Florida Keys Islands Guide (w/ Beach Info, Photos & Attractions) (2023)

The Florida Keys are undeniably one of the most beautiful places in our country. With crystal-clear water, coral reefs, majestic mangroves, a vast array of plant and animal life, and stunning sunsets, the Florida Keys are more than just a simple, tropical beach destination. While each island boasts these incredible features, each one is unique in its own way, as well.

This can make choosing which Florida Keys islands to visit to make the most of your time in paradise challenging. With each key offering something completely different, yet equally magical, it’s best to get acquainted with some of the most popular islands, and make an informed decision from there. Learn about the Florida Keys Islands - Beach Information, Photos, Attractions, and More!

Table of Contents

  • Islands of the Florida Keys
  • Key Largo
    • Diving in the “Dive Capital of the World”
      • John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
      • USS Spiegel Grove
      • Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
      • Far Beach
  • Islamorada
    • Sportfishing Capital of the World
    • Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park
    • History of Diving Museum
    • Robbie’s Marina
    • Indian Key Historic State Park
    • Anne’s Beach
  • Marathon
    • Dolphin Research Center
    • Visit the Turtle Hospital
    • Sombrero Beach
  • Big Pine Key
    • National Key Deer Refuge
    • Bahia Honda State Park
  • Key West
    • Fort Zachary Taylor State Park Beach
    • Smathers Beach
    • Dry Tortugas
  • Key West Watersports
    • Snorkeling
    • Parasailing
    • Sailing
  • How to Get There
  • Florida Keys Island Hopping

Islands of the Florida Keys

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Aerial view of the Florida Keys taken by NASA via Wikimedia

The Florida Keys are a cluster of small islands that create the southernmost part of the continental United States. The Southernmost Point Buoy in Key West marks the spot, and means visitors are just a mere 90 miles to Cuba! There are a total of 1,700 islands in the Keys, spanning over 137.3 square miles.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to sort through 1,700 islands to pick the one you want to explore. Very few of these islands are populated, as only 43 are connected by bridges. Some of the most popular Florida Keys islands include:

  • Key Largo
  • Islamorada
  • Marathon
  • Big Pine Key
  • Key West

Keep reading and discover the best of the Florida Keys, and choose the paradise that is perfect for you!

Key Largo

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One of Key Largo’s famous and fabulous sunsets - Image from Pixabay

Key Largo is the largest of the Keys, reaching 30 miles in length, and is located just 60 miles south of Miami. Being in close proximity to the Everglades, combined with the island’s own natural wonder, makes Key Largo the perfect place for nature enthusiasts and thrill seekers alike. While 30 miles doesn’t sound like much, this tiny island is full of incredible things to do!

Diving in the “Dive Capital of the World”

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Image of divers exploring coral reef formations from Max Pixel

Key Largo is the self-proclaimed “Dive Capital of the World,” but with good reason! From state parks that preserve the area’s natural beauty, to sunken ships just waiting to be explored, there is so much to see when under the sea in Key Largo. If this sounds like the key for you, you may want to visit one of these places when you’re there, and dive in:

  • John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park: This is the first undersea park in the country, and covers about 70 nautical square miles. This park is home to incredible coral formations and marine life, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. Boat tours, diving, snorkeling, and kayaking are popular activities at the park.
  • USS Spiegel Grove: The USS Spiegel Grove is a sunken ship just off the coast of Key Largo. Sunk in 2002, this ship is quickly becoming its own reef ecosystem. Nearly two football fields long, there is a lot of beauty to explore when diving the Spiegel Grove!
  • Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary: While the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary encompasses basically all of the Florida Keys, one of the best diving spots in the sanctuary is located in Key Largo. The “Christ of the Abyss” is a beautiful, 9-foot, bronze statue located at the sea floor, that is also home to some magnificent marine life.

Exploring the underwater abyss in Key Largo is a must when visiting the Florida Keys. Wherever you decide to take the plunge in Key Largo, you’ll be happy you did!

Far Beach

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Image of Far Beach in Key Largo, Florida, from Pixabay

Far Beach in Key Largo is, by far, one of the most popular beaches to visit on the island. Located within the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Far Beach is a great option for groups with different interests. Visitors can simply relax on the beautiful beach under the palm trees, or hit the water and swim, snorkel, dive, and explore the coral reef! Other popular beaches in Key Largo include:

  • Cannon Beach
  • Harry Harris Park Beach

Islamorada

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Image of the beautiful palm trees in Islamorada, Florida, taken by Paul Brennan

Just over 16 miles south of Key Largo lies Islamorada, a village comprising 6 of the Florida Keys. These low-key keys are full of incredible nature and wildlife. Known for fishing, snorkeling, diving, and beautiful beaches, Islamorada, FL, has something for every age and interest!

