which island in the keys has the best beaches

The city has beautiful beaches to visit and the sunset there is one of the most beautiful in Florida. Key West's nightlife is also the busiest of all the. While it may be small, Calusa is also the most popular due to being the best choice for swimming and snorkeling. Calusa Beach is also where all. It also has one of the nicest views and stretches of sand on the island. This is a great place to kick back and enjoy the beautiful blue waters.

Which island in the keys has the best beaches -

8 of The Best Beaches in The Florida Keys

The Florida Keys are a string of tropical islands stretching about 120 miles off the southern tip of the U.S. state of Florida, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. They’re known as a destination for fishing, boating, snorkeling, and scuba diving. But the main thing that the Florida Keys are known for is having some of the most amazing beaches in Florida and by extension the world.


1) Bahia Honda State Park

Bahia Honda State Park on Big Pine Key has been noted as the home of America’s greatest beach by Dr. Beach, although it offers two dazzling stretches, Calusa and Sandspur along with unrivaled snorkeling offshore. Enjoy the clear shallow water that makes it one of the best snorkeling spots where you can snorkel right from the beach to view abundant marine life. It’s a popular spot for photographers and you will often see wedding parties taking snap sots of their beautiful day with the sand sea providing the backdrop. 

2) Fort Jefferson

Fort Jefferson is located in Dry Tortugas National Park and is the country’s most remote national park. While it is part of Key West, Fort Jefferson can only be accessed by Ferry since it is some 70 miles west of the mainland. It is the ultimate getaway for a day trip with its powder sand beaches and majestic views. Fort Jefferson is a must-see on your next visit to the Florida keys. 


3) Fort Zachary

Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park is a National Historic Landmark that offers some of the clearest blue waters for snorkeling and diving in Key West. It hosts the city’s favorite beach at its southern end, making it ideal for those activities along with paddling, fishing and picnicking. The top destination in the Florida Keys is also popular among history buffs, home to a 19th-century fort used to defend the country’s coastline during the Civil and Spanish-American wars. Today, it features the largest collection of Civil War-era cannons in the nation.

 

4) Long Key State Park

Located smack in the middle of the Florida Keys’ this paradise is one of Florida’s most picturesque parks. It boasts one of the Keys’ longest stretches of beach and is known as one of the best places to kayak, swim, hike, and go wildlife watching in the Florida Keys. Bird lovers, be sure to pack your cameras and binoculars as you are likely to see one of the most diverse in the country including herons, terns, and egrets.

5) Sombrero Beach

Sometimes you just want to get away from it all and if you want to do just that then Sombrero is the place for you. Located near Mile Marker 50 in Marathon, Sombrero Beach is often empty during the off-season, and rarely too crowded during the busier times of the year. Making it the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle. It is also a nesting ground for loggerhead turtles so be on the lookout for these amniotes.

6) Smathers Beach

One of the most popular destinations for families in The Keys is Smathers Beach on Key West. Being over two miles long, this pristine beach provides an abundance of white sands for all sorts of activities or just for relaxing with a breathtaking view. Smathers Beach is also a food lovers paradise, with a wide range of eateries nearby to enjoy breaks from the Florida sun while feeding your appetite. Families can engage in everything from sunset sails to kayaking, parasailing, paddleboarding, and windsurfing.

7) Founders Park 

 Founders Park is located in Islamorada, about halfway down the island chain. The park offers a beautiful palm-lined beach that’s great for families, with snorkeling, swimming, paddleboarding, and kayaking all available here. Plop down your beach chairs and enjoy relaxing in the sun, picnicking, and even a yoga class on the sand during certain seasons. The kids will appreciate the pirate ship-themed playground where they can walk the plank while parents enjoy the water in the shallow bay. The park hosts multiple other amenities too, including a pool with a splash pad, a dog park, and a marina.

8) Coco Plum Beach 

Located on the Atlantic in Marathon, Coco Plum Beach boasts one of the Florida Keys’ rare natural stretches of soft white sands that lie adjacent to an area of wetlands. Sea turtles nest here providing great wildlife watching, and there’s plenty of room which means it rarely feels crowded. It’s also long enough for enjoying romantic strolls that are even better at sunset, with an orange glow over the ocean providing a truly magical backdrop

Why Move to The Florida Keys

When thinking of reasons to move to the Florida Keys, great fishing is defiantly up there with great weather and wonderful beaches. Fishing is open year-round and accessible from boat or land. If you’re looking for a great home in the Florida Keys check out our list of beautiful homes in the fishing paradise that is the Florida Keys. Check out our inventory of available Florida Keys houses for sale and contact us here or call 3053996297to set up a viewing today.

Источник: https://www.floridakeyssearch.com/blog-entries/8-of-the-best-beaches-in-the-florida-keys

Clearwater area or The Florida Keys

Key West is an awesome place for an adult-centered vacation. It's not very family oriented. Their are a lot of great things to do, but if you are interested in making the beach the center of your trip, you may want to go with the Clearwater area. We stayed at Anna Maria Island a few years ago, and the beach was truly amazing.
If you think Key West may be a good fit for you, I recommend the following:
1) Stay in a B&B - we stayed at Chelsea House Pool and Gardens last time (get a king room), and are staying at Artist House on Fleming next month.

2) Rent some bikes, and if you fly in direct, you will not need a car rental. Taking Lloyds Bike Tour (http://lloydstropicalbiketour.com/) was a highlight... a Jersey-hipster that gives awesome tours around town. It's a great way to get your bearings!

3) We took a day long kayaking and sunset cruise - all you can drink as well. The company we used was Fury (https://www.furycat.com/). They offer a variety of tours every day.

4) Mallory square and Duval St- This is really the beaten path. This area is saturated with souvenir shops, bars, and restaurants. And Mallory Square is a great place to see street performers and catch the sunset.

You can always bike over the Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park , and hang out on the beach there.

I hope you have a great trip! Good luck deciding!


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Источник: https://www.trippy.com/question/Key-West-Clearwater-area-or-The-Florida-Keys

There are no theme parks or bling-bling beaches in the Florida Keys. Natural and laidback, this 125-mile-long archipelago – curving away from the Americab mainland towards Cuba – is all about the simple, unplugged allure of island life, with one rather convenient contemporary upgrade. The Overseas Highway allows visitors to drive from island to island, making exploring everything the best places to visit along the Florida Keys, from tropical forests to the world’s third-largest barrier reef, a breeze.

There are a number of different islands, or keys, within each of the five distinctive regions here: Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, Big Pine and the Lower Keys, and Key West. Each key has its own unique character; where one might offer outdoorsy types a tangle of deserted jungle, another one will tempt culture hoppers with tiki bars and artists’ studios. Then there’s the diving, kayaking, kite-surfing, fishing or simply sunbathing... But with so much on offer, how do you pick what’s right for you?

Here is our diverse guide to the very best of Florida Keys – to be experienced at your own pace.

Источник: https://www.cntraveller.com/bc/gallery/9-amazing-islands-in-the-florida-keys
Longboat

Dig your toes into silky white sand. Soak in the Gulf’s clear blue-green waters. Kayak through mangrove-shaded bayous and lagoons. Celebrate the setting sun while dolphins frolic and water birds dive for fish. Far from the madding crowd, embrace the sensual pleasures of Florida living. Lido Key, St. Armands Key and Longboat Key draw people from around the world seeking sophisticated pleasures in a setting of natural bliss.

7 a.m. Sunrise stroll on Lido Beach

Parents and kids flock to Lido Public Beach for its family-friendly amenities, including an Olympic-sized pool, concession stand, covered picnic area, playground, and showers and dressing rooms. But you’re there for the sunrise—and the tranquility that comes with an almost empty beach. Early morning is the best time for close encounters with nature. Admire the water ballet of dolphins and manatees and water birds spearfishing for their breakfast.

