Florida Keys Things to Do

The Florida Keys is a group of small islands called Keys from the Spanish word, ‘cayos’ meaning small island. There are over 800 of them stretched over a distance of 180 miles. Most of the keys are not inhabited and there are 5 major keys; Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, Big Pines, and Key West. The distance from Key Largo to Key West is 113 miles and travels over 42 islands and 44 bridges including the 7-mile bridge.  Read on to discover the Florida Keys top things to do.  Explore online and get inspired while planning your dream trip. 

Our Budget for 7 Days

Why Go to Key Largo and the Florida Keys

Key Largo and the Florida Keys has a mystique. I first heard of Key Largo as a kid watching James Bond movies and reading boys adventure novels. I have had a fascination with Key Largo and the Florida Keys for a very long time. When we had the chance to go and spend a week there we jumped on the opportunity.

I had visions of a tropical setting with lush tropical plants that was warm, humid and full of interesting characters. I was not disappointed. The weather was warm in November. The humidity was perfect for us. We had some heavy rain for a few hours on a couple of days. Poking around the Keys we met a number of interesting characters and we could see that there were many people here who had dropped out of the rat race and were living their lives on their own terms. 

Key Largo is the first and northernmost of the Florida Keys. It is the longest key and contains two state parks, a national park and a marine sanctuary.  It is one of the top dive sites in the world. There is an abundance of seafood to buy and cook. There are great bars & grills for happy hours and watching the sunset.  It is a great base to intimately explore the Florida Keys and the Everglades.

Our home for the week was a top corner unit condo located in a three story building on a property that was at the end of Ocean Drive on the ocean.The condo was a Home Exchange with a couple from London. They loved the area so much they bought a vacation property and flew there two or three times a year for a week or two. We live in a town with a ski resort so they wanted to come to ski and we agreed to exchange homes for a week.

While staying in Key Largo we explored the Keys going to Hurricane monuments, state parks with beaches, drove the back roads, went to Key West and spent a full day this time, went for an airboat ride in the Everglades, went to an Alligator Farm, found a casino and got a free meal, went shopping at an Outlet Mall, met wonderful people at the local American Legion, discovered calamari fries that were out of this world, ate frozen chocolate dipped key lime pie, and saw incredible sunsets.

We had a wonderful time in Key Largo and look forward to going back to visit the Florida Keys again one day.

Where are the Florida Keys?

Click on the Google Map. For driving in North America, put in your home town. The map will calculate the driving time. To fly put in your closest airport and the Miami International Airport. The map will give you the flight time and an approximate cost.

Top 7 Things To Do in the Florida Keys

1. Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail

The Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail (FKOHT) is a 90 mile paved multipurpose trail that goes from Key Largo to Key West along a planned 106 mile corridor. 

It parallels the U.S. Hwy 1 that has a Scenic Byway designation and incorporates 23 Flagler historic railway bridges that have fishing platforms. The scenic trail offers many points of interest and ecological resources throughout the Keys.  

If you love biking, hiking, running, fishing and kayaking you will want to put the trail on your list of things to do. You will be close to the ocean and all the wildlife in the area.

Click here for more detailed information.

2. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

Most people go to the park to see the coral reefs and marine life found in the 70 nautical square mile underwater park. The park has snorkelling and scuba diving tours and a glass bottom boat tour. The Visitor Center has a 30,000 gallon aquarium and nature videos are shown in the theatre. There are many short walks and picnic areas, a mangrove swamp and beaches to swim. Beach wheelchairs are available without cost. It is a great way to spend the day. Unfortunately the water was too murky from storms and none of the reef tours were running when we visited. We did have a nice afternoon on the beach and walked along the paths. Click here for more detailed information.

3. Bahia Honda State Park

budgetslowtravel.com: Bahia Honda State Park

A small park that is a great spot to stop for great pictures of an iconic Flagler railroad bridge. There is swimming and a beach. 

The park has the Atlantic on one side and the Gulf on the other side giving good examples of wracklines. The wrackline is the line of organic plant debris deposited on the beach at high tide. The wrackline is home to many crustaceans that feed on the organic matter breaking it down into nutrients for the dunes and stabilize the sand that protects the dunes. 

Click here for more detailed information

4. Rain Barrel Village

www.budgetslowtravel.com: Giant lobster

One of the top Florida Keys experience for over 40 years is a visit to the village on Islamorada Key. It has many outdoor speciality shops selling local art, pottery, crafts, jewellery, clothing and souvenirs. There are restaurants and bars if you are hungry or thirsty. 

Spend some time talking to the artists at work in the village. Get your picture with the 30 foot Betsy the Lobster. The 2nd most photographed landmark after the Most Southern Point buoy in Key West.

Click here for more detailed information. 

5. Everglades National Park

The Everglades National Park contains 1.5 million acres of the millions of acres of sawgrass glades located in Southern Florida. The park includes coastal mangroves, glades of sawgrass and pine flatwood. Here you will find manatee, panther, alligators, American crocodiles, iguanas, flamingos and much other wildlife. 

It is a World Heritage Site, an International Biosphere Reserve, and a Wetland of International Importance. And it has a couple of awesome Airboat tours that are so much fun.

Click here for more detailed information. 

Click here for my Photo Journal. 

6. Key West

Key West is the most Southern point of the United States and is closer to Cuba than Miami. Their motto is, “We are all created equal members of ONE HUMAN FAMILY”.

This is a city of fascinating contrasts. It has attracted artists, authors, and people pursuing lifestyles outside of the norm. They have all made their mark on the development of Key West. It draws people to fish, dive, stroll the beach, hit the bars, dine and attend awesome events.

Click here to see the top 10 things you must see and do in Key West and resources for planning your visit.

7. Sunset Bars

budgetslowtravel.com: Key Largo

Sunset is a big deal in the Florida Keys. Every night is a celebration of the beautiful sunset throughout all the Keys. Each night brings a different sunset to celebrate.

People flock to the beachside bars and grills to take part in the nightly Happy Hour. On Key Largo there are over a dozen of them to choose from. They all have special food and drink prices, and live music to watch the sunset in an enchanting setting.

Florida Keys Resources

Travel Gear You Might Need For Your Trip

How many times do we travel and forget to buy a new piece of luggage to replace our old broken down luggage, or forget an umbrella. I always keep all my precious items in my suitcase when I get home. That’s where I keep my umbrella and my passport holder. 

If you need any of these items, please click on the item and it will take you right to Amazon where you can buy that item or choose another item that is more to your liking. Thank you for supporting this website.

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Flights to Miami International Airport

Travel Insurance

World Nomad Insurance 

We never leave home without travel insurance. We want travel insurance from a company that is experienced with local and world travel and gives us the best rates possible. For budget travellers it is important to get the best rates possible and we have found World Nomad Insurance the best in the industry. Click on the blue heading. 

World Nomad Insurance is an affiliate of ours and we earn a small commission if you book with them from our website. This does not cost you a penny more and helps to pay for this website.


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Personal Tours

Tours by Locals 

For those of you who prefer personal tours with a driver and a guide, we highly recommend Tours by Locals. There are a number of tours for the Florida Keys and for the Everglades. Click on the link to see the variety of tours and choose the one that best fits your needs.

Tours by Locals is an affiliate of ours and we receive a small commission if you book a tour through us. You pay the same price as if you went to them directly.

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