Sportfishing Capital of the World

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Image of 28-pound Mahi Mahi caught in Islamorada by Jeff Weiss via Wikimedia

Islamorada is known by many as the “Sportfishing Capital of the World.” With access to bays, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Atlantic Ocean, there’s no telling what you’ll reel in! Islamorada also offers the largest fishing fleet per square mile in the world, so if you’re wanting to catch a keeper, this is where to do it! Popular species of fish to target in Islamorada include:

  • Blue Marlin
  • Cobia
  • Grouper
  • Kingfish
  • Mahi Mahi
  • Permit
  • Sailfish
  • Snapper
  • Tarpon
  • Tuna
  • Wahoo

If reeling in the big one is what you’re after, you may want to consider booking your stay in Islamorada during one of their fishing tournaments. With dozens taking place throughout the year, there is plenty of fishing to go around! Below are some popular Islamorada fishing tournaments to consider:

  • Islamorada Fishing Club (IFC) Sailfish Tournament
  • IFC Captains Cup Dolphin Tournament
  • Robert James Sales Redbone Celebrity Tournament
  • Islamorada Women’s Sailfish Tournament
  • Gold Cup Tarpon Tournament
  • Islamorada Fly Dolphin Tournament

Islamorada’s warm waters attract such a wide variety of marine life, making it one of the most diverse places to fish in the country. It’s one of the only places you can catch a Mahi Mahi, Permit, and maybe even a Marlin, all in the same day! With that being said, let Islamorada lure you in and hook yourself a keeper!

Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park

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Exposed Brain Coral fossil found at the Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park - Image by Jstuby from Wikimedia

The Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park is an old limestone rock quarry that was once used by Henry Flagler in the early 1900s to build the overseas railway. Now, visitors can see the quarry and the thousands of fossilized corals and ancient marine life preserved in the rocks. Other popular things to do at the state park include:

  • Birding
  • Hiking
  • Picnicking
  • Wildlife Viewing

History of Diving Museum

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Image of the History of Diving Museum taken by Ebyabe from Wikimedia

The great thing about the Florida Keys as a whole is that with all levels of reef and wreck diving available, scuba diving is possible for the expert and the novice. It’s easy to see why so many people are drawn to diving here, especially when considering these islands are also home to the continental United State’s only barrier reef system. Diving plays a major role in the area’s economy, and is definitely a driving force for tourism, as well.

The History of Diving Museum is a non-profit organization whose mission is to collect, preserve, display, and interpret artifacts and oral history relative to diving. This museum is a great way to combine past and present, and the fun of diving with the history that created it. Go beyond diving in the deep blue, and dive into history at the History of Diving Museum!

Robbie’s Marina

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Image of Tarpon waiting to be fed at Robbie’s Marina in Islamorada taken by Sam Howzit via Flickr

Visiting Robbie’s Marina in Islamorada is must when in the Florida Keys! The docks at Robbie’s are home to about 100 Tarpon, and visitors from across the country come to feed these feisty fish. Sometimes, a Tarpon will actually jump out of the water to meet the fish as it leaves your hand; an incredible sight to be seen!

Indian Key Historic State Park

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Image of the beautiful waters of Indian Key Historic State Park - Courtesy of Florida State Parks

Indian Key Historic State Park is the perfect place to soak up the sun in Islamorada! Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, this deserted, 11-acre island is home to the ruins of a town that existed in the early 1800s. The island is only accessible by boat from Islamorada, but is great place for the following:

  • Kayaking
  • Snorkeling
  • Exploring
  • Hiking
  • History
  • Scenic Views

A popular way to get to the state park is by kayak. If you decide to paddle to the island, it will usually take about 30-45 minutes. Be sure to look out for Flipper and friends along the way!

Anne’s Beach

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Photo of Anne’s Beach taken by Ved Ivanov via Wikimedia

Anne’s Beach in Islamorada is a local favorite, and the perfect place to go if you’re looking for some true rest and relaxation. Located on the Atlantic side of the island, the waters of Anne’s Beach are shallow and calm. This makes for the perfect location to swim, snorkel, kayak, paddleboard, or kite board.

