Visit Florida Keys
The Florida Keys, a chain of postcard-perfect islands stretching out from Florida’s most southern tip, is defined by tropical good looks and a go-slow attitude. Turquoise waters, swaying palms and a balmy year-round climate are just some of the no-brainer reasons to visit Florida Key. But its main draw actually lies out of sight beneath the water in its incredible marine life.
Experience the Natural Beauty of Florida Keys
North America’s only live coral reef runs the length of the Keys. Dolphins, turtles and more than 500 species of fish call this place home. And in the Florida Keys, they know exactly how to make the most of this spectacular underwater environment, with local operators providing opportunities for diving, snorkelling, kayaking, canoeing and glass-bottom-boat excursions.
There is just as much natural beauty to explore above sea level as below. Hiking through tropical nature trails and by wild mangrove forests are among the must-dos on land. And there are some idyllic hammock-strung beaches to seek out, too.
The range of hotels in the Florida Keys is hugely varied, ticking off everything from value motels to luxury resorts with private beaches. Many hotels make the most of their surroundings, with sea-view balconies, outdoor pools and palm-lined sun decks.
Choose Where to Stay in the Florida Keys
The first inhabited island, and the largest in the chain, is Key Largo. Find a hotel here and you’ll be a stone’s throw from the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, an enormous park that’s 95 per cent underwater. It’s a haven for divers, who can expect to clock colourful coral reefs, tropical fish and the park’s giant submerged statue, Christ of the Abyss. For those who’d prefer to stay dry, glass-bottomed-boat trips showcase the best of the underwater scenery from above.
If fishing is top of your Florida Keys to-do list, choose a hotel in Islamorada. This cluster of islands is the self-declared sport fishing capital of the world and renowned for its big-game fishing. On dry land, hotels in Islamorada put you in arm’s reach of art galleries, quaint shops and, perhaps unsurprisingly, excellent seafood restaurants.
Find Hotels near Florida Keys’ Top Sights and Activities
The fishing craze continues in Marathon, right in the middle of the Florida Keys, where the main draws are spear fishing and the opportunity to cast a line over the famous Seven Mile Bridge. Further south, the pace slows down as you reach the Lower Keys. Hotels in boltholes like Little Torch Key, for example, offer a peaceful retreat from the livelier islands and a taste of living like a local.
Right at the very tip of the Florida Keys, but well-worth the journey down, is Key West – a chilled out, all-American seaside town by day and a wild mix of drag shows and live-music bars by night. It’s known for its creative spirit and quirky charm, both of which are best observed at the waterfront Mallory Square. Crowds gather here nightly to watch the quintessentially Floridian street performers and the island’s famous sunsets.