Florida Keys Spearfishing

Florida Keys spearfishing is done mostly in the lower and middle Keys. That’s because John Pennekamp State Park in Key Largo is a protected zone where no spearfishing is allowed. That’s too bad, because Key Largo has the clearest water of all the Florida Keys. It’s a very popular destination for scuba divers but spearos have to keep on driving down the Keys to get to spearfishing grounds. Another thing to know before you go is that unlike other parts of Florida where the dropoff can be quite close to shore, Florida Keys spearfishingusually requires a boat. The reef is at least six miles out in the Keys, and the dropoff is beyond that so unless you plan on spearfishing in ten to twelve feet of water on a few patch reefs for hogfish, plan on getting your hands on a boat even if it’s a small one.

Spearing fish on the reef is always fun, especially if you’re not an advanced diver. With a little practice, freedivers can get down to twenty feet and much of the coral reef is at depths of ten to fifty feet. Of course the deeper you go the bigger the fish, but there are some pretty good (meaning “legal”) red grouper out there in twenty to thirty feet. Plenty of rocks to search under. AJs will swing by, as well as bar jacks sometimes big enough for eating. In winter look for cero mackerel, in depths as low as twenty to thirty feet. And of course there are always lots and lots of snapper hanging around the rocks on the bottom.

Florida Keys Spearfishing

Florida Keys spearfishing is regulated, just like fishing and by the same folks at the Fish & Wildlife division of the State of Florida. The same size and bag limits apply as for fishing, and you must have a fishing license. You must put up a dive flag when you’re down and you cannot spear fish inside the Sanctuary Preservation Areas. The sanctuaries are marked by large yellow bouys so keep an eye out when choosing your spots.

If you’re visiting on vacation and plan on doing a little Florida Keys spearfishing, then you might want to know where you can find some local dive shops. Key West has probably the most to offer, with a Diver’s Direct, Sub Tropic on North Roosevelt, and a small offering at a dive shop on North Roosevelt near the Sears Plaza. Diver’s Direct is the largest. It’s located on Simonton just off Duval Street. They have a few reserved parking spots on front of the store, too. Find Riffe bands and other brands too. Find Omer, Riffe and Sea Hornet spearguns. Find spare parts for spears, dive bouys, snorkels, masks, wetsuits and fins too. For those who spearfish with scuba gear, find your gear here as well. There’s also a Diver’s Direct in Key Largo for snorkel and scuba gear. Since you can’t spear in Key Largo, spearfishing gear is limited. If you’re in the Middle Keys, one of the best dive shops is the Looe Key Dive Shop, between Key West and Marathon. If you need help or guidance with gear, this is your best bet in the lower Keys. You can’t spearfish Looe Key but you can go out beyond it and of course in the direction of Marathon it’s not protected. More information on Spearfishing Charters.

Florida Keys Snorkeling

Florida Keys snorkelingDiscover Florida Keys snorkeling! We’ve got the only living coral reef in North America, It goes from north of Key Largo, down the entire chain of Keys, and out beyond Key West to the Dry Tortugas. It’s why Florida Keys snorkeling is a must-do while on vacation. Boats throughout the Keys take visitors out to the reef for half day snorkeling trips. Some outfitters combine a morning or afternoon of snorkeling with lunch or snacks and beverages, while others work in kayaking and watersports as well. Choose a package that accommodates your vacation plans. It’s easy!

Snorkeling in Key Largo

Key Largo may be one of the best places for Florida Keys snorkelingfor two reasons. One, we have John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. It provides protection of the reef and its ecosystem, plus opportunities for visitors to enjoy the water. There are snorkeling trips out of their marina every day, plus glass bottom boat trips to the reef.

Secondly, out of all the Florida Keys, Key Largo is closest to the crystal clear waters of the Gulf Stream. That means snorkelers can easily see down through the waters from the surface. Often, snorkelers will be able to see bottom without diving down, even when it’s forty feet deep and more! So, even beginners can see the marvels of the ocean, the coral reef, and all the creatures and plants that exist in the underwater world.

