Which Key is Right For Me?

Still in the early stages of planning your vacation? You might be asking yourself “Which of the islands is best for the things I’d like to do?” Well, we’re here to help you navigate all that the Florida Keys has to offer. There’s something for everyone, whether you’d prefer to relax beachside or take to the seas for world-famous sportfishing.

Key Largo

For those keen on exploring, diving or snorkeling the only living coral reef in North America is a must. Fortunately, Key Largo is home to John Pennekamp State Park. Board their boat and within minutes you’ll be delving below water for an unforgettable view of this majestic habitat. If you’d rather stay high and dry out of water, there are other ways of seeing the reef. Hop aboard John Pennekamp’s glass-bottom boat for a calm cruise that provides for an unmatched view and uniquely memorable experience. Whatever you decide to do during your stay, don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy the largest swimming pool in the FL Keys in our Mariner’s Club Key Largo vacation rentals.

Islamorada

Just 10 minutes south from Key Largo is Islamorada which just so happens to be the sportfishing capital. If you’re searching for the ideal location to do some deep sea fishing in the Florida Keys, this is it. Nonetheless, options aplenty with so many different environments surrounding the island chain. Visitors enjoy variety in fishing the backcountry, flats, reef, and wreck sites. Islamorada is a top-rated choice for more than just the avid fisherman. Fine-dining restaurants and oceanside tiki bars provide reason enough to visit.

Duck Key

In the heart of the Florida Keys lies Duck Key. This quaint retreat is a short drive from Marathon and encompasses one of the smaller islands of the chain. Despite it’s size, Duck Key still manages to attract a great many travelers and with good reason. Charming row homes and immaculately well-cared for grounds create an entirely new and alluring atmosphere from the very moment you arrive. With Solé Watersports onsite, you can walk from your Villa to the marina where you’ll enjoy activities such as kayaking and paddle boarding as well as charters to the local sandbar. If you’re wondering what that is, a sandbar is an offshore area of sand that is submerged in shallow water (you might call it a mini island), and they’re a superb place for the entire family to spend the afternoon floating, sunbathing, and swimming.

Marathon

Situated midway between Key Largo and Key West, Marathon is perfectly poised for those looking to traverse the entirety of the Florida Keys. Moreover, Marathon boasts several beaches including Curry Hammock State Park and Sombrero Beach. Just a short ways further south is Bahia Honda State Park which often places amongst the top 10 beaches in all of Florida for it’s incredible view of the historic railroad, plush sand, and clear waters. Although Islamorada tops the charts for sportfishing, Marathon is frequented by experienced anglers and beginners alike. Better yet, many of our Marathon vacation rentals include onsite dockage just steps from your Villa. Rent a boat or BYO to make the most of your getaway.

Visit our Activities Guide for more recommendations on what to do and where to eat during your stay in the #FLKeys.

FL Keys Dolphin Encounters

FL Keys dolphin encounter

There are an abundance of activities to choose from during your vacation in the Florida Keys. Among the most popular are dolphin encounters. Whether you opt to swim with the dolphins or get a high-five from the dockside, you’re sure to create lasting memories.

 

There are several facilities throughout the Florida Keys that work to rescue, rehabilitate and research dolphins, as well as other marine life. The experience is all that much better knowing your visit supports their efforts. The Dolphin Research Center in Marathon is a longstanding non-profit that provides a sanctuary to dolphins while conducting research to better understand and assist the creatures. From painting with the dolphins to shadowing a trainer, there are plenty of fun-filled activities to do during your visit. Other activities include meeting, playing, and swimming with the dolphins. Everyone is welcome, and their staff will work with individuals to better accommodate visitors with special needs.

 

Apart from dolphins, there are other sea creatures worth visiting while you’re in the FL Keys. The Turtle Hospital in Marathon offers an educational program during which you can feed the resident turtles. Their staff similarly works to come to the aid of Florida Keys wildlife by rescuing, rehabbing and releasing sea turtles as well as inspiring conservation efforts by educating the public. Even if you don’t have the chance to visit their location, consider a donation to support their cause.

 

For more ideas on what to do and see during your trip to the FL Keys, visit our Activities Guide.

