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 house that you just 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 must look far, as the proper 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 limitless alternatives to make your tropical desires 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 choose one. The straightforward resolution to that is, in fact, to choose 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 all the things 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 automotive, and road-tripping by way of 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 automotive off at Key West International Airport and fly house from there!
Key Largo & Islamorada
The first cease in your journey can be Key Largo, the most effective locations to name house for a couple of nights on a journey by way of the Keys.
For an ideal spot to name house base, you’ll be able to’t go unsuitable by checking into the Reefhouse Resort & Marina.
@traveloffpath Reefhouse Resort & Marina – The excellent house 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 a tremendous pool, a non-public seashore, and scrumptious meals. Plus, you’re only some minutes away from Islamorada, which 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 should you forgot your masks; the Reefhouse Resort & Marina has a dive store proper on web site!
Speaking of diving, don’t let your self cross on the chance to get underwater whereas in Key Largo. This space is house to a few of the greatest scuba diving and snorkeling spots within the U.S. and isn’t to be missed!
If you have got by no means tried scuba diving and need to be taught, there is no such thing as 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 sometimes transcend 30 ft or so, which means you’ll be capable of spend loads of time on the underside saying hi there to sting rays and turtles.
If you’re questioning the place to strive diving, give Horizon Divers a name and inform them what you might be in search of. 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 an excellent 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 unimaginable locations to seize a chunk to eat that we may write a novel itemizing all of them out. However, there are a couple of that you just undoubtedly shouldn’t miss! Key Largo has the most effective 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 proper 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, remember to schedule a day/night to go to Islamorada. This is the Key immediately beneath Key Largo and is shut sufficient you can 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, 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 unimaginable to not have an excellent 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 alluring. 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 a tremendous sundown dinner at Morada Bay Beach Café. This was one in every of our favourite dinners within the Keys. Not solely was the meals unimaginable, it was stunning. Even your water comes out dressed to the nines!
And not solely was the meals scrumptious and delightful, the surroundings was beautiful as properly. We discovered ourselves pulling out the digicam to attempt to seize the sundown as it will paint a special image of the night for you each couple of minutes.
If you need to really feel like you might be consuming dinner in a fantastic 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 few of the most iconic sights within the Keys should you finish your journey there.
After spending a while trying out Key Largo and Islamorada, remember to pencil in a couple of days to go down essentially the most stunning 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 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 — remember to strive their particular Mojito with contemporary mint!
It’s the proper solution to cap off your lunch and can depart you feeling refreshed and relaxed.
On your method right down to Key West, it’s possible you’ll end up staring out of the window on the ocean round you.
There isn’t any different freeway within the U.S. that offers fairly the identical feeling because the Overseas freeway, and also you’ll be glad you determined to drive by way of the Keys.
Be certain 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 arms 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 seashore break. There are award-winning seashores and lovely stretches of sand to arrange camp for a couple of hours. If you have got snorkeling gear, undoubtedly remember to 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 lodge (of which there are a lot!).
Depending on what you might be in search of 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 if you’re 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 proper place to name house that achieved precisely what we have been in search of.
@traveloffpath The Capitana is the very best house base for exploring Key West. . #onlyinthekeys #soulcenteredgetaway #floridakeys #travel ♬ My Addiction – Alex Guesta
From the second you examine in you’ll be able to really feel the calm and stress-free vitality of The Capitana.
If you might be staying in the primary lodge constructing, you’ll have unimaginable views of the pool and seashore 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 shifting there after visiting. Staying in a cottage permits you to really feel such as you already do!
The property is a superb escape that you may spend your complete journey having fun with should you wished to, and it’s nice for each kind of traveler and social gathering measurement.
Spend the afternoon sipping cocktails by the pool or get lively and check out your hand at some badminton. Either method, 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 limitless alternatives to have a tremendous time in Key West, however allow us to enable you 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 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 circulation, and the breeze from the ocean will cool you down earlier than taking in a stunning sundown from a singular perspective.
Keep a watch out for dolphins and turtles. If you might be affected person, you’ll possible spot a couple of.
@traveloffpath Amazing solution 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, 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 may inform they cared a terrific deal concerning the dolphins and ensuring the expertise was a terrific one for each people and dolphins.
We have been fortunate sufficient to have some dolphins come proper as much as our boat to say hi there, 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 unimaginable 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 an excellent purpose for it. The home itself is beautiful, and the historical past behind it’s fascinating.
Most individuals realize it as Ernest Hemingway’s former house, 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 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’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 the very best issues to do in Key West are in or on the water, and a kayak tour is one in every of them.
You’ll see all types of wildlife from nurse sharks to starfish, and get to be taught concerning the significance of the mangroves and their significance within the ocean ecosystem.
Kayaking by way of the mangroves makes you are feeling utterly lower off from the world in essentially the most stunning method and is an expertise you must strive a minimum of as soon as. For a one in every 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 best ways to study a brand new vacation spot and an effective way to get the lay of the land at the start of your journey.
Not solely do you be taught concerning the space geographically, however additionally, you will depart with an enormous checklist of all the very best locations to eat and drink. Aside from the meals, you’ll additionally be taught 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’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 probably the most 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 an effective 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 just wouldn’t go hungry within the Upper Keys, and the identical holds true in Key West. There are 1,000,000 meals choices which can be 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 might be consuming a few of the freshest seafood cash should purchase.
- 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 one in every of them.
There is a purpose 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, can 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 points of interest. Our opinions, suggestions, and solutions stay our personal.**
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This article initially appeared on TravelOffPath.com