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Travel Tips For Traveling The Florida Keys

The Florida Keys offer beautiful beaches and outdoor adventures galore. This 125-mile-long archipelago has so much to offer that your journey traveling the Florida Keys is sure to be magical. There are so many options for destinations and things to do that you may be feeling overwhelmed. Every few miles there is a discovery to be made whether it be a traditional island tiki bar, a fish shack, or a beautiful beach resort. These best tips for traveling the Florida Keys are here to help!

Best Times To Visit The Florida Keys

Peak tourist season in the Keys begins in late December and lasts through May. But the subtropical climate means that the Florida Keys experience balmy temperatures year-round. The summer months bring warmer weather that usually makes the crowds disperse and the hotel rates drop significantly.

Atlantic hurricane season is something to consider when planning a trip to the Keys. Hurricane season begins in June and ends in November. Visiting Florida during this time can be risky, keep in mind that peak hurricane months are August through October.

Things To Know

The Florida Keys begin just south of Miami and are a collection of 1,700 islands spanning 125 miles. The islands are linked by 42 bridges over the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and Florida Bay.

The Keys are divided into 5 major regions: Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, Big Pine Key, the Lower Keys, and Key West.

Best Places To Visit In The Keys

Key Largo

If you want an escape from hectic city life and you’re interested in diving and snorkeling then Key Largo is the perfect stop for you. Not only will you get amazing views of the coral reef and tropical fish but you can also get to see the Christ Of The Abyss statue in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.


Islamorada is a gorgeous stop that covers 6 small reef islands of the Florida Keys. A place where you can have up-close encounters with dolphins and view a real treasure chest from the 16th century the History Of Diving Museum. If you’re interested in marine life then the Theater Of The Sea is a must-visit while on Islamorada. Here they offer all kinds of interactive exhibits including swimming with dolphins and meeting sea turtles.


If you feel like exploring, Marathon is a great stop on your Florida Keys journey. The city encompasses an impressive 13 small Keys islands and has a more urban feel than some of the other spots. Visit the Turtle Hospital for a unique opportunity to learn about the process of rehabilitating injured sea turtles.  It’s also the starting point for walking the Seven Mile Bridge if you are wanting to stretch your sea legs a bit.

Big Pine Key

You’ll find that Big Pine Key, located about 30 miles north of Key West, is perfect for those who love nature. The major attraction here is the beautiful Bahia Honda State Park, which is known for having the nicest and most beautiful beaches in the entire Sunshine State. The park covers 400 acres and offers snorkeling, boat tours, beach equipment rentals, and concessions for your convenience. Visit the National Key Deer Refuge where you’ll get to see this miniature species of deer thrive.

Key West

Key West is by far the most popular spot in the Florida Keys and for good reason! There are so many things to do in beautiful Key West. Visit Duval Street for museums, souvenir shops, galleries, and cafes. This lively street is also home to some of Key West’s best historical attractions including the Ernest Hemingway Home And Museum, Strand Theater, and the Southernmost House.

How To Get To The Florida Keys

Flying – Flying is by far the fastest way to get to the Florida Keys. Flying from the closest airport in Florida is the best idea, these include Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami.

Driving – Driving gives you the distinct advantage of being able to stop at will during your time in the Keys. There is only one road that links the islands, the Florida Keys Overseas Highway, sometimes referred to as the Highway That Goes to the Sea. The highway includes 42 bridges that cross the ocean between islands. It is common for hotels, restaurants, and other sites to peg the location closest to an Overseas Highway mile marker as their location. The drive from Miami to Key West generally takes 4 hours with no stops.

Best Places To Stay In The Florida Keys

Key Largo

Hampton Inn Key Largo

102400 Overseas Highway

At the Hampton Inn Key Largo, you’ll find comfortable and clean rooms in a low-key setting that’s great for those looking to relax. Certain rooms have ocean views, and you’ll love the relaxing tropical vibes at this hotel. Featuring a small beach where you can sunbathe under palm trees, as well as an outdoor pool. The hotel is just 5 minutes from the gorgeous Dolphin Cove.


Cheeca Lodge And Spa

81801 Overseas Highway

This popular luxury resort, Cheeca Lodge and Spa, has hosted U.S. Presidents and celebrities among its esteemed guests. This family-friendly resort is home to white sand beaches, a nine-hole golf course, and a fishing pier, this resort has something for everyone. The amenities here include a kids club, 3 swimming pools, and 4 tennis courts.


