Florida Keys Vacation Guide

Where to Eat, Shop, Play and Stay in the Florida Keys

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About Florida Keys

The Florida Keys Are Located On The Southernmost Tip Of Florida

The Florida Keys form a coral archipelago between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. There are over 1700 islands in the Keys that entice visitors from across the world to explore these tropical islands on land, on the water, or underwater.

The Keys provide the perfect destination for a tropical getaway, offering no shortage of adventures on land or sea. The islands cater to a wide variety of interests, whether you are looking for a night on the town or fun family activities. For land-lovers, the Keys offer quality dining, artisanal and mainstream shopping, wildlife tours, music events, and even walking routes to get to discover the island's history. Those looking for an oceanside experience can find many beautiful areas for snorkeling, diving, jet-skiing, boating, surfing, and more! Each island offers a unique experience for any type of getaway


Cities in Florida Keys

Discover The Florida Keys

The Islands of the Florida Keys 

882 of the Keys' islands are uncharted and thirty are inhabited. They are divided into the Upper Keys, Middle Keys, Lower Keys, and outlying islands. This archipelago extends as a 125 mile-long chain of islands and the Overseas Highway connects the mainland to Key West through a series of 42 bridges. Each island caters to different interests making the planning process of your trip a breeze, whether it be a romantic getaway or family vacay. The following are just a few of the many unique islands in the Keys where you can find fun activities to do on land or sea:

Key West 

America's most southern point, Key West is a charming and tropical island with a rich history and culture. Even the great Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams wrote some of their best works while on the island. You can visit Hemingway's home or visit the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum, which boasts an extensive collection of 17th century shipwreck artifacts. Mallory Square is a must-visit spot in Key West for local shops, tasty Floridian food, and various events year-round. Grab a cold drink at the Sunset Pier to see the popular Sunset Celebration while live music plays. Key West has many options for water activities, such as Danger Charters excursions that tour the lush mangroves in kayaks.


Islamorada

Known as the world's hub for sport fishing, Islamorada is about a 90-minute drive south from Miami. For a shoreline getaway, Islamorada is perfect for its wide variety of water sports and activities. Islamorada's islands have beautiful beaches to relax on the powdery sand or take a dive in the crystal waters. Anne's Beach, one of Islamorada's popular beaches, is a tourist spot perfect for those looking to sunbathe, picnic by the sea, swim, or even do some catamaran sailing. If you're looking to get away from the crowd, Islamorada Library Beach and Park is a tourist-free spot great for its seclusion and caters to families with its playground. 


Key Largo 

Key Largo is worth exploring on land, but its true wonders are under the ocean's surface. This island calls itself the 'diving capital of the world' and with reason! Covering 70 nautical square miles, explore the marine life in the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park from a glass-bottom boat, or by scuba-diving and snorkeling. For advanced divers, tour the 2002 USS Spiegel Grove shipwreck which lies in 130 feet of water. 


Marathon Key

Located in the middle keys, Marathon is home to the famous 7 Mile Bridge and the only veterinary-certified turtle hospital. Family-friendly with its old Keys lifestyle, visitors enjoy. dining, fishing golfing, boating, snorkeling, scuba diving, and snuba. in addition, Marathonis lucky enough to have some of the nicest beaches in the Florida Keys. From Bahia Honda to Sombrero Beach.