9 a.m. Breakfast at Harry’s Continental Kitchens

There’s nothing like a brisk beach walk to work up an appetite. Breakfast at Harry’s is a LBK tradition. Start with a Bacon Bloody Mary and then dig into the Low Country shrimp and grits or eggs Benedict. 

10:30 a.m. Strolling St. Armands Circle

Burn off those cheese grits with a stroll around the Circle, an enclave of galleries, boutiques, outdoor cafes and restaurants. St. Armands sparkles with jewelry shops, including McCarver & Moser (482 John Ringling Blvd.), Armel Jewelers (22 N. Boulevard of Presidents); and Jewelry by Cole (7 Boulevard of Presidents). Other must-visit spots include Dream Weaver with fashions by more than 50 top American fiber artists and designers; (364 St. Armands Circle); Lilly Pulitzer (443A John Ringling Blvd.); and Tervis (319 John Ringling Blvd.).

1 p.m. Lunch at Old Salty Dog

This quintessential Florida seafood shack overlooks New Pass and the intricate web of life where the waters of the Gulf and Sarasota Bay mingle. Perch on the outside deck with a frosty mug and feast your eyes on nature’s grand drama. While you’re at it, enjoy a literal feast of Florida fixins’ like conch fritters, shrimp poppers, steamed clams, raw oysters—and the beloved grouper sandwich. 

3 p.m. Massage at The Met

This full-service spa and fashion emporium is a sweet retreat from the daily grind. Try the bamboo fusion massage for an 80-minute indulgence. Your skin and musculature will be caressed with heated bamboo shoots that relax soreness and promote well-being. 

7 p.m. Nature Walk at Durante Park

Paradise, it turns out, isn’t lost at all. This 32-acre bayside park is an idyllic haven of native flora and fauna—and home to one of the area’s finest butterfly gardens. Day’s end is the perfect, placid time for a meandering stroll on raised boardwalks and easy hiking trails. 5550 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key.

8 p.m. Dinner at Euphemia Haye

Making its home in a charming historic cottage, this restaurant is celebrated for award-winning, chef-driven cuisine. Chef/owner Raymond Arpke always offers up new culinary surprises, or go with house favorites like the roast duckling or pistachio-encrusted snapper. Arpke’s training is classical; his zeal for fresh, seasonal food knows no bounds. The Haye Loft upstairs offers light bites, dazzling desserts, a dynamic bar scene and live jazz. 

10 p.m. Nightcaps at 15 South

For a sizzling salsa beat, head to 15 South Ristorante. The air is electric with Latin, Caribbean and jazz music nearly every night. Sit outside on the balcony overlooking St. Armands Circle, salute the stars with a glass of Calvados, and think back on your amazing day. 

Lodging

Lido Beach Resort: Smack dab on the powdery white sands of the Gulf, Lido Beach Resort offers accommodations, dining and recreational opportunities. 700 Benjamin Franklin Drive, (941) 388-2161, lidobeachresort.com. Rolling Wave Beach Cottages: Eight no-nonsense Gulf-side cottages—laid-back, old-time Florida-style. 6351 Gulf of Mexico Drive, (941) 383-1323, rollingwaves.com.The Resort at Longboat Key: 218 luxurious rooms and suites with breathtaking views of a lagoon, the award-winning golf course or the Gulf of Mexico. Spa, tennis, golf, fine dining—it’s all here. 220 Sands Point Road, (941) 383-8821, longboatkeyclub.com.

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Siesta Key

Siesta Key is a neighborhood, a shopping destination, a nightlife spot—and home to the nation’s No. 1 beach, as judged by the famous “Dr. Beach,” Trip Advisor and more. Walk into this living postcard to swim, collect shells and soak up the sun. Spend some time exploring nearby Siesta Village with its beach-themed boutiques, bars and restaurants or driving around this lush, eight-mile-long barrier island dotted with beautiful homes.

8 a.m. Parasail Over Siesta Key

Get high as a kite, parasailing 600 feet above the island. The view is magnificent, and Parasail Siesta’s captains have a combined 68 years of parasailing experience; all are licensed by the United States Coast Guard. (941) 346-8200, parasailsiesta.com.

9:30 a.m. Breakfast at the Sun Garden Café

After coming down to earth, load up on carbs at this charming café with indoor and outdoor seating. Order the usual omelets and griddlecakes, or boldly go where Elvis has gone before. Yep. “Elvis’s Fried Chicken Plate” will fill you up with buttermilk-fried chicken and two fried eggs on a gravy-laden biscuit. Prefer to eat healthy? Try the avocado on toast with poached eggs and bacon. 

10:30 a.m. Souvenir Shopping at Beach Bazaar

If you’re feeling the itch for Florida kitsch, this is the place to scratch it. Along with rubber sharks, sand dollars and starfish, you’ll find all manner of Siesta Key-themed merch, from T-shirts to shot glasses to key chains. Trendy swimwear too, by Body Glove, Jantzen, Life is Good, and more.

11:30 a.m. Pit Stop at Morton’s Siesta Market

The sun is high, and it’s time to fill your picnic basket at Morton’s, the spot for gourmet groceries, artisanal breads and pastries, wine and beer, and mouth watering meals to go. The hot deli satisfies with pressed Cuban sandwiches, barbecued ribs, pulled pork and rotisserie chicken; the cold deli boasts a wholesome selection of salads, subs, wraps and sandwiches. 

Noon: Hit the beach

Every Siesta beach has a personality all its own. If you want amenities and people-watching, Siesta Key Public Beach has a full-service food and beverage concession, bathrooms, covered picnic pavilions, volleyball courts and lifeguards. If you prefer something quieter, several beach access points along Ocean Avenue have parking, just a few steps from Siesta Village. Turtle Beach, at southernmost Siesta Key, is less crowded and has picnic and bathroom facilities.

3 p.m. Massage at Massage Experience

After all that sun and sweat, it’s time to chill out. An aromatherapy massage will do nicely. Ask massage therapist and owner Connie Lewis for a treatment room with an attached tropical garden. Then lie down, breathe in the essential oils, and let the experience unfold. 5138 Ocean Blvd., Sarasota, (941) 349-4833; massageexperiencesk.com.

5 p.m. Drinks at the Daiquiri Deck

It’s an ancient Siesta Key tradition to imbibe at least one daiquiri at this popular restaurant and raw bar, which offers a spectrum of liquid delights. If your beloved is by your side, we suggest the Voodoo Love Shake. It’s an amorous mix of coconut rum, pineapple juice, coffee liqueur and fresh banana, sweetly topped with amaretto.

8 p.m. Dinner at Ophelia’s On the Bay

Enjoy a four-star menu and a glimpse of paradise on Little Sarasota Bay. With sunset colors painting the sky and sea birds and pleasure boats floating downstream, it’s like dining inside a Renoir. Only way tastier. 

10 p.m. Siesta Key Oyster Bar

Come out of your shell at this laid-back hangout. Knowing by locals as “SKOB,” the joint rocks until midnight (2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays) with live music. And the casual fare hits a high note, too. 

Lodging

Turtle Beach Resort and Inn: Overlooking Little Sarasota Bay, this is a serene nest of Caribbean-style cottages. Each has its own décor theme—Victorian, Key West and Southwest—the perfect backdrop for your own romantic movie. 9049 Midnight Pass Road, Sarasota, (941) 349-4554, turtlebeachresort.comTropical Breeze Inn: Steps from the beach and Siesta Key Village with lush landscaping, pools and an assortment of room, suites and apartments. 140 Columbus Blvd., Siesta Key, (941) 349-1125, tropicalbreezeinn.comThe Cottages at Siesta Key: Old Florida charm 100 yards from the beach, with 13 units ranging from studios to a four-bedroom house. 1105 Point of Rocks Road, Sarasota, (888) 622-6229, cottagesatsiestakey.com.