Snorkeling in the Middle Keys

Visitors who stay in the middle keys are lucky because every snorkeling spot in the Keys is just a short drive away. If you’re staying in Marathon, you could drive west for a boat out to the famous Looe Key Sanctuary. John Pennekamp, mentioned above, is less than an hour away as well. You basically have access to everything!

Snorkeling in the Lower Keys and Key West

Key West has plenty of snorkeling outfitters and boats. From early morning til sunset, all types of boats run back and forth from shore to the reef, ferrying snorkelers to the sanctuaries for unforgettable snorkel adventures. Some of the boats are quite large catamarans that might serve a light lunch. Others are smaller boats that specialize in a more private experience while on the reef. All Florida Keys snorkeling boats carry personal flotation devices, and all safety equipment as required by law. The guides will instruct everyone on the boat on how to snorkel and how to respect the coral reef (don’t touch it!).

For variety, some boats will take you snorkeling in the afternoon, then wind up the day with a sunset cruise. Others in Key West will take you snorkeling on the reef, then head north into the Gulf of Mexico just outside of Key West harbor, where they have giant floatable setups for watersports.

Florida Keys Parasailing

Florida Keys parasailingSee the Florida Keys from the air: go Parasailing! See the world from way up there and get a glimpse of the seas below as the birds see it: from hundreds of feet up! That’s what’s in store for visitors who try Florida Keys parasailing. It’s perfectly safe and loads of fun and lots of visitors say that parasailing was the hi light of their vacation. Your vision of the Keys will expand while floating in the sky. You’ll see things you didn’t even know existed, like back country mangrove trails, jellyfish, or even sharks! Don’t worry, they can’t get you. Tour the landscape from your chute and you see why some visitors even come back for more on their next vacation.

Your ride will be smooth and comfortable. While up in the chute, it’s amazingly quiet and peaceful. Yes, it’s a silent ride! Imagine all this stunning scenery, quiet serenity, and an unforgettable experience you’ll want to share with everyone back home.

What You Should Know About Parasailing

Parasailing is when the rider (that’s you) is harnessed to a parachute and tethered to a boat. The parachute is never detached from the boat. The Captain has full control of your chute at all times by maneuvering the boat to control the height of your chute. The rope is the same kind they use to tow boats, so it will never break. Should there be a boat malfunction, parasailers would simply glide down with their chutes. No free fall!

It is not necessary to know how to swim in order to participate in Florida Keys parasailing. People ask that a lot. The takeoff and landing is on a special large platform on the back of the boat. You never have to touch the water. Some people like to get dipped so the Captain will do that if you ask. You can have the Captain dip your toes, or up to your knees or even higher is you want! Many people who come to the Florida Keys discover that Parasailing is a great alternative to snorkeling or glass bottom boat tours, especially if they can’t swim.

Tips for New Parasailers

Bring sunscreen! You will ride out in a comfortable boat but it probably won’t have any cover. A hat is good, but you won’t want to wear a hat while up in the ‘chute. It will fly off! Also, if your sunglasses are loose, you risk losing them as well. That’s because while up in the parachute you will be looking down at the spectacular scenery and they might slip off.

Cameras are OK to take up but it’s at your own risk. If you trust yourself to hold onto the camera, and especially if you have a waterproof housing or a waterproof camera, you can get some good pictures with less risk. The Captain and his mate will advise you that it’s at your own risk. That means they probably won’t go after your camera if you drop it!



Florida Keys Beaches

Visitors come to the Florida Keys for the beautiful weather and the chance to bask in the sun, at one of the many Florida Keys Beaches, while folks back home are shoveling snow and shivering. For many vacationers, a beach is requisite, and they plan on soaking up the sun and enjoying the ocean on their tropical vacation to the Florida Keys. The Keys do have beaches, but they are not as big as the famous beaches in other parts of Florida. Our coral reef protects our coastline from pounding waves, which is what creates sandy beaches. That’s also why we don’t have large waves, by the way. Well, in any case, human technology and parrot fish come to the rescue with imported sand and constant upkeep. Viola, we have Florida Keys beaches! Here’s a quick run-down of public beaches by area, starting in the Upper Keys and heading south and west towards Key West.

