The Florida Keys are often called the American Caribbean, and for good reason. With balmy temperatures, pollution-free blue skies, bath-like turquoise waters and the only coral reef on mainland United States, there is much to enjoy. Unwind on the beach, party up a storm island-style and enjoy some watery eco-pursuits out on the waves.
The Florida Keys are an island chain at the southern tip of Florida, stretching over 100 miles into the Gulf of Mexico. At the furthest point from the mainland is the small but lively Key West, one of the most popular holiday hotspots.
For something more laid-back, try Key Largo, where you can explore the John Pennekamp State Park, or Islamorada, famed for its sport-fishing. In the middle of the islands is Marathon, home to many excellent holiday resorts. Off-the-beaten-track, Big Pine Key is the place to head for eco-pursuits and a truly relaxed vibe.
A holiday in Florida Keys means you can do as much or as little you like. Relax by the pool with a cocktail in hand, soak up the rays on a private island resort, or hire a boat and bob on the gently rippling sea. The waters surrounding the islands protected by the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and the reefs are thriving.
Scuba diving here is first-class, and there are plenty of tours that will take you out to the best diving and snorkelling spots. Sport-fishing is big business, too, and you can book yourself on many eco-activities. You could also kayak to historic lighthouses, explore the Dry Tortugas National Park and Fort Jefferson or spend a day boating.
When you’re completely waterlogged, dry off on land. Discover museums such as Ernest Hemingway’s House, funky festivals and rustic restaurants serving fresh seafood. Walk the original ocean railroad, drive the 100-mile long Overseas Highway and while away evenings watching the sunset on the beach or at the daily Sunset Celebration in Mallory Square.
Holidays to Florida Keys come in all shapes are sizes. Choose from hotels big and small, luxury or budget, secluded or in thick of the action and enjoy some escapism from the real world.