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Sunday, February 3, 2019

The Florida Keys (16 Great Places to Visit)


The Florida Keys are the best way to experience a tropical vacation in the Continental United States. A driving road trip down Overseas Highway 1 will take you from Key Largo to Key West. In between, you will experience amazing water views that will take your breath away and lots of interesting places to visit.

I have listed 16 places below that are worth exploring. Hope you enjoy them as much as we did!


John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park 




John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is an undersea park encompasses approximately 70 nautical square miles.

It is best known for its living coral reefs. Glass bottom boat tours, diving, and snorkeling trips are available to see the reefs. There are always people snorkeling from the beach areas when we are there, but I have heard that there is not much to see close to the shore. 

Address:

102601 Overseas Highway (MM 102.5), Key Largo, FL 33037

Hours: 

Daily from 8:00 a.m. until sunset office closes at 5pm

Admission:

$8.00 per vehicle



Key Largo Chocolates




A cheerful place in Key Largo to get homemade ice cream and candy. I always get key lime fudge and the mango and banana truffles. They are a little expensive, but so worth it!

Address:

100470 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037

Hours: 

Monday - Thursday  10am to 9pm
Friday & Saturday  10am - 10pm


Rain Barrel Sculpture Gallery 


The Rain Barrel is an Artisan Village in Islamorada. It is easy to spot because of the 30-foot-tall lobster in front. Little shops with sculptures, paintings, pottery and gifts made by locals make up this village.

 Address:

86700 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada, FL 33036

Hours: 

Open 9am -5pm daily

Admission:

Free


World Wide Sportsman




The World Wide Sportsman, located in Islamorada, is a great place to pick up clothing, fishing gear, snorkeling equipment and much more. The store itself is a nice place to look around.
Located behind the store is the Islamorada Fish Company restaurant. It is a nice relaxing place to get some delicious seafood.

Address:

81576 Overseas Highway Islamorada, FL 33036

Hours:

 Monday through Thursday  10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday & Saturday  10:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Sunday  10:00 AM  - 7:00 PM


Robbie's


Did you really go to the Keys if you didn't visit Robbie's?!

Feeding the Tarpon is one of the most popular things to do in the Keys. Over 100 hungary tarpon are waiting for the chance to grab fish from your hand as you kneel on the dock. It is frightening and exciting at the same time! 

Watch a live webcam- https://robbies.com/videos.htm

Admission to the dock is $2.25 per person (once per day).

Each bucket of fish is $4.00 (5-8 fish per bucket).



Robbie's open air market is a place where you can find anything from Robbie's merchandise to art. We love visiting with the locals running the shops. They are always so friendly and offer advice on new places to visit. 



Robbie's offer so many options for getting out on the water. You can rent kayaks and paddle boards or go on one of their tours. Snorkeling, fishing, parasailing, and jet skiing are some of the tours they offer. 

 Address:

77522 Overseas Highway Islamorada, FL  -  Mile Marker 77.5

Hours: 

Open 7AM-8PM

Admission:

Free


Anne's Beach


This Lower Matecumbe Key beach is located on the oceanside, but there is almost no wave action due to the expanse of shallow water typical for Florida Keys beaches. 

There are two parking area ¼ mile apart with a boardwalk connecting the areas.

Address: 

Mile Marker 73.5, Lower Matecumbe Key, Islamorada, FL 33036

*As of right now, the beach is still closed. The boardwalk and structures were destroyed by hurricane Irma. A grant to repair it has been approved, so hopefully it will be reopened soon.


Sombrero Beach



Sombrero Beach is beautiful white sand beach located on Marathon Key. It is located in a residential area with lots of free parking.


Address:
Sombrero Beach Rd, Marathon, FL 33050

Hours:

7:30 a.m. until dusk

Admission:

Free


Dolphin Research Center



The Dolphin Research Center is a nonprofit education and research facility located on on Grassy Key. They offer some of the best dolphin interaction options in Florida. Prices range from $30 for a brief encounter from the dock to $475 for a vip experience. This is one of our favorite place to visit in the Keys.

