Florida Keys: Paradise on Earth
As you cross the bridge from mainland Florida to Key Largo, you can feel your cares melt away. In this world of tropical islands, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other, you gently ease yourself into a world of emerald waters, swaying palm trees, unique experiences and funky villages.
SEE AND DO
Key Largo promises excellent diving sites where the waters are so clear that the underwater flora and fauna seem to burst into kaleidoscopic colors.
Islamorada, to the south, is renowned for sport fishing and draws celebrities from around the world to do just that. And if you charter a boat, you’ll likely bring home your dinner.
Composed of three main islands, the community of Marathon is a favourite among families. Join a marine biologist on an interactive Aquarium Encounter experience at the Florida Keys Aquarium. Enjoy an unforgettable dockside encounter or swim with dolphins at the Dolphin Research Center. Visit the Turtle Hospital. Grab your snorkeling or diving gear and discover one of the most beautiful shallow reefs in the Keys at the Sombrero Key Lighthouse.
The peaceful and scenic Lower Keys are filled with interesting wildlife and great sites to visit, including two National Wildlife Refuges, a state park and a National Marine Sanctuary. And you may even spot the elusive Key deer.
DINE AND PLAY
At the southernmost point, Key West offers wonderful restaurants, with menu items ranging from Continental to Caribbean cuisine and often featuring a variety of delicious conch (pronounced “konk”) dishes.
Stop by Sloppy Joe’s Bar, one of Ernest Hemingway’s hangouts when he lived here. Or visit his residence at the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum. Other interesting venues worth touring are John James Audubon’s home, the Harry S. Truman Little White House, and the Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Museum where treasures from the deep are displayed.
TOP: Aerial view of Key West. CENTER: Uncorked Food and Wine Festival in Key West.