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Venice

Venice is a wonderful place to live and visit. Actually, it’s many great places. Venice island has a charming, historic downtown shopping and dining district, along with beautiful, uncrowded beaches and parks; and an amazing biking trail. Off the island you’ll find new luxury homes in pretty communities; and acres of wild Florida along a scenic river. There’s so much to see here, it’s hard to know where to start. Especially if all you’ve got is one perfect day. Allow us to make some suggestions.

7 a.m. Shark Tooth Hunting on Venice Beach

Venice is famed as the “Shark Tooth Capital of the World.” Brohard Beach, by the celebrated Venice Fishing Pier, is a capital spot to hunt for these prehistoric chompers. A “Venice Snow Shovel” from Papa’s Bait Shop will help you unearth prizes. Venice Fishing Pier, 1600 Harbor Drive S., Venice

9 a.m. Breakfast at Blu Island Bistro

Chef/owner Alan Laskowski is a favorite with foodies, thanks to his fresh global cuisine. We recommend the Blue Island egg sandwich. Laslowski packs this delicacy with smoked ham and creamy Gruyère cheese, grills it on fresh sourdough bread, and tops it with a basted egg. Yum! 

10:30 a.m. Riverboat Tour of the Myakka River

Logan River Tours will take you on an hour-long riverboat expedition along an unspoiled, seven-mile stretch of beautiful, scenic Myakka River. As tour guides Keith and Diane Logan share their knowledge of Florida plant and wildlife, your covered pontoon boat will cruise through pine flat woods, verdant marshes, shady hammocks and sun-dappled prairies. And you’ll spot alligators, herons, anhinga, turtles, osprey, egrets and an occasional eagle. 5000 E. Venice Ave., Venice. (941) 875-2070. loganrivertours.com.

Noon: Lunch at Snook Haven

Kick back at this riverfront restaurant and dig into its bounty of Old Florida charm, live music and downhome food. We’re talking legendary barbecue, legal libations and some smoking-hot musical talent. Go native with the fried gator bites, catfish, shrimp Po’ Boys and smoked frog legs. Save room for Key lime tart, ya hear? 5000 E. Venice Ave., Venice, (941) 485-7221, snookhaven.com.

2 p.m. Clyde Butcher’s Gallery & Studio

Large-format photographer Clyde Butcher is acclaimed for his exquisite black-and-white images of scenes of astonishing beauty, from the lush Florida Everglades to Cuba’s misty, primeval vistas to the magnificent desolation of the Grand Canyon. If you can’t afford originals, the gallery also offers prints, books and cards. 237 Warfield Ave., Venice, (941) 486-0811, clydebutcher.com.

4 p.m. Stroll Venice’s Historic Downtown

Just a few highlights of this friendly little downtown: Venice Trading Company showcases the creations of indigenous artisans, including apparel, accessories, jewelry and home decor. (211 Miami Ave. W.). At the Venice Olive Oil Company, you’ll discover dipping dishes, pour spouts and sea salt grinders; lotions and skin creams; and, of course, abundant olive oil itself. (101 W. Venice Ave.) Stock up on resort and beachwear at SunBug (141 W. Venice Ave.); and fine skincare lotions and handcrafted jewelry at Cleopatra’s Bath & Body Boutique (241 W. Venice Ave.). You’ll also find plenty of cafés and eateries.

6 p.m. Dinner at Fins at Sharkey’s on the Pier

Just a few shakes of a tailfin from Sharky’s on the Pier, Fins combines an upscale ambiance with an inventive menu of fine cuisine—including exceptional seafood—and award-winning wine list. The outside deck boasts gorgeous views of the Gulf of Mexico and Venice Fishing Pier. 

8 p.m. Venice Theatre

Venice Theatre is one of the nation’s largest and most active community theaters. Its season is packed with comedies, dramas, Broadway musicals, intimate cabarets and edgy, alternative fare. 140 W. Tampa Ave., (941) 488-1115, venicestage.com.

Lodging

Banyan House: 1920s-era historic ambiance offering Old World charm with modern amenities, located five blocks from downtown Venice. Featuring suites with kitchenettes and one-bedroom apartments. 519 S. Harbor Drive, Venice, (941) 484-1385, banyanhouse.comVenice Beach Villas: Apartment-style accommodations located centrally between the beach and downtown shops and restaurants. 501 W. Venice Ave., Venice, (941) 488-1580, venicebeachvillas.comBeachcomber: Resort-style accommodations directly on the Gulf of Mexico. 720 Golden Beach Blvd., Venice, (941) 488-4237, beachcomberinvenice.com.

Источник: https://www.sarasotamagazine.com/home-and-real-estate/2017/11/sarasota-keys

Continuing Education

Duck Key - Planning Your Getaway

Tucked away within the Florida Keys lies Duck Key, Florida – an island community bursting with picturesque ocean views, seafood-filled fine dining, luxury lodging and accommodations and leisure activities the whole family will enjoy. Duck Key, a small island positioned in between Miami and Key West, attracts thousands of visitors each year due to its ideal location, local attractions, and stunning coastline.

Duck Key is conveniently located between two international airports, making the destination perfect for everything from a beach vacation to a relaxing weekend getaway. Duck Key is only a 1 hour and 20 minute drive from Key West International Airport as well as a 2 hour drive from Miami International Airport, allowing for headache-free travel logistics. The island is also accessible via land by driving the Overseas Highway.

Nestled in the heart of Duck Key, Hawks Cay Resort offers visitors an exotic Caribbean experience right within the States. Strategically located along a marina with boat docking, Hawks Cay’s Tropical Villas offer 2, 3 and 4 bedroom one-of-a-kind villas, perfect for those with large groups, family reunions or those looking for extra space to relax, cook in a kitchen or lounge in the privacy of a spacious home. Additional resort accommodations include rooms and suites, all walking distance from the Atlantic Ocean and the many resort amenities, including but not limited to, the Coral Cay Club, the kid’s and teen’s lounge, as well as the Calm Waters Fitness Center, Tennis courts, a putting course, and pools and lagoons.

When it comes to dining, Hawks Cay Resort offers some of the best dining options available. Get your catch of the day cooked up at Angler & Ale or dine at Sixty One Prime, serving up the best in Latin cuisine. Hawks Cay Resort also offers guests the opportunity to join Florida Keys Fishing Charters for those looking for best-in-class fishing as well as Dive Duck Key, a scuba diving experience, for those looking for a deep-sea adventure. Guests can participate in many other watersports, including snorkeling, kayaking, parasailing, and more, with equipment rentals located onsite. Guests can also learn about and then take a swim with dolphins at Dolphin Connection

For those traveling with kids and teenagers, Hawks Cay Resort offers Coral Cay Activities & Adventure, geared specifically for youngsters! Coral Cay Activities & Adventure offers parents staff-supervised activities and programming for children and teens, such as snorkeling adventures, sports and crafts. Teens can also hang out in the Coral Cay Activities & Adventure lounge, complete with video games and more.

Duck Key offers visitors the best in luxury, Caribbean-inspired accommodations, maximizing relaxation, and rejuvenation. Click here for more information on Duck Key and lodging at Hawks Cay Resort to start planning your next adventure.

