An American in Paradise: The Florida Keys

If you’ve been looking for an island paradise for your upcoming trip, but don’t want to leave the comforts of the United States – Key West is the destination for you.  No this picturesque destination doesn’t require a passport, but there are still those out there who haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing these islands in the sun.

Parasailing Above the Keys

Paradise is only a short plane ride away.  The Florida Keys are a group of islands located just South of Florida’s mainland.  Some airlines, like Delta (via Express Jet) from Atlanta and New York City, and U.S. Airways from Charlotte & Washington D.C., offer direct flights into Key West, and this is certainly a nice option if you’re looking to make the most of a short trip.

Flying over Key West via Regional Jet
Flying over Key West via Regional Jet

However, most flights departing outside of the Sunshine State require a layover in either Miami or Fort Lauderdale and arrive in Key West via a regional jet.  These layovers are usually relatively short and have always been seamless for us which is why the Keys are one of our favorite destinations for long lazy weekends.

Holiday Isle Tiki Bar - Isla Morada
Holiday Isle Tiki Bar – Isla Morada

Our preferred method of traveling to the Florida Keys is a flight into Miami with a road trip through the Keys.  If you have the time, the road trip down the Overseas Highway is a one of a kind experience with a lot of great photo ops along the way.  We really enjoy this option because it allows us the ability to stop at any of the sites along the way, such as Holiday Isle Tiki Bar located at the Postcard Inn Beach Resort on Isla Morada.  This traveler favorite Tiki Bar is easily accessed from the Overseas Highway, and it offers just the right amount of island flavor.

Tiki Time
Tiki Time

Although part of the resort, this open air oceanfront Tiki Bar is open to the public and offers unobstructed ocean views on the deck, great food and drink specials and wonderful live entertainment nightly.  This stop is the best way to begin a true Florida Keys experience.

Remnants of a Shipwreck off Key West
Remnants of a Shipwreck off Key West

While your in the Keys, try spending the day exploring the Gulf of Mexico on a Catamaran Cruise.  THIS is how we were meant to experience the Florida Keys – but always be on the look out for barracuda!

Cruisin on a Catamaran
Cruisin on a Catamaran

Sebago’s all day excursions feature snorkeling a reef located just off Key West and some fun in the sun you will never forget at their exclusive water adventure park.  There are a variety of different offerings at Sebago, and each are equally entertaining.  Their staff, food and drink selections, and their entertainment offerings are better than anything we’ve ever experienced in the Caribbean.  For the money, we highly recommend a daytime adventure with Sebago during your time in Key West.

Key West056One of the best ways to explore Key West is by bicycle.  Parking a car, scooter or electric cart can be difficult in a new area.  This is our favorite, and also the easiest, way to get around Key West.  Rent a bicycle from a local bike shop for the day and see all that Key West has to offer.  This option allows you the ability to get up close with the neighborhoods of Key West such as Old Town and of course you won’t want to forget your camera! Do some research before you rent.  Some bike shops offer pick up and drop off service which makes the rental process extremely easy.

Southernmost House
Southernmost House

Enjoy an evening of culinary ecstasy at Louie’s Backyard where you have the option to dine on the open-air Afterdeck Bar.  At Louie’s you will experience Caribbean-American cuisine in style while enjoying unobstructed views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Key 021Key West’s beautiful weather, lush tropical setting, laid back atmosphere, and endless activities help to bring a little of the Caribbean to the U.S.  As a true island escape, Key West has something for everyone.  If you haven’t already done so, we highly recommend you select Key West for your next warm weather destination.

Key West  054

Have you had the chance to experience the Florida Keys? If so, what is on your must see and do list? We’d love to hear from you!

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