Best Florida Keys Vacations

The Florida Keys are one of the most famous vacation destinations in the world (and for good reason). From history to culture, wild nightlife to relaxing beaches, this multi-island getaway truly has it all. Here are just some of the amazing things to do in the Florida Keys. Explore our general guide if you're in the general planning phase, and then move on to our detailed city guides. We're here to help you plan the best Florida Keys vacations!

Florida Keys HomeAway property #367100
Key West rental property #367100

Key West

Though the Keys are actually made up of 400 islands, many people don't think of the Keys as a series of both large and tiny islands with exotic wildlife; instead, they think of Key West (located in the Lower Keys). Who's to blame them? Key West is packed with enough activities to keep travelers busy for their whole vacation without stepping foot on another island. Living in Key West is like living a year-round vacation. Plenty of homey vacation rentals in the area mean you get to live like a Key West local, too.

Key West holds many of the top-rated things to do in the Florida Keys, but one of the most-recommended sights in Key West is the cemetery. Amidst stunning views and imposing tombs, you'll find tons of hilarious tombstones. "I told you I was sick," reads one. "I'm just resting my eyes," reads another.

Florida Keys HomeAway property #3650103
Florida Keys HomeAway property #3650103
Key West rental home, property #3650103

If exploring a cemetery sounds too macabre for your vacationing tastes, take the whole family out to the Key West Aquarium instead. The Aquarium is one of the oldest in the area and visitors can touch sea cucumbers and anemones. For more nature excursions, pay a visit to the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, where visitors can marvel at the beautiful winged insects at a 5,000-foot butterfly aviary. Key West vacationers may also want to tour the Audobon House and Tropical Gardens, a historical estate filled with stories, Audobon prints, and lush gardens.

Key Largo and the Upper-Middle Keys

Key Largo is one of the most developed islands in the Upper Keys and no "Florida Keys Things to Do" list would be complete without mentioning it. Plenty of critically acclaimed restaurants call this region home, so don't be afraid to pull off Route 1 and sample their famous fare.

For a wide-eyed Keys dining experience, make a reservation at Pierre's, a world-class restaurant housed in a two-level upscale plantation home. Pierre's serves up succulent French fare with worldwide influences; don't miss out on the the tempura lobster tail or the Florida Keys fresh grouper.

Florida Keys HomeAway property #420695vb
Florida Keys HomeAway property #420695vb


Of the Central Keys, Marathon is the standout here, with great attractions, like the CaptainHook's Marine and Dive Center, and sea-turtle watching at the Turtle Hospital and on Seven Mile Bridge.

Snorkel, Dive, Boat, Fish, Canoe, Kayak

No matter what active pursuits you prefer, Florida Keys vacations have got them in droves. If you want to truly experience the Florida Keys, you won't do it by car. You've got to do it by boat. The "backcountry" islands are uncommercialized and undeveloped, so nothing comes between you and the exotic animal and plant species native only to the Keys. To explore the backcountry islands, rent a boat with Florida Keys Boat Rental and strike out for the untamed seaside wilderness.

Hikers need to set out for either the Bahia Honda State Park or the National Key Deer Refuge, both of which offer some of the best hiking in the region. To see the island in a more structured fashion, you won't be disappointed with the five hour Eco Island excursion via glass-bottomed boat. Strike Zone's Eco Tour takes travellers snorkeling, fishing, touring, exploring, and finally docks for a large fish cook-out on the beach.

There are so many things to do in the Florida Keys that you could spend five years there and still not see everything the islands have to offer. Take a drive down Florida's famous Route 1 and get a taste of island living. You're sure to experience the vacation of a lifetime.

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