The Keys Zip Codes: 33001-33070

The Keys Area Code: 305

The Keys Are In Monroe County

Big Coppitt Key

Big Coppitt Key

Big Pine Key

Big Pine Key

Big Torch Key

Big Torch Key

Crawl Key

Crawl Key

Cudjoe Key

Cudjoe Key

Florida Keys

Florida Keys

Grassy Key

Grassy Key

Islamorada Area

Islamorada Area

Key Largo Area

Key Largo Area

Key West Area

Key West Area

Little Torch Key

Little Torch Key

Lower Matecumbe Key

Lower Matecumbe Key

Marathon Area

Marathon Area

Ramrod Key

Ramrod Key

Rockland Key

Rockland Key

Stock Island

Stock Island

Sugarloaf Key

Sugarloaf Key

Summerland Key

Summerland Key


Highlights of Florida Keys

With Miles Of Keys To Discover Everyday Will Be Different

  • Take a trip to Marathon's Turtle Hospital to learn about the rehabilitation process for injured sea turtles. The hospital provides an up-close experience during their educational tours, which last about 90 minutes. 
  • Accessible by boat or seaplane, Dry Tortuga's National Park is a stunning attraction that boasts Fort Jefferson, a mighty 19th-century fortification. Snorkelers and divers can explore the shipwrecks, coral, and seagrass around Fort Jefferson's moat wall. 
  • The Butterfly and Nature Conservatory in Key West features 50-60 different butterfly species and more than 20 exotic bird species in a glass-enclosed conservatory. This immersive tour provides a tropical learning experience for everyone. 
  • Visit Key West's extravagant Fantasy Fest event, a 10-day long festival in October. Fantasy Fest is filled with costumed parties, marches, fairs, balls, and even a parade! 

Things to do in Florida Keys

Discover The Ultimate Guide Of Things To Do In The Florida Keys

The Florida Keys all have something special to offer for everyone's idea of a getaway. Here are some of our suggestions for fun activities to add to your vacation's itinerary:

  • Visit the beautiful beaches: Harry Harris Park, Sombrero Beach, and Calusa Beach are highly recommended
  • Visit the many aquariums and marine-life research centers, such as the Dolphin Research Center in Grassy Key
  • Visit Bahia Honda State Paek
  • Pub-crawl in Key West to see the best of island nightlife
  • Biking around the island
  • Take the kids to Truman Waterfront Park
  • Fishing. There are many companies that offer fishing tours or you can venture out yourself!
  • Boating. You can even book a tour on a glass-bottom ship!
  • Go on a historic walking tour! There are a lot of rich cultures to learn about on each island
  • Parasailing
  • Scuba diving
  • Snorkeling
  • Local boutique shopping
  • Fine dining and casual restaurants
  • Jet-skiing
  • Kayaking

Things to do indoors in the Florida Keys when it rains

  • Dry Tortuga's National Park: accessible by boat or seaplane, this park is a stunning attraction that boasts Fort Jefferson, a mighty 19th century fortification; snorkelers and divers can explore the shipwrecks, coral, and seagrass around the moat wall
  • Butterfly and Nature Conservatory: Key West's conservatory with interactive experience features 50-60 different butterfly species and more than 20 exotic bird species
  • Marathon's Turtle Hospital: learn about the rehabilitation process for injured sea turtles at this hospital, which provides a 90 min. up-close tour
  • Fantasy Fest: a 10-day long festival in October filled with costume parties, marches, fair, balls, and a parade
  • Ernest Hemingway Museum: take a quick tour around this American icon's home in Key West to learn about this famous author; there's no chance of being bored while being surrounded by the tons of six-toed cats that live onsite
  • John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park: Key Largo boasts this beautiful state park where you can kayak, swim, boat, sunbathe, and more!; this attraction has incredible underwater features and statues to discover
  • Duval Street: this strip in Key West is every adult's playground; shops, boutiques, and unique corners outline the street with tons of bars and restaurants to try in between
  • Spiegel Grove: an incredible shipwreck for diving enthusiasts to explore; to ensure your safety, book with a reputable diving company for the best experience

Romantic things to do in the Florida Keys for couples

  • Mallory Square: stroll around Key West's historic waterfront at Mallory Square; street performers dance the streets and you can stop at the many shops, attractions, and restaurants
  • Sombrero Beach: one of the Keys' most beautiful beaches, located in Marathon; head there for a beach picnic, swim date, or to watch the sunset
  • Key West Shipwreck Treasure Museum: if it's a rainy day, head to this unique museum for a fun date to learn about the historic treasure troves of Key West's shipwrecking past
  • Vandenberg Wreck: if you and your partner are adventurous, dive to the depths of the Vandenberg Wreck and explore this underwater phenomenon
  • Islamorada Brewery & Distillery: head to Islamroada's tasting room to try local craft beers and distilled island rum, vodka, and gin
  • African Queen Canal Cruise: if you're vacationing in Key Largo, this iconic boat cruises the canal for a tour by water and offers dinner cruises; be sure to check their website for their hours and more information on booking a dinner