Tranquil Bay Beachfront Resort

2600 Overseas Highway

The classic decor at Tranquil Bay will have you feeling relaxed and at home immediately. These simple yet opulent rooms are cozy and perfect for downtime in between adventures in Marathon. Tranquil Bay also offers a 2 or 3-bedroom beach house option, which is perfect for those traveling in large groups or with larger families.

Big Pine Key

The Barnacle Bed And Breakfast

1557 Long Beach Drive

This laid-back bed and breakfast has comfortable rooms with an island flair. Your stay comes with free bike and kayak rentals making it easy to explore the laid-back, Big Pine Key. The bnb also has its own private beach, tiki hut, and plenty of bbq areas. You’ll appreciate the relaxing atmosphere after full day of exploring in the Keys.

Little Torch Key

Little Palm Island Resort

28500 Overseas Highway

The perfect getaway resort for adults and couples can be found on Little Torch Key. The Little Palm Resort is an all-inclusive property that features just 30 luxury bungalows. If you are looking to get away from it all then this is the resort for you. Cell phones are not permitted in public areas and there are no TVs in the bungalows. Amenities include a spa, a fine dining restaurant, and a posh pool.

Key West

Southernmost Beach Resort

1319 Duval Street

This resort is a short walk from the fun and energetic Duval Street, which is full of shops and restaurants. Southernmost Beach Resort features colonial architecture with a modern coastal flair. Here you can enjoy a private beach and pier, lawn games, and a delicious onsite restaurant.

key west

Best Restaurants In The Florida Keys

Classic dishes in the Keys reflect the island’s close proximity to Caribbean culture. Favorite dishes include spicy conch chowder, Cuban classics, and Key Lime Pie. Being surrounded by water the Keys have amazing fresh seafood including lobster, yellowtail, grouper, snapper, and mahi mahi.

Key Largo

Alabama Jack’s

58000 Card Sound Road

Alabama Jack’s has been a Key Largo staple since the 1950s. This is widely known as one of Florida’s best fish shacks, this open-air restaurant is built right over the water. This casual lunch destination is known for its conch fritters, so make sure to try them!


Hungry Tarpon Restaurant

77522 Overseas Highway

The Hungry Tarpon is located on Robbie’s Marina, where you can feed the actual hungry tarpon. Breakfast is served daily as early as 6:30 am for those early birds. Both lunch and dinner are seafood forward and signature dishes include fish tacos, cracked conch, and lobster frittata. You can also have the chef prepare your catch after a day of fishing in Islamorada.


Island Fish Company

12648 Overseas Highway

This classic waterside tiki bar and fresh seafood combo is one of Marathon’s best restaurants. Get stunning ocean views as you enjoy the outdoor seating of Island Fish Company. Try Happy Hour complete with frozen cocktails or a raw seafood dinner featuring favorites like crab claws, fish dip, and Caribbean specials.

Big Pine Key

No Name Pub

30813 Watson Blvd

While this pub may have no name, it’s got a larger-than-life reputation. This eclectic pub is eccentric and loaded with money, literally. Visitors contribute $1 to the interior to leave their mark on the No Name Pub. They have typical pub fare with large portions that are great for sharing. Try the seafood plates or bbq pork sandwich.  At this bait and tackle shop turned pub it’s all about atmosphere.

Key West

Hogfish Bar And Grill

6810 Front Street, Stock Island, FL 33040

Renowned as one of the best restaurants in Key West, Hogfish is a favorite of locals and visitors alike. The panoramic waterfront views, outdoor dining, amazing seafood, and strong drinks serve up a winning combo. The food is a great mix of fresh seafood and Mexican flavors. Try the house special, fried hogfish served with fresh Cuban bread.

Best Diving In The Florida Keys

In the Florida Keys divers can encounter angelfish, barracuda, grouper, moray eels, as well as a plethora of other underwater wildlife. Some of the best diving in the Florida Keys is at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park where you can also see Christ Of The Abyss.

Best Fishing In The Florida Keys

The Florida Keys are known for fishing opportunities and you can fish on any of the islands. Islamorada is known as the Sports Fishing Capital Of The World. The island’s unique location creates the perfect home for a wide variety of sports fish.

With these tips for traveling the Florida Keys, you’ve got all of the information you need to plan an amazing tropical trip.

Read More:

17 Things To Do In The Florida Keys

Over 10 of the Best Stops In The Florida Keys

The Best Travel Guide to Key West To Plan Your Perfect Vacation

Best Places To Stay Along The Florida Keys

Best Dining In The Florida Keys