Upcoming CME Conferences & Online Learning

25 Years of CMEWant to attend a live CME conference in a beautiful locale or complete an online course from the comforts of home? At Continuing Education Company, we provide you with options to make your medical continuing education fun, engaging, and relevant. Check out our conference calendar to view the dates and locations of upcoming conferences as well as the online learning courses and live streaming that are currently available. And, for a limited period of time, take advantage of our Special Offer! Attend one of our LIVE conferences in person and you will receive a FREE online 15 credit CME course from CME365™.

View Conference Calendar

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Источник: https://www.cmemeeting.org/cme-conferences-florida/must-sees-in-duck-key-planning-your-florida-keys-getaway

Island Hopping the Florida Keys

The Florida Keys are a string of tropical islands located in Southern Florida. Stretching approximately 120 miles, the Keys are home to incredible beaches, excellent water sports and stunning sunsets.

The islands, each of which has their own personality, make for a fantastic holiday. Whether you’re looking to relax in the Florida sunshine or whether you want to get active, the best way to experience all that the Keys has to offer, is by island hopping. So whether you’re visiting Orlando, Miami or any other area of Florida, be sure to rent a car and head to the Keys for a couple of nights.

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Getting There

The Florida Keys are located South of Miami and no matter where you are coming from in Florida, whether it be Miami, Orlando or the Gulf Coast, the Florida Keys are easily reached by car.

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Key Largo

Key Largo is the first island you will reach on your journey through the keys and a night or two in the area is a must. In Key Largo, you can explore winding creeks, two state parks, a national park and a national marine sanctuary. The famous ‘Christ of the Deep’ statue which is located under-water, is also in Key Largo.

John Pennecamp Coral Reef State Park, the USA’s first undersea park is also a must visit and while in Key Largo, be sure to also try scuba diving, nature trails and a rehabilitation centre for wild birds.

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Islamorada

As you head South, you will reach Islamorada which is made up of six islands; Plantation Key, Windley Key, Upper Matecumbe Key, Lower Matecumbe Key and the offshore islands of Indian Key and Lignumvitae.

Islamorada is known worldwide as the Sport-Fishing Capital of the World but aside from this exciting side, you can also enjoy music festivals, diving, kayaking and fantastic nature trails in the area. Another popular pastime with the locals is to feed the massive tarpon fish from the dock, so while there be sure to join in the fun and have a go feeding these 150 pound fish! And, if you have some extra time in the area, head out to Indian Key, a remote state park that is only accessible by water.

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Marathon

Heading South from Islamorada, you will reach Marathon which is a 10 mile long island community located in the middle of the Keys. Marathon is also the gateway to the famous Seven Mile Bridge that leads to Key West and the area is known for being a boater’s paradise.

Marathon offers world-class sailing, fishing and diving and its most famous for its incredible world-class wreck and which island in the keys has the best beaches diving and snorkelling opportunities. Throughout the islands of Marathon, you can also relax on one of the many impeccable beaches or why not visit the Turtle Hospital, the world’s only licensed veterinary hospital dedicated to the treatment of sea turtles. The Florida Keys Aquarium which is also located in Marathon makes for a great day out for families. And, for the more adventurous, be sure to head to Pigeon Key to experience the United State’s only living coral barrier reef which lies a few miles off shore.

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Big Pine Key

Heading South, the next area of the keys you will reach is Big Pine Key. Taking a graceful westerly turn towards the sunset, Big Pine Key is home to not one, but two national wildlife refuges, a state park and a national marine sanctuary.

Although a quieter area of the Keys, this gorgeous region makes for a fantastic stop to relax on the beach or to enjoy a nature trail or hike. Bahia Honda State Park is known worldwide for its incredible white sandy beaches and it's also been awarded one of the most beautiful beaches in America. For a fabulous picnic in the sun, be sure to stop at Little Duck Key or if you want to try your hand at snorkelling or diving, be sure to take in the stunning Looe Key Coral Reef.

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Key West

Closer to Cuba than Miami, Key West is the southernmost point of the Florida Keys. This subtropical paradise offers those who visit a unique mix of history, culture, natural beauty and stunning architecture. Visit Ernest Hemingway’s home, get a selfie at the Southernmost Point Buoy, visit Dry Tortugas National Park or take the little ones to the Key West Aquarium.

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Water-sports are also extremely popular in Key West as is diving and fishing. If you love to shop, you will find a unique selection of stores to stroll around and in the evening, be sure to be a part of the sunset celebration which is held each evening at Mallory Square. During the celebrations you can watch tightrope walkers, jugglers and more under the fiery sun as it sets into the Gulf of Mexico.

Key West is a lively area and at night, ramble among the incredible restaurants, open-air bars and the legendary pubs.

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Island hopping the Florida Keys is like island hopping through paradise and each of the islands really offer a unique vibe and experience for those visit. For more information on the Florida Keys and all that they offer, call our travel experts on 01-8173562 or visit our Florida Keys destination page.


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Kathleen

Social Media Rockstar at Tour America

Kathleen is a travel fanatic and is a regular contributor to the Tour America blog. In her spare time you will find her blogging or photographing her way around the world.


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Источник: https://www.touramerica.ie/inspire-me/orlando-fun/island-hopping-the-florida-keys

The Blog

August 18, 2013 Travel & Tourism

One of the best road trips in the United States is down the 115 miles down the Overseas Highway of the Florida Keys. Known as the only option for vacationers looking for a tropical vacation in the United States, the Florida Keys give you all which island in the keys has the best beaches beauty of the tropics without the hassle of international travel. Some may not have the time to take that long of a trip on their vacation, but luckily there are lots of beaches along the way that will meet any traveler’s needs. I’ve found that around the halfway mark is where many travelers like to stop and at least stretch their legs, so this article is dedicated to the best beaches in the middle Florida Keys and Key West. This article includes convenient beaches that are right along the road. It also includes beaches that you can only get to by private charter, ferry or sea plane.

By Road

Anne’s Beach 

This is the first public beach available along the road trip down the Keys. It's also fairly close to the mainland (less than an hour from the Monroe County line) so it can be popular with Miami day-trippers. Do not come here if you are looking for an isolated beach with a mellow crowd. If you are interested in locals having a good time this is a perfect party spot for beach goers. Just as a note it does get a little quieter during the week days for those who are looking for a less crowded experience. 

Anne's Beach
The boardwalk along the lower end of Anne's Beach. Image by UberZombie.

Despite the weekend crowds, the shallow and mellow waters of Anne’s Beach are perfect for families with small children. This way parents don’t need to worry every time little Johnny or Sue runs out in the water – there aren't huge waves or strong currents to drag them away from shore, and it's too shallow for boat traffic. For families looking for a picnic spot on the beach, Anne’s Beach also offers a boardwalk that wind through preserved mangrove thickets that leads to picnic areas with grills. If you want to claim one of the picnic spots you need to get here early, because usually on the weekends by 11:00 am all of these spots are claimed.

Sombrero Beach

Sombrero Beach on Marathon is the loveliest beach in the middle Florida Keys, and many say second only to Bahia Honda in the entire island chain of those accessible by car. There is a long crescent-shaped white sand beach studded with tall, swaying coconut palms. The beach is fenced, making it very safe for families, and there are excellent amenities: clean restrooms, covered pavilions for picnicking, playground equipment; there’s even a kayak launch next to a small dock. The water depth is deeper than average so the swimming is good. 

Palms along Sombrero Beach
Sparkling white sand and palms line Sombrero Beach. Photo by Judy Cinque.

Key Colony Beach Cabana Club

For visitors to Key Colony Beach, the Cabana Clubs beach and amenities offer a great way to enjoy the Atlantic Ocean. There's a heated, sparkling poola lounge and restaurant, showers and a game room. The club even offers a shuttle to make it easy for visitors to get to the club. Many of the vacation homes offered my Key Colony Beach Realty offer membership privileges to rental guests.

