To reconnect with the natural world of the Florida Keys, immerse yourself in the island chain’s many open-air areas where seclusion is intrinsic. Wander along sandy beaches, discover nature trails through hammocks and rainforest areas, or explore the clear blue waters surrounding the Keys. Or find natural gems during a hike or bicycle ride.
In the Florida Keys, the 125-mile-long island chain at the southern tip of Florida, family members can find seemingly endless ways to reconnect. A family road trip through the Keys features five destinations in one vacation: Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, Big Pine and the Lower Keys, and the southernmost island of Key West.
One of nature’s greatest wonders is a living coral reef — and the only one in the continental United States parallels the Florida Keys. That means the island chain is an unbelievable place to learn to scuba dive. Professional dive instructors actively teach all year, and aspiring divers can find instruction throughout the Keys.
The Florida Keys Overseas Highway, which connects the entire island chain, recently won top honors in GayCities.com’s Best of 2020 awards for “Iconic Road Trips.” While experiencing the “bucket list” drive, travelers can marvel at the ever-changing land- and seascapes to be viewed from the road called the Highway That Goes to Sea.
Florida Keys holiday traditions center around the one and only Santa Keys — a jolly bearded fellow who brings cheer to those who aren’t lucky enough to live in the Keys, and to the underwater creatures in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. What happens on the night before Christmas? Santa Keys makes his rounds!
With an abundance of colorful subtropical fruits and flowers, the Florida Keys are rich in soothing organic and sustainable ingredients for luxury skin care and bath products. Easily ordered online, these products make great holiday gifts — providing a way to create an at-home spa experience that evokes warm, fragrant memories of the Keys.
Tastes and flavors of the Florida Keys are embedded deeply in the memories of visitors far and wide, so why not surprise family members and good friends this season with delicious gifts of edible or sippable Keys creations? Gifts of food from the island chain are sure to delight even the pickiest recipients.
Until a few years ago, the Lower Keys were home to a peculiar landmark: a shingled tower rising behind the Sugarloaf Lodge, located at mile marker 17 on the Florida Keys Overseas Highway. Tall and weather-beaten, looming over its surroundings, it was a strange monument to an innovative idea hatched in bygone days.
As well as human visitors who come to the Florida Keys for rest and renewal, marine creatures in need also come calling. Some have health problems, while others are injured, orphaned or lost. Throughout the island chain, ailing sea turtles, manatees, dolphins and whales encounter dedicated professionals and volunteers ready to provide care.
Attention, crustacean fans: Aug. 6 marks the start of the Florida Keys lobster season. Given their location surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, the Keys are a paradise for lovers of fish and seafood. And topping the list of seafood standouts is the native lobster — often called spiny lobster.