For Americans dreaming of jetting off to the Caribbean, there’s an option just as dreamy that you can enjoy while leaving your passport at home. Visiting the Florida Keys is certainly a unique experience, and you’ll see a side of the States that doesn’t exist anywhere else. That being said, there are several destinations within the Keys that offer very different experiences. Depending on your travel style, you may want to be careful about which part of the Keys you choose. Or, if you are up for an adventure, rent a car in Miami and stop in each Key along the way to the southernmost point in the continental U.S.!
Key Largo is the first Key you’ll hit if you were to drive through the Keys, and it is the perfect spot for those hoping to explore the world underwater. Diving is one of the most popular things to do in Key Largo, and if you don’t want to resurface, you should definitely check out the underwater hotel!
Don’t worry about needing experience if you’ve never been diving or snorkeling. To snorkel, you’ll get sufficient instruction during the boat ride out to the reef. For diving, however, you’ll have to put in some more work over the course of a few days to get certified. Trust us; it is absolutely worth it!
@yesaira.m My favorite shade of blue☝🏼 What a dream diving the beautiful crystal clear waters of #keylargo #floridakeys #freedive #ocean #dive ♬ find your love sped up – xxtristanxo
Islamorada is the perfect spot to call home for a week of fishing. If deep-sea fishing is what you are looking for in a vacation, look no further. Islamorada is filled with fishing guides who can take you out for the catch of a lifetime. For a day of fishing not so far out, head to the backcountry on the gulf side to catch a redfish or two. If you want a break from catching fish, see a dolphin show at the Theater of the Sea. For a memorable day out, rent a boat and head to the sandbar, a popular spot where a lot of boats will drop anchor to hang out for the day.
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@blackfinre A day in the life at the Florida Keys! Islamorada Sandbar Edition. #floridakeys #flkeys #flkeyslife #summer #islamoradaflorida #islamorada #islamoradakeylife #thefloridakeys #blackfinre #visitflorida #travel #traveltiktok #travelbucketlist #dog #dogsoftiktok #dogsthatswim #florida #summervibes ♬ Roxanne – Instrumental – Califa Azul
If you want to bring the whole family, Marathon is perfect for a multi-generational trip. About a 2.5-hour drive from Miami, Marathon has great accommodations that can house the entire family, from waterfront home rentals to family-friendly resorts. If keeping the kids occupied is on your list of vacation musts, be sure to check out Hawks Cay, where kids have an entire section of the resort dedicated to nonstop fun. If you want some time to yourself, kids can go to ‘Camp Hawk,’ which runs Monday to Thursday from 10 am to 1 pm, where they will be supervised while enjoying time with kids their own age.
For a fun experience off the resort for the whole family, check out the Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters. It’s perfect for kids of all ages (looking at you, grandpa) and offers the chance to get up close and personal with stingrays, sharks, and even a goliath grouper.
@shemamamaps Marathon Key’s Best Florida Key’s Family Travel Experience by far @The Florida Keys #travelexperience #familytravel #floridakeystravel #marathonkeyflorida #aquariumencounters #thefloridakeys ♬ original sound – TRAVEL TIPS 📍 STAYS
Big Pine Key & The Lower Keys
While there aren’t a ton of options when it comes to accommodations in Big Pine & the Lower Keys, what it lacks in places to stay, it makes up for in places to explore. Also known as ‘the natural keys,’ visitors can catch glimpses of all kinds of wildlife. Whether snorkeling or hiking, you’ll meet all sorts of animals you won’t see elsewhere. While kayaking or paddleboarding through mangroves and seagrass flats, don’t be surprised to look behind you to see a stingray in your wake. This is the best place to go to tune into the natural surrounding that is unique to the Keys.
@you.live.and.you.lauren We saw 2 Key deer as well! Super neat, quick stop. #thefloridakeys #floridakeys #thekeys #travelflorida #exploreflorida #bluehole #bigpinekey #bigpinekeyfl #travel #explore #florida #floridalife #rvlife #rvliving #rvtravel #fifthwheel #fifthwheeltravel #glamping #fifthwheellife #alligators #wildlife #floridawildlife ♬ Sun Is Shining (feat. Robin Schulz) – Bob Marley
Key West is probably what most people think of when they hear ‘the Florida Keys,’ and for good reason! Full of history, endless things to do, and fantastic places to party, Key West draws in tourists from all over the world, but particularly from the rest of the U.S. You definitely won’t need a car here, as you can walk or opt for a bike and see everything easily. There are always festivals and events going on, so be sure to check the dates of your trip to see if anything fun, like the Key West Fantasy Fest that takes place each October. And, of course, no visit to Key West is complete without getting some delicious key lime pie!
@thefloridakeys Get ready! Key West’s Fantasy Fest is around the corner! Revelers can express their creativity by donning dazzling costumes at the spectacular Fantasy Fest Parade Oct. 29 in Key West. This year’s festival theme is “Cult Classics and Cartoon Chaos.” #keywest #fantasyfest #fantasyfestkeywest #onlyinthekeys #floridakeys #southflorida #southfloridaeventscheck ♬ Halloween ・ cute horror song – PeriTune
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com