5 Experiences to Cross Off Your Bucket List in the Florida Keys

 

 

Whether you’re 25 with a bucket list a mile long or in your golden years with just a few unchecked boxes, a trip to the Florida Keys might be just what you need. Here are five examples of once-in-a-lifetime experiences you can cross off your bucket list during a trip to the Keys.

Coral Reef Scuba Diving

Image via Flickr by tiswango

The Florida Reef is the only living coral barrier reef found in the continental United States, and it happens to lie in the Florida Keys. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary are both located off Key Largo, the northernmost and longest island in the Keys. Visitors can snorkel, scuba dive, or take a glass-bottom tour of the area.

Swimming With the Dolphins

If swimming with the dolphins is on your bucket list, make a reservation at Theater of the Sea in Islamorada. This highly-rated facility offers 30-minute dolphin encounters where you can experience dorsal tows, hugs, kisses, and foot pushes while snorkeling and swimming in the lagoon with dolphins. The $199 you pay for the dolphin swim includes admission to the park, so be sure to take in the dolphin, sea lion, and parrot shows while you’re there, as well as the guided marine life tour, bottomless boat ride, nature tour, and lagoon-side beach.

With its wealth of activities, attractions, and accommodations, Islamorada makes a great base for your Florida Keys adventures. Search HotelPlanner for Islamorada hotels that fit all your criteria, whether you want to save money with a budget-friendly option or spoil yourself at a luxurious resort.

Visiting the Hemingway House

Fans of Ernest Hemingway may know that he had a house in Key West, the southernmost part of the Keys. As you tour the home and gardens, you may even spot some of the free-roaming felines descended from Hemingway’s famous polydactyl (six-toed) cat, Snow White.

While you’re in Key West, be sure to stop by the concrete buoy — painted with red, white, yellow, and black stripes — that marks the southernmost point of the continental U.S. 

Offshore, Reef, Wreck, or Tarpon Fishing

Islamorada and Marathon are two premier destinations for sport fishing, including offshore, reef, wreck, and deep sea fishing. Whichever location you choose, you can board a charter boat out for some extraordinary fishing opportunities. Try your hand at catching swordfish, snapper, king mackerel, tarpon, sharks, dolphin fish, tuna, bonefish, sailfish, wahoo, and other saltwater species. 

Spotting a Sea Turtle in the Wild

Spotting a sea turtle in the wild isn’t something that can be guaranteed, but it’s definitely possible in the Florida Keys. Five species of sea turtles can be found off the southern Florida coast: loggerhead, green turtle, leatherback, hawksbill, and Kemp’s ridley. Sea turtles are often sighted around Dry Tortugas National Park, and you may even encounter one during a snorkeling, scuba diving, or glass-bottom boat tour. Keep in mind that it is illegal to disturb sea turtles and their nests, since they are endangered species.

Bucket lists are as diverse as the individuals who write them, but the Florida Keys rise to the challenge with an equally wide variety of things to do, see, and experience. These are only a few examples of bucket-list-worthy activities and attractions the area has to offer.

 

5 Experiences to Cross Off Your Bucket List in the Florida Keys

 

Whether you’re 25 with a bucket list a mile long or in your golden years with just a few unchecked boxes, a trip to the Florida Keys might be just what you need. Here are five examples of once-in-a-lifetime experiences you can cross off your bucket list during a trip to the Keys.

Coral Reef Scuba Diving

Image via Flickr by tiswango

The Florida Reef is the only living coral barrier reef found in the continental United States, and it happens to lie in the Florida Keys. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary are both located off Key Largo, the northernmost and longest island in the Keys. Visitors can snorkel, scuba dive, or take a glass-bottom tour of the area.

Swimming With the Dolphins

If swimming with the dolphins is on your bucket list, make a reservation at Theater of the Sea in Islamorada. This highly-rated facility offers 30-minute dolphin encounters where you can experience dorsal tows, hugs, kisses, and foot pushes while snorkeling and swimming in the lagoon with dolphins. The $199 you pay for the dolphin swim includes admission to the park, so be sure to take in the dolphin, sea lion, and parrot shows while you’re there, as well as the guided marine life tour, bottomless boat ride, nature tour, and lagoon-side beach.

With its wealth of activities, attractions, and accommodations, Islamorada makes a great base for your Florida Keys adventures. Search HotelPlanner for Islamorada hotels that fit all your criteria, whether you want to save money with a budget-friendly option or spoil yourself at a luxurious resort.

Visiting the Hemingway House

Fans of Ernest Hemingway may know that he had a house in Key West, the southernmost part of the Keys. As you tour the home and gardens, you may even spot some of the free-roaming felines descended from Hemingway’s famous polydactyl (six-toed) cat, Snow White.

While you’re in Key West, be sure to stop by the concrete buoy — painted with red, white, yellow, and black stripes — that marks the southernmost point of the continental U.S. 

Offshore, Reef, Wreck, or Tarpon Fishing

Islamorada and Marathon are two premier destinations for sport fishing, including offshore, reef, wreck, and deep sea fishing. Whichever location you choose, you can board a charter boat out for some extraordinary fishing opportunities. Try your hand at catching swordfish, snapper, king mackerel, tarpon, sharks, dolphin fish, tuna, bonefish, sailfish, wahoo, and other saltwater species. 

Spotting a Sea Turtle in the Wild

Spotting a sea turtle in the wild isn’t something that can be guaranteed, but it’s definitely possible in the Florida Keys. Five species of sea turtles can be found off the southern Florida coast: loggerhead, green turtle, leatherback, hawksbill, and Kemp’s ridley. Sea turtles are often sighted around Dry Tortugas National Park, and you may even encounter one during a snorkeling, scuba diving, or glass-bottom boat tour. Keep in mind that it is illegal to disturb sea turtles and their nests, since they are endangered species.

Bucket lists are as diverse as the individuals who write them, but the Florida Keys rise to the challenge with an equally wide variety of things to do, see, and experience. These are only a few examples of bucket-list-worthy activities and attractions the area has to offer.

 

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