DREAMSCAPES WINTER/SPRING 2022
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GET YOUR ISLAND GROVE - THE FLORIDA KEYS WAY
 
(2022 - Winter/Spring Issue)

Writer: KARUNA EBERL



A well-known paved road that the locals call “the Stretch” is the famous Overseas Highway that connects the U.S. mainland to the Florida Keys.

As you roll down your car windows and feel the lush tropical sea breezes along the Stretch, nature shifts from sawgrass meadows to tangled mangrove shorelines during your drive to the Keys.

From Key Largo to Key West, the Keys has a whole different energy. Friendly. Remote. Offbeat. These islands are sure to get your island groove.

Key Largo’s Diving

Near Miami, but a world away, Key Largo is famous for reefs. Hop on a boat or snorkel from shore into John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park for angel and parrot fish sightings, and see the submerged Christ of the Abyss statue. Topside, ride the movie boat African Queen, eat freshly-caught yellowtail on the dock at Sundowners and dance the night away at the historic Caribbean Club.

Islamorada’s Fishing

Islamorada is famous for offshore sport-fishing charters. Look for Betsy the giant lobster statue, luring shoppers into Rain Barrel Village for local crafts. Paddle to the ruins at Indian Key. Feed giant tarpon at Robbie’s Marina. Eat with your feet in the sand at Lorelei’s or sip a rum-runner cocktail where it was first concocted at the Holiday Isle Tiki Bar.

Marathon’s Turtles

Now that you’re halfway down the Overseas Highway, grab a to-go sub at Marathon Liquor and Deli and spend the day watching wildlife. Explore wooded trails at Crane Point. Help Hawkwatch count migrat-ing peregrine falcons at Curry Hammock State Park. Meet the sea turtles rehabbing at the Turtle Hospital. At Pigeon Key, take a ferry to the old railroad settlement.

LOWER KEYS’ BEACHES

On the far side of the scenic Seven Mile Bridge lies the peaceful kingdom of the Lower Keys. The tidal sandbars and mangrove islands of the backcountry beckon fishermen, birdwatchers and paddlers. Lounge on the picturesque beaches of Bahia Honda State Park. Snorkel with goliath grouper at Looe Key reef. Eat coveted hogfish at the Hogfish Bar on Stock Island’s fishing docks.

KEY WEST’S CULTURE

It’s the end of the road and you are now closer to Cuba than Miami. Though Key West is best known for Hemingway and the bars on Duval Street, there’s so much more. Grab an authentic café con leche or a Cuban meal from El Siboney. Explore Victorian architecture, side alleys and secret gardens by foot or bicycle. Find sunken Spanish treasure at the Mel Fisher museum. Enjoy a sunset cruise on a historic tall ship.  At the legendary Chart Room bar, sip a cocktail where Jimmy Buffett and Jimi Hendrix played before they were famous.

Travel Planner

For more travel information about the Florida Keys, please visit: fla-keys.com.

 
 
 
 
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