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.
Miles of wide-open spaces, warm fragrant breezes and vibrantly colorful scenery invite Florida Keys visitors to spend most of their time outdoors. Simple pleasures abound throughout the 125-mile-long island chain, an outdoor playground for all ages, where it’s easy to discover seemingly endless ways to reconnect with family, friends and the natural world.
Key West visitors can enjoy activities like dolphin watching, kayaking, swimming, sunning and exploring protected local waters during cruises on the 55-foot luxury yacht “Bottoms Up,” thanks to a charter business launched by LGBTQ business leader Joe Schroeder. Captain Joe’s team creates an exclusive “dream day at sea” for each charter group.
These days, people are hungry to reconnect with the individuals and activities that matter most to them. And the Florida Keys are uniquely positioned to satisfy that desire. The Keys’ vast open spaces offer seemingly endless opportunities to rediscover the natural world after coronavirus confinement, and share unforgettable experiences with friends and family.
In May, Elena Muratori celebrates 25 years with the Florida Park Service. With two decades of working at John Pennekamp Coral Reef and Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical state parks, she’s one of the longest-serving stewards at any Florida Keys state park. And she’s deeply dedicated to restoring and preserving natural resources.
Renowned for its “One Human Family” philosophy of unity and equality, Key West will welcome visitors to its annual Pride festivities Wednesday through Sunday, June 2-6. Presented by the Key West Business Guild, events will showcase the diversity and enticing atmosphere that make the southernmost city a top vacation destination for LGBTQ visitors.
In keeping with the global “Restore Our Earth” theme for April’s Earth Day 2021, it’s easy to participate in meaningful, memorable activities in the Florida Keys such as diving, snorkeling and even Snuba, a hybrid of the two. But whatever the underwater activity, it’s important to practice the principles of coral reef etiquette.
Fans and friends of the Florida Keys’ Conch Republic can celebrate the irreverent “nation’s” 39th birthday with activities including a pirate adventure, traditional shrimp boil, sunset boat parade, “wearable art” fashion show, sailing excursions and a gourmet dinner and absinthe tasting. The Conch Republic Independence Celebration is scheduled Friday through Sunday, April 16-25.
Foodies can sample tasty temptations and savor the subtropical flavors of Key West through “Taste of Key West 2021 Reimagined” — a dining card that takes the place of the “Taste of Key West” in-person charity fundraiser traditionally held each April. The pocket-size dining cards are usable for a year beginning April 19, 2021.
Rob Oliverio traded life as a road warrior — a corporate manager launching House of Blues openings in Boston, New Orleans and Los Angeles — for life as an eco-entrepreneur and owner of Key West’s Mellow Ventures. Today he’s focused on helping visitors learn to appreciate, respect and protect the beauty of the Keys.