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Florida Keys: Making it a day trip

With over 1,700 islands creating the Florida Keys, you may wonder how you can see it all in one day.  The fact is, you can’t.  With only one way in and one way out of the Florida Keys, you will either need to plan your trip in advance or for those who are more adventurous, just jump in the car and plan as you go.  The absolutely best way to see the keys is from a motorcycle.  I mean, that’s what Florida is all about right? The sun on your skin, the salt and sand in the air and the breeze rippling through your hair.  Just be sure that you bring plenty of sunscreen no matter what you do, even the most hardened skin will burn at sea level.

Since there are so many things to do and see on all these islands, here are some of the most popular things to do if you are NOT a local.  These experiences will never been found anywhere else but here in the Florida Keys.  The drive though the keys will be done on Overseas Highway.  This is the only way through the keys unless you are traveling by boat on the water.  There are tons of shopping areas, restaurants and tourist stops on each island.  Plan at least a 12 hour drive from when you first get on Overseas Highway to the time you leave and that’s with a planned trip with only a few activities and stops for lunch and dinner.  

Key Largo:

At Dolphins Plus, you can swim with the dolphins and learn about local wildlife in a safe and natural environment.  They are located at 101900 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037.  Their number is 305-451-4060.

If you are looking for a great local stop to eat, make sure to stop in at Jimmy Johnson’s Big Chill located at 104000 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037.  Here you will enjoy the stunning views off the water and sunsets with live music.  They offer seafood, burgers, steaks and salad.  This is truly an experience you must have!

Islamorada:

On your trip through the Florida Keys, stop in at Indian Key Historic State Park.  This 11 acre site can only be accessed by boat.  Here you will see the ruins of an early 1800’s town that lived off the salvages of shipwrecks in the reefs.  You can hike, snorkel, swim, sunbathe or just enjoy the views.

You can also stop in at Anne’s Beach for a picnic in the mangroves.  This beach has a boardwalk with covered picnic areas and spots for swimming and sunbathing.

Anne’s Beach

Marathon:

Marathon Key is where most of the wildlife adventures happen.  Here you will find Aquarium Encounters, 11710 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL 33050.  You can choose your adventure from snorkeling the coral reef, feeding the stingrays or petting nurse sharks.  Definately something you don’t want to miss!

You can also stop in and visit the Turtle Hospital for a guded tour through the hospital.  You will see where sea turtles go to receive treatment for injuries and illnesses.  At the end of the tour, you can even feed the permanent residents of the Turtle Hospital located at 2396 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL 33050.

Big Pine Key:

If you started your day early, you will probably be getting hungry about the time you hit Big Pine Key.  You will want to stop in at the Bucktooth Rooster located at 29943 Overseas Hwy, Big Pine Key, FL 33043.  Here you will get ALOT of food for very little money.  Bring your appetite or be prepared to bring some home for later.  This retaurant is on the smaller side, but the staff is friendly and you’ll meet some of the locals who can tell you stories of the islands.

Key West:

Key West is the last of the islands and where the city comes alive.  Locals here may seem a little extreme, but they are friendly.  The residents are generally laid back and love to chat with the tourists.  If you are looking for something fun to do you’ll want to stop in at Captain’s Corner Dive Center.  They are located at 125 Ann Street, Key West, FL, 33040.  Whether you are a beginner or a certified scuba diver, you’ll be able to explore the reefs and see the sealife up close and personal.  The dives are typically 10 to 40 feet deep depending on the sea conditions.  If you are looking to become a certified scuba diver, Captain’s Corner can help you get all the certifications you need.

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