Key West Sailing Adventures’ water-savvy ship hands charter passengers to pristine locales for sailing and snorkeling trips. The four-hour excursion outfits each set of up to six divers with all necessary underwater gear—including masks, snorkels, and stingray saddles—as they dive into local reefs. After four hours of subaqueous sightseeing, divers return to the ship’s deck for a two-hour sunset cruise, which chases the picturesque sinking of the nation’s southernmost sun. Excursions occur aboard the 37-foot O’Day sailboat, a solid vessel that avoids bobbling atop waves by practicing core-strengthening Pilates twice weekly. The ship’s galley comes fully stocked with snacks and soft drinks to tide over mid-ocean hunger pangs.
Amidst the sparkling waters of the Florida Keys, Key Largo Fisheries has furnished kitchens and kebabs with fresh seafood fetched from local fishermen and exotic locales since 1972. Succulent shellfish including lobster ($10.99/lb.), stone crab ($12.99–$29.99/lb.), and shrimp ($9.99–$15.99/lb.) newly plucked from nearby waters unbutton their hard-shell exteriors to reveal butter-ready meat. Grouper ($15.99/lb.), yellowtail snapper ($12.99/lb.), and other finned fare make enticing grilled or fried main dishes, and an array of premade items including crab cakes ($7.99 for two) and smoked fish dip ($15.99/qt.) supplies gatherings with quick, convenient eats. To sate seafood cravings or cede to mermaids begging for scraps, the Take Away Cafe populates its menu with a range of oceanic ambrosia.
Islamorada, deemed one of the Best Honeymoon Spots by the Knot, rests quietly in the upper portion of the Florida Keys, southwest of Key Largo. Visitors living the laid-back Keys lifestyle can bask in the sun, feed green and silver tarpon by hand from a dock, or saunter from snorkeling with dolphins at one marina to kayaking with paddle-wielding manatees at the next. Most eateries extend beach or patio seating to diners to offer a better view of the sunset and its reflection in the ocean while guests sip cool beers.The historic Overseas Highway, once a railroad connecting the Keys until Mother Nature repurposed it with a hurricane in 1935, now ushers motorists up and down the Keys to experience each bit of blue and green beauty Florida has to offer. At Bahia Honda State Park, travelers can tip their swim caps to a bridge standing as a reminder of the old railway as they wade to ultimate relaxation in warm Gulf water.