The Florida Keys
Like a string of pearls tossed casually in the sea, the Florida Keys are a series of islands linked together by a series of 44 bridges, the Atlantic Ocean on one side and Florida Bay (the Gulf of Mexico) on the other. Key West is the southernmost point in the United States and the farthest from the US mainland, yet just one hour south of Miami sits Key Largo, home to North America's only living coral reef. Twenty minutes further south is Islamorada, internationally proclaimed as "the sport fishing capital of the world" and a favorite family vacation spot.
If you don't have your own boat, there are dozens of places to rent one for the day. Personal watercraft (jet skis), sailboats, kayaks, snorkel, SCUBA and SNUBA gear are also available for rent or purchase. Snorkel the reef at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, home to the undersea statue of Christ --or dive at your leisure among the spectacular living coral reef or one of the many marked wreck sites. You can also glass bottom boat or dive the sunken naval ship, USS Spiegel Grove, the world's largest artificial reef.
The Keys are home to some of the best fishing spots on earth. Snook, tarpon, snapper, bonefish, sailfish, grouper, mahi-mahi (dolphin), shrimp and lobster abound. Deep-sea or flat fishing, oceanside or "back country" in Florida Bay, the upper Keys has it all! Serious about fishing? This could be your seat . . . fighting the "big one"?
Pennekamp Park has two swimming beaches, Harry Harris County Park has one, and there are other swimming beaches & pools open to the public for little or no fee. Nature lover? Stroll through Key Largo's Bird Sanctuary or an unspoiled nature preserve. Manatees, a protected, endangered species known as "sea cows", frolic in the area's clean canals --or take a short car ride to Big Pine Key and you're sure to see the famous and endangered miniature Key deer.
LIFE IN THE KEYS, relaxing but never boring. Enjoy a meal at one of the area's fine restaurants or on your own waterfront patio.
Each morning the sun delivers a spectacular oceanside sunrise, and each evening as the sun sets in Florida Bay on the Gulf of Mexico, well -it just doesn't get any better than this...
Picture yourself here...