You don’t have to limit yourself to just one beach when in Islamorada, either. The island is literally surrounded by gorgeous beaches! Check out these other popular beaches for a beach-hopping extravaganza:

  • Holiday Isle Beach
  • Islamorada Library Beach and Park
  • Long Key State Park
  • Sea Oats Beach
  • Kite Beach

Marathon

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Stunning view from the curved shoreline of Marathon, Florida

Heading further south down the Florida Keys will put you in magnificent Marathon, Florida! About 30 miles from Islamorada, Marathon is spread out over 13 islands. Known for their beautiful beaches and the barrier reef, there is a lot of natural beauty and wildlife to explore when visiting this tropical island paradise!

Dolphin Research Center

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Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin at the Dolphin Research Center - Image by Reinhard Link via Flickr

Spend the day with dolphins in Marathon, FL, at the Dolphin Research Center! The Dolphin Research Center was founded in 1984, and is a 90,000-square-foot series of saltwater lagoons housing dolphins and sea lions. This all-natural setting is a great way to flip out with Flipper and friends!

The Dolphin Research Center not only means a great time with America’s sweetheart, the dolphin, but also research and rehabilitation. This non-profit facility strives to help animals in need, and house them in a safe environment.

Visit the Turtle Hospital

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Recovering Sea Turtle at the Turtle Hospital in Marathon - Image by Tori Siebecker via Wikimedia

The Turtle Hospital is another non-profit organization whose goal is to rescue, rehabilitate, and release Sea Turtles in need in the Florida Keys. They offer guided educational experiences, as well, which is a great way to see these stunning swimmers, while also learning about them and their environment.

If you see a sick or injured turtle while traveling the Keys, be sure to call one of these numbers:

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission:

1-888-404-FWCC

The Turtle Hospital’s 24-Hour Stranding Hotline:

1-305-481-7669

Sombrero Beach

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Image of Sombrero Beach by Franz Stellbrink via Wikimedia

Sombrero Beach in Marathon is a stunning and scenic beach on the Atlantic Ocean. With soft sand and turquoise waters, Sombrero Beach is a favorite amongst locals and tourists alike!

From April until October, however, it’s not uncommon to see Loggerhead Turtles heading to shore to lay their eggs. While there isn’t a sight quite as awe-inspiring as this, it’s important to remember these animals are endangered, and need to be enjoyed from a distance. Other popular beaches in Marathon, FL, include:

  • Sunset Park Beach
  • Coco Plum Beach

Big Pine Key

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Image of Big Pine Key in the Florida Keys by Cayobo via Flickr

South of Marathon lies Big Pine Key, FL, a little over 20 miles away. Big Pine Key is the perfect place for a low-key vacation with delicious seafood, wondrous wildlife, and natural, scenic beauty.

National Key Deer Refuge

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A majestic male key deer in the Florida Keys - Image by Averette via Wikimedia

The National Key Deer Refuge was created in 1957 to protect Key Deer, an endangered deer species that lives only in the Florida Keys. The last scientific study on Key Deer was conducted in 2000, revealing that there are less than 1,000 in existence.

These small and scarce species of deer attract thousands of visitors to the Keys every year. Check out these interesting facts about Key Deer, and be prepared for your next encounter with one:

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Key Deer aren’t the only rare species you’ll find at the National Key Deer Refuge. Located on 9,200 acres of pine rockland forests, tropical hardwood hammocks, freshwater wetlands, salt marsh wetlands, and mangrove forests, the Refuge hosts a wide variety of plant and animal life, including 23 endangered and threatened species.

According to U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services, endangered and threatened animal species that call the National Key Deer Refuge home include:

  • Bartram’s Hairstreak Butterfly
  • Lower Keys Marsh Rabbit
  • Indigo Snake
  • Schaus Swallowtail Butterfly
  • American Crocodile

If you decide to go to the National Key Deer Refuge, don’t forget to bring a camera! You never know what you’ll encounter, but it is sure to be a great photo-op.

Bahia Honda State Park

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Image of a beautiful day in paradise at Bahia Honda State Park taken by Paul Brennan

Bahia Honda State Park is a favorite amongst travelers to Florida Keys islands! The park encompasses over 500 acres, including an offshore island known for incredible snorkeling. Other popular activities while visiting Bahia Honda State Park include:

  • Kayaking
  • Bird Watching
  • Camping
  • Bicycling
  • Fishing
  • Swimming
  • Hiking
  • Scuba Diving

Beautiful beaches and watersports aside, Bahia Honda State Park is also home to a remnant of the Overseas Highway, built in 1912. Be sure to check out this incredible piece of history before leaving the island!