Kid & Family-Friendly things to do in the Florida Keys

  • Island Dolphin Care: an ethical care center for Key Largo's dolphins; book a tour with the facility to learn about ocean conservation and the protection of marine life; all the dolphins here live in an ocean lagoon instead of a pool
  • Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park: a Civil War-era fort for the family to explore; discover this mighty fort and take a swim from the beach afterward
  • National Key Deer Refuge: Big Pine Key's deer refuge is a fun spot to walk amongst these gentle animals; they're so friendly that they'll often let you give them a scratch and a pet
  • Alligator Reef Lighthouse: a perfect place to do some easy snorkelling in Islamorada; swim under the lighthouse to see barracudas, coral, sharks, fish, turtles and more
  • Marathon Mermaid Charters: cruise on the water with the Mermaid; if you're adventurous, book a snorkelling or eco-tour; if you're looking to relax instead, book a sunset cruise or a stop at the sandbar; you can also book the boat for yourself
  • Diving Museum: explore through a maze of 4000 years of diving history; the displays of photos, documents, artifacts, and more is interesting and informative for the whole family

Things to do unique to the Florida Keys

  • Bahia Honda State Park: home to one of the best beaches in the Keys; as a popular spot, there are snorkeling boat tours, equipment rentals, and concessions available on-site
  • The Seven Mile Bridge: one of the longest bridges in the world that connects the Middle Keys and the Lower Florida Keys; take a quick road trip over the bridge for stunning views
  • Old Town Literary Tour: a truly unique tour for bookworms located in Key West; visit the homes and hangouts of literary giants such as Tennessee Williams, Robert Frost, and Shel Silverstein
  • Key West Lighthouse: climb up to the top of the lighthouse, preferably at sunset, for incredible scenery from all 360 degree angles
  • Harry S. Truman's Little White House: the only presidential sight in Florida is definitely worth the tour; built in 1890, this housing for naval officers has had visits from famous historical figures such as Thomas Edison and Clinton
  • The Southernmost Point: visit the Southernmost Point of the continental USA; the perfect spot to take pictures to commemorate your trip



Explore Florida Keys

Explore Shopping, Food, And Drinks In The Florida Keys

Each island in the Florida Keys offers local restaurants that provide a unique take on delicious Floridian-fusion food to enjoy. Most popular amongst these restaurants is seafood and Caribbean-inspired dishes. But don't worry if these aren't to your liking, you can still eat like an islander with plenty more to choose from! The Keys has a great selection of restaurants that satisfy everyone's palates from local seafood to fresh tacos and farm-to-table options. Some favorite restaurants include:

  • Key Largo's The Fish House is known for its inviting atmosphere where families and friends can enjoy a dish of Florida's best fresh and local seafood. 
  • Relax by Duck Key's waters in Angler and Ale's dockside restaurant and try Floridian-style dishes. We recommend having one of their many cocktail and beer choices. They even have a 'hook and cook' option!  
  • Blue Heaven in Key West is just that... heavenly. The property is playfully decorated with bright colors and eclectic knick-knacks. The restaurant attracts many for its delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. 
  • Looking for something other than seafood? Islamorada's Ciao Hound offers yummy Italian eats to enjoy indoors or on their beautiful patio.  
  • You don't want to miss Mangrove Mike's on Islamorada. Grab a traditional southern-island breakfast or lunch in this old-time island cafe-style mainstay serving up traditional island-style comfort foods. Love it so much you want to have your wedding here? You can do that too!