Remote Island Locales

Island Keys off the Beaten Path

You can traverse the majority of the Florida Keys by car, but there are other remote gems to explore during your time in the island chain. Taking the time to tour these hideaways of the archipelago is a surefire means of creating lasting memories. These isolated getaways are an ideal location for romantic excursions as well as family adventures. Keep in mind, there are literally hundreds of islands in the Florida Keys; however, many are subject to regulations and may not permit visitors. Should you decide to visit another island not mentioned here, please be sure to make yourself aware of any potential restrictions. You can visit the Florida State Parks website for more information.


Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park: 24.9025° N, 80.6979° W

William J. Matheson built the historic and remarkably self-sufficient two-story home on this island a short ride from the shores of Islamorada. In the company of the onsite ranger, you can tour the interior of the house and the hardwood hammock forest; however, you may opt to visit the rest of the property grounds for a self-guided tour. Lignumvitae Key is poised for exceptional views of the sunset and is a great place for snorkeling, swimming and kayaking. The surrounding mangrove channels provide shelter to an array of wildlife, as well as an otherworldly experience for paddlers. No boat? No problem. KeyZ Charters operating out of Robbie’s Marina in addition to Seamonkeys Watersports in Islamorada both provide trips to the remote island.


Indian Key Historic State Park: 24.8783° N, 80.6771° W

Indian Key Historic State Park is another locale accessible only by boat or paddling (boats must anchor offshore to protect the surrounding flats). The island once hosted numerous facilities including a hotel housing a shipwreck salvaging crew, but was later abandoned in 1840 following the battle between the island settlers and Everglades Seminoles. You can rent either a kayak or paddleboard from Robbie’s Marina which is just half of a mile or about half an hour offshore. Indian Key is a fantastic choice for picnicking, hiking, snorkeling and swimming. The observation tower is another amenity providing island visitors with an exceptional view.


Dry Tortugas National Park

There are several islands comprising the Dry Tortugas National Park. The most significant structure being Fort Jefferson, constructed in the mid-1800s. The military base previously housed more than a thousand soldiers and additionally served as a prison for the infamous Dr. Samuel Mudd for his role in conspiring the assassination of President Lincoln. There is a ferry providing regular access to and from the Dry Tortugas National Park. This group of islands is an excellent destination for camping (reservations required), natural beaches, swimming and snorkeling.

Florida Keys Attractions: Wildlife Exhibitions

The south Florida island chain attracts visitors from across the globe not only for its alluring scenery or lavish vacation homes; many organizations throughout the Florida Keys offer an opportunity for the public to meet and sometimes interact with an astounding and colorful variety of wildlife. The subtropical climate of the Florida Keys means you’ll encounter unique species not found anywhere else in North America. The staff are often comprised of local volunteers working hard for the conservation and rehabilitation of our environment much of which is endangered and susceptible to the threat of irresponsible human activity and climate change. By visiting and supporting their facilities, you’re directly contributing to their efforts to preserve the wildlife inhabiting the Florida Keys.
 

Key Largo

Key Largo is the uppermost island in the Florida Keys and is home to several marine mammal rehabilitation centers and educational resources such as Island Dolphin Care and the Dolphin Research Center. Island Dolphin Care not only specializes in the care and treatment of dolphins. Their facility also offers an unmatched therapeutic program specially designed to fit the needs of persons with disabilities.
 

Tavernier

Just a few short miles south of Key Largo is Tavernier at which the Florida Keys Wild Bird Center & Sanctuary rehabilitates and provides a dwelling place for nearly 40 different species of non-releasable birds. The sanctuary hosts an environment necessary for the birds to live comfortably in their natural setting. Although all of the birds housed at the sanctuary are wild (non-domesticated), some are used in educational interactions providing for a memorable experience and greater awareness of what we can do to protect these distinctive creatures.
 

Marathon

Marathon is located in the center or heart of the Florida Keys and features some major attractions such as the Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters and the beloved Turtle Hospital. The Turtle Hospital has successfully rehabilitated and released over 1,500 sea turtles since it was established in 1986. Their facility also houses some “permanent residents” deemed to be non-releasable. Visitors at the Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters can meet, interact with and feed sting rays, tarpon, turtles and more diverse marine life. Other activities include snorkeling and diving in their enclosed, saltwater lagoon or coral reef environments. There are a variety of ways you can support conservation efforts during your visit to the Florida Keys while also creating lasting memories with your loved ones.