Key West

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Scenic views like the one pictured above are just one of the many reasons so many people flock to Key West, year after year

All the way down at the very end of the Florida Keys lies the southernmost point in the country, Key West, FL. Almost 30 miles from Big Pine Key, Key West is definitely worth the trek!

Fort Zachary Taylor State Park Beach

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Iconic signage at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park Beach - Image by Cristo Vlahos via Wikimedia

Fort Zachary Taylor State Park is a great way to experience history and fun all in one! Fort Taylor is a National Historic Monument that played an important role in the Civil War and Spanish-American War, and guided tours are offered daily.

The state park is not only home to some incredible history, but it is also home to one of the best beaches! Swimming and snorkeling are the top activities here, as the water is very clear and there is a wide variety of marine life just under the surface.

Smathers Beach

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Image of Smathers Beach in Key West, FL, taken by Ulla Moilanen via Flickr

Smathers Beach is the largest public beach in Key West, approximately a half mile long, and is located at mile marker zero on the Atlantic Ocean. One of the most popular beaches in Key West, Smathers hosts an estimated 150,000 visitors every year! With incredible views, crystal-clear water, beautiful palm trees, and diverse wildlife, it’s easy to see why so many people choose Smathers Beach for their Florida Keys retreat.

Smathers Beach is just one of many beaches located across the island. Other popular public beaches to explore while in Key West include:

  • Dog Beach
  • Higgs Beach
  • South Beach
  • Rest Beach

Dry Tortugas

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Historic and scenic Fort Jefferson at Dry Tortugas National Park - Image by Lindsey C. Straub via Wikimedia

The Dry Tortugas are a cluster of islands located about 70 miles west of Key West. Only accessible by boat or through a tour, the Dry Tortugas are definitely worth the venture. Home to the Dry Tortugas National Park and the famous Fort Jefferson, the amount of history to take in is unsurpassed.

The best part about the Dry Tortugas? It’s equal parts history and equal parts fun in the sun! After you tour the fort and take in the area history, jump in the picturesque turquoise water and keep your eyes peeled for colorful fish, friendly dolphins, and, of course, the majestic sea turtle!

Key West Watersports

Come to Key West for the breathtaking beaches, but stay for the whimsical watersport activities! With so much to explore by sea in Key West, hitting the water is an absolute must. From exploring the riveting reefs on a snorkeling tour to setting sail on a sunset cruise, Key West offers some of the best watersports in the country!

Snorkeling

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According to a recent Traveler Story, snorkeling in Key West yields a wide variety of unique marine life

Key West, Florida, is home to some of the best snorkeling in the world! With 2,800 square nautical miles of barrier reef to explore, it’s easy to see why!

From the beautiful coral to the diverse marine life, snorkeling in Key West is definitely something you should knock off of your bucket list! Grab your googles and be sure to look out for these incredible animals when snorkeling in Key West:

  • Dolphins
  • Sharks
  • Parrotfish
  • Barracuda
  • Sea Turtles
  • Stingrays

Parasailing

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A couple enjoys scenic views from high in the sky while parasailing over beautiful Key West

Whether you’re exploring the Florida Keys islands on a romantic getaway, or are just looking for some fun, parasailing is the way to go! Soaring high in the sky with your favorite person is the best way to see Key West in a whole new light! Don’t forget to look down and look for:

  • Dolphins
  • Sharks
  • Stingrays
  • Turtles
  • Birds
  • Landmarks
  • and MORE!

Sailing

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A group enjoys an incredible Key West sunset on a sailing charter with Danger Charters

Sail off into the sunset on an unforgettable Key West sailing charter! Sailing and Key West go together like sunshine and tan lines, and is the quintessential way to catch a sunset on the island. Just picture the sea breeze in your hair, a tropical drink in hand, and a sky full of vivid and beautiful colors!

