If you are going to Florida soon, you have to go to the Florida keys. This string of tropical islands located at the most southern end of the continental USA is a true paradise.
Over 1,700 islands make up the Florida keys. However, they are divided into 5 regions: Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, Big Pine and the Lower Keys, and Key West.
The Florida keys are, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most beautiful places in North America.
So, are you ready to discover the best things to do in the Florida keys!
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From Miami, it takes about 4 hours (200 miles) to drive to KeyWest.
If you are staying in Miami, you might be wondering whether it’s worth going to KeyWest or not. Let me answer this question for you: YES!
No matter what, if you are going to the Florida Keys, you have to go to Keywest! It’s a very unique place and it’s definitely worth a visit, even if you don’t have much time ahead of you.
The atmosphere is unique and incredible. People are happy and laid-back. Everything is easy over there. Live music, artists, bars… you can drink, chat, dance, listen to music and watch the sunset. Just wander around and enjoy all the diversity KeyWest has to offer!
The drive itself is also very unique. The 7-mile bridge offers breath-taking views! 7 miles of nothing else than water and the bridge you are on. You will probably get to see wild dolphins jumping, birds flying. It’s an experience not to be missed.
But before we get to Key West, let’s talk about the other keys!
If you go to the keys, you have to do some kind of water activity, whether it’s a boat ride, snorkelling, diving, paddling or kayaking it doesn’t matter but if you want to enjoy the true beauty of the keys, you need to get yourself out on or in the water. It’s literally the best thing to do in the Florida keys!
I personally chose to go Kayaking. This is a tip that has actually been given to me when I stopped at the visitor centre in Key Largo and I must say that it was one of the best things I did so I want to share it with you. I went on a 2-hour guided tour in Tavernier with a kayak company named Paddle the Keys. Our guide, Steve, was awesome! Passionate about nature and the environment that surround us. It is very refreshing to be in such a touristy place and get to enjoy it with someone so knowledgeable that truly cares about nature and wildlife there. I chose this trip because it was taking us to the mangroves between the inside sea of the keys and the ocean. I got the chance to go kayaking in a lot of places so far including the Whitsundays in Australia or the Dordogne river in France so I was very happy to get to do something completely different than everything I’ve done before. The tour starts in the sea where you get to see pelicans, birds, upside-down jellyfish and if you are lucky manatees. You then head towards the mangroves, in that little canal for about an hour. It is absolutely beautiful, so different and unique. You will get to see birds too, crabs and if you are very lucky (or unlucky) crocodiles!
Every day, people gather at Mallory Square (north west tip of Key West) for the sunset celebration. It is a very nice thing to do as you can take your drinks there and enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets ever with happy people. There is live music, street performers, singers… it’s a very nice thing to do. If you don’t like the crowds I would recommend to go to the bar on the right-hand side of Mallory square. They have their own terrace on the docks so you will get a better view, fewer people and also live music. Drinks aren’t necessarily more expensive than in other places and you will enjoy the sunset in a more peaceful way. I would recommend going at least 30 mins before sunset either way if you want to be sure to catch a good spot.
When you get into KeyWest, the first place you should head to is Duval Street. It’s the main strip of Keywest downtown and that’s where all the bars and restaurants are. More importantly, it’s where the magic of KeyWest takes place. KeyWest is a very unique place and Duval Street offers the best of it. You will find all kinds of bars, pubs, saloons, restaurants from all over the world. Roosters crossing the streets, Trump lookalikes, big Irish pub next to a Texan saloon… that paints a pretty good picture of what Duval Street is like. There is live music everywhere and most bars have happy hours offers, you can also take your glass away and drink it in the street. It’s very nice and chilled so just choose your poison and enjoy!
The keys are a magnificent ecosystem, whether it’s in the water or on land. On your way to Keywest you will go through a key named Big Pine. This is the deer key, if you want to look for them you will get to see many Florida deers. They are so cute and just wander around, you might find some eating flowers in people’s gardens. It is quite a fun thing to do, just drive around and try to spot them. I would recommend going all the way to ‘No name Pub’ to be sure to see them. Most people don’t go that far but if you do I can guarantee you will see deers. It’s only a few miles drive so it shouldn’t be much of a detour and that will make your day. Also the pub itself is a quirky place where you might want to take a break and enjoy a beer.
So? Are you ready to make the best of your trip to the Florida keys?
Travelling to the jeys soon and want to know what services and apps I use when I went to the Florida Keys?
Here is the list of my favourite travel apps. I use them all of the time and can’t recommend them enough! They always make travels so much easier!
First of all, I bought the Lonely Planet Florida and I used it quite a lot. It came in very handy!
I always book my flights through either:
– Skyscanner to find a cheap flight ticket (especially in Europe)
– Momondo to find a cheap long haul flight and inspiration
When I rent a car, I always compare prices on either Skyscanner or Rentalcars, take the cheapest option and then take additional insurance somewhere else (way cheaper than taking the one from the rental company)
In terms of accommodation, I use the following:
– Airbnb for shared accommodation
For day tours and entrance tickets I use:
I love taking photos and I use the following photo cameras:
– Nikon Coolpix L830 for wildlife photos (the zoom is great but the camera is a bit annoying to carry around sometimes)
– Nikon 1 J5: this compact camera is perfect in any situation especially city trips
– Samsung S9: most of the time I do use my phone, it’s easier!
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