7 Must-Dos for My Next Trip to the Keys

How soon can I go back to the Keys??

That’s the question I’ve been asking myself since my inaugural trip two weeks ago. Since then, I’ve also compiled a special Florida Keys bucket list to help me plan my next visit to that southernmost paradise. It’s definitely doable, but highly ambitious, so I may need a few trips to check everything off. And you won’t hear me complaining about that!

Of course, it’s a list in progress, just like my master bucket list. The more I cross off, the more I’m sure I’ll add. Still, it’s a solid start – ambitious, like I said – and I’m eager to get at it!

Without further ado, I give you my Florida Keys Bucket List:

 

Snorkeling

I’ve never snorkeled EVER, so this is a major bucket list item as well.

Yeah. Yeah. You can pretty much snorkel anywhere in the Keys. But, I wanna see a shipwreck! Key Largo’s John Pennekamp Coral Reel State Park offers just that. Only 100 feet from shore lies a 1715 Spanish treasure fleet shipwreck, with artifacts still visible. No boat trip needed.

But then, I will still take that boat trip, because that’s the only way to snorkel the coral reefs – which I also wanna see.

 

Flying in a Biplane

What better way to see the Keys than from the air?? But not just from the air – from a biplane! Overseas Aero Tours in Marathon offers biplane flights, and its location in the middle of the Keys makes it ideal for full length views of the entire overseas highway.

 

Walking the Old Seven Mile Bridge

Stretching between Marathon and Pigeon Key, the Old Seven Mile Bridge is open only to pedestrians and cyclists. The views from that 2.2 mile stretch are stunning from the overseas highway, but pass by far too quickly at vehicular speeds. Walking the old bridge means pausing whenever I want, to absorb the great expanse of tropical waters – and, you know, snap a photo or two (hundred).

 

Bahia Honda State Park

Though my sister, bro-in-law, and I opted not to pay the admission fee when we visited the Keys back in August, I realize now that from the park you can actually walk ON the Bahia Honda rail bridge. Ummmm, yes. That I need to do. I also want to jump OFF the bridge, but I’ve heard that it’s a hotbed for sharks. Sooooo, Idunno. YOLO?

Bahia Honda rail bridge
 

Fort Zachary Taylor State Park

I’m a closet history buff, and this Civil War-era fort was instrumental in the efforts against blockade running. So, naturally, I’m intrigued. It also houses the largest collection of Civil War guns in the world. And I grew up in rural Michigan, so you had me at guns.

 

Sunset at Sunset Pier, Key West

The pier is actually part of a restaurant, but you don’t need to dine there to enjoy the views. Since we only caught the afterglow during my first visit to the Keys, I want to see the full sunset show from this vantage point next time.

Sunset Pier Restaurant, Key West


Airbnb on a Sailboat

If you search Key West on Airbnb, some of the cheaper options are actually boats! What better way to cap off a trip to the Keys than sleeping on a sailboat? Okay. I can think of one better way… if my Airbnb host takes me out for a spin on the sailboat. Yeah. That would definitely be better.

View from Sunset Pier, Key West

Aaaaand, that’s all I’ve got so far. To anyone who’s been to the Keys before, what else should I add to the list??

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