On November 19, 2012Stephanie Goldberg Glazer answered the question:The upper and middle Keys (Key Largo through Marathon) are known for many things, but nightlife is not one of them. The most nightlife you’ll find is in Key West, which has scores of great bars. Since you won’t have any trouble stumbling over those, we’re focusing on some more unique nightlife opportunities.
Beautiful sunsets call for happy hour on a boat. Sunset sails are extremely popular and several companies offer them. We like Danger Charters in Key West. It offers a wind and wine cruise with a small group so it is never crowded and always fun. However, there are many other operators of sunset sails up the Keys, so consider taking one wherever you are. It’s a beautiful and relaxing way to spend the early evening.
There is also a lot of great live music in the Keys. Two great venues include the Smokin’ Tuna Saloon and Hog’s Breath Saloon, both of which are in Key West. The list of performers changes weekly.
For such a small community, Key West boasts three local theaters. Top-notch musicals, concerts and plays come to the Red Barn Theater, the Waterfront Playhouse and the Tennessee Williams Theater at Florida Keys Community College.
Finally, for another kind of show, hit one of the famous drag performances in Key West. The ones at 801 Bourbon Bar (9 and 11 p.m.) are always a good time. The girls of 801 make sure the crowd is entertained with their raunchy humor, songs and more.
On November 19, 2012Stephanie Goldberg Glazer answered the question:For a taste of the Florida Keys, take a day trip south from Miami all the way to Key West. Enjoy the beautiful water views as you work your way south over the many bridges. Once you hit Key West, park it and walk or bike around the historic Old Town, where you can stop for lunch and take in a tour of the Hemingway House. As you head back up north, make a stop in Marathon at Pigeon Key to see the historic bridge. A quick glance is all you can afford, though, as you’ll want to check out John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park before it closes. While you probably won’t have time to take the glass-bottom boat tour (next time!), you will get a feel for some of the Keys marine life. Stop for dinner at one of Key Largo’s many great restaurants — The Fish House, Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen, Pilot House — before heading back to Miami.
On November 19, 2012Stephanie Goldberg Glazer answered the question:The best shopping in the Florida Keys is in the numerous galleries and unique boutiques, the bulk of which are located in Key West. You won’t find mega-stores or shopping malls — there’s simply no room for them — but what the area lacks in size, it makes up for in uniqueness. Visit the quirky galleries and interesting shops along Duval Street in Key West. Guild Hall Gallery (614 Duval St.) is actually a cooperative of artists. On the other end of Duval Street you’ll find SoDu Gallery (1100 Duval St.) and Frangipani Gallery (1102 Duval St.), both of which feature clothing, jewelry and more by local artists. Just up the street The Green Pineapple (1130 Duval St.) features unique items for your home.
On November 19, 2012Stephanie Goldberg Glazer answered the question:If you want to take your kids someplace where they can spend their time discovering and being active outdoors, consider the Florida Keys for your next family vacation. Spend your days learning about ecosystems and evenings gobbling up key lime pie. Check out this list from our Forbes Travel Guide editors on the best things to do with kids in the Keys.
1. Visit Pigeon Key, Marathon. Step back in time as you visit buildings from the early 1900s, when Henry Flagler was building his railroad through the Keys. Ride the ferry and see both the new and old Seven Mile bridges.
2. Head to Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center. The Eco-Discovery Center in Key West is a great place to learn about the fish and wildlife of the Florida Keys through interactive displays and exhibits. It’s fun for the entire family—plus it’s free.
3. Relax at The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory. Stroll through a magical environment with hundreds of butterflies. The conservatory houses more than 50 kinds of butterflies, exotic birds and tropical flowering plants.
4. Get moving at Founders Park, Islamorada. Founders Park is a great spot for tennis, water sports, swimming and more. The park includes an Olympic swimming pool, ball fields and a dog park.
5. Tarpon Feeding at Robbie’s of Islamadora. Robbie’s offers fishing excursions but kids and adults also come in droves to feed the dozens of tarpon that congregate at the end of the dock each day. It’s a sight to see these large silver-blue fish open their large mouths and feed on the fish.
On November 19, 2012Stephanie Goldberg Glazer answered the question:The Florida Keys offers something different to do at practically every Mile Marker — basically how you identify where you’re headed in these parts. Here are some of the best things to see and do in the Florida Keys:
1. John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park (Key Largo, Mile Marker 102.6). Take one of the famous glass-bottom boat rides, snorkel along the coral reef, sign up for a scuba tour or cruise down the park’s mangrove creeks in a kayak or canoe.
2. Go fishing. Almost anywhere in the Keys is an acceptable fishing spot — off the old Seven Mile Bridge, from the side of the road or on a charter boat. Catch local delicacies like yellowtail snapper and mahi mahi.
3. Bike the tiny streets of Key West. There are several local bike shops that will rent you a bike for the day or week. The best way to take in the Victorian architecture is on a bike.
4. Bahia Honda State Park (Mile Marker 37). Consistently rated one of the best beaches anywhere, Bahia Honda offers white sandy shores, biking trails, birding, boating and camping.
5. Dry Tortugas National Park. Located 70 miles off the coast of Key West, you can get to the park by seaplane or catamaran. Either way, it is a lovely day trip from Key West and it’s worth the time to see the majestic tangle of coral reef sheltering the marine and bird refuge. Swim, snorkel or simply walk around the seawall and explore Fort Jefferson, a former military fortress.