Navigating the Florida Keys

The Florida Keys boasts breathtaking scenery unlike anywhere else in the United States as well as an abundance of marine life making it one of the best known travel destinations globally. Much of the island chain is easily traversed by Overseas Highway spanning 113 miles from Key Largo to Key West. The Florida Keys has an astounding variety of activities to guarantee every member of the family can enjoy their getaway. Read below for more information regarding each island location we feature. If you already know what type of activities you’d like to do during your vacation in the Florida Keys, click here to view the Activities Guide for our recommended facilities.
 

  • Key Largo:

    Otherwise known as the Diving Capital of the World. John Pennekamp State Park spans 70 nautical square miles encompassing the only living coral barrier reef in North America. There are numerous diving facilities in the area capable of training first-timers to experience the world’s first undersea park. If diving isn’t on your itinerary, we highly recommend Cruisin’ Tikis. Stay comfortably dry from the bar on your very own floating cabana. Key Largo is also a short distance from Everglades National Park where guided eco-tours provide a look at the diverse flora and fauna responsible for designating this area as an environment worth preserving.

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  • Islamorada:

    The Sportfishing Capital of the World. Whether renting your own boat or booking a charter & guide, make your way to the deep sea for angling sailfish and marlin or opt to explore the back-country to hook tarpon and bonefish. The Florida Keys’ subtropical climate allows enthusiasts and beginners alike to enjoy all types of fishing any time of year. Islamorada is also home to artisanal shops, quaint cafés and a range of top-rated restaurants catering to many different tastes.

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  • Duck Key:

    Secluded island destination centrally poised for convenient access to the entire Florida Keys. If you’re searching for the ideal ‘base of operations’ for your Florida Keys vacation, Duck Key is a popular choice and for good reason. Whether diving in Key Largo or shopping in Key West, Duck Key is just a short ride to many of the greatest sights and attractions. Duck Key itself also hosts plenty of well-known charter Captains, restaurants, watersports facilities and is close by to local sand bars.

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  • Marathon:

    Premier choice for conveniently located amenities and a range of activities to choose from such as Aquarium Encounters at which you can meet up-close and personally with nurse sharks and sting rays. Their Coral Reef Encounter allows visitors to swim in an enclosed aquarium that is carefully curated with living coral & a colorful array of marine life. Whether searching for a casual or fine-dining experience, Marathon also features a plethora of unique and individually-owned restaurants.

History Lesson: Famous Shipwrecks of the Florida Keys

Looking for an adventure, a luxury Florida vacation, and a history lesson all rolled into one? Then pack your bags and plan the vacation you have been dreaming of in the Florida Keys. These enticing islands have been attracting visitors for centuries and it is time you planned a luxury vacation in the islands and let the adventure begin!

 

One exciting adventure to experience in the Keys is the quest for treasure! The islands in the Caribbean are filled with shipwrecks throughout the waters, and especially within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The remnants of many historic shipwrecks are buried in the sand or are perched along the coral reefs just off shore of the islands.

 

There are nine ships to learn about on Shipwreck Trail, and visitors can explore the sites at their leisure. There is also an underwater guide for each site giving the shipwreck and mooring buoy positions, history, a site map, and other useful information for divers.

 

While the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is a great place to see some of the catastrophic shipwrecks of our time, the islands of the Florida Keys are filled with many other shipwrecks, sunken treasure items, and lost artifacts that many are still searching for today.

 

Here are some of the most famous shipwrecks of the Florida Keys to explore during your seaside vacation in the Keys.

 

Shipwrecks of the Florida Keys

  • USCGC Duane – Key Largo
  • Eagle – Islamorada
  • Benwood – Key Largo
  • Henrietta Marie – Key West
  • Atocha – Key West
  • City of Washington – Key Largo
  • Thunderbolt – Marathon
  • USS Wilkes-Barre – Key West
  • The Adelaide Baker – Duck Key
  • The San Pedro – Indian Key
  • Alexander’s Wreck – Key West
  • The North America – Sombrero Key
  • USS Vandenberg – Key West

Ready to Explore the Shipwrecks of the Keys During Your Luxurious Vacation in Florida?

