The Florida Keys are natural and cultural wonders. Oozing classic American charm but beautified by an undeniably lush Caribbean landscape; it’s little wonder that there are so many exciting experiences on offer here. Here’s a list of just five of our favourites.
Dry Tortugas National park – Fort Jefferson
The majesty and beauty of the Dry Tortugas national park is practically ‘guarded’ by the crystal clear waters that surround it. Accessible only by boat (which only serves to add the general intrigue) the park is full of fascinating wildlife both beneath the waves and up in the sky. Perhaps its most stunning feature however, is the famed Fort Jefferson. Built towards the end of the 19th century, fort Jefferson is truly a building that reflects the time it was constructed; it’s a bastion of American civil war history, as well as history concerning international relations between America and Spain.
Sunset at Mallory Square
A sunset that has captured the imaginations of (and most probably inspired) famous Key West residents such as Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway, the beauty of dusk at Mallory square may very well inspire you to write a novel of your own. There are few places in the world that can really condense the excitement and beauty of life into a single burning image; but Mallory Square is arguably one of these places. Don’t let this grandeur intimidate you however, because the sunset is a nightly event that brings whole communities together. Live entertainment, music, artists, and food vendors come together to create a party atmosphere and a cultural feast that is the perfect accompaniment to the gorgeous view.
Night Paddle-boarding and Kayaking in Islamorada
Being in a beautiful and diverse archipelago, there’s no doubt that you will spend a lot of your time waterborne in the Keys. Snorkelling, diving and swimming is a brilliant way to experience the warm waters that surround you, but if you’re searching for a little variety, and a completely unique experience, then we’d suggest engaging in a little bit of night-time aquatic adventure. Night paddle boarding and night Kayaking is an exceptional way to see the waters and varied marine life of the tropical keys; the LED lights attached to your boards or kayaks will attract schools of fish, stingrays and maybe even a few small sharks. There’s no need to worry however, as the passionate and professional tour guides will ensure your safety and stability at all times.
Explore the Back Country Waters of Big Pine Key
A little quieter and more reserved than the energy of Key west or Islamorada, Big Pine Key is the perfect place to go to experience a more intimate and personal experience with the magnificent Keys, and all of its glorious land, air and sea wildlife. Fish, kayak and explore the flat and calm waters of the backcountry, cycle or hike through the Key Deer country spotting the resident deer along the way, or snorkel and dive off of the coast for another glimpse at the keys’ varied oceanic life. Big Pine Key offers authentic and charming back country experiences on warm and tropical shores; a combination that is quite hard to come by.
Snorkel in John Pennekamp State Park
In the waters of Key Largo lies the John Pennekamp state park; the first undersea state park in the entire US, and the only living coral reef in US territory. This makes the Florida Keys, and the park itself, a literal unique US experience, and it doesn’t disappoint. Scuba diving, boat trips, glass bottom boats, and tropical vegetation and marine life all serve to amaze and astound visitors. Considering this coral reef is unlike anything else in the US however, the public and private snorkel tours on offer are simply a must. With over 260 species of tropical fish, nearly 80 species of coral and numerous invertebrates and crustaceans, snorkelling at this state park will surely bring you closer to marine life than you’ve ever been before.