Florida Keys Guide: What to do and see from Key Largo to Key West
Here comes the cold and the snow. And the desire to sea, tropical sun, from Caribbean. However, half the world is still feeling the effects of the pandemic and alternatives are needed, choosing among the countries that can be visited and which, at the same time, offer islands, palm trees And colored backdrops. As the Use which, not everyone remembers, have i skyscrapers from New York and the foliage of the Maine but also the beaches of Florida and above all of Keysthe chain of 800 islands stretching into the blue south of You love me. And every guide of Florida Keys will remind you that from Key West to Cuba There are just 90 miles.
Florida Keys Guide: The Road to the Ocean
Add that vaccinated visitors can enter the US without problems and that this is the best season to enjoy the Florida Keys: it remains only to understand what we are waiting for to leave. But first we need to make a premise: the Keys are absolutely american but they are also very particular. So much so that here, even today, one breathes a special atmospherea legacy of when instead of tourists from all over the world they mostly passed through here pirates, fortune seekers, fishermen and characters to Hemingway or Henry Flagler. Everyone knows the first, less so the second: but it is even more important.
It was in fact this visionary entrepreneur who had the intuition of connecting the mainland to Key Westthe farthest of these islands but which was the right place to build one merchant base that exploited the nascent channel of Panama. To do this he thought of a railway: and in 1912 the first train arrived at Key West after traveling on the sea along a chain of bridges. It was a triumph and someone even spoke of the eighth wonder of the world but it didn’t last long. Much of the line was damaged in 1935 by a hurricane referred to as “the storm of the century”.
New life after the hurricane
More than 40 kilometers of railway were swept away by the hurricanethe company went bankrupt and what remained was sold to the State of Florida. And in this way new life was given to these islands. In fact much of the remaining railway infrastructure was the basis for building theOverseas Highway or US 1which connects 44 islands, across 42 bridges and that in itself is a special attraction.
The track, in fact, extends for approx 160km and could be traveled without stopping in less than three hours. But that would be a shame. THE panoramas are unmissable, the many and beautiful places to stop, the different areas to dive: that’s why the best way would be to forget the rush and travel this road in the space of at least two days to take breaks in the beaches, maybe going to do mini cruises among its splendid backdrops and visiting the parks that protect its territory. To finally get to the end Key West and wait for the sunset which, it is said, is among the most beautiful in the world. When the sun dives into the ocean everyone applauds.
The first part of the road allows you to leave behind You love me to head directly towards the first, one of the most famous of the islands: Key Largo. This is the northernmost and largest of the archipelago and here is the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Parkthe first submarine park of the United States. Here the flagship is the barrier Reef. And it’s underwater that everyone rushes to.
Just scroll through any of the guides Florida Keys to understand that people come here to snorkel, dive, but also just to take part in one of the tours glass bottom boat which allow you to see the sea from within even if you are not an expert swimmer. The reward I am schools of colorful fish, turtles and barracudas and the colors of the coral while for those who can’t sit still there is a wide choice of trips canoe and kayakfishing trips and bike rides.
Islamorada: the fishing island
The next stop is at Islamorada and deserves the stop: it is known, in fact, as the fishing capital of the world and therefore it is no wonder that fish restaurants are another of the attractions. Those who wish can set sail with one of the many boats that go out for jokes deep sea fishing ranging from 4 hours up to the whole day. Another appeal is that of diving and in fact here it is also found Museum of the history of diving. And for the lazy just go to Anne’s Beach: the sand is white and the water is crystal clear and warm all year round.
Islamorada by the way it’s pretty much halfway between You love me And Key West and is therefore a good place to stop for the night. Among the most popular accommodations are the boutique hotel Casa Morada or the Moorings Village: around coconut trees and in front of a private beach. Relaxation is a must here.
Florida Keys Guide: Swim with Dolphins and Turtles
After the umpteenth swim it’s time to leave again: the next stop is at marathonanother very popular destination in particular by families, also because here there are several places loved by children. Obviously there is no shortage of services for those looking for diving, snorkeling and fishing but also a center like the Dolphin Research Center of Grassy Key where you can swim with dolphins.
Even more interesting then is the turtle hospital, a center specialized in the recovery of Keys sea turtles. Sick and injured specimens are treated and released as soon as possible. And you can see the areas where the turtles are cared for and cared for. If you want to keep your feet on the ground, you can walk in the Sunset Bay Parka green area full of trees and frequented by many birds, including hummingbirds, or go and relax on beaches such as Sombrero Beach. The backdrop is fine for it snorkelingthe water is shallow and the turtles which lay eggs.
And the end of the ride is in Key West
A short stop at Big Pine Key And Lower Keyswhere the deer paw peacefully in a protected area dedicated to them and then there it is Key Westthe terminus of the motorway and the southernmost point of the United States continental. Here she had a home Hemingwayand you can still visit it, but above all here you can experience a perennial summer made up of life in the open air and fun.
That’s why, if possible, you should stop here for at least a couple of days. The beauty that you don’t need a car but you can walk, cycle or use public transport to move between the galleries, cafes and pubs. Sooner or later you will pass by Duvel Street but above all to get to Mallory Square where it is celebrated every day Sunset Celebrationor the greeting to the setting sun.
THE Caribbean I’m in front of you, the sea is blue, the beer is frozen and everyone is smiling. Perhaps all this will be superficial and ephemeral. But, for sure, sadness seems like it can’t find a home around here.
Florida Keys guide: how to get there
The gateway to the south of the Florida is inevitably the city of You love me and its international airport which is the most important in the state and the only one that has direct connections with Italy and with other European cities. The best for traveling through the Florida Keys then it’s by car. The scenery along the way is incomparable, especially when traversing the 16 kilometers of the Seven Mile Bridge, appeared in the scenes of numerous films.
From You love me to Key West without traffic or intermediate stages it takes about 3 hours (256 km). The fastest way involves using the Ronald Reagan Turnpike (toll motorway) up to Florida City and then from there the route takes place entirely on the Overseas Highway (US-1 S) to the southern tip of Key West. Using the motorway is not mandatory. Traveling all the way from Miami on US-1S without ever taking the freeway, you’ll be alone 20-30 minutes more but you will save one dozen dollar toll.
When to go
The archipelago of Florida Keys represents the natural extension of the Florida peninsula into the Gulf of Mexico. The enviable position means that in fact there are only 2 seasons: one from June to October characterized by scorching heat and unbearable humidity (moreover, it is the hurricane season), and one from November to May with more bearable temperatures, definitely preferable for a stay. Maybe avoiding the full house Spring Break.