Key West

5 Spots in the Florida Keys You Can’t Miss

The Florida Keys are a diverse group of islands. Each town is home to unique experiences and adventures. A drive down on the Florida Keys Overseas Highway is the perfect way to explore the region. We’ll take you on a tour of the can’t-miss spots in the Florida Keys.

Snorkel at Key Largo

The Keys have the only coral barrier reef system in the United States. Key Largo offers guests the perfect opportunity to explore by land or sea. The John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is a can’t-miss spot. This park is actually the first underwater preserve in the country. Visitors can take an excursion for a scuba diving or snorkeling adventure under the waves.

Catch a Fish in Islamorada

Islamorada lays claim to the title of the “Sportfishing Capital of the World.” Fishing aficionados flock to this town throughout the year. You can catch a fishing charter or find a guide that will take you on the water. Backcountry, reef, or offshore waters are guaranteed to give you the best fishing experience in the Keys. There is a reason Islamorada is home to the most saltwater fishing records in the world.

Visit Sea Turtles in Marathon

The Turtle Hospital is the only licensed veterinary turtle hospital in the world. This facility provides healthcare services strictly for sea turtles. Turtles who have been injured or showing signs of sickness from all over Florida are brought to the Hospital. Their goal is to rescue, rehabilitate, and release these creatures back into the wild. The Turtle Hospital is open for public tours. You can get a behind-the-scenes look at the hard work of these dedicated professionals.

Spot a Key Deer in Big Pine Key

The elusive Key Deer call home to the Lower Keys. Big Pine Key is the location of the Lower Keys’ National Key Deer Refuge. These endangered deer are easy to miss because of their small size. Big Pine Key is one of their favorite places to graze in the wild. You may see them hiding in the brush. Remember to keep your distance if you spot one though. They are a protected species and feeding them is illegal on the island.

Take a Bike Ride around Key West

The last stop on the Florida Keys tour is Key West. This city is the southernmost point in the continental United States. There is plenty to see and do in Hemingway’s old hangout. Many visitors rent bikes and pedal around the historic Old Town area. The pastel conch-style houses are great examples of Key West’s architectural beauty. Art galleries and local boutiques also dot the entire historical area. Key West’s laid-back attitude will put you in a relaxed mood. You’ll see why this city is the capital of the Conch Republic.

RELATED: Like a Local: Key West

The Florida Keys have been welcoming visitors with their warm waters and friendly communities. These can’t-miss spots give you a little taste of island life in the Keys. It’ll be hard to leave the Keys. You’ll want to be back for your next adventure.

Now in its 25th year, Porthole Cruise and Travel Magazine is published bi-monthly and available worldwide through digital subscription. It offers the latest news in cruise and travel, with in-depth features on voyages, new ships, the best destinations, readers' picks, onboard cuisine, entertainment, and more!