The Florida Keys are a 125 mile chain of islands starting with Key Largo just off the southern tip of Florida and snaking through the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean all the way down to Key West which sits just 90 miles from the coast of Cuba. Vacationing in the Florida Keys can be as exciting or laid back as you like, but one thing is certain; these irresistible islands are just made for exploring, every few miles you’ll find something new to stop you in your tracks.
Key Largo, the first of the fantastic Florida Keys, and self-declared as the ‘Dive Capital of the World’ home to the 510-foot USS Spiegel Grove wreck dive and the spectacular John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, America’s first underwater preserve where divers can explore the sunken ships, artificial reefs and can even get married and stay in an under-sea lodge. Mangrove forests a large portion of the island and paddle boarders can glide along the waters that surround them. Also to be found on Key Largo is the iconic African Queen steamboat from timeless classic of the same name starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn, why not join one of the daily canal cruises.
Islamorada is cluster of 6 small islands nestled between the Everglades National Park and the clear blue waters of the Florida Strait, famous for its relaxed atmosphere, historical attractions and frequently referred to as the sport fishing capital of the world. You’ll find the largest fishing fleet per square mile in the world here. Vacationers staying on Islamorada will be spoiled for choice by the wide variety of activities available; attractions included the Theatre of the Sea animal park, the History of Diving museum, Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park, Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park and Indian Key Historic State Park where you can explore ruins from the early 1800s.
Duck Key is a tranquil tropical island just about halfway between Key Largo and Key West, one of the most secluded islands of the Florida Keys and home to just a few hundred people. Made up of five individual islands connected by picturesque Venetian style bridges, Duck Key boasts several miles of water frontage plus a network of deep water canals home to manatees and dolphins. Kick-back and join in with the idyllic island lifestyle, ditch the car during your stay as paddle boards, bicycles, golf carts or just walking are the main modes of transport. Animal lovers should also check out the famous aquarium and the turtle hospital. Our incredibly popular Duck Key holiday resort, Hawks Cay Resort, is a destination in itself and filled with activities and events for all families.
Located at the very end of the Florida Keys, and the southernmost point of the whole United States, Key West is well-known for its vibrant nightlife, beautiful beaches, rich history, and pastel, conch-style architecture. A go to destination for families, friends and couples who all fall in love with the stunning scenery, historical landmarks and buzzing nightlife. Visitors interested in the island’s history and culture can take a tour of Ernest Hemingway’s home, while those interested in the environment and its delicate species can enjoy the Eco-discovery centre, to get local perspective on the island’s unique heritage jump on one of the tour trains or trolleys and listen to the conductor’s insightful stories.
Taking a trip out to the reef from Key West Harbour is a great way to see the island and its underwater attractions in a new light, or if you prefer to be in the water there are endless opportunities for snorkelling, diving and kayaking including escorted eco-tours and possibly dolphin encounters. Another great wat to view the reef is aboard one of the glass-bottom boats that run from the harbour.
On the south side of the island you’ll find the best of Key West’s beaches, Smathers Beach is generally the most popular with its volleyball courts and water sport vendors while Fort Zachary Taylor beach is much quieter and private.
Duval Street is the major thoroughfare of downtown Key West and one of the most visited places on the entire island. Although it’s not much more than a mile, this is where the city’s vibrant culture comes to life, with its wide variety of restaurants, stores, and world-famous pubs and attractions. Be sure to pay a visit to Sloppy Joe’s bar, was one of the author Ernest Hemingway’s favourite places to hang out while living in Key West.
Let the team of experts at We Know Florida help transport you away from the stresses and strains of everyday life to the magical atmosphere, stunning scenery and laid back living of the Florida Keys .