Watch a live webcam - https://fla-keys.com/webcams/dolphin-research-center/

Address:

58901 Overseas Hwy, Grassy Key, FL 33050

Hours:

open 9am -4:30 daily

Admission:

Adults: $28:00, Military/Veterans (present military ID): $25:00, Children 4-12: $23.00.  Children 3 and under free admission. All guests under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a paying adult.


Bahia Honda State Park



Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! Bahia Honda State Park is our favorite place in the Florida Keys! It also has the best beaches in the Keys.

Watch a live webcam -  https://fla-keys.com/webcams/fort-zachary-taylor-beach/


Read more about it in my post here.

Address:

36850 Overseas Highway, Big Pine Key, FL 33043

Hours:

8:00 a.m. until sundown, daily

Admission Fees:

$8* per vehicle. Limit 2-8 people per vehicle.
$2* Pedestrians, bicyclists, extra passengers, passengers in vehicle with holder of Annual Individual Entrance Pass.
$4* Single-occupant vehicle or motorcycle.

*Some areas of the park may still be closed from hurricane damage.


Smathers Beach



Smathers Beach is the largest public beach in Key West. It has about a half mile strip of white sand and tons of palm trees. It is absolutely beautiful! Parking is along the road and runs the length of the beach.

Address:

2601 S Roosevelt Blvd, Key West, FL 33040

Hours:

7am – 11pm

Admission:

Free


Higgs Beach



Small beach with volleyball courts, play ground, and pier. It was once the site of an 1800s African slave cemetery. Nice family beach with palm trees, white sand, and clear water.

Address:

1000 Atlantic Blvd, Key West, FL 33040

Hours:

7am – 11pm

Admission:

Free


The Southernmost Point 


The Southernmost Point in the continental United States is marked by a concrete buoy in Key West. It is in the open and can visited at any time. Be prepared to wait in a long line for your chance at a photo with the buoy.

Watch a live webcam - http://southernmostpointwebcam.com/

Address:

Whitehead St & South Street, Key West, FL 33040


West Martello Tower



 Located at Higgs Beach in Key West, West Martello Tower is a historic tower built in 1862 during the Civil War.  It has been turned into a tropical paradise by the Key West Garden Club.   
  
 Address:

1100 Atlantic Blvd, Key West, FL 33040

Hours: 

9:30am - 5pm daily

Admission:

Free


Custom House


Now home to Key West Art & Historical Society, this museum was once the island’s customs office, postal service, and district courts. Custom House is a place to view unique art pieces and displays located inside and around the outside of the building.

 Address:

281 Front Street, Key West, Florida 33040

Hours: 

Monday  - Saturday  9:30am - 4:40pm 

Admission:

Adults: $12
Children (age 6 and up): $5
Children under 6: FREE
Students with ID: $5
Seniors (62+) and Locals with Monroe County ID: $9


Fort Zachary Taylor





Fort Zachary Taylor, located in Key West, was built to guard the harbor. The fort was used in the Civil War, WWI, WWII, Spanish American War, and the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Snorkeling along the rock at the beach area is a popular activity. The beach is mostly a coral type rock and sand. Palms and pine type trees provide tons of shade. It is a nice place to spend the day.

Watch a live webcam -  https://fla-keys.com/webcams/fort-zachary-taylor-beach/

Address:

601 Howard England Way, Key West FL 33040

Hours:

8:00 a.m. until sundown, daily. Fort closes at 5 p.m.

Admission Fees:

$6.50 per vehicle


Mallory Square




Located on the waterfront in Key West, Mallory Square is lined with upscale restaurants and shops. It is popular for its nightly festivals to watch the sunset. About two hours before sunset, the crowd begins gathering to watch street performers and browse through local made crafts.

Watch a live webcam - https://www.mallorysquare.com/key-west-webcam/

Address:

400 Wall St, Key West, FL 33040

Hours:

Hours vary from business to business




No matter where you visit in the Florida Keys, it is sure to provide memories for a lifetime.


Happy Travels! 





































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