Shopping in the Florida Keys

  • Rain Barrel Artisans' Village: authentic island boutiques selling sculptures, paintings, collages, jewelry, clothing, home decor and more, produced by locals in Islamorada
  • Bahama Village: a collection of converted restaurants & shops from a 19th-century historic district; the best spot to hit is between Whitehead & Fort streets and Angela and Catherine streets
  • Premium Outlets: situated in Florida City, you can find brand name items at this outdoor shopping center 


Dining & Restaurant Options in the Florida Keys

Explore the taste of Caribbean-Floridian fusion cuisine; as the Keys is abundant with coastal towns, fresh fish and other seafood is incomparable to any other port cities; casual to fine dining is offered across the islands 

Best dine-in restaurants in the Florida Keys 

  • Key Largo Conch House: an amazing seafood joint having even been noticed by the Food Network; delicious takes on seafood such as conch fritters or mango-stuffed mahi-mahi
  • Angler & Ale: if you get lucky on your trip and catch fish, you can bring it to this spot and have the chef prepare it for you; colourful meals and cocktail options served by the waterfront 
  • Ciao Hound: Islamorada's own spot for Italian cuisine, adding to the island's plethora of dining options; pair an Italian cocktail with your flatbread pizza or lobster ravioli 
  • Snapper's: a casual atmosphere for good eats located in Key Largo; enjoy the Jazz brunch, a drink at the Tiki bar, or waterside dining 
  • Butterfly Cafe: if you're vacationing in Marathon, make sure to stop here for a bite; snag a spot on the beautiful terrace and enjoy island cuisine with locally-sourced ingredients
  • Kiki's: whether you're staying on the island or not, take the drive to Kiki's oceanfront restaurant on Little Torch Key; tropical-style foods and a fun tiki bar await you!

Florida Key Restaurants on the Water

  • Latitude's: Key West's Latitude's offers fantastic waterfront ambiance and serves Carribean-fusion cuisine; if it's in your budget to up-scale, it's definitely worth the visit
  • The Fish House: THE place for fresh seafood if you're staying on Key Largo; fried, stuffed, in a sandwich...you can have fish any way here 
  • Burdines: a diamond in the rough on Marathon; dine under the palm trees that dot the shoreline while enjoying a casual but yummy menu; make sure to try the fried key lime pie
  • Lorelei Restaurant & Cabana Bar: an affordable waterfront option on Islamorada; we recommend ordering a bunch of appetizers and sharing with the whole table since the main course menu is limited 
  • Havana Jack's: located on Key Colony Beach, Havana Jack's is characterized by its lively atmosphere and fun nightlife; American cuisine with a seafood speciality meets late-night hours with funky cocktails  

Takeout Restaurants in the Florida Keys

  • The Lobster Shack: Key West's very own lobster rolls, topped and made every way you can imagine 
  • Mangrove Milk's Cafe: classic American breakfast to go in Islamorada, serving big portions and gluten-free options
  • La Nina: a dive on the outside and gem on the inside for Caribbean and Latin style cuisine in Marathon
  • Num Thai Restaurant & Sushi Bar: your spot for sushi takeout in Key Largo; Num Thai also offers a variety of Asian-fusion cuisine 
  • Oasis Mediterranean Cuisine: if you're itching to try something other than island food, Oasis is a great option in Key West, serving Mediterranean and middle-eastern style food
  • Green Turtle Inn: Floridian pub food that never disappoints; if you're looking for somewhere everyone will enjoy, this Islamorada gem is sure to be a hit

Restaurants that will Deliver

  • Bayside Gourmet: delicious Italian-American cuisine delivered to your vacation home on Islamorada 
  • Eaton Street Seafood Market & Restaurant: the freshest Key West seafood served on salads, sandwiches, and more
  • Sushi Sake: get your sushi fix here on Key Largo; the volcano and dragon rolls are said to be the best! 
  • Duetto Pizza & Gelato: red, white, and stuffed...pizza any way you want it in Key West; besides fresh & cheesy pizza, Duetto offers ciabatta and focaccia sandwiches, as well as paninis, salads and desserts  

Best Breakfast & Brunch Restaurants

  • Key Plaza Creperie: delicious sweet crepes or savory galettes in Key West; away from the frequented spots by tourists 
  • Made 2 Order: enjoy breakfast by Key Largo's waterside; muffins, breakfast sandwiches, french toast, and more
  • Island Fish Company: great American breakfast & brunch served by the Gulf of Mexico in Marathon
  • Midway Cafe & Coffee Bar: a colourful, old Florida- inspired dive where you can enjoy big breakfast & brunch portions that are your money's worth 
  • Two Friends Patio Restaurant: located on Key West's popular Duval Street; experience tropical flavours at Two Friends al-fresco 

Local Lunch Eateries you don't want to miss!

