Discover five fascinating sites in the Florida Keys' "Become a Reef Explorer" dive and snorkel program. The program spotlights Keys reefs with a specially created souvenir journal, designed for first-timers, families and fun-loving outdoor enthusiasts of all experience levels who want to log dives or snorkels while exploring the region’s remarkable reefs.
Key Largo is called the dive capital of the world — with good reason, since it draws underwater enthusiasts from around the globe to experience its diverse, fascinating coral reef ecosystem alive with sea life. Plus Key Largo, and the Upper Keys overall, are home to a weird and wonderful array of lighthearted underwater events.
Vacation volunteerism, often called “voluntourism,” contributes to the self-sufficiency and sustainability of destinations like the Florida Keys. In the Keys, advocacy groups and learning-based attractions offer hands-on experiences that visitors can discover and enjoy — helping them find out more about impacts on Florida's reefs and environment and how the average person can help as a citizen scientist.
Calm summer seas in the Florida Keys mean easygoing and easy-on-the-environment watersports powered by people or the rays of the sun. Low-impact on-the-water activities include cruising warm, clear waters on a hydrobike, standup paddleboarding through the backcountry flats, or taking a dolphin watch and snorkel tour on the Keys’ first electric-powered charter boat.
Where can you chow down on a luscious lobster Reuben? Or melt-in-your-mouth fried Key lime pie? Or a unique and gorgeous sushi dish made from lionfish? The restaurants in Marathon and the Middle Florida Keys offer all these and more — so embark on a tasting excursion to sample, savor and smile.
The Florida Keys are home to the continental United States’ only living coral barrier reef. Underwater enthusiasts can help protect it by employing eco-friendly reef etiquette, using reef-safe sunscreen, taking the Nature Conservancy's #RespectOurReef pledge and other actions. Protection of this unique natural system is essential for enjoyment today and in the future.
Want to log a world-class, bucket-list dive experience? Then head for Key West this Memorial Day weekend for the 10-year “on-the-bottom” anniversary of the USNS Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg. Sunk May 27, 2009, it’s the world’s second-largest vessel intentionally scuttled to become an artificial reef — and the anniversary events will be unforgettable.
Some of the world’s most incredible natural resources can be found in the Florida Keys — including the continental United States’ only living coral barrier reef. Visitors can discover them, and become motivated to protect them, during soft-adventure activities, eco-travel experiences, diving or kayaking treks and stops at environmental attractions and wildlife refuges.
Planning a visit to the Florida Keys this spring or summer? As well as enjoying the island chain’s many land-and-water attractions and near-addictive easygoing vibe, you can also explore two of the United States’ most intriguing places: Dry Tortugas and Everglades national parks. Both parks are nothing less than priceless national treasures.
Marathon may be the midpoint of the Florida Keys Overseas Highway, but it’s certainly not “middle of the road” when it comes to special events. Upcoming celebrations blend sun, smiles and a heaping helping of creativity in the Keys’ balmy “winter” climate. Among the best are the Florida Keys Celtic Festival and the Pigeon Key Art Festival.