It’s easy to “unplug” in the Florida Keys & Key West. But a visit to the Keys is also a memorable experience for travelers seeking to “Connect & Protect” with the matchless and precious environment — the southernmost islands of the continental United States. Here are four earth-friendly options and activities to consider for an upcoming trip to the Florida Keys.
Rent an Electric Car
Drivers of electric vehicles may be surprised to discover that charging stations can be found throughout the 125-mile-long island chain. They’re positioned in various locations along the Florida Keys Overseas Highway as part of Tesla Motors’ Destination Charging program created for convenient travel in an electric vehicle.
In Key Largo, Bungalows Key Largo and Tradewinds Key Largo Plaza have charging facilities. In Islamorada, they’re located at Casa Morada hotel, Cheeca Lodge & Spa, Marker 88 restaurant and Pierre’s Restaurant & Lounge.
In Marathon, charging stations are situated at Florida Keys Marathon International Airport and at Hyatt Place’s Faro Blanco Resort and Yacht Club.
In Key West, charging facilities can be found at resorts and inns including 24 North Hotel Key West, Hilton Garden Inn Key West, Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa, Key West Marriott Beachside Hotel, Margaritaville Key West Resort & Marina, Ocean Key Resort & Spa, Orchid Key Inn, Pier House Resort & Spa, Silver Palms Inn, the Conch House Heritage Inn, the Gardens Hotel, the Gates Hotel, the Marker Key West and the Mermaid & The Alligator.
Key West City Hall at 1300 White St. also has charging facilities.
Buy Environmental Jewelry
The Florida Keys’ casual lifestyle makes colorful accent jewelry supporting the destination’s environment a meaningful take-home souvenir or inexpensive gift.
As one example, visitors and residents can support the removal of one pound of trash from the ocean and coastal areas with purchase of a signature blue 4ocean bracelet, made from recycled materials and typically priced from $20 each.
Coral-colored bracelets support the Key Largo-based Coral Restoration Foundation and its efforts to grow and replant endangered coral species throughout the world. Various colored bracelets support research and conservation of sea turtles, manatees, sharks and more.
Nearly 20 outlets in the Keys currently carry the bracelets including dive centers, retail jewelry and clothing shops, watersports operators, attractions, restaurants and resorts.
In mid-March about 500 volunteers of the 4ocean Community Cleanup Team participated in beach cleanups at a mangrove island off John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Bahia Honda State Park and Scout Key, through the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Park Service. Visit 4ocean.com.
Discover a Wakeboard Cable Park
Want to learn how to wakeboard? In the Middle Keys, OTHErside Adventure Park & Keys Cable on Grassy Key is the Keys’ only venue where visitors can to learn to wakeboard with the assistance of cables on a wakeboard lake, outfitted with a double-sided ramp.
Other activities include lessons in kiteboarding, wake skating, stand-up paddle boarding and foilboarding, a technique modeled after tow-in surfing.
The park also has a new upgraded kite boat, outdoor murals and a botanical garden promoting sustainability. Kids’ adventure camps are offered during summer. Visit KeysCable.com or othersideboardsports.com or call 305-853-9728.
Explore Bahia Honda State Park
A new interpretive and historical trolley tour of Bahia Honda State Park, conducted by the Friends of Bahia Honda State Park, runs four times daily at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. Length of tours currently is contingent on activity of nesting shore birds.
The Sandspur Trolley tour begins at the park’s Sand and Sea Nature Center and journeys to nearby Sandspur Beach, scheduled to reopen in 2020 after an extensive restoration. Passengers can learn about the park’s ecosystem and unique history.
Suggested donations of $5 per person go to the Friends of Bahia Honda to be used for beautification of the popular 500-acre park. Visit floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/bahia-honda-state-park or call the Sand and Sea Nature Center at 305-872-9807.
Florida Keys sustainable travel information: fla-keys.com/sustain/
Florida Keys visitor information: fla-keys.com or 1-800-FLA-KEYS
Drivers of electric vehicles may be surprised to discover that charging stations can be found throughout the 125-mile-long island chain.
Various colored 4ocean bracelets support research and conservation of sea turtles, manatees, sharks and for coral restoration in the Florida Keys.
Explore a botanical garden at oTHEerside Cable and Adventure Park.