Florida KeysAn Island State of Mind. The Florida Keys is one of our favorite travel destinations for RV travel. It’s like being able to enjoy the island life of the Caribbean, without having to boat or fly to get there.
The Florida Keys is a popular vacation destination known for its beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and laid-back atmosphere. Here are some fun things to do in the Florida Keys. The Florida Keys are coral cays (or “keys”) that form an archipelago off the southern coast of Florida. These islands make up the southernmost part of the continental United States.
One unique feature is the 113-mile overseas highway that connects these keys or islands together. This means you can DRIVE (or tow) your RV to the Florida Keys! Several RV Parks and campgrounds are located here, including popular state parks such as John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and Bahia Honda State Park.
However, booking these state parks can be difficult because of their popularity. So if you want to stay at one of these State Parks, we do recommend using a booking service like Arvie to secure a reservation.
Our favorite private campgrounds in the Florida Keys are Sunshine Key RV Resort and Fiesta Key RV Resort which are both a part of the Thousand Trails RV Park system.
Things To Do In The Florida Keys
Kayaking & Stand Up Paddleboarding
Go kayaking or paddle boarding in the waters around the Keys. The Florida Keys offer some of the best kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding in the world, with crystal-clear waters and abundant wildlife. Kayaking through the mangroves or calm waters in the morning or evening is one of our favorite things to do. Occasionally you will spot a nurse shark, sting ray, or jellyfish. When paddleboarding, you have a much better view to see all the sea creatures in the water below.
There are so many things to do, see and enjoy in the keys. We have both inflatable kayaks and paddle boards so they can deflate & fold up for easy storage in the RV. When staying at most of the state parks or other campgrounds, there is usually water access right at the campground. It’s very easy to launch watercraft from the campgrounds. We recently went kayaking with some friends and it was a great experience for the adults and the kids. And, everybody had a great night’s sleep, so that was a WIN!
Snorkeling & Diving
Snorkel or scuba dive in the crystal-clear waters of the Keys. The Keys are home to a vibrant marine ecosystem, with hundreds of species of fish, coral, and other marine life. Because the keys are situated along the Florida Reef, marine life is plentiful. Florida’s Coral Reef stretches almost 350 miles from the Dry Tortugas to the St. Lucie Inlet. It’s the only coral reef system in the continental United States and is home to over 40 species of reef-building corals that provide shelter, food, and breeding sites for millions of plants and animals. There are many companies that will take you out on a boat for diving and snorkeling. One of our favorites is Sundance Water Sports located at Robbie’s in Islamorada.
Snorkel Alligator Reef Lighthouse
The Alligator Reef Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse located in the Florida Keys. It was built in 1873 to mark the Alligator Reef, which was a hazard to ships passing through the area. Here’s what you need to know about the Alligator Reef Lighthouse:
- It’s a historic landmark: The Alligator Reef Lighthouse is a historic landmark that has been standing for nearly 150 years. It’s the second-oldest remaining lighthouse in the Keys and is an important part of the area’s history.
- It’s named after a shipwreck: The Alligator Reef gets its name from the USS Alligator, a ship that was wrecked on the reef in 1822. The lighthouse was built to help prevent other ships from suffering the same fate.
- You can visit the lighthouse: The Alligator Reef Lighthouse is open to the public. The lighthouse is also surrounded by a beautiful park, which is a great place to relax and enjoy the outdoors.
- It’s a popular spot for fishing and diving: The waters around the Alligator Reef Lighthouse are known for their rich marine life, and the area is a popular spot for fishing and diving. You can hire a charter boat to take you out to the reef, where you can fish for a wide variety of species or dive to see the colorful fish and other sea creatures that live there.
Overall, the Alligator Reef Lighthouse is a fascinating piece of history and a beautiful spot to visit in the Florida Keys. Whether you’re interested in history, the outdoors, or just want to relax and enjoy the scenery, you’ll find something to enjoy at this historic landmark.
Dry Tortugas and Fort Jefferson National Park
Visit Dry Tortugas National Park, a remote group of islands located about 70 miles west of Key West. The park is known for its beautiful beaches, clear waters, and historic Fort Jefferson. The only way to get here is by boat or seaplane.
