The Ultimate Guide to the Florida Keys

South Coast (3)

Key Largo

  • Dolphins Plus – Key Largo’s premier dolphin research institute that also offers swimming with the dolphins.
  • John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park – A famous coral reef complete with the Christ of the Abyss statue. This state park provides their own snorkel tours.


  • Sundowner’s – A local and tourist favorite for sunset with the first great view of the bay in the Keys.
  • Molasses Reef – A extensive reef just off of Key Largo. Don’t have your own boat? Go with a trusted dive company such as Snorkel Key Largo, Keys Diver, and Ocean Divers for either a half day or a whole day.


  • Islamorada Fish Company – One of my favorite restaurants in the Keys. Enjoy fresh seafood on a dock overlooking the Florida Bay, complete with tarpons and a World Wide Sportsman franchise of Bass Pro Shops. The clam chowder and dolphin basket are not to be missed. If you go at a busy time enjoy the live music and newly renovated beach.
  • Islamorada Sandbar – One of the nicest and biggest sandbars in the Florida Keys that is always lively on weekends and holidays. Pro tip: Stop by Holiday Isle for a Buschwacker on your way to the sandbar.
  • Robbie’s – Get up close and personal with the Keys wildlife by feeding the tarpons. Purchase a bucket of bait and get to work, but beware of the Pelicans. Enjoy the various arts and crafts booths while you enjoy the sunshine in between feedings.
  • Morada Bay – My favorite for a nice dinner out with the whole family. Enjoy the sand in your toes and live music surrounded by palm trees and candlelight on at this beach restaurant.
  • Pierre’s – The grown up neighbor of Morada Bay frequently used for romantic beach weddings. A perfect backdrop for a special occasion.
  • Theater of the Sea – A local version of Sea World where kids can learn about the local wildlife including birds and dolphins. You can even swim with the dolphins.
  • Anne’s Beach – A local favorite swimming spot to relax on the beach and have a cookout.
  • Hens and Chickens Reef – A local favorite hidden among the rocks. Go for the shipwreck, stay for the great fishing just outside the buoys.
  • Chef Michael’s – A local favorite spot for a date night or anniversary dinner. The seafood is delicious and the service is amicable and attentive.
  • Lazy Days – A house turned restaurant with patio dining. Sit on the top floor for a breezy meal where you can spot the famous Alligator lighthouse, or sit downstairs and enjoy the beach and tiki torches, complete with live music.
  • Mile Marker 88 – A local favorite spot for sunset happy hour and incredible eats including steak and lobster. The tables are on the beach and the view is so good many weddings take place here.
  • Alligator Lighthouse and Reef – A picturesque lighthouse just off shore with white sandy bottom and a reef filled with barracudas, sharks, rays and much more.

Duck Key & Marathon

  • The Turtle Hospital – Come learn about the endangered species roaming the coral reefs and how you can protect their habitat.
  • Dolphin Research Center – A prominent research facility where dolphins are taken care while scientists learn more about their behavior and their environment.
  • Hawks Cay – Spend the day wading in the tide pool or swimming with the dolphins at this resort on Duck Key.

Key West

  • rent bikes – The best way to see Key West is by bike. Beware of the trolleys and margaritas hitting you while you ride. Pick any of the numerous spots to rent bikes around the Duval street area. Biking not your thing? Rent a scooter and tour the town electrically.
  • stay at a bed and breakfast – Key West is chalk full of houses turned into havens. Stay in a secluded B&B and enjoy nearby beaches and pools all while feeling like you’re in paradise.
  • sunset at Mallory Square – The most exciting sunset attraction is held in the square overlooking the ocean. Witness fire breathers, jugglers, acrobats, and much more while the sky turns to dusk.
  • Dry Tortugas day trip – Take the ferry and your bike and enjoy a day trip to the beautiful Dry Tortuga fort that is practically untouched and surrounded by awe inspiring coral reefs.
  • Southernmost Point – A tourist hub but a must-see to prove that you were in Key West. The lines can get long so bring a snack and water.
  • No Name Bar – If you can find this hidden gem on the way to Key West you will enjoy the best conch fritters in the Keys and be able to put your dollar up on the wall with the rest of the adventurers who have found the No Name Pub.
  • Ernest Hemingway house – See the home that inspired Hemingway to write many of his novels based off the Key West lifestyle.
  • Pepe’s – From the outside it looks like a close down shack, but it boasts some of the best conch in the country.
  • Blue Heaven – Come for the chickens running around, stay for the world class brunch.
  • Sebago – Take a day tour on this catamaran for a day full of sunbathing, snorkeling, diving, and enjoying the ocean.
  • Fury – The ultimate sunset booze cruise company. Book in advance.
  • Smathers Beach – This is the largest public beach in Key West and boasts bright white sand and warm water. 
  • Duval street bar crawl – Drink with the best of them, tour the historic street while enjoying cocktails. Highlights include: Capt Tony’s Saloon, Sloppy Joes, Fat Tuesday, The Green Parrot, Margaritaville, and Durty Harrys

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