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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When vacationing in different areas, it’s always fun to “do as the locals do” and eating is no exception. Every region has their favorite dishes and to experience the true culture of an area, tasting their delicious food is a must-do!
The Florida Keys have their own regional dishes that are not only popular with the locals, but also have the tourists flocking to the hot spots that serve them and begging for more. Here are some of the most popular dishes in the Keys that you simply must try during your luxury vacation in the South Florida.
5 Most Popular Foods in the Florida Keys
- Key Lime Pie – This Island favorite is so popular that it is the official pie of the state of Florida. There is also an annual Key Lime Pie Festival to celebrate the tasty dessert.
- Stone Crab – Florida stone crab is a delicious treat served in the Florida Keys. The hard-shelled claws are actually one of the most sustainable crab dishes since the claw can be removed without killing it in the process. The sweet meat is served chilled for the best flavor.
- Key West Pink Shrimp – Popular for their sweet, tender meat, Key West Pink Shrimp are easily identified due to their bright pink coloring when raw. They are typically served as peel and eat dishes and are truly divine as an appetizer or meal in the Florida Keys.
- Conch Fritters – Key West, also known as the Conch Republic, actually gets its nickname from this popular shellfish. Found in Florida and the Caribbean, conch can be prepared several ways, but the most popular dish is conch fritters, a fried concoction of conch and batter that is an Island favorite.
- Hogfish – Being surrounded by water makes the Keys a popular place for seafood. One of the most popular is hogfish. Known for their flaky texture and sweet taste, hogfish is a favorite of Islanders in the Florida Keys.
KeysCaribbean Luxury Vacation Rentals are the Best Place to Stay in the Florida Keys
At KeysCaribbean, your luxury accommodations await for an amazing vacation in the Florida Keys. From well-appointed seaside bungalows to private vacation homes in the South Florida, you are sure to be pleased when you arrive at your Florida Keys vacation rental home from KeysCaribbean.
Of the many wonderful things about taking a vacation, experiencing the way the locals live and the lifestyle they enjoy really lets you get to know an area and its culture. Food is an important part of any region’s culture, as is the specific way it is prepared.
You can get to know the people and places of the Florida Keys by tasting their region dishes, which always becomes a favorite of the many visitors to the Islands. The popular ingredients in the dishes in the Keys reflect a variety of cultural influences including those from our Spanish, Bahamian, Caribbean, and American friends. Since commercial fishing is one of the largest industries in the Islands, our local menus also include an abundance of fresh seafood.
Whether you choose to try your hand at making these local delicacies in the kitchen of your vacation villa in Islamorada, at a popular restaurant in the Florida Keys, or have them specially prepared for you by a local chef in your luxury Florida Keys vacation rental home, you are guaranteed to love every bite!
When you plan a luxury vacation in the Florida Keys, you will definitely be tempted by these local favorites!
Eating Local in the Florida Keys
- Key Lime Pie – The official Florida State Pie, Key Lime is probably the most common item on restaurants throughout the Islands, where its Key West roots have been traced back to the early 20th century. No trip is complete without a slice of Key Lime Pie.
- Conch – Whether you like your conch in fritters as most locals do, or cracked on top of a fresh salad, you will find many dishes made from this popular Key West favorite. Pronounced KONK, the large sea snails and the Queen Conch is the namesake of the Florida Keys Conch Republic.
- Spiny Lobster – Unlike their Northern counterparts, the Spiny Lobsters of the Florida Keys don’t have claws, but instead are coveted for their sweet and tender tail meat. Lobster season runs from August. 6 to March 31, when local restaurants serve them steamed or boiled with melted butter.
- Key West Pink Shrimp – Almost 80% of the nation’s supply of Key West Pink Shrimp comes from the Gulf of Mexico, where they develop their distinctive pink color. The Pink shrimp are tender and sweet and popular with locals.
- Stone Crabs – Known for their sweet, succulent meat claw, Stone Crabs are a popular delicacy in the Keys. In fact, the Florida Keys are responsible for nearly all the state’s stone crab claw harvest.
Plan Your Escape to the Florida Keys Today!
If hearing about all of these wonderful flavors has you ready for a vacation in the Florida Keys, we can’t blame you. Contact the experienced travel planning team at KeysCaribbean for the perfect luxury vacation villa, waterfront condo, or amazing private vacation home in the Florida Keys. Contact us at (305) 853-5000 or online here today!
The only thing better than dining on fresh, local seafood in one of the amazing restaurants in the Florida Keys, is the breathtaking water views that come with it! From elegant dining to sea-side shacks, there are a wide variety of dining options sure to please everyone. If you’re feeling the Island vibe and want to enjoy a delicious dinner with a view in the Keys, you definitely don’t want to miss these favorites!
Best Restaurants With a View in the Florida Keys
- The Fish House Restaurant and Seafood Market – Located on Key Largo, The Fish House has been a Key Largo dining tradition since 1982. Visitors and locals flock to this popular gathering place for fresh local seafood dishes with a fun, friendly and casual “Keys Style” atmosphere.
- The Lorelei Cabana Bar and Marina – Known as “The Pulse of Islamorada” by locals, The Lorelei Cabana Bar and Marina features fresh, local seafood and delicious boat drinks to get you in the tropical mood. Enjoy breathtaking views and their world-famous Sunset Celebrations nightly!
- Hideaway Café – Award-winning cuisine and an amazing ocean view are what makes the Hideaway Café on Grassy Key so popular among those who like to get away from it all. It has a reputation for excellence in serving top-notch cuisine with a unique dining experience like no other.
- Island Fish Company –Enjoy spectacular sunset views and tropical scenes while you dine on local seafood and Island favorites at Island Fish Company. A great place to relax, pull up a barstool at the longest tiki bar in Florida and soak in the Florida Keys vibe.
- Blue Heaven – This fun and funky restaurant is a Key West destination of its own, but don’t let the whimsical décor fool you: the food is taken seriously. Located in historic Bahama Village, Blue Heaven, one of the most casual Key West restaurants, features indoor and outdoor dining, live entertainment, and American, Caribbean and vegetarian cuisine.
Let KeysCaribbean Help Plan Your Luxury Vacation in the Florida Keys
The team at KeysCaribbean is here to help you plan the luxury vacation in the Florida Keys you have been dreaming of! Enjoy first class service when you stay at one of these grand resorts in the Florida Keys or a luxury private vacation home with endless tropical views. Book your luxury Florida Keys vacation today with KeysCaribbean today at 305-853-5000 or contact us online here for more information about renting luxury Florida Keys vacations homes for your escape.