Bahia Honda

The beach at Bahia Honda frequently makes the list of top ten beaches in the world. To get into this which island in the keys has the best beaches Florida State park there is a $2.50 per person fee, but every penny is worth it to get into this paradise. The park features camp grounds, water sport rentals, eco-tours, concessions and more. You are obligated to try out one of the frozen key lime pie bars from the concession due to the fact you just read this, because if you skip it you are truly missing out on one of the more delicious experiences to be found in the Keys.  

Bahia Honda
The western end of Bahia Honda. Photo by Joy.

Most importantly, Bahia Honda gives you direct beach access that you can shoot to straight from the entrance. Besides the perfect white sandy beaches, clear waters and idyllic setting there are modern ruins to check out. Explore the recent ancient relic of a railway bridge that once spanned the deep water channel. A  20 foot surge from the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 wiped out large sections of the railway that was the first land connection between Miami and Key West.  You can walk up to the edge where a section of the bridge has been removed to allow tall masted sailboats to enter the harbor.  It is probably one of the most photographed bridges in the tropics, so if you get the feeling this bridge seems familiar you can take a guess as to why. This is a great spot for a sunset photo. 

By Boat and/or Sea Plane

Dry Tortugas

Closer to Which island in the keys has the best beaches than the main land United States, Dry Tortugas Nation Park lies 70 miles of Key West. Just as a warning the boat ride out here is usually rough, and it last 2.5 and 3 hours. Not recommended for those who experience sea sickness, but alternatively you can take a sea plane to get to the Dry Tortugas.

This 100 square mile park is a perfect destination for eco lovers and history buffs. It is home to Fort Jefferson, which is the largest building in the world made from bricks, and it is fascinating to see these bricks walls emerge from the perfectly blue waters. To really experience the Fort we recommend a tour that offers fascinating insight into one of the more interesting forts in the world. Camping is available, but make sure to plan for the variable logistics. The camping spots do get taken up quick, so it is best to reserve a spot if at all possible. If not, try to get there as early as possible.

The snorkeling here is the best in the Florida Keys by many estimations. The waters are crystal clear, and the corals and sea life have been thriving on the walls of the fort since the Civil War era. 

the beach at Fort Jefferson
Imagine snorkeling next to a Civil War fort. Photo by Ryan Schreiber.

Boca Grande

This island is located 14 miles west of Key West. One of the best ways to access it is by charter boat with Captain Tom. Boca Grande Key is great for those who are fascinated by the Key West National Wildlife Refuge, because it largely reserved by this organization. A large part of the beach is closed off for preservation, but the part that is open to anchorage contains some of the most natural beaches available in Florida. 

Deserted beach at Boca Grande
This deserted beach at Boca Grande is reached only by which island in the keys has the best beaches Photo by M.-J. Taylor.

This is a perfect place for birdwatcher, who should make sure to bring their binoculars to capture glimpses of the wide array of species that live on this island. Many of these species are considered endangered or threatened by the US federal government, so this is one of the only places to see many of these birds. 

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White Pelicans at Wilma Key, just off Boca Grande. Photo by M.-J. Taylor

The Mud Keys 

This beautiful group of Islands to the north of Key West offers a small beach at Mud Key (barely visible behind the Mangroves in the photo below. The island was the home site of the Calusa Indians in the 1600s. The beach there is sandy, but another nearby beach bears the white clay-like mud that gave the islands their name. The Native Americans used the mud to repel mosquitoes. Today, people visit the islands to slather their skin in the mud for a natural spa treatment. 

approaching Mud Key by boat
The approach to the beach on Mud Key. Photo by M.-J. Taylor.

 

Источник: https://www.keysproperties.com/blog/best-florida-keys-beaches/

Continuing Education

Duck Key - Planning Your Getaway

Tucked away within the Florida Keys lies Duck Key, Florida – an island community bursting with picturesque ocean views, seafood-filled fine dining, luxury lodging and accommodations and leisure activities the whole family will enjoy. Duck Key, a small island positioned in between Miami and Key West, attracts thousands of visitors each year due to its ideal location, local attractions, and stunning coastline.

Duck Key is conveniently located between two international airports, making the destination perfect for everything from a beach vacation to a relaxing weekend getaway. Duck Key is only a 1 hour and 20 minute drive from Key West International Airport as well as a 2 hour drive from Miami International Airport, allowing for headache-free travel logistics. The island is also accessible via land by driving the Overseas Highway.

Nestled in the heart of Duck Key, Hawks Cay Resort offers visitors an exotic Caribbean experience right within the States. Strategically located along a marina with boat docking, Hawks Cay’s Tropical Villas offer 2, 3 and 4 bedroom one-of-a-kind villas, perfect for those with large groups, family reunions or those looking for extra space to relax, cook in a kitchen or lounge in the privacy of a spacious home. Additional resort accommodations include rooms and suites, all walking distance from the Atlantic Ocean and the many resort amenities, including but not limited to, the Coral Cay Club, the kid’s and teen’s lounge, as well as the Calm Waters Fitness Center, Tennis courts, a putting course, and pools and which island in the keys has the best beaches it comes to dining, Hawks Cay Resort offers some of the best dining options available. Get your catch of the day cooked up at Angler & Ale or dine at Sixty One Prime, serving up the best in Latin cuisine. Hawks Cay Resort also offers guests the opportunity to join Florida Keys Fishing Charters for those looking for best-in-class fishing as well as Dive Duck Key, a scuba diving experience, for those looking for a deep-sea adventure. Guests can participate in many other watersports, including snorkeling, kayaking, parasailing, and more, with equipment rentals located onsite. Guests can also learn about and then take a swim with dolphins at Dolphin Connection

For those traveling with kids and teenagers, Hawks Cay Resort offers Coral Cay Activities & Adventure, geared specifically for youngsters! Coral Cay Activities & Adventure offers parents staff-supervised activities and programming for children and teens, such as snorkeling adventures, sports and crafts. Teens can also hang out in the Coral Cay Activities & Adventure lounge, complete with video games and more.

Duck Key offers visitors the best in luxury, Caribbean-inspired accommodations, maximizing relaxation, and rejuvenation. Click here for more information on Duck Key and lodging at Hawks Cay Resort to start planning your next adventure.

Upcoming CME Conferences & Online Learning

25 Years of CMEWant to attend a live CME conference in a beautiful locale or complete an online course from the comforts of home? At Continuing Education Company, we provide you with options to make your medical continuing education fun, engaging, and relevant. Check out our conference calendar to view the dates and locations of upcoming conferences as well as the online learning courses and live streaming that are currently available. And, for a limited period of time, take advantage of our Special Offer! Attend one of our LIVE conferences in person and you will receive a FREE online 15 credit CME course from CME365&trade.

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Источник: https://www.cmemeeting.org/cme-conferences-florida/must-sees-in-duck-key-planning-your-florida-keys-getaway
St. Armands Longboat

Dig your toes into silky white sand. Soak in the Gulf’s clear blue-green waters. Kayak through mangrove-shaded bayous and lagoons. Celebrate the setting sun while dolphins frolic and water birds dive for fish. Far from the madding crowd, embrace the sensual pleasures of Florida living. Lido Key, St. Armands Key and Longboat Key draw people from around the world seeking sophisticated pleasures in a setting of natural bliss.

