The Florida Keys is an archipelago off the southern tip of Florida in the USA. Hundreds of islands make up the Keys and are connected by a series of bridges. The Keys are famed for their Caribbean-style turquoise waters in which snorkelling, SCUBA diving, sailing and a variety of other water sports can be enjoyed. A laid-back approach to life on the islands adds to their idyllic appeal and many of them are completely uninhabited. Key West, surely the most famous, is at the very end and has a fun, quirky feel along with plenty of sights to explore.
Peak season is late December to April as the weather is at its best for all the water-based activities. Summer is also a popular time as European families head to the Keys during school holidays. November to early December is a good time to visit for quieter hotels and cheaper flights to the Florida Keys.
Key West International Airport (EYW) is the closest to the Keys, although there are no direct flights from the UK. A layover at another US city airport is necessary. Flight time is from 12 hours upwards. Miami International Airport is also a popular option for those wishing to reach the Florida Keys due to more regular flights from a wider number of destinations. Hiring a car and driving the 110 miles to the Keys along the Overseas Highway makes for an enjoyable road trip. There are several other airports in Florida, so browse with dealchecker to find the cheapest option for you.
Bahia Honda State Park is home to what is considered the best beach in the Keys, a luxurious stretch of white sand hemming crystal-clear water. The park also has nature trails and organised snorkelling trips making it a great family destination. Hemingway House on Key West is a Spanish colonial marvel where you can learn more about the author's life in the Florida Keys. Take a guided tour to find out more about his life and works as well as his many romances. Nancy Forrester's Secret Garden sums up the quirky loveliness of the Keys. Parrots, orchids, palms and water features create a tranquil escape from the vibrancy of Key West once you're done people watching.