As our days continue to be awash in sunshine, blue skies and perfect warm seas, it’s the ideal time to “dive” into a variety of water-based activities — which makes me think of my friends who live on the east and west coasts of the U.S. While the water temperatures surrounding the Florida Keys are in the mid to upper 80s Fahrenheit, many of my friends swim in seas that range from the mid 60s to the mid 70s Fahrenheit. Brrrr!
If you have ever wanted to snorkel or dive the Keys, summers are great times to indulge your dreams and don a mask and flippers. There are several dive centers around Key West that offer instruction in both snorkeling and diving. And after your training, they take you to the reef.
For example, Dive Key West has been helping our visitors enjoy the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary for over 40 years. CeCe Roycraft and Bob Holston, co-owners of Dive Key West, offer a variety of programs for water enthusiasts ranging from beginner to open-water certification to dive master, rescue and specialty courses. Their one-day resort course will quickly have you under the water and experiencing a bold new world.
Not everyone wants to go deep beneath the waves, and there are great activities available to make a day on the water a memorable experience. Fury Water Adventures offers an “Ultimate Adventure” that lets you experience a variety of activities including snorkeling, jet skiing, parasailing, and kayaking.
Danger Charters takes you snorkeling and sailing on shallow-draft schooners. Their “Wind and Wine” sunset sail is perfect for a sunset wine-tasting experience. Danger also offers brunch sailing and can customize a trip for your wedding party or honeymoon.
I know a lot of people want to observe wild dolphins frolicking in the Gulf of Mexico. Captain Gary Stanyer has been offering dolphin experiences for over 14 years. Captain Gary will guide you through the flats and backcountry to areas he knows are populated with these gentle mammals. He’ll also take you to the shallows for snorkeling and swimming.
If fishing is on your radar, Captain Karen has offered charters to women and select groups for many years with her Venus Charters, awarded a TripAdvisor 5-Star rating. Captain Karen customizes your experience to include light-tackle fishing, dolphin watching, swimming, sunsets and weddings.
After your fun on the water, enjoy one of our colorful drag shows. Both the 801 Bourbon Cabaret and Aqua offer daily shows. Aqua’s “Reality is a Drag” delights audiences with talented entertainers known as the Aquanettes, wearing stunning outfits as they perform for and interact with the crowds.
The show at the 801 Bourbon Cabaret is led by the grande dame of Key West’s drag community: Sushi. Sushi is renowned internationally for her annual appearances on CNN’s New Year’s Eve show as she “drops” in a giant red high heel at the stroke of midnight. Her girls will have you whooping, and on the stage showing your talents — if you let them.
Don’t let the thought of summer keep you away from this southernmost island — come down and see why we love the Conch Republic and choose to live at the end of the rainbow!
Click here to subscribe to the Florida Keys & Key West’s LGBT travel blog.