  • Marathon Bagel Co.: if you're looking for a quick & yummy bite to eat on Marathon, head to this bagel shop offering an endless variety of sweet and savoury 
  • Garbo's Grill: two words...fish.tacos.; wonderful atmosphere where you can enjoy quick bites, such as burgers, tacos, BBQ with a Carribean twist in Key West
  • Santiago's Bodega: Spanish tapas-style restaurant in Key West; sit al-fresco and share an exquisite assortment of over 30 plates to choose from as well as a cool glass of wine
  • The Catch: a welcoming seafood spot with a large lunch menu, as well as fun cocktails
  • Island Grill: the view attracts the tourists and the food attracts the locals alike; anything from spicy tuna sushi rolls to cheesy nachos; there's something to satisfy everyone

Are there Bars or Clubs in the Florida Keys?

  • The Caribbean Club: an old-Florida vibe by Key Largo's blue waters; such a beautiful location that it's been the set of a few movies; sip on colorful drinks and cool beers and lose track of time
  • Sunset Grille & Raw Bar: satisfied with enough waterfront bars? Try sipping on drinks in this bar's swimming pool located in Marathon; make sure to bring your bathing suit and head there for sunset hour
  • Sidebar Nightclub: your place for late-night dancing, which plays a great mix of throwbacks and new music; an intimate club with an exotic mix of people 

Where do I find Vacation Rentals in the Florida Keys and Book Directly with the Host?

You're in luck! You can find vacation rentals by owner right here on Florida Rental By Owners (FLARBO)! Our rental listings are 100% managed by the property owner or manager. Ditch the pesky third-party fees and interference and book direct - no middle man (Or woman) here!

Have Questions or Need Help Planning Your Vacation To the Florida Keys? Join our FB Group here!


Transportation for Florida Keys

Getting To And Around The Florida Keys

Flying To the Florida Keys

KEY WEST INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (EYW)

The Key West International Airport has four major carriers, these being: American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Silver Airways, and United Express. EYW flies non-stop to 14 destinations, mostly across the eastern United States. Travelers should note that the furthest west any plane flies from this airport is Dallas, Texas.


FLORIDA KEYS MARATHON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (MTH)

Owned and operated by Monroe County, Florida Keys International Airport offers passenger services. U.S. Border Customs and Border protection is available Thursday-Sunday 9:00-5:30

Airlines: Seacoast Airlines , AirStar Executive Airways 

Offering On-Demand Air Charter Service from the Marathon and Key West Airports to the 48 Contiguous States, the Caribbean and Mexico. Six and Eight passenger Air Conditioned Executive Aircraft.


MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (MIA)

The Miami Airport is about an hour's drive to Key Largo, the gateway island to the Florida Keys. MIA is the third-busiest airport for international passengers in America.

Airlines: Aer Lingus, EI Ireland , Aeroflot, Aerolineas Argentinas, Aeromexico, Air Canada, Air Century, Air Europa, Air France, Alitalia, American Airlines, Avianca, Bahamasair, BOA-Boliviana de Aviacion, British Airway, Caribbean Airlines, Cayman Airways, COPA Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Eastern Airlines, El Al, Emirates , Finnair, Frontier Airlines, Iberia, JetBlue, KLM KL , LATAM Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Southwest, Sun Country, Sunwing, Surinam Airways, Swift Air , Swiss International, TAP Air Portugal, TUIfly, Turkish, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic , Viva, Volaris, WestJet, World Atlantic

Ground Transportation: Taxis and car rentals are available

Ft. Lauderdale International Airport (FLL)

Fort Lauderdale International Airport is located 21 miles north of Miami serving the Fort Lauderdale-Miami metropolitan area. It's the 18th busiest airport in the U.S. with over 700 flights per day.

