Andy’s Top Ten Attractions

This was really, really hard.  When I go down to the Keys from my home here in Miami, I usually go just to relax and escape.  Inevitably I find myself getting on the water, in the water or taking a great tour or excursion.  The sites are so funky and the tours never seem to disappoint no matter how many times I seem to see the same places and attractions.  So, here goes nothing….my top 10 places to see in the Florida Keys.

#1 Dry Tortugas National Park/Key West

Dry_Tortugas

70 miles west of Key West and accessible only by boat or seaplane, this 100-square mile park is mostly open, blue waters with seven islands featuring the historic Fort Jefferson.  You can rough it and camp overnight and enjoy some incredible snorkeling and diving or just swim in the crystal clear, blue water encompassed.  Can be expensive to see but a real must see for everyone.

#2 The Turtle Hospital/Marathon

The_Turtle_Hospital

Research and rehabilitation center for those cute, friendly creatures from the sea.  You will take a guided tour of the hospital and sea turtle rehab area.  Great educational experience for the whole family with some interaction with those friendly sea creatures.

#3 John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park/Key Largo
John_Pennekamp

Located at MM102.5 in Key Largo, this is a full day experience with beach, snorkeling, canoeing and kayaking, glass-bottom boat tours and camping available on-site.  With the finest coral reef formations within its 70    nautical square miles, you will be treated to a one-of-a-kind experience at Pennekamp!

#4 Fishing Charters/Tours/Florida Keys
fishing

Whether you are looking for a scenic boat tour or the action of an off-shore or inland fishing excursion, it doesn’t get any better than in the Florida Keys.  From Key Largo and Islamorada to Marathon and Key West, you can always find a great fishing or boat charter tour in the Florida Keys.

#5 Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum/Key West
Ernest_Hemingway

In Old Town Key West visit the home where one of the greatest American authors lives and wrote some of him most famous works.  This home, gardens and pool built in 1851 still houses furnishings that Hemingway and his family live there and features 40+ polydactyl (six-toed) cats many of which are descendants of a white, six-toad cat given to Hemingway himself by a ship’s captain.  If in Key West you have to visit this one!

#6 Scuba/Snorkeling Tours/Florida Keys
snorkeling

diving, whether it is in the shallower waters or deep sea is really a must for everyone with decent swimming skills while in the Florida Keys.  Key Largo, considered the Diving Capital of the World, is the optimum location for this but you can find a great scuba or snorkeling excursion about anywhere in the Florida Keys.

#7 Theater of the Sea/Islamorada
Theater_of_the _Sea

Watch up close and personal DOLPHIN SHOWS, sea lion shows, parrot shows, and much more!. Or swim with the dolphins, sea lions, rays and, yes, even with sharks…..Eikes!!  One of the oldest marine mammal facilities in the world, the Theatre of the Sea is a one-of-a-kind experience for the whole family.

#8 Dolphins Plus/Key Largo
Dolphins_Plus

Okay so I love those sea mammals with the great smile.  This is the place you want to go if you crave swimming with dolphins in their natural seawater homes.  Great experience as those friendly mammals always seem happy to meet new friends.

#9 Duval Street/Key West
Duval_Street

Duval Street in Key West is one of my favorite places in the world to visit!  This famous downtown street runs 1.25 miles from the Gulf of Mexico to Atlantic Ocean and is home to a vibrant collection of hole-in-the-wall bars, historic haunts, funky shops, art galleries, outdoor cafés, and plenty of places to people watch.

#10 Day at the Beach/Florida Keys
Day_Beach

Although the Keys is really not famous for their beaches there are a few you will really enjoy.  Sombrero Beach in Marathon, Anne’s Beach in Islamorada and Smather’s Beach are a few of my favorites.  Water is clear, sun is warm and sand cool…..can’t beat a day at the beach in the Florida Keys.

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