hikingKey Westsightseeing

Traveling Down To The Florida Keys For Hiking And Sightseeing

Where can you go to see lots of different animals and plant life, including birds, fish, mangroves and other forms of life?  The Florida Keys is a great place to travel to see all the above and more. There is plenty to do in the Keys, from fishing, sightseeing, hiking, and snorkeling, to eating and souvenir shopping.  It is a fun and exciting place to go to for a few days or a week.

The Florida Keys are a great place to visit.  Living in South Florida, I can go down there whenever I want. There is so much to do, whether you like diving, hiking, fishing, sightseeing, or even eating, the Florida Keys is the place to do it.  The Florida Keys are a string of Islands at the southern tip of Florida that stretch for approximately 100 miles from Florida City to Key West.  Prior to the early 20th century, the only way to get to the Keys was by boat. However, in 1912, Henry Flagler completed his overseas railroad and so the Keys became accessible by train.   This brought a lot of tourists down to the keys and transformed them to a vacation paradise. The nice thing about the Keys is that, being in the tropics, it has good, warm weather all year around. Even in winter, the temperature rarely falls below 70 degrees.  So millions of people visit every year.

One of the most fun things people like to do in the keys is to go diving. The Keys have the only live Coral Reef in the United States. It is beautiful. Lots of divers and snorkelers come down there every year to see the reef, with its diverse population of coral and fish life. Coral is a living organism. There is both soft coral and hard coral and it attracts a lot of fish because they like to hide among the reefs. The reefs are important to the Keys because they protect the land from tidal surges. But it is also beautiful to look at. The best way to see it is to go diving and then you can literally swim under the sea with all the other fish. Snorkeling is also fun because you can float on the water to look at all the underwater wildlife.  But, if you do not want to get your feet wet, glass bottom boat tours are offered that will take you out to the reefs and you can observe them from the comfort of a boat.  The best place to go to see the reefs are at John Pennekamp National Park in Key Largo. They have daily tours for snorkeling and glass bottom boat tours.

There are of course other water sports to enjoy down in the keys.  Fishing is the most popular. The keys have many, many small islands surrounding them. This has created small bays and estuaries. If you want you can just rent a small boat to go around the bays and fish for all kinds of small fish. But if you want bigger fish, you can hire a boat that will take you out into the Gulf of Mexico and you can try to catch bigger fish. A really popular game fish to try and catch is the tarpon. I say try to catch because it is a big and tough fish and is not easy to reel one in.  In addition to fishing, you can also ride on a jet ski, which is a lot of fun.

There is of course hiking available in the keys. There are a lot of hiking paths and nature trails throughout the Keys in parks and refuges that provide an ample opportunity to see all kinds of wild life. There are plenty of birds to look for and see, such as herons, cormorants, and the pelican. These birds are very numerous down in the Keys because of all the fish to eat.  The best place to see pelicans is at The Florida Keys Wild Bird Sanctuary.  They have paths that cut through the Florida mangroves down to the bay so you get a nice hiking experience out of it.  John Pennekamp Park also has lots of paths through the mangroves and hardwood hammock forests.  You may also catch sight of raccoons, squirrels, and other small mammals rustling through the forest. Again, the Keys are a great place to visit to see all kinds of wild life and view nature at its best.

Geoff Bergey

Florida Native, Traveler, Photographer, Lover of Life, Clouds and Key Lime Pie.

Related Articles

Check Also
Back to top button