Roughly 18 years ago, the March Merkin permit tournament was born in the Florida Keys. One of the longest-running permit challenges in the world, the fly-fishing tournament is hard to fish and hard to win. Guest blogger Allison Delashmit provides a look at the angling event, and ways people can support it.
There’s a new way to explore the Florida Keys — a way that’s fun, fascinating and focused on nature. Visitors can now discover the island chain’s eco-attractions and environmental offerings by using the free Florida Keys Eco-Experience Trail pass, featuring nearly 50 geo-tagged, bookable activities that encourage connecting with the Keys’ natural world.
As well as the continental United States’ only coral barrier reef, the Florida Keys feature unique dive spots that provide unparalleled adventures for underwater enthusiasts. The majestic "Christ of the Deep" statue, an artificial reef created from a historic Florida Keys Over-Sea Railroad bridge, and much more await divers in the island chain.
Renowned as a world-class destination for anglers, history-rich Islamorada is where backcountry sport fishing and saltwater fly fishing were pioneered. For decades, savvy anglers have found themselves “hooked” on stalking finned and gilled prey in area waters. Much to their satisfaction, there’s something to fish for during every season of the year.
Instead of celebrating the lead-up to Santa’s Dec. 25 arrival by bestowing daily gifts (as suggested in “The Twelve Days of Christmas”), consider celebrating with experiences. Florida Keys experiences, to be exact — because the island chain’s December calendar is packed with creative, colorful and heartwarming events designed to spark smiles and lasting memories.
Every year, many thousands of visitors flock to the Florida Keys & Key West — the continental United States’ southernmost island chain — to celebrate life and its milestones. With sunrise on one side of the islands and sunset on the other, the Keys are an ideal place to romance, celebrate and share memorable moments.
Incredible as it may seem, ’tis the season to be jolly — despite Christmas still being weeks away. But in the celebration-loving Florida Keys, mid-November brings the first stirrings of holiday spirit. So there are plenty of festivities coming up, ranging from traditional to offbeat (and all, of course, with a unique island twist).
Divers planning a Florida Keys vacation can anticipate days of world-class underwater adventure — exploring a fascinating shipwreck trail that stretches from Key Largo to Key West within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The trail features long-ago wrecks and ships intentionally sunk to create artificial reefs, now home to myriad fish and corals.
Visitors seeking cultural experiences to supplement the Florida Keys’ subtropical “fun and sun” lure will find arts offerings in virtually all genres. Enthusiasts can discover galleries from Key Largo to Key West, festivals that spotlight the island chain’s rich creative heritage, eclectic events that showcase the talents of local residents — and even gyotaku.
Some people who come to the Florida Keys are hungry for adventure in the island chain’s turquoise waters. Some are hungry for time to recharge in nature, or share sun-splashed romance with that special someone. And others are hungry for something more elemental: the chance to enjoy the Keys’ enticing seafood-based cuisine.