If this sounds like more your style, then you’re in luck! Sailing tours come in all forms, which means choosing the right Key West sailing tour for you is easier than ever! Below are a few of the many popular sailing excursions to choose from:

  • Day Sails
  • Sunset Sails
  • Private Sails
  • Combination Tours

How to Get There

Now that you know all about the best Florida Keys islands and beaches, all that’s left to figure out is how to get there! Which island you choose to explore may affect how you get there, but in general, there are three main ways to do so:

  • By Boat: Since the Florida Keys are a cluster of islands, most destinations are accessible by boat. Please be aware that when traveling by boat in the Keys, there are additional things to be aware of, like the coral reef, for example. If you plan on exploring Florida Keys islands and beaches by boat, you may want to check out TripShock’s complete guide to boating in Key West, for more information.
  • By Car: Traveling by car grants you the freedom to explore the Florida Keys at your own pace. If you are looking to travel to the Lower Keys, however, planning is key. For example, traveling to Key West from Miami is about a 3.5-hour drive.
  • By Tour: One of the best ways to explore the tropical Florida Keys is with a tour guide! Taking a day trip or excursion from Miami is an option, and takes away the stress of planning and traveling all together.

Florida Keys Island Hopping

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No matter which key you decide to explore, be sure to catch one of the Florida Key’s famous sunsets - Image by Jason Zeid from Pexels

If you have the time during your tropical getaway to explore all the islands mentioned above, you won’t regret it! Each island is unique and special in their own, individual way. If you only have time for one, whichever island you decide to explore, you’ll be happy you decided to dive into the Florida Keys!

FAQs

What is the prettiest key in Florida? ›

While Key Largo is undoubtedly the prettiest of all the Florida Keys, it's also one that's home to plenty of activities for the avid beachgoer. With scenic views like this, it would be tough not to fall in love with such a beachside beauty!

What is the best month to visit the Florida Keys? ›

For ideal weather, aim to visit the Keys in the dry season, between November and April. You'll still enjoy temperatures in the 80s, but you're less likely to encounter rain — and you avoid the summer hurricane season.

Which of the Florida Keys has the best beaches? ›

1. Bahia Honda State Park Beaches, Big Pine Key. The sandy shores of Bahia Honda State Park are, far and away, the best beaches in the Florida Keys. These natural beaches are absolutely stunning.

What is the quaint town of the Florida Keys? ›

Florida Keys

Towns like Marathon, Islamorada, and Key Largo are decidedly quirky, but offer visitors a perfectly tropical getaway, complete with great snorkeling, diving, and boating, as well as a laid-back island vibe available nowhere else in the country.

Which Florida Key has the bluest water? ›

Fort Zachary Taylor Park Beach, Key West

Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park is a National Historic Landmark that offers some of the clearest blue waters for snorkeling and diving in Key West.

What is the cheapest month to go to the Florida Keys? ›

The fall (September–November) is the low season in Key West, and room rates can drop by 50 percent or more. The hot, storm-prone summer months also see lower prices, and you'll find decent discounts in April and May after the winter crowds thin out.

How many days are enough for the Florida Keys? ›

While it's always ideal to spend more time in any destination, I recommend staying for at least four days in the Florida Keys, if not longer. To accomplish many things to do in the Florida Keys, you'll need a solid five days.

How many days do you need to explore the Florida Keys? ›

5-7 days is perfect for a Florida Keys Road Trip, so many things to do. (and there's also a National Park bonus!) Florida Keys tours range from snorkeling to seeing dolphins in the wild.

Which Florida Key is the most walkable? ›

When you cross over the Number Four Bridge to Cedar Key, you cross into someplace utterly unique, where time moves a little slower.

Where is the prettiest water in Key West? ›

One of the best beaches in Key West is located inside Fort Zachary Taylor Park, the southernmost state park in the country. The beach boasts crystal clear waters and is perfect for families looking for a unique place to cool off.

Can you swim in the ocean in Florida Keys? ›

Yes, you can swim in the Florida Keys. Florida – the sunshine state of the United States has some gorgeous beaches, but our unwavering attention falls on the coral cay archipelago nestled in the ocean waters – 120 miles off the southern tip of Florida.

What is the rainiest month in the Keys? ›

The month with the most rain in Florida Keys is September, with an average rainfall of 6.0 inches. The month with the least rain in Florida Keys is December, with an average rainfall of 1.4 inches.

What is the rainiest month in Key West? ›

The driest month in Key West is February with 1.51 inches of precipitation, and with 5.45 inches September is the wettest month.

What months are hurricane season in Florida Keys? ›

The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and ends November 30 of each year. Historically, the most active time for hurricane development is mid-August through mid-October.