7 a.m. Sunrise stroll on Lido Beach

Parents and kids flock to Lido Public Beach for its family-friendly amenities, including an Olympic-sized pool, concession stand, covered picnic area, playground, and showers and dressing rooms. But you’re there for the sunrise—and the tranquility that comes with an almost empty beach. Early morning is the best time for close encounters with nature. Admire the water ballet of dolphins and manatees and water birds spearfishing for their breakfast.

9 a.m. Breakfast at Harry’s Continental Kitchens

There’s nothing like a brisk beach walk to work up an appetite. Breakfast at Harry’s is a LBK tradition. Start with a Bacon Bloody Mary and then dig into the Low Country shrimp and grits or eggs Benedict. 

10:30 a.m. Strolling St. Armands Circle

Burn off those cheese grits with a stroll around the Circle, an enclave of galleries, boutiques, outdoor cafes and restaurants. St. Armands sparkles with jewelry shops, including McCarver & Moser (482 John Ringling Blvd.), Armel Jewelers (22 N. Boulevard of Presidents); and Jewelry by Cole (7 Boulevard of Presidents). Other must-visit spots include Dream Weaver first financial bank locations fashions by more than 50 top Which island in the keys has the best beaches fiber artists and designers; (364 St. Armands Circle); Lilly Pulitzer (443A John Ringling Blvd.); and Tervis (319 John Ringling Blvd.).

1 p.m. Lunch at Old Salty Dog

This quintessential Florida seafood shack overlooks New Pass and the intricate web of life where the waters of the Gulf and Sarasota Bay mingle. Perch on the outside deck with a frosty mug and feast your eyes on nature’s grand drama. While you’re at it, enjoy a literal feast of Florida fixins’ like conch fritters, shrimp poppers, steamed clams, raw oysters—and the beloved grouper sandwich. 

3 p.m. Massage at The Met

This full-service spa and fashion emporium is a sweet retreat from the daily grind. Try the bamboo fusion massage for an 80-minute indulgence. Your skin and musculature will be caressed with heated bamboo shoots that relax soreness and promote well-being. 

7 p.m. Nature Walk at Durante Park

Paradise, it turns out, isn’t lost at all. This 32-acre bayside park is an idyllic haven of native flora and fauna—and home to one of the area’s finest butterfly gardens. Day’s end is the perfect, placid time for a meandering stroll on raised boardwalks and easy hiking trails. 5550 Gulf of Mexico Drive, Longboat Key.

8 p.m. Dinner at Euphemia Haye

Making its home in a charming historic cottage, this restaurant is celebrated for award-winning, chef-driven cuisine. Chef/owner Raymond Arpke always offers up new culinary surprises, or go with house favorites like the roast duckling or pistachio-encrusted snapper. Arpke’s training is classical; his zeal for fresh, seasonal food knows no bounds. The Haye Loft upstairs offers light bites, dazzling desserts, a dynamic bar scene and live jazz. 

10 p.m. Nightcaps at 15 South

For a sizzling salsa beat, head to 15 South Ristorante. The air is electric with Latin, Caribbean and jazz music nearly every night. Sit outside on the balcony overlooking St. Armands Circle, salute the stars with a glass of Calvados, and think back on your amazing day. 

Lodging

Lido Beach Resort: Smack dab on the powdery white sands of the Gulf, Lido Beach Resort offers accommodations, dining and recreational opportunities. 700 Benjamin Franklin Drive, (941) 388-2161, lidobeachresort.com. Rolling Wave Beach Cottages: Eight no-nonsense Gulf-side cottages—laid-back, old-time Florida-style. 6351 Gulf of Mexico Drive, (941) 383-1323, rollingwaves.com.The Resort at Longboat Key: 218 luxurious rooms and suites with breathtaking views of a lagoon, the award-winning golf course or the Gulf of Mexico. Spa, tennis, golf, fine dining—it’s all here. 220 Sands Point Road, (941) 383-8821, longboatkeyclub.com.

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Siesta Key

Siesta Key is a neighborhood, a shopping destination, a nightlife spot—and home to the nation’s No. 1 beach, as judged by the famous “Dr. Beach,” Trip Advisor and more. Walk into this living postcard to swim, collect shells and soak up the sun. Spend some time exploring nearby Siesta Village with its beach-themed boutiques, bars and restaurants or driving around this lush, eight-mile-long barrier island dotted with beautiful homes.

8 a.m. Parasail Over Siesta Key

Get high as a kite, parasailing 600 feet above the island. The view is magnificent, and Parasail Siesta’s captains have a combined 68 years of parasailing experience; all are licensed by the United States Coast Guard. (941) 346-8200, parasailsiesta.com.

9:30 a.m. Breakfast at the Sun Garden Café

After coming down to earth, load up on carbs at this charming café with indoor and outdoor seating. Order the usual omelets and griddlecakes, or boldly go where Elvis has gone before. Yep. “Elvis’s Fried Chicken Plate” will fill you up with buttermilk-fried chicken and two fried eggs on a gravy-laden biscuit. Prefer to eat healthy? Try the avocado on toast with poached eggs and bacon. 

10:30 a.m. Souvenir Shopping at Beach Bazaar

If you’re feeling the itch for Florida kitsch, this is the place to scratch it. Along with rubber sharks, sand dollars and starfish, you’ll find all manner of Siesta Key-themed merch, from T-shirts to shot glasses to key chains. Trendy swimwear too, by Body Glove, Jantzen, Which island in the keys has the best beaches is Good, and more.

11:30 a.m. Pit Stop at Morton’s Siesta Market

The sun is high, and it’s time to fill your picnic basket at Morton’s, the spot for gourmet groceries, artisanal breads and pastries, wine and beer, and mouth watering meals to go. The hot deli satisfies with pressed Cuban sandwiches, barbecued ribs, pulled pork and rotisserie chicken; the cold deli boasts a wholesome selection of salads, subs, wraps and sandwiches. 

Noon: Hit the beach

Every Siesta beach has a personality all its own. If you want amenities and people-watching, Siesta Key Public Beach has a full-service food and beverage concession, bathrooms, covered picnic pavilions, volleyball courts and lifeguards. If you prefer something quieter, several beach access points along Ocean Avenue have parking, just a few steps from Siesta Village. Turtle Beach, at southernmost Siesta Key, is less crowded and has picnic and bathroom facilities.

3 p.m. Massage at Massage Experience

After all that sun and sweat, it’s time to chill out. An aromatherapy massage will do nicely. Ask massage therapist and owner Connie Lewis for a treatment room with an attached tropical garden. Then lie down, breathe in the essential oils, and let the experience unfold. 5138 Ocean Blvd., Sarasota, (941) 349-4833; massageexperiencesk.com.

5 p.m. Drinks at the Daiquiri Deck

It’s an ancient Siesta Key tradition to imbibe at least one daiquiri at this popular restaurant and raw bar, which offers a spectrum of liquid delights. If your beloved is by your side, we suggest the Voodoo Love Shake. It’s an amorous mix of coconut rum, pineapple juice, coffee liqueur and fresh banana, sweetly topped with amaretto.

8 p.m. Dinner at Ophelia’s On the Bay

Enjoy a four-star menu and a glimpse of paradise on Little Sarasota Bay. With sunset colors painting the sky and sea birds and pleasure boats floating downstream, it’s like dining inside a Renoir. Only way tastier. 

10 p.m. Siesta Key Oyster Bar

Come out of your shell at this laid-back hangout. Knowing by locals as “SKOB,” the joint rocks until midnight (2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays) with live music. And the casual fare hits a high note, too. 

