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.
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.
History fans who visit Key West’s Harry S. Truman Little White House, Florida’s only presidential museum, can do more than explore the home where Truman spent nearly six months of his 1945-1953 presidency. They can also choose to ride around the island city in a limousine he used during his term in office.
On Jan. 22, 1912, when Ruby Whitlock was eight years old, she watched the arrival of the first train that ever traveled down the Florida Keys Over-Sea Railroad tracks from mainland Florida to Key West. The railroad stretched over 100 miles out into open water in a fantastic ribbon of bridges and track.
For Christina Wilson, hosting “Island Hopping: Florida Keys" enabled her to dive into unique Florida Keys adventures — and share them with viewers of the syndicated television special that recently began airing across the United States. The show explores the Keys’ natural environment and ecotourism opportunities, abundant water-based activities, easygoing lifestyle and signature cuisine.
Ever since Ernest Hemingway penned literary classics while living in 1930s Key West, the island has been a haven and an inspiration for writers. Now Key West visitors can boost their own creativity with a chance to write in the iconic author’s private studio — and explore his former Whitehead Street home and grounds.
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.
This year brought many achievements of note to benefit Key West’s LGBTQ community and visitors — from the return of rainbow crosswalks on the island city’s famed Duval Street to the formal dedication of a “One Human Family” pavilion, plus incredible fundraising efforts for AIDS service organizations by participants in the “reimagined” SMART Ride.
Among the Florida Keys’ most iconic landmarks is the "Christ of the Abyss" statue, placed in the waters of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary in 1965. Also called “Christ of the Deep,” the 9-foot bronze is a symbol for Key Largo's John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, which is part of the sanctuary.