What is the most famous street in Key West? ›

World-famous Duval Street is known as the party epicenter of Key West and is the island's “main drag.” Running north and south, the thoroughfare is lined with bars, pubs, outdoor cafes, shops, galleries, restaurants, and celebrated attractions. It is also where you'll find our waterfront Key West hotel.

What part of the Florida Keys has the most to do? ›

Key West. There are plenty of reasons why Key West is the most popular destination in the Keys. With everything from gorgeous historical buildings (like Hemingway's Home) to bumping nightlife and great food, a stop here is a no-brainer.

Do you need water shoes in Key West? ›

Key West beaches are on the rocky side. To make the most of your time at the beach, whether it's snorkeling or just walking along the sand, water shoes bode best in Key West beaches. Water shoes are most useful at Fort Zachary Beach and Dry Tortugas.

Why are there no beaches in Key West? ›

The lack of soft, white sand shoreline in Key West is the result of a beautiful live coral reef that extends from Key Largo to the Dry Tortugas National Park. The coral reef prevents natural beach formation because the waves don't crash onshore as you might see in Miami beach.

Why is Siesta Key so popular? ›

Known for its white quartz sand, turquoise waters and many beachside amenities, Siesta Key is a must-visit island paradise. Siesta Key offers something for everyone. Siesta Key is a romantic getaway for lovers, a family fun destination, and a playground for outdoor adventures.

What is the rainy season in the Florida Keys? ›

The rainy season in the Florida Keys typically runs from June through October, covering the bulk of the hurricane season, which ends on November 30th.

What time of year is best to go to the Keys? ›

Best time to visit the Florida Keys for great weather and events. If you want great weather, aim to plan your trip during the dry season between December and March. Hurricane season has been and gone, the temperature is pleasant and the mugginess is bearable.

Which Florida Key is best for retirement? ›

Key Largo is the closest to the mainland, so it's perfect for anyone looking to jet off to nearby Miami (it's less than an hour and a half away!). It's also great for nature enthusiasts due to state parks and a living coral reef that's made Key Largo the state's diving capital. Further out, there's Marathon.

Do you need a car to get around the Florida Keys? ›

While there are plenty of Keys residents who get by with just a bike and a boat, a tourist to the islands is going to need a car, especially if they're taking our Florida Keys tour.

Do you need a car in Key West? ›

You don't really need a car in Key West unless you're planning to do a lot of shopping or are heading out to multiple far-fetched points in the Keys. The island is only four miles long and about one mile wide, so almost everything is located within walking distance.

Is it better to stay in Key Largo or Islamorada? ›

For those wishing for a more laidback, small-town vibe, Islamorada is the way to go; and for those wanting a more bustling, high-energy spot, Key Largo is where it's at. Either way, travelers will find a fantastic vacation destination that showcases the best of the beautiful Florida Keys.

Which is better Key Largo or Key West? ›

Both islands are beautiful, but Key Largo has more natural beauty whereas Key West has more tourist attractions and historical sites. Key West is a small island city with a bustling nightlife and plenty of activity. Key Largo is a larger, less developed island with a more relaxed and laid-back vibe.

How long does it take to drive the entire Keys? ›

You could drive the 113-mile stretch in a little over three hours, but why would you want to? Road trips, especially one as iconic as this, are all about the stops along the way.

How do you get around in the Florida Keys? ›

Here are some of the best ways to get around Key West.
  1. Take the Old Town Trolley Tour. ...
  2. Tour the City on a Bike. ...
  3. Hop in an Electric Car. ...
  4. Rent a Car. ...
  5. Cruise around by Boat. ...
  6. Call a Cab or Limo Service.

Which Florida key is most like the Caribbean? ›

Big Pine Key, Florida

Although it's part of the mainland United States, Bahia Honda State Park has all the Caribbean credentials: crystal-clear water, white-sand beaches, and plenty of breezy palm trees.

What is the safest Florida key? ›

The Islands of Marathon have virtually no crime or traffic congestion and thus is seen to many as the best place to live in the Florida Keys.

Which Florida key is best for couples? ›

Key West is a Romantic Oasis for Couples

With a multitude of attractions like eco-tours and dolphin encounters, there's plenty to do here. For the ultimate in ambiance for a romantic dinner, couples will enjoy a delicious meal overlooking the ocean at Southernmost Beach Cafe.

Can you see Cuba from Key West? ›

“ The problem is that the earth, being round, curves and Cuba, which is about 90 miles from Key West, falls below the horizon when you look towards it from Key West. It means that regardless of how great your eyesight is, and how clear the day is, there is no way you can see Cuba from anywhere in Key West.