Lodging

Turtle Beach Resort and Inn: Overlooking Little Sarasota Bay, this is a serene nest of Caribbean-style cottages. Each has its own décor theme—Victorian, Key West and Southwest—the perfect backdrop for your own romantic movie. 9049 Midnight Pass Road, Sarasota, (941) 349-4554, turtlebeachresort.comTropical Breeze Inn: Steps from the beach and Siesta Key Village with lush landscaping, pools and an assortment of room, suites and apartments. 140 Columbus Blvd., Siesta Key, (941) 349-1125, tropicalbreezeinn.comThe Cottages at Siesta Key: Old Florida charm 100 yards from the beach, with 13 units ranging from studios to a four-bedroom house. 1105 Point of Rocks Road, Sarasota, (888) 622-6229, cottagesatsiestakey.com.

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Venice

Venice is a wonderful place to live and visit. Actually, it’s many great places. Venice island has a charming, historic downtown horizon bank franklin indiana and dining district, along with beautiful, uncrowded beaches and parks; and an amazing biking trail. Off the island you’ll find new luxury homes in pretty communities; and acres of wild Florida along a scenic river. There’s so much to see here, it’s hard to know where to start. Especially if all you’ve got is one perfect day. Allow us to make some suggestions.

7 a.m. Shark Tooth Hunting on Venice Beach

Venice is famed as the “Shark Tooth Capital of the World.” Brohard Beach, by the celebrated Venice Fishing Pier, is a capital spot to hunt for these prehistoric chompers. A “Venice Snow Shovel” from Papa’s Bait Shop will help you unearth prizes. Venice Fishing Pier, 1600 Harbor Drive S., Venice

9 a.m. Breakfast at Blu Island Bistro

Chef/owner Alan Laskowski is a favorite with foodies, thanks to his fresh global cuisine. We recommend the Blue Island egg sandwich. Laslowski packs this delicacy with smoked ham and creamy Gruyère cheese, grills it on fresh sourdough bread, and tops it with a basted egg. Yum! 

10:30 a.m. Riverboat Tour of the Myakka River

Logan River Tours will take you on an hour-long riverboat expedition along an unspoiled, seven-mile stretch of beautiful, scenic Myakka River. As tour guides Keith and Diane Logan share their knowledge of Florida plant and wildlife, your covered pontoon boat will cruise through pine flat woods, verdant marshes, shady hammocks and sun-dappled prairies. And you’ll spot alligators, herons, anhinga, turtles, osprey, egrets and an occasional eagle. 5000 E. Venice Ave., Venice. (941) 875-2070. loganrivertours.com.

Noon: Lunch at Snook Haven

Kick back at this riverfront restaurant and dig into its bounty of Old Florida charm, live music and downhome food. We’re talking legendary barbecue, legal libations and some smoking-hot musical talent. Go native with the fried gator bites, catfish, shrimp Po’ Boys and smoked frog legs. Save room for Key lime tart, ya hear? 5000 E. Venice Ave., Venice, (941) 485-7221, snookhaven.com.

2 p.m. Clyde Butcher’s Gallery & Studio

Large-format photographer Clyde Butcher is acclaimed for his exquisite black-and-white images of scenes of astonishing beauty, from the lush Florida Everglades to Cuba’s misty, primeval vistas to the magnificent desolation of the Grand Canyon. If you can’t afford originals, the gallery also offers prints, books and cards. 237 Warfield Ave., Venice, (941) 486-0811, clydebutcher.com.

4 p.m. Stroll Venice’s Historic Downtown

Just a few highlights of this friendly little downtown: Venice Trading Company showcases the creations of indigenous artisans, including apparel, accessories, jewelry and home decor. (211 Miami Ave. W.). At the Venice Olive Oil Company, you’ll discover dipping dishes, pour spouts and sea salt grinders; lotions and skin creams; and, of course, abundant olive oil itself. (101 W. Venice Ave.) Stock up on resort and beachwear at SunBug (141 W. Venice Ave.); and fine skincare lotions and handcrafted jewelry at Cleopatra’s Bath & Body Boutique (241 W. Venice Ave.). You’ll also find plenty of cafés and eateries.

6 p.m. Dinner at Fins at Sharkey’s on the Pier

Just a few shakes of a tailfin from Sharky’s on the Pier, Fins combines an upscale ambiance with an inventive menu of fine cuisine—including exceptional seafood—and award-winning wine list. The outside deck boasts gorgeous views of the Gulf of Mexico and Venice Fishing Pier. 

8 p.m. Venice Theatre

Venice Theatre is one of the nation’s largest and most active community theaters. Its season is packed with comedies, dramas, Broadway musicals, intimate cabarets and edgy, alternative fare. 140 W. Tampa Ave., (941) 488-1115, venicestage.com.

Lodging

Banyan House: 1920s-era historic ambiance offering Old World charm with modern amenities, located five blocks from downtown Venice. Featuring suites with kitchenettes and one-bedroom apartments. 519 S. Harbor Drive, Venice, (941) 484-1385, banyanhouse.comVenice Beach Villas: Apartment-style accommodations located centrally between the beach and downtown shops and restaurants. 501 W. Venice Ave., Venice, (941) 488-1580, venicebeachvillas.comBeachcomber: Resort-style accommodations directly on the Gulf of Mexico. 720 Golden Beach Blvd., Venice, (941) 488-4237, beachcomberinvenice.com.

Источник: https://www.sarasotamagazine.com/home-and-real-estate/2017/11/sarasota-keys

Explore the Florida Keys: where to stay, what to eat & the top things to do

Closer to Cuba than Orlando, the laid-back Florida Keys are a world away from mainland USA. Dress code is casual, cocktails are potent and everyone slows down to island time. It used to be that the only way to navigate the 1,700 tiny islands that string out from the southernmost point of the USA was by boat (“key” is an English corruption of the word “cayo”, which means island). Today, the scenic Overseas Highway cuts all the way from Miami to historic Key West, navigating 42 bridges along the way.

Where to go in the Florida Keys

Like a lot of the USA beyond the big cities, in the Keys, communities are spread out along the highway. Here though, the road is hugged by the sea on both sides, palm trees and vibrant bougainvillea line the sidewalk, and retro signs for diners and motels jostle for space with those for Cuban coffee and shrimp shacks. We’ve listed the major destinations, but the Florida Keys tourism site is a great resource for more information.

Key Largo

The northern gateway to the Keys is the perfect place to spend a couple of nights if you fly in via Miami Airport. With two state parks and a marine sanctuary, you can hike nature trails through the subtropical wilderness and dive or snorkel some amazing coral reefs. For culture buffs, The African Queen, from the 1951 movie of the same name starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, cruises the canals from the Marina Del Mar.

Mangrove, Key Largo
A mangrove in Key Largo by Jo Crebbin/Shutterstock

Islamorada

Made up of a group of six separate islands, Islamorada chase bank replace debit card self-styled as the sport fishing capital of the world. Charter boats ply the Atlantic Ocean and the “backcountry” waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The world-class marinas tend to be at the centre of life here, and you can head to Robbie’s Marina to book a boat or hand-feed massive tarpon. Islamorada is also known for its stylish resorts including Cheeca Lodge & Spa.

Key West

The atmospheric old town in Key West is at the end of the road, the southernmost tip of the Keys. Key West grew rich from cigar-making (brought here by the Cubans) and from the wrecking business, a lucrative industry when ships laden with goods from the New World would wreck on the coral reef and be plundered. Today, the city’s white-washed mansions and which island in the keys has the best beaches cottages have been restored to their former glory, but Key West retains a “come as you are” feel.

A “One Human Family” motto has been adopted by the city’s sizeable LGBTQ+ community and expensive seafood restaurants happily coexist with dive bars. This is, after all, the place that Ernest Hemingway called home. Charming and atmospheric, Key West is overrun with tourists but the locals don’t seem to mind.