Upper Keys Beaches

John Pennecamp Coral Reef State Parkhas a beach area, with sand and trees for shade. The swimming area is a protected lagoon, with a spit of rocks forming the outer edge of the lagoon. Birds like to sit on the rocks, which makes for great pictures. You can walk along the mangrove edge of the swimming area-there’s a path, to the rocks. They have vending machines and a bathroom right next to the tiny beach.
Florida Keys beaches

Holiday Isle is located at Mile Marker 84.5 and has a beach. It’s a resort compound aimed at younger crowds and rowdy fun. They have tiki hut bars on the beach, rows of lounge chairs on the beach, jet ski rentals, and bikini shops galore. You can drive in and use their beach for free. They hope you’ll also buy a drink or two while you’re there.

Anne’s Beach is around Mile Marker 73, way down the road from Key Largo. It’s on the Ocean side, and you can easily miss it if you go too fast. It’s just a strip of parking next to the ocean, with a small bathroom facility. People make pit stops here, wading in to cool their feet before they continue on south.

Long Key State Recreation Area beach is located at Mile Marker 67.5 on the Ocean side. It’s not the greatest beach in the Keys…you really can’t swim because you have to go out so far until the water gets deep enough.

Middle Keys Beaches

Sombrero Beach is in Marathon. It’s one of the nicest Florida Keys beaches and it’s totally free and open to the public. Take a left onto Sombrero Beach Road at Mile Marker 50, the first light as you enter town from the east. The grounds have just been done over, with new bath houses, playground, and baseball diamond. The beach is one of the larger ones in the Keys, and it curves around gracefully, facing the Atlantic Ocean.

Bahia Honda State Park beach is one of the best in the Florida Keys, and is often written up in travel magazines as one of the best in the country. It’s on the Ocean side and faces an old bridge towards the West, so beach sunsets are spectacular.

Lower Keys Beaches

Beaches in the lower keys means mainly beaches in Key West. There are several in this small city:

  • Smathers Beach
  • Higgs Beach
  • South Beach
  • Dog Beach
  • Fort Taylor beach

Florida Keys Parks

Florida Keys parks are everywhere up and down the 120-mile long chain of islands, from tiny city parks to State Parks that extent into the Atlantic Ocean, to National Parks. While on vacation here in the Keys, take advantage of as many Florida Keys parksto discover nature, beauty, and adventure!

Long Key State Recreation Area

Long Key State Park is located at Mile Marker 67.5. It’s a long narrow park that hugs the shoreline on the ocean side and provides a boardwalk that floats above the sand nestled in the mangroves. There are tons of spiders in the trees along the boardwalk but you won’t mind their presence because the view of the ocean is so beautiful. It’s good snorkeling here, and the flats go on forever it seems, so you can wade way out into the ocean. Birds like flats water, so it’s an ideal spot for some bird-watching or nature photography. Long Key State Park has camping spots, and one of the best things to do here is rent a kayak and explore the flats water. This is one of the most popular Florida Keys parksfor camping.

Florida Keys parks

Bahia Honda State Park

Bahia Honda State Park is home to the best beach in the Florida Keys. At least that’s what travel magazines and books say. It is a lovely beach, especially at sunset, when the sun sinks below the horizon behind an old bridge. Don’t forget your cameras. this may be one of the most popular Florida Keys parksfor the beach and the sunsets. You can walk the nature trail and discover Keys flora and fauna like racoons, sliver palm, and other lush plants and trees. If you have a boat, bring it because you can launch it here at the boat ramp. If you don’t have a boat but want to get out on the water, try renting a Windsurfer or any other small boat. Stay in a tent or rent one of their cottages on the other side of the highway. You get boat access and linens and dishes as well. Like a state-run vacation rental in the mangroves.

