The first Key you’ll get to is Key Largo. Some of the best diving in the Keys is found at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, the beginning of the only living coral reef in the US. Diving, snorkeling and glass-bottom boats give spectacular views of undersea life. It includes the Christ of the Abyss statue, a bronze Christ with his arms upraised to the sun. At only 25 feet below the surface, it can easily be enjoyed by snorkelers as well as divers.
The next Key is Islamorada. Islamorada is known as the Sport Fishing Capital of the World. A variety of game fish such as marlin, tuna and dolphin abound in the crystal blue waters. Take any one of the many charter boats to be found every couple of feet and be off for a day of fishing. If you’re not a fisherman, see a show or swim with dolphins, stingrays and sea lions at Theater of the Sea.
Marathon, known as the Heart of the Keys, is a small town in the middle of otherwise tourist-y islands. If you’re driving through, be sure to stop at the Kmart or Home Depot for anything you forgot; you won’t get another chance while you’re in the Keys! The seven-mile bridge, which has been the site of several movies including True Lies, is a gorgeous ride over the water. On one side is the Atlantic Ocean, which overlooks the waters that surround Bahia Honda State Park; on the other, the Bay. When the sky is clear and blue, it’s an awesome array of colors between the sky and the turquoise of the waters below.
Key West, the southernmost Key, is unlike the rest of the Keys. The marker at the southernmost point in the US is 90 miles from Cuba, and on a clear day you can make out the shape of Cuba on the horizon. Hemmingway found Key West an inspirational place to work, and it has continued to draw artists and authors from around the world. The nightlife can be a bit wild, but it’s all part of the charm. Don’t miss the sunset at Mallory Square; the nightly Sunset Celebration is inspiring.
The Keys are right around the corner, but a world away. It’s perfect for a weekend getaway to relax, unwind and return energized.
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