Key West, Florida Keys, USAKey West by f11photo/Shutterstock

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The best Florida Keys hotels

In Key Largo, stay at the waterfront Key Largo Bay Marriott Beach Resort overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. The best rooms have balconies with pool and beach views, plus there’s a well-equipped dive shop and marina.

Further south in Islamorada, Cheeca Lodge and Spa is a relaxed and luxurious resort. It’s got a reputation for being where the celebs hang out (a fair few Presidents have stayed here too) and service is spot on. After Hurricane Irma slammed through in 2017, the wooden fishing pier had to be rebuilt and it was a chance to completely revamp the hotel.

Nestled midway down the Keys is Hawks Cay Resort in Duck Key. The sprawling 60-acre complex reopened in August 2018 after renovations to fix damages caused by Hurricane Irma the year before. The atmosphere here is family-friendly with the option of staying in the chilled-out, luxe main hotel or self-catering villas. But there are plenty of places for grown-ups to retreat to – hang out in the spa, by the adults-only pool or book dinner for two at one of the resort’s excellent restaurants.

Hawks Cay ResortHawks Cay Resort

A relatively new addition to Key West, Oceans Edge Key West Hotel and Marina is on fast-developing Stock Island, four miles east of the old town. There’s a complimentary hourly shuttle, but with six ocean-front pools and an open-air waterside restaurant and bar, you probably won't want to leave. The charming Key West architecture is the inspiration for the buildings here, and suites and rooms are vast.

Marriott Key WestMarriott Key West

Fresh, zingy and sweet, key lime pie is a must. Everyday. Debate rages as to whether it should be topped by meringue or whipped cream, so be sure to try it with both. 

The Keys offer a bewildering array of seafood and depending on the season, you’ll find mahi-mahi (also called dolphin by some locals – don't worry, it's not the mammal), hog snapper, yellowtail, tarpon and grouper on the menu. Every shack and restaurant offers conch (pronounced konk) and although the sea snail is imported from the Bahamas these days, it’s hugely popular (most commonly served as fritters). Other delicious shellfish includes jumbo stone crab claws, pink shrimp, lobster, mussels and scallops.

During Prohibition, bars down here stayed open for business with booze imported from Cuba and the Keys still have a reputation for hard drinking. Beer lovers and rum drinkers are very well catered for, with award-winning breweries and small batch distilleries to visit.

Key Lime Pie

The ultimate five-day Florida Keys itinerary

Day 1

Check-in to:Key Largo Bay Marriott Beach Resort. Opt for a sea-view room with a balcony for the best sunsets. 

Go snorkelling at: John Pennekamp Coral Reef Resort. Cruise out through the mangrove swamps to an underwater coral reef with nothing beyond it until the Bahamas.

Lunch at:Mrs Mac’s Kitchen I or Mrs Mac’s Kitchen II. These two quirky diners – the original dates to 1976 – are packed with character and satisfied regulars. The key lime pie is to die for.

Take it easy: at the pool back which island in the keys has the best beaches the resort, or on its small artificial beach.

Key Largo

Dine at:Sundowners. Sunsets and fresh seafood since 1985. This is the kind of place where you can kick back and watch a game on the screens in the bar, or head outside to the decking to watch the sun go down and chat with friends which island in the keys has the best beaches the small hours. Order the chargrilled mahi-mahi with a smothering of caper sauce and a side of irresistibly garlicky green beans. Dedicated carnivores will love the BBQ baby back ribs – people come from miles around for them.

Top tip: leave space for something sweet. The mammoth key lime pie is a must-try.

Day 2

Take a drive along: the Overseas Highway to cross the epic seven-mile bridge. At mile marker 37, stop at Bahia Honda State Park to paddle in the sea and walk up to the original railroad bridge. The beach is the perfect place for a picnic breakfast or lunch.

Check-in to:Oceans Edge Resort and Marina.

Bike tour in: Key West. To get your bearings, take a bike tour around the historic district with Key Lime Bike Tours. Alternatively, for a more laid-back way to explore the city, jump on a Conch Tour Train. The open-air 'train' on wheels makes its way through the main old town thoroughfares and pretty residential streets, while a guide tells the story of Key West's history and points out notable buildings. There are a couple of hop-on, hop-off stops along the way if you want to break up the 75-minute ride.

Watch the sunset: at Mallory Square. Sunsets are a must-see in this area, and Key West has created a nightly sunset celebration in Mallory Square (they take it so seriously that the vast cruise ships moored here must leave before sunset or they will be fined $15,000 for spoiling the view).

Mallory Square sunset party, FloridaSunset on Mallory Square by Benny Marty/Shutterstock

Dine at: Turtle Kraals. This chilled-out local spot is a great place to kick back and fill up. The ceviche menu of different fresh raw fish cured in citrus juices is incredible. The Peruvian Classico is a winner: yellowtail snapper, sweet potato and key lime leche de tigre. Or, try a ceviche flight to sample several styles.  

Day 3

Take a stroll: around Historic Key West. This area of ally financial dealer services phone number is wonderful to explore on foot and the house and shady grounds at the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum are unmissable (look out for the six-toed cats that are descended from a white polydactyl cat owned by Hemingway).

Lunch at:Cuban Coffee Queen. The line out of the door at this Key West institution says it all. Grab a sandwich, coffee or smoothie to go.

Spend the afternoon on a boat: and explore a different side to Key West. On an Island Adventure Eco Tour with Fury Water Adventures, you'll be whisked out to sea to snorkel and kayak in crystal waters, around remote sandbars and close to protected mangroves. After you've worked up an appetite, the crew lay on a feast of fried chicken, sandwiches and cookies. Catch the sunset trip to end the day watching Key West bathed in orange with a glass of champagne in hand.

Get your thrills: with night kayaking. A few places offer night kayaking, but at Ibis Bay Beach Resort you can do it in a glass-bottomed boat, with LED lights to illuminate the ocean floor. You’re likely to see lobsters, jellyfish, sea cucumbers and tropical fish. If you get lucky you might spot a turtle or manta ray.

Night kayaking in Florida

Dine at: The Stoned Crab. Working with local sea captains, The Stoned Crab is all about responsible and delicious seafood. Eco-cocktails round things off nicely.

Day 4

Fly to: the Dry Tortugas. This is a highlight of any trip to the Keys, and taking a seaplane for a day trip to the remote islands is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Everyone gets a window seat for a bird's-eye view of turtles, sharks and shipwrecks below, and the island itself boasts white-sand beaches, sensational snorkelling and the majestic Fort Jefferson. Pack a picnic.

Day 5

Take in: Key West's sights. Stop in at the Butterfly and Nature Conservatory or the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum.

Lunch at:Keys Fisheries. Once you’ve checked out, drive to Marathon for lunch. Keys Fisheries might be casual (order from the hatch) but it serves the best lobster reuben for miles around.

Check-in to: Hawks Cay Resort. Stay here for a night (or three) of relaxation. The most you’ll want to do is a few laps of the pool or book a treatment at the spa.

Explore: Islamorada. If you can tear yourself away from a sunbed, drive which island in the keys has the best beaches Islamorada, a 30-minute car journey away. Chef Michael’s, a sophisticated seafood restaurant with an ever-changing menu and knowledgeable waiting staff, is a special spot for a Friday night meal. Make time to browse Morada Way, the nearby arts and cultural district.

Navigate the Florida Keys with our handy map:

Источник: https://www.loveexploring.com/guides/73827/explore-the-florida-keys-where-to-stay-what-to-eat-the-top-things-to-do
which island in the keys has the best beaches

: Which island in the keys has the best beaches

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17 Best Beaches in The Florida Keys