The coral reefs of the Dry Tortugas harbor a rich and colorful variety of marine life such as fish, lobsters, sponges, sea stars, and anemones. Clear waters with excellent visibility attract snorkelers & divers to the park, which offers some of the best underwater viewing opportunities in the United States.
Kids can also participate in the Jr. Ranger program at this National Park earning their Jr. Ranger badge all while learning about the history of Fort Jefferson.
The Dry Tortugas National Park is located about 70 miles west of Key West, Florida. The only way to get to the park is by boat or seaplane, which makes for a unique and exciting adventure. Here’s what you can expect on a boat ride out to the Dry Tortugas:
The boat ride itself is an attraction: Most boat tours to the Dry Tortugas depart from Key West and take about 2-3 hours to reach the park. The ride itself is filled with beautiful scenery, including views of the Keys and the crystal-clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico. You’ll also have the opportunity to see a variety of marine life, including dolphins, sea turtles, and even the occasional whale.
You’ll learn about the history of the Dry Tortugas: The Dry Tortugas was named by Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon, who visited the islands in 1513 and noted the lack of fresh water on the islands. The islands were later used as a military base, and Fort Jefferson, a massive brick fort, was built on one of the islands. You’ll learn about the fascinating history of the Dry Tortugas on the boat ride out to the park.
You can enjoy the beautiful beaches: Once you arrive at the Dry Tortugas, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the park’s beautiful beaches. The waters are crystal clear and perfect for swimming and snorkeling, and the beaches are pristine and perfect for sunbathing.
You can visit Fort Jefferson: One of the highlights of a trip to the Dry Tortugas is the opportunity to visit Fort Jefferson, the massive brick fort that was built on one of the islands. You can explore the fort and learn about its history, and even climb to the top of one of its towers for a stunning view of the surrounding waters.
Overall, boat rides out to the Dry Tortugas National Park are a unique and exciting adventure that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in history, and the outdoors, or just want to relax on a beautiful beach, you’ll find plenty to enjoy on a trip to the Dry Tortugas.
Things to Do in Key West
Key West, located at the southernmost point of the continental United States, is known for its laid-back atmosphere and beautiful beaches. If you’re planning a trip to Key West, here are some of the best things to do while you’re there:
- Visit the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum: This museum, located in Old Town Key West, was the home of Ernest Hemingway from 1931 to 1939. It’s filled with fascinating memorabilia from the famous writer’s life and is also home to a colony of six-toed cats, descendants of Hemingway’s own pets.
- Take a sunset cruise: Key West is famous for its beautiful sunsets, and there’s no better way to experience them than by taking a sunset cruise. You’ll get to watch the sun go down over the water while sipping on a refreshing drink and listening to live music.
- Visit the Key West Aquarium: This aquarium is a great place to learn about the marine life that lives in the waters around Key West. You can see sharks, rays, turtles, and other sea creatures up close, and even touch some of them.
- Go snorkeling or diving: The waters around Key West are crystal clear and teeming with marine life, making it a great place to go snorkeling or diving. You can explore the many reefs and wrecks that dot the ocean floor, and see a wide variety of colorful fish and other sea creatures.
- Visit Mallory Square: This popular square in the heart of Key West is the place to be at sunset. It’s filled with street performers, food vendors, and souvenir stands and is the perfect place to people-watch and soak up the local atmosphere. A few of our favorite stops when visiting Key West are local’s favorites Kermit’s Key Lime Pie Shop and Ron Jon Surf Shop.
Overall, Key West is a wonderful destination with plenty to see and do. Whether you’re interested in history, the outdoors, or just relaxing on the beach, you’re sure to find something to enjoy in this unique and charming island city.
Weather In The Florida Keys
The weather in the keys is typically warm year-round. Because of the Key’s tropical-maritime climate, the temperature doesn’t fluctuate by more than about 10 degrees Fahrenheit between seasons. But, humidity levels and rainfall amounts will vary depending on the time of the year. May through October is the “rainy” season while the “dry” season is November through April. There is usually an ocean breeze that can be felt when along the coastlines.
This area of the United States is a MUST for any RV Traveler, Family Traveler, or anyone who wants the “island vibe” without the plane or boat ride!
Overall, the Florida Keys offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages and interests. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or education, the Keys has something for you.
Pingback: 119 Must-Have RV Accessories You Should Know About - Grateful Glamper