John Pennecamp Coral Reef State Park

This state park is a mecca for scuba fans, as its acres of protected marine areas encompass several famous and beautiful reefs. Get a dive trip through the Park’s dive center, or join a dive boat run by any number of small dive outfits in Key Largo, off whose shores the park is located. This is one of the most popular and important Florida Keys parks, since it was the first State park in the country to protect marine life as well as resources on land. Entrance to the Park is at Mile Marker 102.5, on the ocean side. Popular reef trips take divers or snorkelers to any one or several of the following reefs:

  • the Benwood wreck
  • French Reef
  • Molasses Reef
  • White Bank Dry Rocks
  • Carysfort Reef
  • The Elbow
  • Key Largo Dry Rocks & Christ of the Deep
  • Grecian Rocks
  • Cannon Patch
  • Conch Reef

That’s why Key Largo is so popular with divers…so many reef spots and wrecks!

Florida Keys Marinas

Florida Keys marinasFlorida Keys marinas from Key Largo to Key West range from tiny public boat launches to full service marinas with rentals and sales. Whether you need to find dockage with full services like utilities and showers, or you just need to know where you can launch your boat for a weekend trip in the Keys, our guide to Florida Keys marinas can get you headed in the right direction.

Marinas in the Upper Keys

Starting in Key Largo, we have Garden Cove Marina located at 21 Garden Cove Drive. For boaters, it’s on the ocean side just north of Pennekamp State Park. Here you can have them launch your boat on the lift for $40, buy gas, and get engine service. They also have dry storage, some wet slips with utilities, and a restaurant on the premises. You can drive up by boat for lunch or dinner at The Buzzard’s Roost.

Up the road just a bit, after the center of Key Largo if you’re driving, is Rock Key Marina. This place resembles a construction site, and offers a ramp for launching your own boat, plus dry storage on a dusty lot. For friendly service, Garden Cove Marina can’t be beat.

Continuing west, in Tavernier there is Tavernier Creek Marina. This is a large, full-service marina offering sales, service, gas, wet and dry slips, and boat sales. It’s on the bay side, and if you’re driving it is hard to miss. In Tavernier, which is between Key Largo and Islamorada, there’s a stoplight, then an overpass bridge. Go over the bridge and take an immediate right into the marina. There’s also a dive company out of this marina, as well as charter fishing guides and a marina store behind the fuel dock.

In Islamorada there is Bud & Mary’s Marina, on the ocean side at Mile Marker 79.8. It’s got fishing charters, transient dockage, a party fishing boat, fuel, marina store, bait, and rentals. If you’re looking to launch a boat, head over to the Sea Bird Marina at Mile Marker 69.5 on the bay side. The have a boat ramp. Sea Bird Marina also features wet and dry slips, gas & diesel, boat rentals, bait & tackle, and vacation rentals.

Marinas in the Middle Keys

In Marathon, lots of the boating activity centers around Boot Key Harbor. It’s a protected area (from the weather, not environmentally) with lots of various services for boaters. The city of Marathon has its liveaboard buoys located here, and such there is a rather large liveaboard community here. There are dinghy docks, showers, pumpout, laundry, and slips too. There’s a water taxi service. Anchor lights are required here For liveaboards, Boot Key Harbor offers just about everything you’d need, including two grocery stores nearby.

There are several restaurants on the water in Boot Key Harbor, (Burdine’s and Dockside) which offer parking for boaters who pull up for a meal. And there are several fuel docks here too. For boats with a tall mast, you can enter via the Sister Creek entrance to the harbor, which has no overhead obstructions. But at low tide there’s only four feet depth. There’s also an entrance under the bridge, which can be raised by calling on channel 09, 6am to 10pm or after hours by phone. There is a depth guage here.

Marinas in the Lower Keys

Right in Key Westthere is the city of Key West’s marina and boat ramp. For $5 you can launch in and out same day at their ramp. This is quite a deal! It’s $6 for one day of trailer and vehicle storage. They have showers and slips, security, power, and trash removal. There is no dry storage here.

For dry storage in or near Key West, go to Stock Island, just over the bridge heading north from Key West. There are several marinas on Stock Island offering wet and dry slips. In Key West Harbor, there are plenty of marinas and resorts with dockage as well. It’s just a matter of choosing one.

