A Florida Keys Vacation-- Ticket to Paradise!

Florida Keys Sunset
"The Florida Keys are so amazing!  And there is plenty to do, from Key Largo to
Key West."

A Florida Keys vacation is indeed a ticket to paradise! Why? The Keys are unique islands in the sun. Picture blue skies, turquoise seas and tropical breezes. A place where relaxation is the order of the day, and outdoors is a way of life. Sound interesting?

Welcome to the tropical wonderland known as the Florida Keys. It's a wonderful vacation destination, so let's take a look at what you can find here.

Florida Keys, Key LargoFlorida Keys Overview

Stretching from round about Miami all the way down to Key West, the Keys are a magical place. It's like visiting a Caribbean island, only you don't need a passport (and English is the primary language). The waters are warm and inviting, the sea life amazing. Did I mention the fantabulous sunsets?   Or the sunset cruises that go with them?

But surprisingly, relatively few people actually visit the Keys, compared to other parts of the state. Why, you may ask, since it sounds like such a wonderful place?

One reason why is that it's harder to get to. Yes, there is an airport at Key West, and yes, it is small (in keeping with the island itself). The biggest nearby airport is Miami, and it will still take you hours of driving (and it seems like half the time it takes is just getting out of Miami) to get to Key West. (There is also one in Marathon, but it's more for private planes and teeny puddle jumpers, so don't count on using it.).

Once You've Arrived

What can you do once you've arrived here -- what kinds of activities can you expect? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

If you love the great Florida outdoors, the Keys are made for you. One of the big draws to the keys is the fishing (Islamorada fishing is legendary); check out Marathon as well -- both are great. And to go along with that, boating is also quite popular -- bring your own, or rent one once you're here.

Snorkeling, Florida Keys scuba diving and boating are popular pasttimes here -- not only for the coral reefs, but also for the awesome clarity of the water. (Psst -- did you know that the Florida Keys boast the only living coral reef in the continental United States?)

Sunset cruises. Playful dolphins, lots of lobster.  Everything and more you've come to Florida for.

If you'd like a break from the great outdoors and you're into shopping, there are loads of neat shops all up and down A1A (also known as the Overseas Highway). And you'll have to visit Duval Street in Key West!

How about those who crave the wild life, er, destination of Key West? Gotcha covered, including the Key West beaches.

Florida Keys Vacation Information

As you've seen above, the activities are mostly the outdoors type. Swimming, diving, snorkeling, boating, fishing...you get the idea.   Here in the Keys (and especially Key West) you can find parasailing, sunset cruises and waverunning.

Florida Keys, Key West SunsetAttractions are sprinkled throughout the Florida Keys, and are pretty concentrated in Key West. 

If you want a unique experience, do check out Duval Street in Key West.  It's the Sunshine State variation of the French Quarter (how's that for a combo).

The Florida State Parks and the National Parks are well worth visiting, even if all you do is stroll the trails. Outdoor Florida is an amazing place.  You may especially want to check out John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park on Key Largo and Bahia Honda State Park near Key West -- both are totally awesome!  Oh, and don't forget about Everglades National Park either!  There is also Dry Tortugas National Park, but it's only accessible by boat or seaplane.

Here's a list of all the State Parks in the Florida Keys.

 

Florida Keys Resorts, Hotels & Attractions

Where can you stay once your're here?  Not to worry, here are some Keys resorts, hotels & Florida Keys attractions for you. Unless you really prefer to be spontaneous, book your Keys vacation well ahead of time -- the farther in advance, the better deals on Keys and Key West hotels and resorts.

There are four "parts" to the Keys -- the upper, middle and lower Keys, and then Key West. Each has their own atmosphere, their own "specialty".

There are four cities that are hubs; click the links for lots more information (resorts, hotels, things to do, etc.):

  • Key Largo: closest to the Florida mainland, so it's most like the mainland.  But still, you are in the Keys and it's a wonderful place to start your vacation.

  • Islamorada: also known as the sportfishing capital of the world.  While fishing is the most popular activity, snorkeling and diving is great, too.

  • Marathon: dive and snorkel to your heart's content -- it's close to some neat reefs.  There is also some shopping to be had in Marathon.

  • Key West: need I say more?  It's the "ultimate" Key.  You can check out some things to do while you're on the island.

A Place for Honeymoon Romance

If you'd like an absolutely unforgettable honeymoon on a tropical island, consider a Key West honeymoon vacation.  From champagne sunset cruises to staying on a private island to taking a seaplane to a superb snokeling and diving location, look no farther than Key West.

In the Florida Keys, Don't Forget...

Remember to order Key Lime Pie. And if you see that the pie is green, send it back. Key Lime juice is a pale lemony color, and if they put food coloring in, they probably tinkered with the recipe and it's just not the same.

Eat the seafood and lots of it! If you come to the Florida Keys and only eat steak and/or chicken, you are missing out. (Try the conch fritters -- uummmm, good!)

Take a sunset cruise -- it's out of this world!

Remember, the sun is tropical -- do not forget the sunscreen, and drink plenty of fluids (it's hot, too).

If you plan to be outdoors in the State and National parks in summer, do yourself a big favor and bring some sort of bug spray.  The mosquitoes will drive you crazy of you don't (or forget to put it on).  If you are near or on the water you'll probably be OK, though, as long as there is a breeze of some kind.

Have a great vacation here in the "American Caribbean" -- the Florida Keys!

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