 

KeysCaribbean invites you to rent the best vacation homes in the Florida Keys for your luxury Florida vacation. Our experienced vacation team at KeysCaribbean is here to help you find the best accommodations on for your Florida vacation as well as provide our Vacation Concierge service to assist in planning exciting excursions in the Florida Keys like visiting the many shipwrecks in our waters.  Plan your luxury Florida vacation escape today!

 

History Lesson: Hemingway and His Famous 6-Toed Cats on Key West

If you are dreaming of a luxury vacation away from it all – the Florida Keys are a popular destination any time of the year. The exclusive and eclectic Florida island chain offers a great escape with so many unique things to see and do no matter when you vacation in the Keys.

 

One unique way to spend the day in the Florida Keys is to visit the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum. In addition to the amazing homesite of the popular writer; is the interesting story of Hemingway’s six-toed cats and why they still live on the property in Key West today.

 

These six-toed cats are called polydactyl. Typically, cats have five front toes and four back toes, so these six-toed cats are incredibly unique. The polydactyl cats are not a special breed at all, and the trait can appear in any breed of cat including Calicos, Tabbies, Siamese, etc. and in any color from tortoise shell to white.

 

Hemingway was given a white polydactyl cat many years ago by the captain of a ship. His cat Snow White was the first six-toed cat to live on the property in Key West. Today, the Ernest Hemingway Museum is home to approximately 50 six-toed cats, with many of them being direct descendants of Snow White that are well cared for by the museum, where they even have their own veterinarian.

 

About half of the cats that live at the museum today have the physical polydactyl trait, but they all carry the polydactyl DNA gene, which means all of them can mother or father six-toed kittens.

 

Hemingway loved Snow White and the other six-toed cats that called his home their own. In fact, the writer named all of his cats after famous people,  so the tradition is still followed today at the home and museum on Whitehead Street in beautiful Key West, and the cats all learn and respond to their names, when called by their favorite caretakers.

 

Explore the Historic Sites During Your Key West Vacation

 

Be sure to visit the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum during your vacation in the Florida Keys! KeysCaribbean offers luxury vacation rentals for your Key West, Florida getaway. From waterfront bungalows and seaside villas to luxury private homes – KeysCaribbean is the key to the Florida Keys vacation rental of your dreams.

Why the Florida Keys are the Best Place to Scuba Dive

Keys FL Diving

If you are looking for an exciting, luxury vacation with plenty of unique things to do and places to explore – the Florida Keys is a great choice. Not only will you find an amazing selection of high end seaside villas, luxurious vacation rental homes, and water-oriented resorts – but you have easy access to some of the best scuba diving sites in the world right at your fingertips in the Florida Keys.

 

Florida Vacation Spotlight: Scuba Diving in the Florida Keys

 

If you plan to do some diving during your luxury Florida Keys vacation, you are in for quite a treat! The waters surrounding the Florida Keys offer almost 3,000 square nautical miles that are home to over 6,000 different types of marine animals, there are around 1,000 shipwrecks to explore, and it is home to the third-largest barrier reef in the world.

 

In addition, Key Largo is considered to be the Diving Capital of the World, making the waters around the Florida Keys among the best for divers. With the clear blue water, amazing coral reefs, historic shipwrecks and sites, and exotic marine animals – there is truly no better place to scuba dive on the planet.

Whether you are a beginner diver or have experience exploring the amazing underwater world – there is northing like experiencing the Florida Key’s amazing reefs and treasures under the water. Here are some of the top dive sites in the Florida Keys to explore during your Florida Keys vacation.

 

The Best Diving in the Florida Keys
The Dry Tortugas National Park
John Pennekamp State Park
Alligator Reef – Islamorada
Coffin’s Patch
The Atocha Shipwreck
The Elbow
Christ of the Abyss
Sombrero Reef
Bahia Honda State Park

…and so many more!

 

Ready to Plan Your Luxurious Diving Vacation in the Florida Keys?

 

KeysCaribbean has the best vacation rental homes in the Florida Keys for your luxury Florida vacation. If you are thinking about planning a diving vacation in Florida, KeysCaribbean is here to help you find the best accommodations throughout the islands and we can also help you plan exciting diving excursions in the Florida Keys to make priceless vacation memories that will last a lifetime. What are you waiting for? It is time to book the Florida diving trip experience you have always dreamed of.

