Local Area Guide: Things to do / Activities / Attractions
There are so many things to do and see in the Florida Keys, it's hard to list them all in one place! Some favorite highlights include:
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park: In Key Largo at MM 102.5 Oceanside. Explore America's first underwater park. Glass-bottom boat tours, snorkeling, scuba, full & half-day boat rentals, kayak and canoe rentals. A great activity center for the kids, and lots more. www.pennekamppark.com
Dagney Johnson Botanical State Park: Located at MM 106 in northern Key Largo, this wonderful site offers self-guided and ranger-guided nature tours, featuring local flora & fauna.
Keys Diver & Snorkel Center: At Keys Diver we offer snorkel only tours and these trips are geared for the skin divers, from the novice snorkeler to the experienced scuba diver. On these tours you may find parents who have been scuba diving for years introducing their young children to the wonders of the sea. In the process they re-discover what got them interested in diving in the first place. The thrill and freedom of floating over a living coral garden with only mask, fins and snorkel and safety vest is hard to top. www.keysdiver.com
Bahia Honda State Park: In the Lower Keys, at MM 37, this fabulous park offers the best of the islands! From a beautiful sandy beach that's been voted "Best Beach" by Conde Nast Traveler, to picnic areas, boat ramps, cabins & campsites, nature trail, swimming and snorkeling (rentals available), Bahia Honda has a natural beauty that shouldn't be missed. www.floridastateparks.org
Eco Tours: There's a lot more to the Florida Keys than just fishing, diving, eating, shopping & drinking -- our fragile natural eco-system has many hidden wonders along the water's edge as well as on tiny islands in Florida Bay. Several local vendors offer guided tours. One of our favorites: Capt. Sterling's Everglades Eco Tours, www.captsterling.com
Dolphin Encounters: Whether you want to swim with them, or just enjoy watching their frolicsome play, you shouldn't miss a chance to meet a few of our nicest locals! There are several dolphin encounter centers in the Keys, including Dolphin Cove and Dolphins Plus in Key Largo. Islamorada is home to the Theater of the Sea, featuring continuous live shows daily with dolphins, sea lions, rays and more. It's a real marine mammal adventure!
Under the Sea: The Florida Keys, especially the Upper Keys, are world famous for our crystal-clear waters, our living coral reef (the only one in the continental U.S.) and the many shipwrecks and artificial reefs. Whether you Scuba or snorkel, a visit to the Keys is not complete without "getting your face wet"! Numerous local vendors stand ready to help you make your underwater plans. Ask your rental agent for recommendations. And, if you don't dive or snorkel, you can still get a peek at our underwater beauty by taking a trip on one of the glass bottom boat tours!
On top of the Sea: Yes, we're a little water oriented here in the islands! There's plenty to do above the waves as well, including fishing, parasailing, kite boarding, water skiing, kayaking & canoeing, or just lying on a beach with a frosty beverage! We recommend a quick stop at the Legendary Key Largo Chamber of Commerce, at MM 106.5, to browse through the many brochures they have available.