Florida Keys

Florida, United States

  • Florida Keys View 1

    Unlock the secrets of this string of pearls

  • Florida Keys View 2

    Unlock the secrets of this string of pearls

  • Florida Keys View 3

    Unlock the secrets of this string of pearls

How to enjoy Florida Keys

The Florida Keys are more than a destination; they’re a lifestyle. Lovers of the sea, free spirits and artists have long been drawn to the unhurried pace and scenery. And while they’ve gone a bit upscale lately, these islands are still an original

  • Key Largo’s John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, the country’s first underwater state park, also has a neighboring marine sanctuary
  • Key West is a literary mecca, but no author is more closely associated than Ernest Hemingway, whose Home and Museum is worth a peek
  • Spend a fun—we swear—afternoon in the Key West Cemetery, where the irreverent epitaphs mimic the locals’ approach to life (and death)

For many, the Florida Keys really mean “Key West.” And while this southernmost tip of the continental U.S. is undoubtedly the most popular—and storied, thanks to Ernest Hemingway—it’s only part of the picture. Nature lovers should hit the Lower Keys, which are ideal for spotting endangered species like eagles. Islamorada, in the Upper Keys, is an entertainment and nightlife hub.

Despite its (deserved) reputation as an easygoing beach community, the Keys have surprisingly few nice beaches. Some of the luxe resorts have lovely stretches, but in terms of public areas, Sombrero Beach is pretty much it. Instead of sun bathing, use that glorious water for diving (it’s a scuba hot spot) and to try your hand at some of the world’s best sport fishing.

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    When to visit Florida Keys

    The Florida Keys are pretty utopian year round, so don’t worry about what to pack. The answer is always shorts, no matter when you come. Key West, especially, has a festival for every season, so feel free to plan your trip around those (or not).

Hotels we adore in Florida Keys

Here are the hotels that we love in Florida Keys. We've shared our insight about what makes each one special to help you select the perfect place to stay

  • Did you know

    About 70 miles from the Keys are the Dry Tortugas, a collection of seven undeveloped islands that are phenomenal for bird watching and snorkeling.

  • The local view

    Steer clear of the for-profit visitor information centers, which try to recruit you to specific hotels or tours. Key Largo’s Chamber of Commerce has great (unbiased!) info for the entire area.

  • The local view

    Only one thing tends to rile these live-and-let-live islanders: visitors messing with stuff. As long as you leave the water, plants and animals alone—and throw your trash away—you’ll be cool with the locals.

  • The local view

    The Keys aren’t the place to debut your latest couture. Your best t-shirt will gain you entry into almost any establishment.

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