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WARM UP IN THE FLORIDA KEYS
 
(2021 - Winter Issue)

Writer: SUSAN B. BARNES



The annual migration is underway — birds have made their way south, following generations-old flight paths to find their sunspots.  Snowbirds are no different as they leave behind winter’s cold snap in search of daily doses of vitamin D by way of the bright sun in Florida.

You can’t travel further south in the continental U.S. than the Florida Keys, which boasts warmer winter temperatures than the rest of the Sunshine State. The temperatures around the 195-kilometre island chain, which begins just south of Miami and stretches to Key West, average 20°C in winter, with water temps averaging 23°C.

So now’s a terrific time to visit the Florida Keys, don’t you think?

Go For a Ride

Slow travel is a terrific way to experience the Florida Keys, and one of the best ways to travel slowly is by bicycle. Not only will your pace be one at which you can really take in the sights and sounds of the Keys, but you’ll feel the warm sunshine, too.

A guided ride around historic Key West, also known as the Conch Republic, is fun and educational. Learn why Key West is known as the Conch Republic! From Key West, ride over the causeway to Stock Island to check out the colourful marinas and art studios, then later recharge at one of the waterfront restaurants and bars. You’ll want to keep quiet on a bicycle ride around Big Pine Key in the Lower Keys … you may just be able to catch a glimpse of the elusive key deer!

Dive In

Some of Florida’s best snorkelling and scuba diving is in the Florida Keys, thanks to the Florida Reef! The only living coral barrier reef in the continental U.S. and the third-largest coral barrier reef in the world, it stretches from south of Miami, west to the Dry Tortugas. One big standout feature that makes snorkelling and diving in the Keys incredible is the shallow ocean. Depths rarely reach more than six metres out to the barrier reef, which means the sunlight reaches into the water to illuminate brighter and more vibrant colours. Stellar sites include John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo, and off Key West, dive around Sand Key, Nine Foot Stake and Joe’s Tug, not to mention diving to see centuries-old shipwrecks along the way.

If you’d rather stay on dry land, visit the Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters in Marathon for a peek under the sea via a 757-cubic-metre interconnected saltwater aquarium, and be sure to check out the History of Diving Museum in Islamorada.

This winter, you’re welcome to come just as you are and warm up in the Florida Keys.

Travel Planner

For the latest protocols on health and safety in the Florida Keys, please visit: fla-keys.com.

 
 
 
 
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