Florida Keys (The Lower 48)

For Mr & Mrs W – a few years ago now we decided to do a twin centre holiday in Florida – we had a week in Orlando and then a week in the Keys to chillax!  We stayed in Key Largo and used it as a base to explore the Keys.

The keys are a loose archipelago of islands that go all the way down to the Caribbean.  The thing that really struck me was that the Floridians in the Keys were even more laid back than the rest of the state – it felt like we were in the Caribbean – they were positively horizontal.  Water sports are really the theme of the keys from diving, snorkelling, canoeing, boating to fishing. 

We stayed close to the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park – the first underwater park in the USA.  I would recommend the 2.5 hour glass bottomed boat tour which really gives you a chance to see what is beneath the water – we saw barracuda and sea turtles a plenty.   The other key activity for us in Key Largo itself was the swimming with Dolphins at the Dolphin Plus Centre (already featured in its own blog).

On one of our days out we went to Islamorada (more fishing for Mr K) where I really enjoyed feeding the giant Tarpon at Robbies Marina (www.Robbies.com).

Marathon is the starting point of the Seven Mile Bridge which connects the gap between the islands.  Hubby and I loved our drive across the bridge – a great place to watch the sunset and with viewings of numerous osprey and pelicans.  

We took a short detour at Big Pine to call at the National Key Deer Refuge.  Key Deer are like mini Bambis – so cute with little white tails.

Finally arriving at Key West.  Key West is one of the strangest cities we have ever visited.  It doesn’t feel like a City – it feels like a big holiday resort and we did all the tourist things – we ate Conch, we had our pictures taken by the Cuba landmark, we saw Hemingway’s House and the cats, we saw many Hemingway look a likes, we went to the Aquarium and we ate at one of the cutest Hard Rock Cafes I have ever seen.  We finished our day at Key West at Mallory Square – where they hold a torchlit sunset street party.

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