Does Key West have mosquitoes? ›

Aedes aegypti, commonly called the Dengue or Yellow Fever Mosquito, is the most common container breeding mosquito in the Florida Keys (especially in Key West).

Are alligators in Key West? ›

Occasionally, Key West gets American Crocodiles. Croc's feel more at-home in our saltwater canals than 'gators. However, if you drive about 45 minutes up the Keys to an island called Big Pine, which has the largest freshwater lense in the Lower Keys, and head to the “Blue Hole,” you'll probably see American alligators.

Can you drink on the beach in the Keys? ›

No alcohol, please. The Florida Keys & Key West do enforce open container laws that prohibit open containers of alcohol on most public beaches, parks and streets; including world-famous Duval Street.

Can you see sharks in Florida Keys? ›

Yes, of course there are sharks in Key West. We're situated on a small island surrounded by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico–shark's natural habitat. What kind of sharks can I see at the reef? The most common shark to see at the Key West reef is the docile nurse shark.

Are there saltwater alligators in the Keys? ›

American Alligators are very rare in the Keys since they do not like high salinity water. They are generally limited to the few islands here with permanent freshwater lakes such as Big Pine Key where the fresh/brackish water blue hole is, but our canals and beaches are too salty for them.

Which Florida Key is most like the Caribbean? ›

Big Pine Key, Florida

Although it's part of the mainland United States, Bahia Honda State Park has all the Caribbean credentials: crystal-clear water, white-sand beaches, and plenty of breezy palm trees.

Which Florida key is the most pristine? ›

Key West. Key West is one of the most coveted spots in the Florida Keys. Considered to be the southernmost point in the continental USA, this island is located at the very end of the Keys and features a medley of pristine beaches, gorgeous parks, and history-filled landmarks.

Which Florida Key is the most tropical? ›

Key Largo is one of the most famed destinations in Florida and is known far and wide as a tropical paradise.

Is Key West or Key Largo better? ›

Both islands are beautiful, but Key Largo has more natural beauty whereas Key West has more tourist attractions and historical sites. Key West is a small island city with a bustling nightlife and plenty of activity. Key Largo is a larger, less developed island with a more relaxed and laid-back vibe.

What is the least crowded island in the Keys? ›

Big Pine Key

This sparsely populated island is mostly devoid of luxury and nightlife, especially as you move further away from US Route 1.

What is the bluest beach in Florida? ›

Destin. Destin is one of the beaches people commonly rank as one of the best blue water beaches in Florida. Nearby Choctawhatchee Bay helps to filter out the darker residue, leaving emerald and clear waters and beautiful sand.

What is the most popular key in the Keys? ›

More than a third of all songs are in one of four keys: G major, C major, D major, and A major. That all of these keys are major keys is unsurprising — with the exceptions of A minor, E minor, and B minor, none of the minor keys were even able to break 4%.

How do I choose a Florida Key? ›

Which Florida Key is for you? A key-by-key guide
  1. You just want to escape the city: Key Largo.
  2. you don't want to drive all the way to Key West: Islamorada.
  3. you feel like exploring: Marathon.
  4. you're obsessed with nature: Big Pine Key.
  5. your idea of a “hotel” is camping: Bahia Honda.
Oct 11, 2017

Which Florida Key is the warmest? ›

Key West has to be one of the sunniest and warmest places in the United States year round. Our climate in the winter maintains at around 75-80 degrees with warmer days mixed in.

How do you spend a week in the Florida Keys? ›

7-day Florida Keys road trip itinerary
  1. Water and wildlife activities on Key Largo.
  2. Watersports and the Turtle Hospital in Marathon.
  3. Driving Seven Mile Bridge.
  4. Swimming at Bahia Honda State Park.
  5. Looking for Key Deer on Big Pine Key.
  6. Mangrove kayaking.
  7. Sightseeing and historical sites in Key West.
Feb 3, 2023

What Florida Key has the best water? ›

Dry Tortugas National Park is located approximately 67 miles west of Key West. What is this? The remote islands are a bit difficult to reach, and the trip is expensive unless you visit by private boat. But, the Dry Tortugas have the clearest water in Florida, by far.

Which Florida Key has the most iguanas? ›

Believed to be stowaways on ships from Central and South America, Green Iguanas are most prevalent in the Middle Keys.

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