Showcasing some of the best beaches in the Sunshine State, the Florida Keys skim between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean some 100 miles, granting the perfect playground to those who want to swim, sunbathe, snorkel, scuba dive and everything in between.
Holidays to Florida Keys can be whatever you want them to be; days filled with relaxation on a deserted island, or a stay overflowing with action, adventure and plenty of entertainment. At the south of the archipelago sits Key West, the most popular of the islands, and home to a bustling city of the same name. Teeming with attractions and providing the perfect base for excursions, this lively island is filled with luxury hotels that range from beachside retreats to intimate old town guest houses.
The traditional old keys lifestyle awaits in destinations such as Marathon, which is scattered with colourful, cosy hotels that are perfect for those looking for a relaxing retreat. The island is also filled with marinas, making it the ideal place for some water sports.
Many opt for a Florida Keys holiday to indulge in some sunshine and feel the sand between their toes. The archipelago boasts beaches galore, which range from busy hotspots such as Smather’s Beach and Higgs Beach, to quieter shores such as the Dry Tortugas National Park. Visitors can spend their days surrounded by untouched coastlines, or can tuck into local seafood dishes and enjoy excursions on the beautiful bays.
The island’s identities are as varied by night as they are by day, ranging from relaxed spots with cosy beachside restaurants where you can watch the sunset, to vivacious pockets filled with bars and clubs. Key West provides the ideal scene for bar hopping, whilst Islamorada is filled with romantic restaurants where the menus are accompanied by starlit views of the sea.
Proudly taking the crown as the only frost free location in Florida, the keys enjoy year round sunshine and soaring temperatures. The mid year summer months see temperatures of 32C, whilst the winters drop to around 24C. The fresh sea breezes mean the keys often escape Florida’s famed humidity, and the summer wet season normally only sees flashes of rain.
Though famed for its beaches, holidays to Florida Keys offer much more beside a selection of sandy shorelines. Key West is filled with attractions that provide a culture fix, from exhibitions such as the Ernest Hemmingway Museum and the Key West Art and History Museum, to eye opening hotspots such as the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center. The island also provides the perfect jumping off point for memorable excursions and day trips, ranging from glass bottomed boat rides and diving tours, to sunset cruises and dolphin watching voyages.
Many of the islands essentially provide a play area for water sports, whether you want to combat the waves with some surfing lessons, or take in a bird’s eye view whilst parasailing. A trip here will also open your eyes to some of the world’s most superb snorkelling and scuba diving, as its tropical waters hide countless colourful reefs and intriguing underwater inhabitants.
Florida Keys stretches across 160 miles of stunning coasts, boasting beautiful white beaches and deserted islands. South Beach is a peaceful sandy stretch with warm, shallow waters and a pier. For a livelier atmosphere, head to Smather’s beach, which is bustling with beachside stands, water sports and volleyball nets.
The coast is ideal for anyone who loves to be in the water, with a vast array of water sports on offer up and down the shores. You can take some surfing lessons and try out the famous waves or you can delve underwater and see the sights whilst snorkelling. Those who are looking for some thrills will enjoy the view from a parasailing trip or you can rush across the ocean on a jet ski.
The resort offers beachside nightlife like no other. You can delve into some fresh, locally caught seafood whilst looking out over the ocean or you can enjoy a cool drink and a snack at one of the beachside bars. There are also some charming cocktail bars and lively clubs found bordering the beach, so you can party on the sand in style.
Sat on a private beach in Key West’s old town, The Reach Resort, The Waldorf Astoria Collection is a luxurious hotel like not other. Its rooms boast beautiful views across the coast, and activities offered include a choice of water sports. The Marriot Key West Beachside Hotel is ideal for beach lovers, with its own jet skis on site, a private beach and a swimming pool with views across the Gulf.
Florida Keys is not only home to some beautiful beaches and crystal clear ocean waters, but plenty of family attractions. The Key West Aquarium is filled with water tanks of sea creatures, and gives you the chance to get up close and personal with the residents of the Touch Tank and even feed the sharks. The Dry Tortugas National Park is a great place to snorkel and scuba dive, with beautiful coral, shipwrecks and vibrant creatures found below the ocean’s surface.
The calm waters surrounding Smather Beach are ideal for children who wish to venture out into the sea, and there are also plenty of boat trips that allow you to explore the vast Keys area. Scuba diving is a great way to see some of the fascinating underwater life, or you can rent a kayak or try deep sea fishing. You will also find a number of hiking trails across the area, which will introduce you to some fascinating, tropical scenery.