Ground Trransportation:Taxis, Uber, Lyft, public transportation, Tri-Trail, and car rentals are available

Airlines: Jetblue , China Southern Airlines , El Al Airlines , Allegiant , Singapore Airlines , Alitalia , KLM Airlines , Qatar Airways , Caribbean Airlines , South African Airways, Delta Airlines, Westjet Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Avianca Airlines, Aer Lingus, Lufthansa, Air Canada, Bahamasair Airlines, ANA Airlines, Korean Air Lines Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Air China Airlines, Azul Brazilian, COPA Airlines, Japan Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, Norwegian Air International, LATAM, Frontier Airlines, Royal Air Maroc Airlines, Air Transat Airlines, Jetblue, Elite Airways, Volaris Airlines, Turkish Airlines, TAP Air Portugal, Miami Air International, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, China Eastern Airlines, TAME, Gulf Air Airline, Etihad Airlines, Silver Airways, Aer Lingus, Emirates, Brussels Airlines, Emirates, Swift Air Terminal , SAS Scandinavian Airlines, Southwest Airline, Qatar Airways, El Al Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Air France , Etihad Airlines, Qantas, Aeromexico Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Sunwing Airlines, Air New Zealand, Brussels Airlines, Emirates


Bus Service from Miami:

There is the Greyhound Keys Shuttle from the Miami Bus Station that serves the Keys all the way to Key West.

The Miami-Dade Transit Route 301 Dade-Monroe Express runs from Miami's West Palm Drive/3rd Avenue to Marathon. If you want to go further, the Key West's Lower Keys Shuttle connects Marathon to points in Key West.


Within The Keys

  • A few islands offer their own transportations systems. Islamorada has FreeBee, on-call electric vehicles that take passengers around the four islands that comprise Islamorada.
  • On Key West, the Duvall Loop is a free bus service, the route currently includes 18 stops near Key West attractions, hotels, museums, boutiques, and eateries.
  • Taxis, Uber, and Lyft operate in the Keys.


Statistics about Florida Keys

61+ Properties for rent

Prices range from $678.57/night



Weather for Florida Keys

The weather in the Keys is pleasant year-round with highs ranging from 75 in January to 89 in July and August.

The water temperature ranges from a low of 69 to a high of 87, perfect for all water activities.

The rainier months are May through October, but this isn't normally an entire day event, before you know it the skies clear and it's back to the usual sunshine.


FAQs about Florida Keys

Answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Florida Rental By Owners (FLARBO) offers a wide variety of vacation rentals in Florida including condos, cottages, townhomes, duplexes, villas, holiday, and private homes. Our property type filter features several homes and condos in the Florida Keys. We recommend selecting a property based on your needs such as proximity to beach areas, waterfront docks, parking, wheelchair accessibility, nearby attractions, and whether or not the property is pet-friendly or boat-friendly.
Absolutely! Florida Keys' accommodations include houses that often offer a larger space for family vacations, or larger groups looking to share a private property amongst themselves.
Yes, there are many homes and condos that rent on a monthly basis in the Florida Keys that are perfect for long-term guests. Don't forget to adjust your search in Florida Rental By Owners' (FLARBO) filters when searching for a long-term rental.

Yes! Use Flarbo's pet-friendly filter to find the perfect Florida Keys vacation rental for you and your pet

You're in luck! You can find vacation rentals by owner right here on Florida Rental By Owner (FLARBO)! Our rental listings are 100% managed by the property owner. Ditch the pesky third-party fees and interference - no middle man (Or woman) here!
Yes! We have several subscription levels to advertise your vacation rental suitable for any budget. Our Book Direct, No Commission Fee Subscription Model suits the majority of short-term rental owners, learn more here.


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