Public Boat Ramps

  • Blackwater Sound MM 110 on the Bayside
  • Harry Harris Park MM 92 on the Oceanside
  • Indian Key Fill MM 79 on the Bayside
  • Marathon MM 54 on the Bayside
  • Marathon Yacht Club MM 49 on the Bayside
  • West of 7 Mile Bridge on the Bayside
  • Cannon Marine & Boat Ramp. For small boats. In Marathon, in back of Home Depot.
  • Spanish Harbor on the Bayside
  • Shark Key Fill on rhw Oceanside
  • Cudjoe Key on the Bayside
  • Stock Island Ramp MM 7
  • Key West End of A1A
  • Key West End of Simonton St.

Florida Keys Kayaking

Florida Keys kayakingIf you haven’t tried Florida Keys kayaking and you love the outdoors, then you’re in for a real discovery. Kayaking through mangrove channels, or out on the flats, you will experience the water in an intimate way that is never possible in a power boat. If you love hiking, then chances are you’ll like kayaking too. It’s a very different activity, but the sense of treading a pathway, open to discovery, never knowing what’s around the next corner or the next mangrove, is the same idea. Traversing a mountain or the backcountry flats, it’s the same feeling of testing your body, how far will it take you. Can you reach your destination, your summit, before your arms give out? Just as in hiking, you can always stop and rest while kayaking as well. Just stop paddling for a minute or two, and enjoy the silence of the natural world around you. Let your arms rest, sit back, adjust your seating, sip some water, or take some pictures. Then continue on your way once you’re rested. It’s Florida Keys kayaking…not a race!

Types of Kayaks

FIrst of all, there are two types of kayaks: sit on top and traditional kayaks. In a sit on top kayak, you sit higher and water runs through scuppers, or holes in the bottom, when a wave washes over you. With the other type of kayak, you sit down inside the shell, and sometimes you see these types of kayaks with a seal, which goes around the paddler’s waist and attaches to the rim of the cockpit, sealing the cockpit from water. In the Florida Keys, you will find both types of rental kayaks with the outfitters, and often you can choose which type you want.

A sit on top kayak, or SOT, is going be easier to get in and out of, which makes beginners feel more comfortable. When you learn to use a traditional kayak, you must learn to do an Eskimo Roll, which is very scary for most people. The sit-on-top kayak is also mroe open and less confining than the traditional kayak, so it’s more comfortable for beginners.

The wider the kayak, the more stable it will be. That makes beginners feel much more confident, since one of the scariest things about learning to use a kayak is the tippiness you feel at first in the water. The only drawback of the wider, stable kayak is that it will be harder to paddle, since it doesn’t cut through the water as sharply. They even make really wide kayaks that you can stand up in, for fishing or just to get a good look around you. These will cut through the water like a bathtub, however, so you have to think about what you’re going to be doing in your kayak, where you will go.

Getting Ready for Your Florida Keys Kayaking Adventure

Bring lots of water. Most kayaks have cup holders, and if there isn’t one, you can stash water at your feet. Wear a hat that won’t blow off. Wear sunscreen. Consider wearing longer shorts, since the tops of your thighs will be laid up facing the hot sun all the time you’re kayaking, especially if you rent a sit-on-top kayak, where there’s no inside cockpit. For Florida Keys kayakingwear a shirt or rashguard because your shoulders will be facing the sun for hours, and the sun’s rays get magnified because you’re inches from the water, and water acts as a magnifying glass. Plus, this is Florida and the sun is probably stronger than where you’re from.

If you bring a camera, get a waterproof camera bag or case, because sometimes you get wet, and every once in a while, people tip their kayaks over while holding onto a mangrove branch, for example, and the current takes the kayak from under you and whoops. If you have them with you on vacation, bring our binocs if you like spotting birds. Chances are, you’ll be kayaking through some backcountry where birds like to hang around either fishing in the flat water, or resting in the mangrove branches. Last but not least, have fun, keep your wits about you, and enjoy discovering the Florida Keys by kayak.


