The Florida Keys’ Top 14 Experiences

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From Highway 1 to Duval Street, The Florida Keys offer terrific experiences that should be on every traveler’s list. Here are Fodor’s top picks for a memorable trip.

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Key West Architecture

Built on stilts to keep things cool, Key West’s clapboard Conch houses feature porches with gingerbread trim. Many have been converted into atmospheric bed and breakfasts.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s The Florida Keys Travel Guide

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Kayaking and Canoeing

Whether you prefer sea kayaking, canoeing through calm and wildlife-rich mangrove waters, or stand-up paddle boarding, the Keys provide the setting and the perfect outfitters.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s The Florida Keys Travel Guide

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Key Lime Pie

You’re going to need a lot of time and appetite because key lime pie is everywhere, and everyone claims to make the best.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s The Florida Keys Travel Guide

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Dolphin Adventures

From watching them in the wild or captivity to getting in the water to swim and interact with them, experiencing dolphins is a classic Keys adventure.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s The Florida Keys Travel Guide

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The Cuba Connection

Cuba looms large in Key West, which was settled by cigar-making immigrants. El Meson de Pepe and 
El Siboney are two restaurants that serve Cuban delicacies.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s The Florida Keys Travel Guide

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Duval Street

Do the Duval Crawl in Key West. There are no rules: Stop for a drink, simply wander, or shop instead of drink. But you aren’t allowed to go fun-free.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s The Florida Keys Travel Guide

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Key Largo’s Christ of the Deep

Just outside of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park on Key Largo, this submerged nine-foot-tall statue makes a divine underwater sight.

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Ernest Hemingway’s Home

You’ll see his name all over Key West, but the best place to start is his historic home, where descendants of his six-toed cats still prowl.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s The Florida Keys Travel Guide

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Highway 1

Despite the traffic, the Overseas Highway (aka U.S. 1) is an engineering marvel and the only way to reach the southernmost point in the U.S.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s The Florida Keys Travel Guide

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Beaches

Keys beaches, including Bahia Honda State Park, Marathon’s Sombrero Beach, and Key West’s Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park, can be beautiful.

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The Dry Tortugas

Seaplanes and fast ferries deliver you to Dry Tortugas National Park, known for its birding, snorkeling, and historic Fort Jefferson.

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Fresh Seafood

You don’t have to catch your own to relish the lobster, yellowtail snapper, hogfish, and mahi-mahi that are signatures of the Florida Keys. You’ll find fresh seafood everywhere.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s The Florida Keys Travel Guide

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Fishing

Jump on a party or charter boat for offshore or back-bay fishing. Or cast a line from one of the Keys’ many bridges.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s The Florida Keys Travel Guide

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Sunset at Key West’s Mallory Square

Not only does the setting sun put on a fabulous show, but local musicians, magicians, and performance artists also join the act every evening.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s The Florida Keys Travel Guide