Socially Distance in a Luxury Vacation Rental Home in the Florida Keys

Florida Keys Sunset

Escape from all of the 2020 pandemic stress and socially distance in a luxury vacation rental in the beautiful Florida Keys.

 

We have all been through a lot so far this year, and you deserve a break! Book a luxury vacation rental with KeysCaribbean and let your cares slip away as you pamper yourself and indulge in a private vacation home in the Florida Keys.

 

Now is the perfect time to escape to an almost secluded island getaway in Islamorada, Marathon, or even Duck Key.  Choose from a variety of upscale vacation rental homes in the Florida Keys in unique and tropical locations you are sure to love. Relax and enjoy a canal front vacation home featuring a heated pool, Jacuzzi and 60′ boat slip, a beachy bungalow by the water, or a sanctuary villa with a private pool for your perfect Florida Keys socially distant vacation.

 

Once you get to the Florida Keys, there are plenty of Island activities to beat the quarantine blues! You can be as adventurous or as laid-back as you want on the Islands with something fun for everyone to enjoy.  Safely socially distance while boating, diving, fishing, beaching it, golfing, and more. Get out and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine of the beautiful Keys with a luxury Florida vacation that you and your family so deserve.

 

For those looking for some adventures in the Florida Keys, choose from exciting expeditions like overnight excursions to the Dry Tortugas, diving explorations to Alligator Reef, deep sea fishing trips, eco-tours through Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge, and so much more!

 

If relaxing in the sun with a tropical drink is more your style, discover the beaches all the way from Key Largo to Key West, enjoy a romantic sunset cruise, or play in the water on a jet ski or paddle board for a great day of soaking up the Florida sunshine.

 

KeysCaribbean Vacation Rentals is Ready for Your Visit

At KeysCaribbean, you can be assured that we have carefully prepared for your visit and have taken additional measures to keep you, your family, our employees, and contractors as safe as possible during your return to our Florida Keys paradise. We are here for you and guarantee that you can “stay” safe when booking a Florida Keys vacation rental home from KeysCaribbean.

 

We invite you to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have and look forward to seeing you for your next Florida Keys vacation.

Elope in the Florida Keys – The Perfect Solution for Cancelled 2020 Weddings

weddings in the fl keys

If you are like many of the brides and grooms that had special, elaborate weddings planned for 2020, that may not have happened for you this year. Plans have been changed, postponed, or worse yet – cancelled. And, while we have all been through unprecedented setbacks this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is still hope for an amazing wedding for you in 2020…and the Florida Keys is the perfect setting.

 

Make plans to get married on one of the amazing islands in this tropical paradise and make plenty of wonderful memories of your special day in a truly romantic setting you will both enjoy.

 

Whether you are looking for a quiet ceremony with just the two of you or a special event with a few close friends and family, there is simply no better place than the Florida Keys to say, “I do!”

 

The great news is that the team at KeysCaribbean is here to help you plan the perfect Florida Keys wedding escape. From florists and officiates to photographers, wedding cakes, and accommodations – KeysCaribbean has luxury, amenity-filled resorts in the Florida Keys that make an amazing backdrop for your special day.

 

Elope to the Florida Keys in a private, luxury vacation rental home or at one of these luxury resorts:

  • Marathon – Indigo Reef Resort – This beautiful seaside resort offers couples a unique alternative for a beautiful destination wedding. Enjoy an intimate ceremony overlooking the Gulf of Mexico and resort pool and expect spectacular villas, flawless service, sunset skies, lush landscaping, and great amenities for your special day.
  • Key Largo – Mariner’s Villas and Marina – Mariner’s Villas and Marina offers a romantic ambiance in a tropical wedding in the Florida Keys. Enjoy gorgeous oceanfront indoor or outdoor settings, secluded and private locations, luxury villas, and breathtaking views. For a truly romantic ceremony, get married at Lovers Point for the intimate oceanfront Key Largo wedding of your dreams.

Get Married in the Florida Keys in 2020

Don’t let your 2020 wedding plans get cancelled and ruin a good thing. KeysCaribbean is here to help you tie the knot in our beautiful island paradise of the Florida Keys. We have the perfect resort or vacation home for an unforgettable wedding that in the romantic Florida Keys. Contact one of our wedding specialists today to help you plan the perfect escape for your 2020 wedding.