Florida Keys Jet Ski Rental

Have You Tried Jet Skis?

If not, then now’s the time for a Florida Keys jet ski rental! It’s a fun way to enjoy the beautiful weather and warm sub-tropical ocean temperatures we have here in the Florida Keys. It’s a very exiting way to be on the water and explore the islands and backcountry. Be your own guide or join a tour group on jet skis and let the local guide take you to special spots around the Florida Keys. Imagine zipping down mangrove trails or over the backcountry to see remote areas not usually visited by most tourists. A Florida Keys jet ski rental will make your day amazing and beautiful, and so much fun!

A Florida Keys Jet Ski Rental is So Easy!

What could be easier than just showing up at the dock and hopping on your personal watercraft? There’s no loading of your vessel-they are parked right at the dock in the water and ready to go. No waiting, no lines. Wear bathing suit or t-shirt or rash guard. You will get wet! Your Florida Keys Jet Ski rental outfitter will provide you with a personal flotation device, which is absolutely necessary. Then just hop on, start the engine and take off!

Jet Skis are Safe and Totally Fun!

Today’s wave runenrs and jet skis are made for a smooth, stable ride. They are top of the line machines and can turn on a very small radius as well. Expert handling and stable ride means a safer trip for you and your friends. Whether you are out for a smooth ride in the backcountry on calm waters, or out on the ocean side for some thrill-seeking adventure jumping boat wakes, you will appreciate late-model equipment and superior handling.

Florida Keys Camping

If you have an adventurous spirit, or if you’re on a budget, Florida Keys camping can be worked into your vacation plans easily. There are campgrounds up and down the Keys, some are private and some state-run by the state parks system of Florida. Most offer spots for RVs and for tents, although there are some here and there that cater only to RV travelers. In general, that you’ll find with Florida Keys camping is that most campgrounds are geared towards visitors with recreational vehicles rather than the casual car camper with a tent.

The Best Seasons for Camping in the Keys

Southern Florida and the Keys are hot and humid during half the year. From May to October, it’s sticky and the sun is blazing. Tent camping during these months requires a certain hardiness to weather and an understanding of how to keep cool when it’s hotter than anything outside. If you tent camp during the hotter months, pick your campsite wisely. Shade is key, but catching a breeze is also important. Pick a site that’s under a tree but facing the sea, to catch ocean breezes. It’s hot and humid even at night. If you’ve tent camped in the American Southwest, don’t count on the temperature dramatically falling after sunset, as it does in the desert. Desert sand loses its heat quickly after the sun stops beating on it. The Florida Keys retain the heat, and plus the humidity doesn’t go down after dark. RVers won’t worry so much about the weather because they travel with modern comforts that protect them from the heat and humidity. Tenters know that hanging out at the campsite isn’t really part of the itinerary when planning a Florida Keys camping trip!

Florida Keys camping

Your tent should have “windows”, where the breeze can flow through. Otherwise, you’ll be trapped inside with your own perspiration, adding to the already intense humidity. Keeping the door flap open isn’t really an option because the bugs will get you! Get a tent with screened windows that won’t allow bugs through.

Tent sites can vary from place to place. Long Key State Park has excellent sites, along the beach facing the Atlantic Ocean. They have raised platforms. It’s great. But Sugarloaf Key KOA has a back lot for tents that looks like a dust bowl. It’s remote and natural looking, which is a plus, but it’s a little dusty, too. Your equipment and your stuff will get dusty. Once you get beyond the dry dirt, the sites are unique and remote at KOA. But really, KOAs are geared for RVs. The State Parks do a nice job of providing excellent spots just for tenters, as opposed to back lots that seem to be leftover space, like an afterthought in an RV park.

The winter months in the Florida Keys are pleasant for tent campers. The temperature drops into the 70s and occasionally even into the high 60s on the coldest days. The humidity lets up as well, providing tenters some beautiful crisp nights under the stars. The winter months are typically the dry season, so the dustiness doesn’t go away, but the weather is so much better it makes up for a little dust.

