The Florida Keys can be found lying at the southern most point of the United States and surrounded on all sides by the Atlantic Ocean, this 100-mile island chain of the Florida Keys offers a wealth of tropical vacation and adventure travel opportunities that offer a great experience for all types of adventure traveler and thrill seeker.
It is fair to say that we are big fans of the Florida Keys; they have an allure that suits both the adventurer and those just hoping to explore and relax. We found traveling the Keys to be a rather unique journey, easily we could have stayed a week of more for an adrenaline fueled array of diving, fishing and sight seeing.
As a visitor to the region you can take advantage of the resort spas and island views if all you want to do is chill out and take it easy but if your idea of a fun vacation is serious adventure, then choose from the many diving, snorkeling island and boating trips and adventure packages that are abundant in the Keys.
Or if you are partial to a mini road trip, you can more or less drive from one side of the Florida Keys to the other while stopping off at some of the numerous national parks to enjoy the scenery, sun and the wildlife. Plan a Key West vacation in no time. Escape to paradise.
We chose the latter, opting to drive to the Keys from nearby Miami and once you leave the heat and bustle of the big city behind the road soon opens up and the adventure begins, if you are hiring a car and can stretch to renting a convertible then its well worth the extra on a sunny day.
One thing to observe if you know Florida well is that there is a fairly noticeable change in the climate as you head south, even comparing Orlando to Miami which is probably five or so hours by road the humidity rockets as soon as you hit the southern part of the state, Miami is very humid especially in June, July when we visited, don’t forget the sunscreen either!
Adventure Travel Options in the Florida Keys
If you feel inspired to visit the Florida Keys, either directly or as part of a longer trip like we did then note it is possible to group your trip into different types of activity since there are many distinct areas within the Keys that offer a unique experience to travelers.
Some of the major areas you will have heard of such as Key West, Key Largo, Marathon and the Lower Keys. If time is at a premium it certainly is not essential to cross from one side of the Keys to the other since it is the best part of a days driving to do so but clearly if you enjoy the driving and we certainly did then go for it.
If you are driving in for the day, particularly from one of the big cities you will notice pretty quickly that the terrain starts to get pretty thin indeed. In fact parts of the route across the keys are virtually road and water with precious little else, as a traveler if you are not used to this kind of vista it is certainly a feast for the eyes the first time that you come across it.
We found the route driving across the Keys to be especially thrilling at times, particularly sections such as the Seven Mile Bridge which is part of Marathon in the Middle Keys, during this part of the overland route it is literally, you, the road and a whole lot of water.
For some interactive maps as well as more detail on the area and to plan a trip to the Keys we recommend that you pay the Florida Keys web site a visit. There are detailed sections on the primary tourist areas such as Key Largo, Key West and the Middle Keys.
Look Out For The Wildlife
Driving across the Florida Keys by car is a good way to discover many of the ‘out of the way’ hidden gems of the local area, the secluded coves, beaches and the various national parks which are great for picnics, enjoying the sun or for observing local wildlife. In many cases these are the places that local people will visit, especially some of the beaches, these are generally safe from wildlife but keep an eye out nevertheless.
Also be under no illusion, the Florida Keys is a very large area, while you can drive across in a day (and we did) to really see everything, especially if you are an adventure junkie consider a hotel or resort visit. There are accommodation providers in the Keys to suit every budget and lifestyle and boats can be rented easily for fishing trips, scuba diving and snorkeling as well as for coastal tours to view marine life.
The Florida Keys is also one of the few populated regions of the world where you will find more boat vendors than auto dealers, if you like boats, fishing, camping outdoors and a relaxed way of life this is a great part of Florida to visit.
As a visitor to the Florida Keys it is hard not to be inspired by the beauty and absolute uniqueness of the area. Whether you choose to cruise the road stopping off at points of interest like we did or whether it is a two week adventure and epic boating vacation that most appeals, the Florida Keys pretty much ticks all the right boxes for a great unmissable adventure.