My travels within Florida have taken me from the powder white beaches of my hometown Pensacola Beach, to the theme park mecca (Orlando!) and now to the most southern tip… the Florida Keys.
Each area of Florida continues to surprise me, my home state has caves, sparkling springs, world class beaches, Disney, and the Florida Keys are certainly no exception.
Situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico lies this sparkling chain of islands. You are welcomed by that oh so familiar smell of salt and sun! There is no elixir on this blessed earth than that (well at least to me)! And get your camera out cause the two lane highway heading into Key Largo gives you that first insta-worthy picture postcard view!
Key Largo holds two national recreational areas, one of them being John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park (basically my bestfriends backyard). Locals realize the conservation efforts needed to keep these parks untouched, so when you go only look and appreciate its beauty for how it is, and hope it will stay undamaged for years to come.
A visit to Robbies Marina is a must! Grab a bucket o’ fish for 3 bucks and feed the prehistoric looking tarpon. Sit and watch the fishermen come in with their days catch at famous Bud n’ Marys – the Sportfishing Capital of the World. Allow yourself to fall into the calming sense of total relaxation and low ‘key’ vibes. Dip in and out of the art galleries, admiring local artisans and their coastal inspired work. Stop off at the World Wide Sportsman Store aka the first Bass Pro Shop, for some merch and a glance at “Pilar” – Hemingway’s boat! Take a pit stop at the Backyard Fisheries for the freshest conch fritters you have ever tasted, nothing fancy just amazing food and a cold beer.
Stroll along Morada Way among the purple Bougainvilla that cover the islands and coined the name “Islamorada” when the Spaniards set foot on the land so many years ago.
The turquoise waters are waiting and teeming with marine life, set sail on a snorkeling boat tour, fishing day or sunset cruise. And for all the water sport lovers, you are spoiled here with endless options such as diving, kite surfing, snorkeling and kayaking.
And if you aren’t worn out by the days adventures there are many local bars (Florida Keys Brewery Company) from low key dive bars to vibrant live entertainment options (dancing shoes not required.. this is the Keys remember)! The Florida Keys Chamber of Commerce invites you to ‘Come As You Are!’
We celebrated in the sun, listened to Jimmy Buffett, enjoyed the authentic cuisine, and sipped on ice cold beer.
Each hour has you thinking it really is… 5 o’clock somewhere (HA)!