In general, tent camping in the Florida Keys is doable all year round, but in the winter months, from November to May, it’s much much more fun. If you go during summer months, which last from May to October, plan to get up with the sun and leave your site for cooler spots. Bring lots of bug spray and use the pool at the campground to your advantage. Have fun!

How To Research Your Next Florida Camping Trip

How hard can it be to decide to go camping? Well, without a little preparation, a weekend or a week can go horribly wrong if you choose the wrong place to camp. Here are a few things to think about before you leave your driveway:

1. If you are tent camping, does the campground accept tenters? Surprisingly, a huge number of private RV parks and campgrounds do not allow tent camping.

2. RVers should determine in advance whether their destination provides full or partial hooks. Are the electrical hookups 30amp only or up to 50amp? Are pets or children permitted? Does the campground have restrictions on the age of the camper allowed into their campground? Is the RV park for Class A motorhomes only? And, are the RV sites large enough to accommodate your unit?

3. Check to make sure that there will be space available upon your arrival. You may need to make an advance reservation.

The list above is a good starting point to decide what you want from your camping trip. Your first efforts should begin with visiting the campground’s website and finding out whether or not your specific needs can be accommodated. Sometimes it’s worth traveling a little further or paying a little bit more to insure that your trip brings you the enjoyment you deserve.

You can start your research by visiting this Camping in Florida web page that lists Florida campgrounds by city that have a website.

Florida Keys Golf

Florida Keys golfFlorida Keys golf is world apart from the mainland experience. Imagine teeing off in the morning with the ocean as a backdrop. Imagine native birds as your spectators amongst the mangroves as you calculate your next swing. Florida Keys golf is all this and more. Because you just can’t beat the splendor or island landscapes mixed with superbly designed courses that are the envy of other course managers from Miami to Maine. Golfing in paradise pretty much sums it up. Need we say more?

Depending on which island you’re headed for, Florida Keys golf brings you a championship rated course in Key West, a public par 3 course in Marathon, a resort course at the Cheeca Lodge, and a total of three private golf courses in Key Largo. Enjoy a fun game of golf while on vacation in the Florida Keys, any time of year. For year-round golfing when the weather is uncooperative back home, you will always find an open course that offers fun Florida Keys golf action. If you like having a golf course all to yourself, then chances are you can indulge all you like May through October. Florida Keys golf goes year round, but you’ll find that the number of golfers (and everybody else) thins out during these months. The reason of course is the hotter weather plus the fact that it’s warmer up North and those nortern golfers can finally play on their home courses which have been covered in snow for months and months.

Golfing in Key Largo

The Florida Keys golf courses in Key Largo are actually 15 miles north of Key Largo center, at the Ocean Reef resort. It’s a private resort and you must be a member. There’s a 9-hole course in Islamorada, a few miles up the road from Key Largo, at the Cheeca Lodge. Guests at the lodge can invite friends to play on the course there for no charge.

Golfing in Marathon

Visitors to Marathon even have their choice of Florida Keysgolf courses. There’s the Sombrero Country Club, which is private but has reciprocal agreements with other golf clubs around the world. This golf course is open every day during the peak season from November to May, then six days a week during the summer months. There are special programs like Twilight Golf, golf for youths, golf tournaments and golf clinics.

If you’re looking for a public golf course in Marathon, then head for Key Colony Beach Golf & Tennis. Key Colony Beach is a town adjacent to Marathon, on the ocean side just north of the center of Marathon. As a visitor to the Florida Keys, you’ll appreciate that you can rent golf clubs and carts at this course. Plus, it’s just $9 to play 9 holes and $7 for another nine holes.

Golfing in Key West

In Key West, there’s the Key West Golf Course, designed by Rees Jones. It’s 18 holes spread over 200 acres. The new renovation has made beautiful use of indigenous plants, and allowed the mangroves to remain. This means egrets, herons, and other native birds dot the landscape, enjoying the mangroves and trees that line the edge of the course. For your convenience you can rent bags, clubs and lockers here.